Consumer Choice Center

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The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) is a not-for-profit lobby organisation which was set up in February 2017, with offices in the United States, Canada and the European Union (EU).[1]

The CCC says that it lobbies against government regulations in over 100 countries, covering “food and agriculture policies, fat/sugar tax, soda tax, food labelling, health care and harm reduction, trade initiatives (TTIP /TTP), transportation and aviation regulations”.[2]


Background

The CCC’s parent organisation is Students For Liberty (SFL), an American libertarian student organisation linked to right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch.[3]

The CCC received seed funding, and a further $210,296, from SFL.[4] It describes itself as “totally open” to corporate donations.[5]

For the financial year 2016/17, the CCC declared a total income of €3,761,438 from unspecified donations.[6] The organisation has received financial support from consumer goods, energy, manufacturing, digital, healthcare, cryptocurrency and fin-tech industries.[7]

Staff

CCC’s Managing Director is Frederik Roeder.[8]

Other persons that work for, or have previously worked for the CCC:

Many CCC staff have previously held, or currently hold, roles within SFL.[13]

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

CCC has received funding from Japan Tobacco International, who co-funded its launch event,[14] and Philip Morris International.[7]

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) is a member of CCC.[15]

Upon request, JTI declined to disclose what this membership entails and how much financial support is linked to it.[16]

In addition, CCC’s Frederik Roeder contributed to "Regulating Consumers?", a Euractiv Special Report sponsored by JTI for €10,000.[17][18]

Attempt to Discredit WHO and IARC

In September 2018, the CCC has scheduled three strongly biased roundtables to discuss “WHO’s shortcomings in working towards better global public health and how the WHO actively blocks healthier technologies in the area of harm reduction”.[19] The events also condemn the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) assessment of the pesticide glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. None of the invited speakers have public health qualifications.

London, 6 September 2018

Scheduled presentations at the London roundtable include:

  • “Public Funding of Public Health Activists” by Christopher Snowdon from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
  • “Too busy with the wrong Priorities: Does the WHO suffer from Mission Creep?”, by CCC’s Bill Wirtz
  • “How the UK can become a leader in tobacco harm reduction”, Daniel Pryor from the Adam Smith Institute
  • “Foreign Aid for Public Health and Clandestine Maneuvering [sic]: Insights from the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control”, by CCC’s Fred Roeder

Brussels, 10 September 2018

At the Brussels roundtable, the following presentations are on the agenda:

  • “Too busy with the wrong Priorities: Does the WHO suffer from Mission Creep?”, by CCC’s Bill Wirtz
  • “The WHO and The International Agency for Research and Cancer (IARC): How evidence based policies are sabotaged by those who ought enforce them”, by Professor David Zaruk, Odisee University College
  • ”Foreign Aid for Public Health and Clandestine Maneuvering [sic]: Insights from the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control”, by CCC’s Fred Roeder

Rome, 18 September 2018

The focus of the roundtable in Italy seems to be on E-cigarettes and the product's future in Italy. Listed external speakers are:

  • Carolina Pellegrini (Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano)
  • Daniele Capezzone (New Direction Italia)
  • Alessandro Colucci (Camera dei Deputati)

Affiliations

IEA

In addition to being scheduled to speak at the anti-WHO event, the IEA was involved in launching the CCC in April 2017. Christopher Snowdon, the IEA’s “Head of Lifestyle Economics”, featured in the promotional video for the CCC’s launch event.[20]

EPICENTER

At its launch event, the CCC disclosed that it “collaborated with” EPICENTER, a free-market think tank collective, set up and funded by the IEA.[21]

FOREST EU

The CCC was represented by Jeff Stier at the launch of Forest EU, a tobacco industry-funded pro-smoking group.[22]

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

References

  1. Consumer Choice Center, FAQ, 2018, accessed April 2018
  2. Consumer Choice Center, About us, undated, accessed May 2017
  3. Corporate Europe Observatory, Big Tobacco and right-wing US billionaires funding anti-regulation hardliners in the EU, 20 July 2017, accessed February 2018
  4. Students For Liberty, 2017 Annual Report, available from www.studentsforliberty.org, 2017 (undated), accessed March 2018
  5. H. Cooper, Q. Ariès, POLITICO Brussels Influence: Consumers for liberty — EU breaches justice rules, POLITICO, 24 March 2017, accessed February 2018
  6. Consumer Choice Center, Transparency Register Entry, 10 January 2018, accessed February 2018
  7. 7.0 7.1 Consumer Choice Center, Frequently Asked Questions, undated, accessed June 2018
  8. F. Roeder, Frederik Cyrus Roeder, LinkedIn profile, accessed January 2018
  9. A. Cleave, LinkedIn Profile, undated, accessed January 2018
  10. Consumer Choice Center Adam Cleave, accessed February 2018
  11. Consumer Choice Center Jeff Stier, undated, accessed February 2018
  12. Tobacco Reporter, Stier joins consumer body, 9 January 2018, accessed January 2018
  13. Consumer Choice Center Staff, undated, accessed March 2018
  14. Y. Ossowski, Email to Corporate Europe Observatory, Consumer Choice Center, 22 June 2017, accessed February 2018
  15. EU Transparency Register, Japan Tobacco International Entry, 16 November 2017, accessed February 2018
  16. Japan Tobacco International, Email reply to Tobacco Control Research Group, Subject: Re: REF GB-18-01469/NCC/TRM, 26 February 2018 08:48
  17. F. Roeder Weighing the tradeoffs of joy versus long term health, Euractiv, 19 June 2017, accessed February 2018
  18. Euractiv, Email reply to Tobacco Control Research Group, Subject: Re: General inquiry - Message From the Team Page, 27 April 2018, 12:01
  19. Consumer Choice Center, Does the WHO act in the interest of Global Public Health? -London 6 September, 2018, accessed August 2018
  20. Consumer Choice Center, Launch of the Consumer Choice Center 16 April 2017, YouTube video footage, published on 2 May 2017, accessed March 2018
  21. M. Hope, Lobby Group Tied to Koch Brothers, Brexit Climate Deniers Pushes 'Strong Pro-Corporate Agenda', Ecowatch, 20 July 2017, accessed January 2018
  22. S. Clark, Forest EU launch party, Taking Liberties blog, 2 June 2017, accessed February 2018