Rick Berman, Humanewatch, Chipotle and E. coli: Let's Connect the Dots
If you’ve watched a TV newscast or looked at a newspaper in the past few weeks, you know all about the restaurant chain Chipotle and the panic over E. coli at some of their restaurants. (The most recent news is that the Health Departments of Washington and Oregon have not found any E. coli, after testing hundreds of samples.)
However, there’s a lot more background to this, which you probably don’t know about unless you’re on the mailing list of the Humane Society or other animals’ rights organizations.
Rick Berman — he’s sort of a one-man Koch Brothers — is the founder of an Astroturf front group called Humanewatch. Humanewatch receives gazillions of dollars in funding from Agribusiness lobbyists, trophy hunters, mining/development interests; pretty much every robber baron profits might be threatened by animals’ rights groups.
The stated purpose of Humanewatch is to “alert” the public that the Humane Society doesn’t really accomplish anything except to take people’s donations and make false accusations against those kindly factory farms. How nice that a few Big Ag billionaires is so concerned about the public being “deceived” by a “phony” animal rights group.
Another one of Rick Berman’s front groups is called Center for Consumer Freedom. You know, because these cumbersome environmental and anti-cruelty regulations are driving up food prices for consumers.
For the past few years now, Rick Berman has been ranting about — and threatening — Chipotle, since Chipotle has been at the forefront in not serving any meat from animals that were fed antibiotics, and not using any GMO products at any of their restaurants.
OK, so is there a connection here? Rick Berman’s various front groups have had Chipotle in their crosshairs for a long time. And suddenly, “more E. coli poisoning at Chipotle!” (which has not been found by health inspectors) is all over the news.
Here are some links