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Thanks Anne - we almost have to begrudgingly admire Rick Berman for his remarkable success in running front groups, don't we?

For example, Berman is the PR brainiac behind:

* Transfats.com - “Transfats have demonstrated beneficial health effects including fighting cancer”

* sunlightscam.com - where you’ll learn that tanning beds fight heart disease, and breast cancer, and stroke and osteoporosis – funded by the folks who make indoor tanning beds

* fishscam.com - “Tiny amounts of mercury in fish aren’t harmful at all” or how about “Pregnant women should eat more fish!” see also: mercuryfacts.org

* PETAkillsanimals.com - Yep, it’s apparently true – animal rights activists at PETA are really just animal killers, according to this group that promotes misinformation about animal cruelty

* Sweetscam.com - my favourite! it’s meant to convince you that much-maligned high fructose corn syrup is good for you!

Meanwhile, over in Big Pharma, we have other examples of legitimate-sounding front groups set up by drug companies. For example, even with no payroll, no building and no offices, drug giant Merck’s wholly-owned non-profit front group, the ‘Bone Measurement Institute’, has helped Merck boost annual sales of its osteoporosis drug Fosamax as high as $3.2 billion.

And now that Merck's Bone Measurement Institute has convinced millions of women that they may be in danger of developing the non-disease called "osteopenia", sales will continue to grow - even as scientists now increasingly question the safety of longterm prescription of drugs like Fosamax and other bisphosphonates. More on this at: "We Never Imagined People Would Think Of Osteopenia As A Disease" at THE ETHICAL NAG: MARKETING ETHICS FOR THE EASILY SWAYED: http://ethicalnag.org/2010/02/06/osteopenia/

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Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.