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Monday, October 24, 2011

Latest News in HFCS Corn Sugar False Advertising Case - US Consumers and Sugar Farmers Win Big as Federal Judge Rules Against Corn Processors

Latest News in HFCS Corn Sugar False Advertising Case - US Consumers and Sugar Farmers Win Big as Federal Judge Rules Against Corn Processors

Federal Judge Rules Against Corn Processors!
Consumer Deception At Issue In False Advertising Case
Case brought by American sugar farmers against big corn processors to stop their false advertising about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) must go forward.

Remember how all of the sudden HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is suddenly being called "corn sugar" and we are being told by the CRA (Corn Refiner's Association) that it is safe to eat and just like sugar?  Well, according to U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall, who issued two opinions comprising her ruling last Friday, “Plaintiffs* have met their burden in showing a reasonable probability of success on their argument that the statements are false.” The judge also ruled that the challenged statements in CRA's multi-million dollar campaign “constitute ‘commercial speech.’”

Um ya think? Does this look like a commercial to you?


Of course this constitutes commercial speech and it means a lot of cash for the CRA  and its member companies** if they can convince consumers that their re-branding is not a PR effort but in fact, fact.
This ruling is a big positive for consumer heath.  Since so many consumers do not have the time in their busy, stressed out lives to really research the CRA claims that "corn sugar" is just like cane sugar, this lawsuit may, at least, stop the false advertising that HFCS is actually a natural product and as safe as sugar.  You see consumers were starting to get the message that HFCS is harmful to their health and waistline as American consumption of high-fructose corn syrup fell to a 20-year low last year.  The CRA has been on a mission to reverse the drop in sales with their re-branding efforts (in what clearly looks to me like false advertising) of HFCS as corn sugar.

But consumers are smart, they just need the right information. 
Judge Marshall made the positive consumer rulings, in part, based on documents the CRA and its members had previously submitted to the Mexican government involving a regulatory issue in that country. “There is evidence in the record indicating that Defendants have themselves made statements about the different chemical make-up between table sugar and HFCS,” the judge wrote. “Plaintiffs have also submitted studies and papers that support its allegation that CRA’s claim that HFCS is sugar and/or natural is false and/or misleading.”

According to the lawsuit, consumers have increasingly sought to avoid products containing HFCS because of a wide range of health concerns. The lawsuit claims that the CRA has engaged in false advertising about these concerns. As part of this effort the CRA has advertised that HFCS is “corn sugar,” equated it with real sugar and called it natural – none of which is true.

Kind of reminds me of another false advertising push by Big Tobacco...



While the corn processors have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to substitute “corn sugar” for “high-fructose corn syrup” on ingredient labels, the sugar-producing plaintiffs assert that the defendants did not even wait for the FDA’s response – which is still pending – before beginning their “corn sugar” re-branding efforts.


Oh and let's not forget that over 80% of corn grown in the US is now GMO (Genetically Modified Organism).  So the odds are that, in addition to being misled by the CRA and ingesting what you think is a safe "corn sugar", you are also ingesting Monsanto's GM toxin  Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).  Monsanto has told consumers that GM crops are safe, but a new study by independent Canadian doctors, heightens concern. Genetically modified crops include genes extracted from the bacterial toxin Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to make them resistant to pest attacks.  These genes make crops toxic to pests but Monsanto claims that they to pose no danger to the environment and human health.  The study points in a different direction.
"All this time, Monsanto has based its assertion that crops engineered to contain the bacterial toxin, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), are harmless on an assumption that the toxin breaks down in the digestive system and so never enters the rest of the body. Regulators have been repeating this to us for over a generation. Now it turns out that the Bt toxin is not only surviving in our guts, but is making its way on into our bloodstreams — and if we’re pregnant, into the soon-to-be-babies in our bellies." -Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, PAN America
Please also remember that beets are a big GM crop with over 95% being GMO.  Use sugar sparingly and try to insure that you are only ingesting organic cane sugar.

It really comes down to consumers being given the proper information to make decisions on what foods they will eat that will ultimately impact their health and the health of our world tomorrow.  Judge Marshall's ruling is a step in the right direction for consumers.  Hopefully soon, the entire ridiculous "corn sugar" re-branding will be nixed and replaced with truth in advertising about what HFCS really is, what it isn't and how it contributes to consumer ill health from liver damage and altered metabolism to gastrointestinal distress and obesity.

Let me know if you would like to see a copy of the complaint or Judge Marshall's orders.


Source: SlashFood, Discovery Wellness Center
Photo Source: YouTube Video from CRA

*WESTERN SUGAR COOPERATIVE, a
Colorado cooperative, MICHIGAN
SUGAR COMPANY, a Michigan
corporation, and C & H SUGAR
COMPANY, INC., a Delaware
corporation, UNITED STATES SUGAR
CORPORATION, a Florida corporation,
AMERICAN SUGAR REFINING, INC.,
a Delaware corporation, THE
AMALGAMATED SUGAR COMPANY
LLC, a Delaware limited liability
company, IMPERIAL SUGAR
CORPORATION, a Texas corporation,
MINN-DAK FARMERS
COOPERATIVE, a North Dakota
Cooperative Association, THE
AMERICAN SUGAR CANE LEAGUE
OF THE U.S.A., INC., a Louisiana Non-
Profit Corporation, and THE SUGAR
ASSOCIATION, INC., a Delaware
corporation


**ARCHER-DANIELS-MIDLAND
COMPANY, a Delaware corporation,
CARGILL, INC., a Delaware corporation,
CORN PRODUCTS INTERNATIONAL,
INC., a Delaware corporation, THE
CORN REFINERS ASSOCIATION,
INC., a Delaware corporation, PENFORD
PRODUCTS CO., a Delaware
corporation, ROQUETTE AMERICA,
INC., a Delaware corporation, and TATE
& LYLE INGREDIENTS AMERICAS,
INC., a Delaware corporation,
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