Sugar Industry’s Latest Move Demonstrates Its Strategy: Pose As A ‘Safer’ Sweetener

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

February 7, 2012

CONTACT: David Knowles 

(202) 331-1634

WASHINGTON, DC – In a bid to revive litigation claims that a federal judge had dismissed, the refined sugar industry’s latest maneuver actually underlines its true objective: to confuse American consumers by suggesting that cane and beet sugar is healthier than sugar made from corn.

“The refined sugar industry’s latest attempt to sue Corn Refiners Association (CRA) members is simply a rehash of the same groundless claims that a federal judge rejected last year,” said Audrae Erickson, President of the Corn Refiners Association. She added, “This case is about the free flow of fact-based information about sugars to Americans. In that regard, it’s important to recognize that the court previously dismissed a portion of the case based on a California law designed to prevent just these kinds of baseless lawsuits.”

“We will defend the case aggressively,” Erickson said. “In fact, we welcome an opportunity to expose the refined sugar industry’s self-serving actions in this decade-long war on sugar made from corn.”

The case, which is pending in a Los Angeles federal court, pits the refined sugar industry against CRA and its member companies. A federal judge dismissed all claims against the CRA members last year, but allowed the refined sugar companies a second chance to rewrite their lawsuit and come up with new allegations. The refined sugar companies refiled those claims in November, and in this week’s filings argued why they should not be dismissed a second time. A hearing on the motion to dismiss the sugar industry’s claims is set for March 19.

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The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil, and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber.