Latest News on HFCS Corn Sugar False Advertising Case - Sugar Growers Accuse Corn Refiners Association, ADM and Cargill with Trying to Evade Liability

Sugar Growers Accuse Corn Refiners Association (CRA), ADM and Cargill with Trying to Evade Liability

Sugar farmers have rejected a bid to remove key defendants from false advertising lawsuit against corn processors.  Attorneys for the Sugar Association and the sugar farmers it represents filed papers early this week in federal court accusing members of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) of trying to evade liability for their roles in the creation and sponsorship of false advertising about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

The alleged false claims have been made in a multi-million dollar advertising campaign by the CRA and convey the message that HFCS is really the same as natural sugar.  The campaign was  underwritten by agricultural giants Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill and their allies, all who are members of the CRA.

Federal Judge Consuelo B. Marshall has already ruled that the sugar farmers have shown “a reasonable probability of success on their argument that the statements are false."  In other words, HFCS is not the same as sugar.  This conclusion was lent scientific support by a recent study published in Metabolism.

The study, published online last December,  showed that compared with sucrose (otherwise known as  table sugar) HFCS leads to greater fructose systemic exposure and significantly different acute metabolic effects. 
In their new filing, the sugar farmers allege that although several corporate members of the CRA voluntarily chose to fund, and “set the advertising campaign in motion and control it,” in a “collaborative effort,” they now seek to avoid the consequences of those acts.  The new filing argues that the companies devised a “strategy to escape liability for their roles in the misconduct” in which they seek to “hide behind an inadequately capitalized trade association they control, govern and fund.”

“The legal strategy of Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill and the other manufacturers of HFCS seems to borrow from the false advertising script by trying to paint the lawsuit as something that it is not,” said the farmers’ lead attorney, Adam Fox of Squire Sanders in Los Angeles. “These companies are trying to run away from the charges against them and the liability that goes with it.”

Stay tuned as both sides are expected to be back in front of Judge Marshall next month.  I will keep you posted.

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