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Federal Judge in L.A. Rules Corn Refiners Liable in Fructose Advertising Case PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 02 August 2012 03:30

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that corn-sugar makers should be held liable for their trade group advertising campaign promoting high-fructose corn syrup as no different from cane sugar.

The companies -- Archer- Daniels-Midland, Cargill, Corn Products International, Roquette America and Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas -- had asked U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall to cut them from the lawsuit, leaving the Corn Refiners Association as the sole defendant.

The Western Sugar Cooperative, a coalition of sugar growers, filed suit against the corn refiners and their trade group last year, alleging the "sugar is sugar" ad campaign promoting corn sugar is false and misleading.

In her written ruling, Marshall said the plaintiff sugar farmers had shown that the corn syrup producers should remain defendants in the lawsuit.

Audrae Erickson, president of CRA, said the judge's ruling about who is included in the lawsuit "has no bearing on the merits of the case, which are about ensuring that consumers get the facts regarding high fructose corn syrup."

She said her association is looking forward to proving that consumers have the right to "be informed that high fructose corn syrup is just another kind of sugar."

Sugar farmers attorney Adam Fox, who characterized the judge's decision as "an important win for all American consumers," said allowing the lawsuit to proceed is important "so that we can assure an end to the false advertising and make the agribusiness giants behind it answer for their misconduct."

The sugar coalition had argued that the refiners association's member companies initiated, funded and controlled what it termed a "misleading" advertising campaign.

But Erickson countered that her association was only trying to inform consumers about a public health issue and that it is wrong for the processed sugar industry to try to stifle the campaign.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 05:58