Though the FDA rejected the bid to relabel high-fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar” in 2012, the legal battle over ads about the sweetener is still ongoing. Newly uncovered e-mails from executives at huge agri-business firms reveal that not everyone was on board with all the messaging in the pro-HFCS ads. [More]
corn refiner’s association
Last month, the judge in the sugar industry’s lawsuit over ads that try to rebrand high fructose corn syrup as Corn Sugar allowed the suit to move forward but removed the individual corn companies as defendants. Now, Big Sugar has fired the latest legal missle, amending its complaint to accuse those corn companies of conspiracy to deceive the public.
It’s been nearly six months since we first reported on the false advertising lawsuit filed by a group of sugar companies against the makers of the ad campaign to rebrand controversial sweetener high fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar.” Well, there has finally been some movement in the case as a judge declared on Friday that the federal portion of the suit can move forward.
For more than a year, the folks at the Corn Refiners Association have been making a very public push to rebrand the controversial but widely used high fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar,” telling consumers that “sugar is sugar.” But newly uncovered correspondence between the Food and Drug Administration and Big Corn show that regulators aren’t exactly thrilled about the new name.
SNL this week parodied those ridiculous and condescending “truth about corn syrup” ads the industry put out last year. You know, the ones where a person tells another person, “oh, that’s corn syrup, you know what that’s about” and then is unable to back up the claim with any data. They then promptly crumble under the other person’s withering logic and stream of facts about how corn syrup is awesome.
CBS says that they took a look at the research cited by the marketing campaign from the Corn Refiners Association — which features “people-in-the-know” rolling their eyes and scoffing at befuddled anti-corn-syrup zealots — and realized that “three were sponsored by groups that stand to profit from research that promotes HFCS. Two were never published so they’re funding sources are unclear. And one was sponsored by a Dutch foundation that represents the interests of the sugar industry.”
Label-conscious consumers are skipping over high-fructose corn syrup in favor of products sweetened with natural alternatives like cane sugar, honey, and fruit juice. Finding HFCS-free items takes work, but the Corn Refiners Association worries that consumers are increasingly up to the challenge. They recently launched a “major marketing campaign” to defend their chemical concoction. Are you paying any attention to the sweet brouhaha?