As the refined sugar industry continues efforts to revive litigation claims already dismissed by a federal judge, it argued this week against a second dismissal as it defended the rewritten lawsuit filed in November. The suit, which the federal judge allowed the group to file following dismissal of the initial claims, targets members of the Corn Refiners Association again and seeks to create confusion by suggesting that cane and beet sugar is healthier than its corn-based counterpart.
"Voices in the food debate ranging from Michael Pollan to Martha Stewart have all agreed on one simple fact about sugar- that it is nutritionally equal whether it comes from corn, cane or beat," said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. "While, like most things, sugar of any nature should be consumed in moderation, corn farmers know that their crop produces a quality, affordable sweetener that offers many benefits. We support the efforts being made to provide clarity in light of continued attempts to obfuscate the truth."
Indicating that CRA will aggressively defend corn refiners against these allegations, CRA President Audrae Ericson noted that her association welcomes this opportunity to expose the self-serving nature of the refined sugar industry's actions in a decade-long campaign to besmirch the public image of high fructose corn syrup.
"The refined sugar industry's latest attempt to sue CRA members is simply a rehash of the same groundless claims that a federal judge rejected last year," said Erickson. "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."
The case is currently pending in a Los Angeles federal court. A hearing on the motion to dismiss the sugar industry's claims is set for March 19.