The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) has been working hard to convince the public that sugar derived from corn is every bit as good as real sugar. The CRA has been running an extensive TV promotion on the subject, I am sure that many of you have seen the ‘Sugar is Sugar’ nonsense. The general theme is an adult and a child in a glorious field of corn. ‘I am concerned about the health of my family, and so I asked my doctor about HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Experts agree that Sugar is Sugar”

Well apparently the law is not in lock step with Audrae Erickson and the CRA.

On Friday there was an interesting battle in court. I don’t usually publish press releases, but this one is worth reading:

Consumer Deception at Issue in False Advertising Case

LOS ANGELES – (October 22, 2011) – A federal judge has ruled that the case brought by American sugar farmers against big corn processors to stop their false advertising about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) must go forward, the Sugar Association announced today.

According to U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall, who issued two opinions comprising her ruling on Friday, “Plaintiffs have met their burden in showing a reasonable probability of success on their argument that the statements are false.” The judge also ruled that the challenged statements in Corn Refiners Association’s multi-million dollar campaign “constitute ‘commercial speech.'”

Judge Marshall made these rulings, in part, based on documents the CRA and its members had previously submitted to the Mexican government involving a regulatory issue in that country. “There is evidence in the record indicating that Defendants have themselves made statements about the different chemical make-up between table sugar and HFCS,” the judge wrote. “Plaintiffs have also submitted studies and papers that support its allegation that CRA’s claim that HFCS is sugar and/or natural is false and/or misleading.”

According to the lawsuit, consumers have increasingly sought to avoid products containing HFCS because of a wide range of health concerns. The lawsuit claims that the CRA has engaged in false advertising about these concerns. As part of this effort the CRA has advertised that HFCS is “corn sugar,” equated it with real sugar and called it natural – none of which is true.

While the corn processors have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to substitute “corn sugar” for “high-fructose corn syrup” on ingredient labels, the sugar-producing plaintiffs assert that the defendants did not even wait for the FDA’s response – which is still pending – before beginning their “corn sugar” re-branding efforts.

“We are gratified by Judge Marshall’s ruling and we look forward to a final resolution of our case so that the Corn Refiners Association is forced to end its deceptive campaign aimed at misleading American consumers,” said Adam Fox of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, who argued the case before the court.

For a copy of the Court’s rulings filed Friday, Oct. 21, or the original lawsuit, contact Justin Wilson at

Without doubt the best quote came from Ms Erickson:

Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, accused sugar makers of “attempting to shut down free speech.”

She appears to be claiming that if you buy a product marked as Mohair Wool Sweater and discover that it is instead made of ground up car tires, it is all ok!

As part of a radio series some months ago I invited Audrae Erickson to be a guest and talk about HFCS. Needless to say, she declined my offer. Odd really, I am quite an open minded guy, and I always like to hear both sides of a story.

From reading this press release it would seem that Audrae Erickson has inadvertently stepped on her own Corn Cob!

Of course the adverts are blocked from embedding, but here is a sample.

I asked my good friend and Attorney Mannie Barling for his thoughts on this latest movement against HFCS:

This lawsuit is a battle between two industries hellbent on ruining the health of America. The ultimate question is which product, refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup, results in the most harm to Americans. I doubt that the Corn Refiners Association can convince a deaf-mute that high fructose corn syrup is the same as sugar. To paraphrase Don Rickles, neither science nor common sense can change “chicken poop into chicken soup.” HFCS is the synthetic chemical by-product of cooking genetically modified corn in a meth-like vat with multiple chemicals to turn out a fraudulent version of sugar.”

The question remains, is Sugar Sugar? Ut will be interesting to see where this obviously expensive law suit will head next.

Simon Barrett

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks, R.N., are the authors of award winning books – Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS – How to Eliminate Pain and Extend your Life (Books and Authors 2010 Best Books in the Health, Diet & Reference Categories); Mannie’s Diet and Enzyme Formula – A Change of Lifestyle Diet Designed for Everyone (Blogger News Net 2010 Best Health And Nutrition Book Award winner); and It’s Not Your Fault – Weight Gain, Obesity and Food Addiction  available at, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other booksellers around the world.

The authors latest book, The Food Revolution Papers – A Primer on What’s in Your Food, is now available at, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other booksellers around the world.

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