(Posted Mon. Mar 26th, 2012)
Mar. 26: Last week, a group of corn refiners asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to dismiss claims brought by the processed sugar industry based on statements made by the Corn Refiners Association, the companies’ trade association. An earlier version of these same claims was already dismissed by the court in October 2011.
“Through their work, the corn refiners aim to provide public information on one simple fact about sugar- that it is nutritionally equal whether it comes from corn, cane or beets,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “Like CRA, NCGA also works tirelessly to provide factual, accessible information to consumers on important food issues. We understand the importance of the CRA’s work and hope that, as this case proceeds, many more come to value the importance of informative campaigns on food run by the very people who grow it.”
CRA President Audrae Erickson said the processed sugar industry’s attempt to hold the individual companies liable for CRA’s statements is “unprecedented.” She added that the CRA is attempting to inform consumers about an important public health issue and that it is wrong for the processed sugar industry to attempt to stifle this educational campaign.
“The court was obviously well prepared and asked excellent questions of both sides,” Erickson said, after a hearing on the companies’ motion. “We look forward to the court’s ruling.”
"The processed sugar industry has also brought claims against the CRA, and those claims will proceed to the discovery phase," Erickson said. “We will vigorously defend those claims, which we believe are completely without merit.”
The case is pending in a Los Angeles federal court.