Thursday, November 3, 2011

'Most influential lawyer' joins case against corn processors

W. Mark Lanier, the Houston attorney renowned for securing trial verdicts amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, has joined the legal team trying to stop the false advertising of high-fructose-corn-syrup (HFCS) as a natural product equivalent to real sugar, the Sugar Assn announced.

Lanier's involvement in the case follows U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Judge Consuelo Marshall's rejection of the Corn Refiners Assn's request that the suit be dismissed, noting that Corn Refiners Association's multi-million dollar advertising campaign about HFCS constitutes "commercial speech."

Recognized as one of America's "Most Influential Lawyers" and one of the country's top trial attorneys by The National Law Journal, Lanier's past successes include victories in major asbestos and business fraud cases, including winning a $417 million judgment in Rubicon v. Amoco. Lanier's work securing a $253 million victory in the first lawsuit brought against Merck for its Vioxx painkiller is the subject of the recent book "All The Justice Money Can Buy."

Read More

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

McDonald's McRib: Ingredients

McDonald's is reasserting its McRib sandwich for the Holidays. For a limited time. Just while the dregs of the pork industry are in good supply.

Read More

Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest columnist: Disparaging corn and our way of life

Foes of corn are trying to block the use of the term 'corn sugar' on food labels.

As a fourth generation Iowa farmer, it’s hard for me to stand by as opponents attack high fructose corn syrup with inaccuracy after inaccuracy. And when they attack it, make no mistake: They are disparaging corn and our way of life in Iowa.

We are now in the midst of harvesting one of Iowa’s most valuable commodities — a high quality and safe product, a product that rightly instills pride among millions of Midwesterners. But when it comes to high fructose corn syrup — also a high quality and safe product made in our state — misinformation abounds. Foes of HFCS are throwing around bad science and are attacking corn, our livelihood.

Mark Twain wisely advised: “When in doubt, tell the truth.”

A petition before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeks approval to allow the alternate name “corn sugar” for “high fructose corn syrup” as an option on food ingredient labels.

The truth is the term “corn sugar” more accurately describes what this ingredient actually is — a sugar made from corn. Ingredient names on food labels should be clear and reflect in no uncertain terms what the ingredient is. You can’t get much clearer than “corn sugar.” This alternate name will enable consumers to better identify added sugars in the foods they purchase and clear up lingering consumer confusion.

Read More

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FAT? Want To Know Why!

Are you overweight and can't seem to loose any excess weight no matter how hard you try? The answer might be a simple one. Do the research. A major cause of obesity is HFCS. This is high fructose corn syrup, not the more common sucrose (table sugar). You see those magnificant corporations saw a way to make more profit sweetening snacks with HFCS than regular sugar. Your body metabolizes HFCS differently than table sugar. DO THE RESEARCH.

Read More

Citizens for Health Denounces High Fructose Corn Syrup Name Change

Leading Consumer Action Group Rallies Over 100,000 Supporters to Oppose Corn Refiners Association's FDA Petition

Misleading advertising and unproven scientific claims made about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) are being called "Food Identity Theft" by Citizens for Health, one of the nation's oldest and most respected consumer action groups.

The non-profit organization is mobilizing its roster of over 100,000 Americans to denounce the $50 million ad campaign sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) which implies that HFCS is the same as sugar, and oppose the CRA's petition filed with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to label HFCS as "corn sugar" on ingredients panels that would conceal this man-made sweetener from consumers.

"Millions of Americans are choosing to avoid products that contain HFCS. But many don't know that the corporations that make it want to change the name High Fructose Corn Syrup to 'corn sugar,'" said James Gormley, Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor of Citizens for Health. "If the FDA were to allow this, we'd never know if it's in the foods we're feeding our families."

Read More

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A—MAIZE—ing: Corn, high fructose corn syrup in soda and everywhere else

I'm here to introduce the triumph of the plant world: Zea mays or, as we commonly know it, corn. Corn was, in many ways, what separated successful villages or colonies from those that dwindled or faded out of existence. This is because corn can be used as both a commodity and a food source.

Even while venturing through the grocery store today, corn is a lot more than a cob — it's in the canyons of breakfast cereals, shelves of snacks and canopies of soft drinks.

In America convenience is critical. Let'shead to the processed food isle, where we find chicken nuggets. A chicken nugget piles corn upon corn: What chicken is contained consists of corn, including modified corn starch that acts as an adhesive — holding the chicken together — the corn flour in the batter that coats the nugget and the corn oil in which it is cooked. Then you have the leavenings and lecithin, the mono-, di- and triglycerides, the attractive golden coloring and even the citric acid, which keeps the nugget "fresh." This can all be derived from corn.

To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any soft drink, you can have some corn with your corn.

In 1984, Pepsi and Coca-Cola announced plans to stop using sugar in soft drinks, replacing the sweetener with high fructose corn syrup. After water, corn sweetener is now both drinks' No. 2 ingredient. Grab a beer instead and you'd still be drinking corn, in the form of alcohol, fermented from glucose and refined from corn.

Read More

High Fructose Corn Syrup Lawsuit Goes Another Round

Well, I know sugar. Sugar is a good friend (often foe) of mine. And high fructose corn syrup (HCFS), you are no sugar.

Watching the the sugar industry and the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) duke it out in court over whether HCFS should be rebranded as “corn sugar,” or not, makes for great theater. The war of words and litigation are analogous to small market baseball team fans making the choice between rooting for the Yankees or Red Sox: neither is appealing.

Now we have a fight in the courts over what can be called sugar or not. Watch for the sweetener wars to become even more exciting as various industry groups defend their respective turfs.
The two trade associations and their allies are entangled in litigation that began when the CRA decided that it would rebrand HCFS as “corn sugar” to circumvent HCFS’ bad reputation. The tussle began earlier this year when the CRA lobbied the Food and Drug Association (FDA) to permit the name change. Because of consumer concern, the CRA would prefer the label “corn sugar.” The corn lobby has a poor record of transparency on the manufacture of HFCS and people are concerned about what’s in it. Since “corn sugar” sounds like a different product than HFCS, the Western Sugar Cooperative was one plaintiff that took the CRA to court over allegations of false advertising and deception.

Read More

Monday, October 24, 2011

Judge: Lawsuit over ‘corn sugar’ can go forward

A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit seeking to stop the corn industry’s use of the term “corn sugar’’ for high fructose corn syrup can go forward, a decision that the sugar industry lawyers who brought the suit said Saturday was “very encouraging.’’

U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall issued the ruling Friday in Los Angeles, allowing the false advertising suit brought by plaintiffs that include the Western Sugar Cooperative against the Corn Refiners Association to go forward.

“It is something we expected, we’re not in the business of filing meritless or frivolous lawsuits,’’ sugar industry attorney Adam Fox told The Associated Press.

Read More

Halloween Candy Deconstructed

It's Halloween time — already. The costumes, the candy, the candy, the candy, and lots of it. It's the one time of year that even hard-core healthy eaters become pushers of the sugary stuff.

Read More

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New corn syrup labeling is misleading

Corporations and industry groups are at it again, trying to deceive the American public into buying products that are either unsafe or unhealthy. This is their corporate duty under the assumption that they must, as economic agents, follow ruthless self-interest to protect their corporation or industry as a whole.

This time, the Corn Refiners Association is trying to change the name of “high-fructose corn syrup,” a name with many negative connotations, to “corn sugar,” a name that sounds much more consumer friendly.

The name change is disingenuous. It is meant to deceive consumers into buying more products with high-fructose corn syrup, without those consumers knowing that they are in fact putting high-fructose syrup into their bodies.

Read More