Tell Sweet Lies, Go To Court

American sugar farmers and refiners have filed a suit to stop big corn processors from marketing high-fructose corn syrup as a “natural” product equivalent to real sugar.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by Western Sugar Cooperative, Michigan Sugar Company and C & H Sugar Company, Inc., charges that the “corn sugar” branding campaign financed by the corn refining industry’s giant companies constitutes false advertising under federal and state law.

Companies named as defendants include Archer Daniels Midland Company, Cargill, Inc., Corn Products International, Inc., Penford Products Co., Roquette America, Inc., Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, Inc. and the companies’ marketing and lobbying organization, The Corn Refiners Association, Inc.

“This suit is about false advertising, pure and simple,” said Inder Mathur, President and CEO of Western Sugar Cooperative. “If consumers are concerned about your product, then you should improve it or explain its benefits, not try to deceive people about its name or distort scientific facts.”

The sugar producers seek an injunction to end the advertising campaign and also seek damages, including compensation for corrective advertising.

Previously on AdPulp: Corn Refiners Say, “Sugar Is Sugar.” What Do You Say?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.