What is in this article?:
- Sugar war begins with false advertising hearing
- Confused consumers?
The first step in a high-stakes battle with important ramifications for American consumers takes place on Sept. 13, 2011, in a Los Angeles federal courtroom.
The lawsuit says the defendants' three-year, over $50 million rebranding marketing blitz to sell Americans the idea HFCS is really a "natural" product equivalent to real sugar, has misled, frustrated and confused consumers who are increasingly avoiding food and drinks containing it. Although many food and beverage makers have been replacing HFCS with real sugar in response to these consumer preferences, the plaintiffs allege that the corn refining industry's marketing campaign has artificially slowed the steady decline of HFCS sales and harmed the goodwill of real sugar.
"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 complaint states "Defendants' resort to such literally false and misleading statements harms consumers, harms the makers of real sugar and harms any dialogue based on the truth. This lawsuit seeks to put an end to the deception."
A hearing on the defendants' motion to dismiss the suit will take place in the federal courtroom of Judge Consuelo Marshall, 255 East Temple Street (Roybal Building) at 9 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2011.