News Column

The Sugar Association Statement on Release of Fed up: Filmmakers ' Disregard for Facts Hurts Consumers

May 8, 2014



WASHINGTON, May 8 -- The Sugar Association issued the following news release:

Nobody discounts the seriousness of America's obesity problem, least of all those of us who grow and refine pure natural sugar. But the filmmakers of "Fed Up" have continued to use inaccurate information, despite having been provided facts and figures by The Sugar Association more than a year ago (February 2013).

We believe that giving consumers incomplete, or even misleading, information does them a serious disservice. In particular, we are troubled by the oft-repeated negative messages about the supposed role of natural sugar in our nation's obesity crisis--despite government data demonstrating that over the past 39 years American per capita sugar consumption has decreased significantly, approximately 34 percent, just as rates of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases have risen.

Moreover, many products that are often called "sugar-sweetened," particularly beverages, contain high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), not sugar. Scientists featured in the film have previously noted that the higher percentages of fructose in most varieties of HFCS "would be more damaging." Other researchers have concluded that molecular differences between sugar and HFCS are biologically meaningful.

The differences between HFCS and sugar are among many reasons why a number of sugar beet and cane farmers and other producers were joined by The Sugar Association in suing the agribusiness giants that make HFCS for falsely advertising that "your body can't tell the difference" between the two sweeteners, among other things. The corn processors defending that lawsuit, Western Sugar Cooperative, et al. vs. Archer-Daniels-Midland, Inc., et al., include Archer-Daniels Midland, Cargill, Ingredion, Tate & Lyle Ingredient Americas and their trade group, the Corn Refiners Association. This is also why we support Citizens for Health in its pending FDA petition (http://www.citizens.org/hfcs) to require labeling of fructose levels in the HFCS used as a food or beverage ingredient.

For those more interested in the truth than in manufactured controversy, we encourage them to visit http://www.sugar.org.

[Category: Agriculture]

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