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Corn Refiners: Sugar Industry Promoted 'Totally Flawed' Study

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 12:46pm

John W. Bode, president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association, released the following statement:

Recent articles in the New York Times and Washington Post confirmed what we have said from the onset of our dispute with the Sugar Association:  The sugar industry initiated the attacks by launching a decade-long campaign to alarm the public and policy makers about alternative sweeteners, particularly high fructose corn syrup.  Among other things, The Sugar Association publicly promoted a study that it internally assessed as “totally flawed.”  This is a disservice to public health. 

While we have at times taken necessary measures to defend ourselves — and we will continue to do so — there is a significant difference between our objectives and methodologies and those of The Sugar Association and its members.  While we have consistently focused our efforts on educating the public about high fructose corn syrup, the sugar industry has dedicated its energies to attacking us and deflecting responsibility. 

Instead of fighting each other, we should be promoting good science and playing responsible roles in our nation’s much-needed mission to address problems of obesity and other health challenges.  It's a shame that the first instinct of the sugar industry seems always to point fingers and work through operatives, rather than to take a leadership role in positive, effective public education.   

It is particularly disappointing that The Sugar Association has attempted to smear the reputation of one of our nation’s leading medical scientists, Dr. James Rippe.  Dr. Rippe is a Harvard-trained physician whose research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and whose professional reputation is beyond reproach.  His research, like that of other scientists, shows that high fructose corn syrup and sugar are nutritionally equivalent.  It is one thing to challenge the merits of someone’s work — which the sugar industry has been unable to do — and quite another thing to attack a person’s integrity with nothing to back it up.

Regrettably, the ultimate losers are consumers and the food and beverage industry, who bear the burden of controversy instead of hearing facts about the role of sweeteners in a healthy diet, moderation in calorie consumption, and the importance of good nutrition and exercise. We are committed to getting those messages through the noise, even in the face of attacks.

The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.

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