'Citizens' Group Still Lobbying for Sugar with 'Read Your Labels' Day

In their continued silliness, the stealth Citizens for Health (i.e. Citizens for Sugar) is advising that “High Fructose Corn Syrup Named the #1 Ingredient to Avoid for National ‘Read Your Labels Day.'”  From their press release:

Consumer advocate group Citizens for Health, has named High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) the #1 food additive to avoid for this year’s “Read Your Labels Day.” The annual event held each April 11 (4/11) was created to help American families get the “411” on what’s in packaged foods and beverages, and the controversial industrial sweetener was identified as the worst labeled ingredient on the non-profit group’s Food Identity Theft website.

Pepsi also advises you that Coke is just the worst!  Citizens for Health is not subtle, except when it comes to their funding.  A few months ago they were exposed again as a front group for Sugar manufacturers.  From the New York Times:

But court documents suggest that the Sugar Association, a Washington-based trade group controlled by some of the nation’s biggest sugar companies, started the fight several years earlier. 

Back in 2003 it formally began a secret effort it called “food and beverage industry replacement of H.F.C.S. with sucrose,” meaning replacing corn-based sweeteners with sugar, the court documents show, reproducing a Sugar Association memo. The association, in a letter to its members marked “highly confidential,” celebrated in 2004 how it had “fed the media with the science to help fuel the public concern and debate on H.F.C.S.,” as well as meeting “face-to-face with Coke and Pepsi representatives promoting all-natural sugar.” 

But that was only the start of its efforts. 

Documents released as part of the lawsuit show that starting in 2011, it sent a total of $500,000 to a Washington nonprofit group, Citizens for Health, which calls itself the “consumer voice of the natural health community” on its website. The money was intended to help the small group, run by a lawyer named James S. Turner, to oppose the corn refiners’ effort to get permission from the Food and Drug Administration to rename their product as sugar — a petition the F.D.A. ultimately rejected.  

Citizens for Health says on its website that it has “over 100,000 supporters.” But the bulk of its support comes from industry sources rather than consumers: its 2011 federal tax returns show that the $200,000 contribution from the sugar industry that year was more than half its annual budget.

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I doubt most Americans need to be told (again) to read food labels.  It’s laughable that “Citizens for Health” is whining about corn syrup’s PR campaign while sugar wages its own stealth PR campaign disguised as a health campaign by average citizens. 


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