LOS ANGELES, July 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Federal Judge Consuello Marshall denied motions for summary judgement in a groundbreaking case with wide-reaching implications for the food industry and American consumers. Judge Marshall's action clears the way for a full trial on the issues to proceed. The lawsuit aims to stop the corn processors' false advertising so that families know the truth about the food they buy. The underlying lawsuit, Western Sugar Cooperative v. Archer-Daniels-Midland, Co., was filed in April 2011 by a group of sugar farmers to stop the corn processors' advertising. In May 2012, the FDA rejected a petition by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) – the corn processors' captive trade association – to change the common name for HFCS to "corn sugar." The FDA noted that "the use of the term 'sugar' to describe HFCS, a product that is a syrup, would not accurately identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties." The FDA also said the name change could "pose a public health concern" to persons with fructose intolerance or malabsorption.
Mark Lanier voted 2015's Trial Attorney of the Year -- and renowned attorney and law professor Arthur Miller, a leading scholar in the field of American civil procedure, took the lead in handling the Sugar Association's response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment on sugar's damages claim. The lawsuit filed by a coalition of sugar farmers' cooperatives and other sugar producers have accused the agribusiness conglomerates Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill and others of falsely advertising high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The television spots claimed that "your body can't tell the difference" between high fructose corn syrup and sugar, began airing in September 2010.
In 2013, Mr. Miller joined the Lanier Law firm in an "Of Counsel" capacity. Prominent trial attorney Mark Lanier is leading the federal court activity in the nationally recognized federal court false advertising suit brought by the Sugar Association. Lanier – founder of the Lanier Law Firm –recently was named 2015 Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers and The Trial Lawyer magazine.
Video of post hearing comments by Mark Lanier and Prof. Arthur Miller is available at: https://vimeo.com/user362349/review/132883196/3a9372a22a
Additional Case Background:
U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall, who is presiding over the lawsuit, ruled on an earlier motion that the plaintiff sugar farmers have presented evidence demonstrating "a reasonable probability of success on their argument that the statements (made by the corn processors) are false." Opposing Lanier is Dan K. Webb, of Chicago's Winston & Strawn, who has defended Philip Morris in its tobacco litigation and former Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan on public corruption charges. Each attorney is known for creative and persuasive legal arguments, media savvy and effective courtroom demonstrations.