Corn Refiners Association
Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the Washington D.C.-based trade association "representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States".
High-fructose public relations
In June 2008, CRA launched a 18 month, $20 to $30 million public relations and advertising campaign "to convince consumers that HFCS [high-fructose corn syrup] isn't the evil it has been made out to be," reported the Wall Street Journal. CRA ran ads in more than a dozen major newspapers -- under the banner "time for a little food for thought" -- stressing that HFCS has the "same natural sweeteners as table sugar and honey." 
The campaign, which was created by the Omnicom Group firm DDB, also included television and online ads and "phone and in-person conversations with influential mommy bloggers." A website, www.HFCS.com, headlined "The Truth about High Fructose Corn Syrup purports to offer "a sweet surprise" through, among other things, research reports that defend high fructose corn syrup. CRA has been trying to counter the bad publicity around HFCS since 2004, but concluded it "could no longer afford to rely on simple grass-roots marketing tactics such as talking with nutritionists and doctors." Major food and beverage producers, such as Kraft, are now promoting products as HFCS-free. The American Medical Association recently concluded that HFCS "doesn't appear to contribute more to obesity than other caloric sweeteners," but called for "further independent research." 
CRA has also established a Scientific Advisory Panel to provide "advice on scientific matters affecting food policy, technology, and health and safety." Enlisting "independent, outside expert advisors" is one tactic corporations use to associate themselves with a body that appears to be official, objective and impartial. Hiring professionals also disabuses them of any impulse to speak out critically of the organization.
- Archer Daniels Midland
- Corn Products International
- National Starch
- Penford Products
- Roquette America
- Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas
Lobbyists for the Corn Refiners Association have included:
- Nancy Kohler (2009-2011)
- Audrae Erickson (2005-2009)
- Constance Jackson (2009)
- Kyd Brenner (2008)
- Steven Lomax (2008)
Corn Refiners Association
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 331-1634
Fax: (202) 331-2054
- "About the Association", Corn Refiners Association website. accessed May 2008.
- Suzanne Vranica, "High Fructose Corn Syrup Mixes It Up: Sweetener Advocate, Soured by Obesity Links, Targets Moms in Ads," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), June 23, 2008.
- Michele Simon, Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back (Nation Books, 2006) pg 179-180
- "Sweet-Smarts.com", Joker.com, accessed May 2008.
- "Sweet-Smarts.com", Sweet-Smarts.com website, accessed May 2008.
- Lobby Disclosure Act Database search, Accessed September 11, 2011.
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