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You are here News Politics ‘Soft lobbying’ war between sugar, corn syrup shows new tactics in Washington influence

‘Soft lobbying’ war between sugar, corn syrup shows new tactics in Washington influence

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high fructose corn syrupA group called Citizens for Health recently launched a campaign to encourage consumers to reduce high-fructose corn syrup in their diet — filing a petition with the Food and Drug Administration demanding stricter labeling on food items containing the sweetener.

Yet the petition did not disclose that the organization, which bills itself as the “voice of the natural-health consumer,” has received the bulk of its funding in the year it launched the effort from sugar companies, which see corn syrup as a threat to their profits.

The sugar industry’s investment in this nonprofit group, detailed in newly released internal documents, is part of a growing strategy used by corporate and other interests seeking to influence Washington policymaking.

No longer content to rely on traditional lobbyists, companies are investing in other messengers such as nonprofit groups or academicians who can provide expert testimony, shape media coverage and change public opinion in ways that ultimately affect decisions in the nation’s capital.

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