We are extremely disappointed that 60 Minutes missed a teachable moment to provide a balanced segment and help inform its viewers and American consumers about the role all-natural sugar plays in healthy diets. Rather, they chose a skewed approach that is a disservice to consumers because it focused on one-sided research results and hypotheses. The segment amplified inaccuracies, unproven hypotheses and baseless accusations—unfortunately, this approach contributes to the problem and doesn’t advance the solution.

When the Sugar Association was approached by 60 Minutes last year to participate in a segment focusing on sweeteners, we saw it as an opportunity to work with and educate them on the facts about sugar, an all-natural ingredient that has been part of healthy and balanced diets for more than 2,000 years. We provided the producers with numerous scientific studies, government statistics and access to a sugar cane farm in Louisiana in the hopes the proposed segment would be fair, objective and balanced. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

In choosing this direction, 60 Minutes overshadowed the fact that total caloric intake remains the fundamental cause of a myriad of illnesses facing Americans. Every major review of the full body of scientific evidence has concluded that sugar intake is not linked to any lifestyle disease. That per-capita consumption of all-natural sugar has declined nearly 40 percent since 1970 underscores the fact that singling out sugar is shortsighted and baseless. The assertion that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and all-natural sugar are the same and treated by our bodies the same is inaccurate.

To vilify any single food or ingredient as the main culprit behind numerous serious illnesses provides little benefit to American consumers. When provided with accurate information consumers are capable of making educated choices and balanced nutritional decisions without the restrictive burdens of more government regulations and bans to limit any one product. Access to simple, accurate information is a good start to help consumers make healthy and informed decisions. We’re sorry that 60 Minutes elected not to contribute to the solution.

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