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Published March 25 2012

Forum editorial: Spurge to sugarmakers over lawsuit

Leafy spurge: To sugar producers and makers of high fructose corn syrup for taking on each other in the seemingly never-ending battle over the alleged health risks/benefits of their products. A suit filed last week in Los Angeles by Western Sugar Corp. and others accuses the Corn Refiners Association (its members make sweetener from corn) of false advertising because the sweetener is touted as a natural product. It’s not, the sugar folks say, because it is manufactured. Say what? Last time we looked, the Red River Valley is dotted with “factories” that (guess what) manufacture sugar in a refining process that starts with sugar beets, which are plants. The process the corn refiners use takes corn, which comes from a plant, and then runs it through (pay attention, now) a factory where sweetener is refined from the corn kernel. How is one process defined as manufacturing and the other is not? However, the spurge-worthy silliness here is that both industries have been sucked into the food-police vortex, in which both corn sweetener and sugar are characterized as bad stuff. Talk about divide and conquer. Spurge on all their houses.

Prairie roses: To the several candidates in the race for spots on the Fargo City Commission in June’s city vote. Two incumbents are up for re-election, and it appears there will be enough challengers to make it a race. Of course, not every candidate who tosses his/her hat into the city election ring is qualified to be a commissioner. But that’s a decision for voters to make, based on how the candidates – incumbents and challengers – conduct their campaigns. The city faces major challenges in the coming years, including flood control, tax policy, street improvements and public safety, to name a few. Voters should take time to know where the candidates stand not only on the big issues but also on their visions for Fargo’s future. If the right questions are asked, voters will easily be able to separate one-issue complainers from thoughtful visionaries.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.