Buffalo, NY - An Amherst mother sued six major high fructose corn syrup manufacturers this summer for $5 million claiming the corn syrup gave her teenage daughter Type 2 Diabetes.
Friday, three of the corn syrup companies filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit saying the woman's claim is "long on words, but short on facts."
Buffalo Attorney Michael Hayes represents the Amherst mother. He says the lawsuit is valid.
"It is difficult for someone who is not informed, who is not educated, who hasn't studied these issues, truly, to get good advice," says Hayes.
Hayes says that there are so many diet fads out there, and that the food pyramid has changed so many times, it is hard for parents to decide what is a healthy diet.
The 28 page document lists several reasons why the companies think the lawsuit should be thrown out, including that federal law says high fructose corn syrup is safe in any food.
It also says many factors can cause diabetes.
But, Hayes claims he just has to show corn syrup is one of the causes.
"It only has to be a significant factor. That we can do and we will do," he says.
The motional for dismissal also says if the girl's diabetes "resulted in some part from eating too many calories or too much sugars," the companies are not at fault.
"They argue that everyone knows that eating too much is bad for you. Well, that's kind of hard to argue relative to an infant. I mean, how is she supposed to know that the baby food that she's being fed, that she shouldn't eat as much as she feels like eating," says Hayes.
Hayes says the girl, who is remaining anonymous, is doing better now and he hopes the lawsuit will make parents think twice before letting their children eat high fructose corn syrup.
"I think that this is an issue that needs to get exposure. I think the people need to get their nutritional advice from some place other than cartoon advertisements from Saturday mornings and I think we could use a good healthy, if nothing else, debate on the issue," says Hayes.
Hayes expects more court papers to be filed sometime this month, so the judge can decide how to move forward, but he admits this could take four to five years to play out.