CLEWISTON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Sugar Corporation issues the following statement regarding today’s Tampa Bay Times story:
"Today's front page story in the Tampa Bay Times, headlined 'Ranch visitor’s bill aids sugar: U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland says he stayed at a lodge U.S. Sugar leased,' contains blatant factual errors and misstatements that result in indefensible innuendo. Let us set the record straight.
"The Times attempts to link Congressman Southerland and legislation he is sponsoring concerning wetlands regulation to the alleged influence of the sugar industry generally and U.S. Sugar specifically. This alleged and implied improper influence was further tied in the story to hunting on property leased by U.S. Sugar on the King Ranch in Texas.
"The blatant errors and misstatements in the story include the following:
- While Congressman Steve Southerland may have been among the thousands of people who have hunted at King Ranch, he has never hunted on, or even set foot on, any property owned or leased by U.S. Sugar, whether in Texas or anywhere else.
- No employee of U.S. Sugar, nor anyone under contract with U.S. Sugar, has ever communicated with any member of Congress or their staff, or any other elected officials or their staffs, about this legislation. U.S. Sugar is, however, a member of the Florida Sugar Cane League, which signed off on a letter supporting the legislation that was sent to all members of Congress by the Waters Advocacy Coalition, a national coalition of affected interests, including agriculture (see attached).
"As a result, U.S. Sugar is asking that the Tampa Bay Times publicly correct its errors and innuendo and display the correction as prominently as it displayed its front page story."