Congressman Tom Petri called proposed USDA cranberry regulations "stupid" as he joined with Sen. Ron Johnson, Congressmen Reid Ribble, Sean Duffy and others Wednesday to launch the Congressional Cranberry Caucus. The proposed regulations would characterize cranberry products as "unhealthy" because sugar is added to them to make them palatable.
"That's just stupid," Petri said. "Cranberries have a low level of natural sugar and have to be sweetened to make them appealing, but even with added sugar, they have less total sugar than many other fruits that are considered to be healthy. The issue should not be added sugar but rather total sugar. If commonsense fails to catch up with the regulations, school children could be denied the choice of a uniquely healthful food."
Wisconsin is the nation's largest cranberry-producing state, with 4.41 million barrels in total production last year.