Sugar industry and high-fructose corn syrup makers settle their epic court battle

Sugar beets, a source of table sugar, and corn, source of high-fructose corn syrup.

Sugar beets, a source of table sugar, and corn, source of high-fructose corn syrup.

(Minneapolis Star-Tribune / Associated Press)

The years long, high-stakes court battle between the sugar industry and high-fructose corn syrup producers ended Friday in Los Angeles with a settlement.

The sugar industry accused high-fructose corn syrup producers of falsely claiming that their product is just as healthful as sugar.

Corn syrup producers hit back, arguing that the sugar industry has long engaged in an unsavory campaign of misinformation.


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After years of delays, a trial began earlier this month in Los Angeles. It’s unclear what prompted the settlement; its terms were not released.

The false-advertising fight involves two sweeteners that have each been blamed for contributing to a host of ailments, including diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.

At the center of the trial was an advertising campaign that portrayed corn syrup as “nutritionally the same as table sugar” and said, “Your body can’t tell the difference.”

The sides released this statement Friday:

“The parties jointly announce today that they have reached a settlement of a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

“The details of the settlement agreement are confidential.

“The Parties continue their commitments to practices that encourage safe and healthful use of their products, including moderation in the consumption of table sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners.”



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