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Lengthy legal dispute over high fructose corn syrup reaches an end

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Lengthy legal dispute over high fructose corn syrup reaches an end

November 23
12:48 2015

cornSince 2011, sugar producers and makers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), have been locked in a major dispute as the compete for market share.

For the Sugar Association, Western Sugar Cooperative led the dispute, while on the side of the Corn Refiners Association, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) took the lead. In 2011, Western Sugar Cooperative filed a lawsuit against the makers of HFCS when they allegedly rebranded their product as corn sugar and that the body can’t tell the difference between sugar and HFCS. This was in response to negative publicity against HFCS, which has been made cheaply in the US and been a serious competitor to sugar since the 1970s.

On the basis of a false-advertising claim, sugar producers were seeking $1.5 billion in the case, according to a report by Associated Press. The defendants in the case, including Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, and corn refiners, would eventually go on to countersue for $530 million based on what they considered false and misleading statements from the sugar industry.

In terms of nutrition and metabolism, scientists claim to have found that as HFCS has nearly the same make-up as sugar (45% glucose: 55% fructose, as opposed to 50:50 for sugar). This could mean that it has the same effect on the body, which is why makers of HFCS claim that the product is the same as sugar.

In a joint statement, the Sugar Association and the Corn Refiners Association said: “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 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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