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The settlement ends a years-long, billion-dollar battle around the branding of high fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar.”
Sugar producers and makers of high fructose corn syrup reached a settlement on Friday to a billion-dollar legal battle that has raged for years. The secret, out-of-court settlement ends a dispute that revolved around the way some corn syrup makers rebranded their ingredient as “corn sugar.”
The case began in 2011, when Western Sugar Cooperative (Denver) and other sugar producers filed a lawsuit against makers of high fructose corn syrup for marketing their ingredient as “corn sugar.” Much of the controversy revolved around a TV advertisement launched by corn refiners that claimed, “sugar is sugar,” and “your body can’t tell the difference,” in relation to high fructose corn syrup. On the basis of a false-advertising claim, sugar producers were seeking $1.5 billion in the case, according to a report by the Associated Press (AP).
The defendants in the case, including Archer Daniels Midland (ADM; Chicago), Cargill (Minneapolis), 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, such as the claim that high fructose corn syrup is as addictive as crack cocaine, according to the AP.
Both parties agreed to the settlement on Friday at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles). Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
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