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Sugar sues high fructose corn syrup

False advertising is the basis for sugar’s suit

It’s a battle between two evils: sugar and high fructose corn syrup. But who will taste the sweetness of victory? That question will be answered in a lawsuit that goes before a federal judge in Los Angeles tomorrow.

In that suit, sugar producers are suing the corn industry for making what it says are false claims in high fructose corn syrup ads. Specifically, sugar producers say claims such as high fructose corn syrup is “nutritionally the same as table sugar” and that “your body can’t tell the difference” are inaccurate.

Adam Fox, an attorney for the sugar industry plaintiffs, told the Los Angeles Times that the corn industry promoters "characterize high fructose corn syrup as a natural product. It is not — it is man-made. Yet they are advertising it as identical to sugar cane and sugar beets."

Experts believe the lawsuit will bring more scrutiny to the high fructose corn syrup industry as concerns about the product continue to rise. In the suit, sugar producers blame many of the nation’s ailments—such as obesity and diabetes—on the higher levels of high fructose corn syrup in many food staples, such as bread, condiments and jams.

The corn industry says the claims it makes about its product are true, and it plans to prove that in court.

"It is wrong for the refined sugar industry to try to stifle this truthful speech," said Dan K. Webb, lead attorney for the corn refiners.

Read more about the suit in the Los Angeles Times.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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