Sugar vs. Corn Syrup Facing Off in a Not-So-Sweet Court Battle

By Mike Pomranz |

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Both sugar and corn syrup have taken a lot of flak for causing the health problems faced by many Americans like obesity and diabetes. So you might find it ironic or even inevitable that these two powerhouses of the sweetener industry are now battling it out in a Los Angeles federal courtroom in what feels like an attempt to get a legal decision on which is figuratively the lesser of two evils.

In actuality, what will be decided is who will win one of two opposing lawsuits. Sugar growers are seeking $1.1 billion in damages from corn refiners, claiming that a 2008 corn syrup advertising campaign calling the product "corn sugar" and saying that the syrup is both “natural” and "nutritionally the same as table sugar” was false. Team Corn countersued, seeking $530 million in damages, claiming that big sugar tried to falsely accuse corn syrup as being less healthy than sugar to combat their own dipping sales.

Though sugar filed their original suit all the way back in 2011, opening arguments in the case finally started just last week and now the two sides are expected to find themselves arguing in court for about a month. Meanwhile, both products appear to be continuing to lose ground in the court of public opinion, meaning that regardless of who wins this battle, neither may win the war.

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