Sugar and Corn Industries Settle False Ad Lawsuit

Sugar Growers Took Issue With How High-Fructose Corn Syrup Was Being Marketed

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Corn Refiners Association HFCS Commercial
Corn Refiners Association HFCS Commercial Credit: Corn Refiners Association/YouTube

The corn and sugar industries have settled a false advertising lawsuit, bringing to end a lengthy legal battle over attempts by the corn refiners to rebrand high-fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar." The sugar industry had alleged the campaign was an attempt to steal the goodwill of the "sugar" brand and filed suit in 2011 against the Corn Refiners Association.

The two parties announced the settlement on Friday in a joint statement, but provided no details on the agreement, saying it was 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," according to the statement.

The Sugar Association issued a separate statement saying "any dispute previously existing has been settled by negotiation. The sugar plaintiffs achieved a satisfactory settlement of the disputes in the lawsuit." A spokeswoman for the corn refiners referred back to the joint statement.

The settlement comes more than two weeks after a trial began in a Los Angeles federal court.

The campaign at the center of the case launched in 2008 and included ads stating that "sugar is sugar." Some spots showed parents walking through cornfields declaring that whether corn sugar or cane sugar, "your body can't tell the difference." The campaign was created by DDB, Chicago, which no longer works for the corn association.

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