Corn Syrup Lawsuit Heads To Los Angeles Court
LOS ANGELES — The setting sun splashes warm hues across a ripening cornfield as a man and his daughter wander through rows of towering plants.
Like any parent, the dad says in the television commercial, he was concerned about high fructose corn syrup. But medical and nutrition experts reassured him that in essence, it’s the same as cane sugar.
“Your body can’t tell the difference,” he says. “Sugar is sugar.”
That key claim, made last year by the corn industry as it tries to rebrand high fructose corn syrup as simply “corn sugar,” is due to be considered by a federal judge Tuesday after a group of sugar farmers and refiners sued corn processors and a lobbying group.
The sugar groups say the father-in-the-cornfield advertisement and other national television, print and online commercials from the corn industry amount to false advertising because sugar is not the same as high fructose corn syrup, the sweetening agent now found in the bulk of sodas and processed foods.
“It is not natural, it does not exist in nature,” said Adam Fox, an attorney for the sugar industry. “Sugar comes from cane and beet, high fructose corn syrup requires advanced technology.”
High fructose corn syrup’s image has suffered in recent years after some studies suggested a link between the product and the nation’s rising levels of obesity. Americans have increasingly been blaming the syrup for a range of health problems and first lady Michelle Obama has said she does not want her daughters eating it.