- After years of not-so-sweet arguing over what is considered "natural," the sugar and corn syrup industries will see their battle head to the courtroom in November, following expert witness decisions Oct. 13.
- In 2011, a coalition of major U.S. sugar growers and refiners filed a lawsuit after a Corn Refiners Association advertising campaign said that corn syrup was as natural as sugar and that the two were also nutritionally equivalent. The sugar companies seek up to $1.6 billion in damages, including the money they had to spend on advertising to combat the corn refiners' claims.
- At the same time, ADM, Cargill, and other co-defendants seek damages due to the sugar industry's actions to "[prey] upon consumers’ food fears," without scientific evidence linking corn syrup to obesity, which continues to rise even as consumption of corn syrup falls, Bloomberg reported.
In the grocery store, consumers are beginning to avoid sweeter products in general. That's whether they are sweetened by sugar or corn syrup, and some alternative sweeteners, have come under fire as well. As a result, soda, notorious for its high sugar content, has seen its sales fall over the past decade.
Part of what makes this lawsuit so tricky, however, is because, unlike with disputes over organic foods, regulators do not have a strict definition for what makes a product "natural."