Archer-Daniels-Midland and other producers of high fructose corn syrup must face a lawsuit accusing them of false advertising for equating their product with sugar.
U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall in Los Angeles denied the companies’ request to throw out the suit and set a trial for 3 November, lawyers for both sides in the case said. Tuesday’s ruling couldn’t immediately be confirmed in court records.
Archer-Daniels and the others were sued in 2011 over an advertising campaign that described high fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar” and claimed it was nutritionally equivalent to sugar from sugar cane and beets. The case was filed by cane and beet growers, who accuse the corn syrup producers of false advertising and seek $1.1 billion in damages to make up for depressed sugar prices.
The judge also refused to dismiss a counterclaim against the sugar growers, said Mark Lanier, the grower’s lead lawyer, and Dan Webb, the producers’ lead lawyer. That will allow the defendants to contend the growers lied about the properties of high fructose corn syrup, including claiming it isn’t nutritionally equivalent to refined sugar.
The corn syrup producers pulled their “corn sugar” advertising campaign after the lawsuit was filed. In 2012, the FDA denied the Corn Refiners Association’s request to rename high fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar.”
Bloomberg News, edited by ESM