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Sugar vs High Fructose Corn Syrup - Lesson #36

Sugar vs High Fructose Corn Syrup - Bitter $1.5 Billion Battle Ends in a Draw - Secret Settlement Made Mid-Trial

Was it a draw or did the HFCS industry see the handwriting on the wall?

Glycoscience Lesson #36 [Brief Version - Case, Lawyer and Settlement]

To learn a brief review of the science behind the HFCS case go to: http://www.endowmentmed.org/pdf/SmartLesson42.pdf

For a more detailed Report of the case: Glycoscience Lesson #36 [Detailed Edition] http://www.GlycoscienceNEWS.com/pdf/Lesson36.pdf

by JC Spencer

The HFCS Case
Big Sugar: Sugar Cooperative Vs Big Corn: Corn Refiners Association. Arch enemies have battled in the marketplace since the 1970s when high fructose corn syrup was introduced as a cheaper alternative to sugar. By 2003, HFCS had taken ~50% of the market. Big Sugar filed suit against Big Corn in 2011 alleging false marketing of HFCS as a natural nutritional equivalent to sugar which resulted in market losses. Big Corn countersued in 2012, charging the sugar industry unfairly blamed HFCS for contributing to many serious health challenges, including diabetes and obesity. The FDA blocked their plan [2012] to change the name of HFCS to “corn sugar”.

Big Sugar was seeking $1.5 billion in a false-advertising claims for ad campaigns stating, "Sugar is sugar." And, "Your body can't tell the difference."

The HFCS Trial Lawyer
The sugar companies asked Houston attorney, Mark Lanier to lead the fight against the HFCS industry. Lanier has won the largest plaintiff verdicts in history: a $9 billion verdict against Takeda Pharmaceutical and Eli Lilly when a Louisiana federal jury learned that drug makers destroyed key documents to hide cancer risks of [diabetes drug] Actos. He won the Vioxx verdict against Merck, settled in 2005 for $253 million. His first major win [1993] for his firm was to secure a $480 million verdict against a major oil company.

The case is similar to another landmark case Lanier won for the sugar industry against Johnson & Johnson for deceptive advertising of Splenda in 2009. Splenda can no longer advertise, "Tastes like sugar because it's made from sugar."

The HFCS jury trial began Nov. 3, 2015 in Los Angeles Federal Court. Lanier’s opening remarks were reminiscent of his opening statement as lead Sugar Association attorney against Splenda: “Now we look forward to presenting the truth about Splenda to the jury and focusing on the very real effect of misleading advertising. We are confidant that the outcome will be a victory for consumers everywhere.”

In the HFCS case Lanier added to his opening: “Among other things, the [defendant’s] ad campaign told consumers that ‘sugar is sugar’ and that ‘your body cannot tell the difference between sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.’ In a supporting affidavit, the defendants told the Mexican government [opposite claim in1997] ‘HFCS is a unique food ingredient that is the result of extensive scientific research and development.’”

The HFCS Settlement
Mid-trial, a secret settlement was reached before the jury could rule on the damages. Attorneys on both sides refused to discuss terms of the settlement. It was reported that a spokesman for the sugar processors, said they "achieved a satisfactory settlement of the disputes in the lawsuit."

Let the PR campaign begin. Each side will tell its audience that moderation is important.

As Mark Lanier has championed truth in labeling, truth in advertising and truth in court, we attempt to champion truth in Glycoscience and healthcare. The outcome will be a victory for consumers and patients everywhere. The truth be told. Glycoscience (the study of all sugars - good and bad) is the future of medical science.

For more details about the case with references and to learn what’s next, read the online edition at Glycoscience Lesson #36 [Detailed Edition] http://www.GlycoscienceNEWS.com/pdf/Lesson36.pdf

© The Endowment for Medical Research, Inc. www.endowmentmed.org