WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2015 - The sugar industry and makers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have settled a bitter court battle that had been raging for four and a half years. 

The terms of the settlement in a California federal court were not disclosed. 

In a brief joint statement, the two sides offered what amounted to a public health message about all sweeteners: “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.”

Western Sugar Cooperative, The Sugar Association and other sugar refiners filed suit in April 2011 over an HFCS marketing campaign which described the corn sweetener as “corn sugar.” 

The sugar industry groups claimed the Corn Refiners Association, which includes Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Tate & Lyle misled the public by promoting HFCS as nutritionally identical to sugar.

Like what you see on the Agri-Pulse website? See even more ag and rural policy news when you sign up for a four-week free trial Agri-Pulse subscription.

The Corn Refiners Association countersued in 2012, charging that the sugar industry was unfairly disparaging HFCS.

The sugar industry claimed in 2014 that the discovery process in the case had unearthed evidence that executives with the corn processors had questioned the validity of their advertising. The Corn Refiners Association said the sugar industry had “squandered any credibility it had on health and science issues.

The other sugar industry groups that announced the settlement were: Michigan Sugar Co.; C&H Sugar Co., Inc.; United States Sugar Corp.; American Sugar Refining, Inc.; The Amalgamated Sugar Co. LLC; Imperial Sugar Co.; Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative. The American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc.

Cargill, ADM, Tate & Lyle were on the statement individually as well as Ingredion Inc.