Food companies involved in the manufacture of corn-based sugar, including Archer Daniels Midlands Co and Cargill, have sued a sugar industry trade group for maligning HFCS (High-fructose corn syrup), reports Reuters.

Food companies claim the sugar industry's misleading claims regarding HFCS has put a dent in their sales, the report adds.

This legal battle between the sugar industry group and the food companies began last April, when the sugar industry group slapped a suit against them for false advertising. The HFCS producers have been trying to get the FDA to label it as "natural" as the usual sugar. However, this request has so far been denied.

"It's kind of a long and tortured process that has been going on," said Adam Fox, a lawyer representing the Sugar Association, to Reuters.

HFCS, which is made out of corn, has been used by several soda companies in lieu of sugar. However, recently, the HFCS came under fire for being a leading cause of obesity. A Princeton University research, for instance, claims to have found that HFCS leads to a significant weight gain, when compared to table sugar.

On the other hand, manufacturers of HFCS refute this claim by saying that both table sugar and HFCS are "equal in nutritional value," reports Reuters. Moreover, since HFCS is an "added sugar" consumers must curb the intake of all added sugars, David Knowles, spokesperson for the Corn Refiners Association, told Reuters.

The sugar industry claims that HFCS producers are trying to make a come-back by making the sugar industry look bad, according to the Reuters report.

"HFCS has gotten somewhat of a bad name. They can't change the name, so now they are going to try to sling mud at the sugar industry and try to blame it for all the problems they are experiencing," Fox, attorney for the sugar industry group, told Reuters.


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