Patt Morrison for March 21, 2012

Sugar takes corn syrup to court to determine which is worse for your health

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY ALIX RIJCKAERT.A

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

A picture taken on November 18, 2011 shows sugar obtained from sugar beets in French firm Tereos' sugar refinery in the French northern town of Lilliers.

You’ve heard it before – America is fat and pretty unhealthy. And it’s pretty widely acknowledged that neither sugar nor high fructose corn syrup is particularly good for your health.

But while health experts may agree on that theory, the sugar and corn industries disagree on whether sugar or corn syrup is worse for your health, and they’re taking one another to court in a landmark battle that goes before a Los Angeles federal judge today. In response to a recent advertising campaign being run by the Corn Refiners Association, the sugar industry has filed a lawsuit accusing big corn of making false claims: corn syrup is “nutritionally the same as table sugar” and “your body can’t tell the difference.”

WEIGH IN:

So which sweetener is really to blame for more of America’s clogged arteries and muffin tops? And even if sugar wins, will it make a difference in the way Americans view the ingredients?

Guests:

Kerry Fields, professor, business Law and Ethics, USC Marshall School of Business

Hayes Roth, chief marketing officer, Landor Associates, San Francisco-based branding firm

Marion Nestle, professor, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University; author of "Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics"


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