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Judge Weighs Lawsuit Over Name Change For Popular Soda Sweetener

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A high-stakes lawsuit over the future of a popular artificial sweetener may fizz out before going to a jury.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports a federal judge in Los Angeles is set to decide whether a legal battle between sugar industry and corn refiners over a proposed name change will move forward.

Lawyers for both sides presented their arguments to U.S. Judge Consuelo Marshall, who said she would issue a ruling on a motion filed by corn lawyers to have the case tossed.

Marshall heard two hours of arguments over whether the advertising campaign by corn refiners that equates high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with sugar is misleading to consumers.

Attorney Adam Fox, who represents the sugar industry, said the potentially market-altering issue should be decided by a jury.

“The jury is fully capable of deciding whether a product that has only existed for the past 40 years and requires advanced technology and two molecular-level changes to be made is natural or not,” said Fox.

Corn lawyers want the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that advertisements are both protected free speech and that there is no false advertising since the body processes high fructose corn syrup much the same as it does sugar.

The corn industry last year applied with the Food and Drug Administration for the name change, the Associate Press reported.

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