Big Sugar and Big Corn settle bitter battle over sweeteners outside court; terms kept secret.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The sugar and corn industries ended their billion-dollar bitter battle over sweeteners Friday in a secret out-of-court settlement.

Both sides announced the deal that puts an end to a trial that began nearly three weeks ago in Los Angeles federal court pitting sugar against high fructose corn syrup.

Sugar processors were seeking $1.5 billion in a false-advertising claim against corn refiners and agribusinesses giants Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill after they tried to rebrand their publicity-plagued product as “corn sugar.”

Western Sugar Cooperative and other sugar processors claimed they lost money when corn refiners launched a “sugar is sugar” ad campaign that stated, “Your body can’t tell the difference.”

Corn refiners and the companies countersued for $530 million, saying they lost that much after the sugar industry made false and misleading statements that included a comment that high fructose corn syrup was as addictive as crack cocaine.

They blamed the sugar industry for “junk science” that associated the product with diabetes and obesity.