Competition and the American sugar industry
Wolf, Gillian Margaret
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Until 1965, the American sugar industry was the undisputed leader in the sweetening field. But at this time, a surge of public interest in diet and heath began to erode both the industry and its reputation. This has caused an industrial emphasis on non-nutritive sweeteners such as cyclamates and saccharin, which were followed by the discovery of aspartame. None of these alternatives was accepted smoothly by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a result, extensive tests and legislation surrounded their final status as well as the status of sugar. The leadership of the sugar industry was, nevertheless, challenged by these sweeteners, as well as by technological developments improving high-fructose corn syrup, which was a cheaper industrial alternative to sugar. Sugar also has considerable international trade significance, since its importation provides a source of federal revenue. This study traces the major developments in these factors. Historical research and literature are used throughout. The conclusions drawn are: (1) the sugar industry will not regain its former superiority, since several new sweetening alternatives have developed; (2) sugar is not a major cause of health problems; and (3) sugar legislation should be broadened to encompass other prominent sweeteners.