Setback for Sugar Association vs. Splenda

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge ruled Friday that a sugar industry trade group doesn’t have standing to sue the maker of Splenda for false advertising.

The Sugar Association has been suing McNeil Nutritionals over ads that state its artificial sweetener tastes like sugar — a claim the trade group contends is false. The association also alleged the ads misled consumers into thinking Splenda contained real sugar.

In a ruling signed Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer found that the Sugar Association doesn’t have legal authority to sue for damages on behalf of its members.

Fischer states that the Sugar Association also failed to show that each of its members have been harmed by Splenda’s sales.

A Sugar Association representative couldn’t be reached immediately to comment on the ruling.