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David Berg, Chief Executive of American Crystal

Judge rules American Crystal executive must testify in lawsuit

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business Fargo, 58103
Fargo ND 301 8th St. S. 58103

A judge has ruled that the president of American Crystal Sugar must testify in a lawsuit involving a dispute between the sugar industry and the corn syrup industry.

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David Berg, chief executive of American Crystal, had sought to throw out a subpoena requiring him to submit to lengthy questioning by lawyers for the corn syrup industry.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson rejected Berg’s arguments and decided he is an important witness in the case. Besides heading Moorhead-based American Crystal Sugar, the nation’s largest beet sugar producer, Berg once held a leadership role in The Sugar Association, a group of sugar interests.

In his order, filed Wednesday, Erickson said Berg might have “relevant” information involving possible damages, and said it would be “reasonable” for him to be questioned for the four or five hours the corn syrup lawyers expected.

The sugar and corn syrup industries are embroiled in a dispute over whether high fructose corn syrup is nutritionally the same as table sugar. The corn syrup industry is trying rebrand the sweetener as “corn sugar,” which the sugar industry opposes.

Read Friday's Forum for more on this story.

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