1957 High-fructose corn syrup invented.
1975 Average American annual consumption: 70 lbs. of sugar, 4 lbs. HFCS.
1985 US Coca-Cola manufacturers replace sugar with HFCS.
2004 Equal sues Splenda over “Made From Sugar So It Tastes Like Sugar” tagline.
2005 A study suggests fructose causes obesity.
November 2006 Makers of Jones Soda switch from HFCS to sugar; receive angry email from Corn Refiners Association (CRA).
April 2008 Sugar Association successfully petitions the FDA to prohibit the word “natural” on labels of foods with HFCS.
June 1, 2008 CRA launches $30 million “Sweet Surprise” ad campaign to persuade public HFCS is nutritionally the same as sugar.
June 17, 2008 American Medical Association says there’s no proof that HFCS worse than sugar.
July 8, 2008 HFCS makers cry foul over “natural” labeling decision. FDA reverses opinion.
July 28, 2008 Pizza Hut introduces “The Natural” pizza, made with sugar in the sauce.
January 2009 Sugar Association accuses CRA of making “false and misleading statements to exploit consumers’ familiarity with and trust in sugar.”
Spring 2009 Snapple and Pepsi launch “natural” drinks made with sugar.
April 2009 Coca-Cola’s kosher-for-Passover Coke, made with sugar instead of unkosher HFCS, flies off the shelves at supermarkets nationwide.
2009 Average American annual consumption: 45 lbs. of sugar, 39 lbs. of HFCS.*
*Correction appended: An earlier version of this story erroneously asserted that Americans consume 39 lbs. of sugar and 45 lbs. of HFCS annually. We have corrected the error.