Tate & Lyle loses sweetener case

Tate & Lyle has lost a court case to defend its Splenda artificial sweetener from Chinese manufacturers producing generic competitors, reports the BBC.

Its shares dropped by 12% in early trading after the ruling by a judge at the US International Trade Commission.

Analysts say the ruling will allow manufacturers to compete against Tate & Lyle in the market for sucralose - the sweetener's generic name.

The firm is to appeal, asking for a decision by the full commission.

Splenda, a sweetener with no calories, makes up almost 25% of the firm's profits, analysts say.