It’s no secret that high fructose corn syrup has developed a pretty distasteful reputation because, well, it’s not exactly great for you. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now rejected a proposal from the Corn Refiners Association to sweeten the name up a bit to the tamer sounding “corn sugar.”
The association submitted the proposal in 2010 in an attempt to have it renamed on nutrition labels. Sadly for them, the FDA still defines sugar as a “solid, dried and crystallized food,” which doesn’t sound anything like syrup, does it?
That’s not all the association has been doing, either. They’ve also been running a marketing campaign to help convince consumers the product is simply another form of the sugar we’re all used to eating. You know the commercial. Two moms are at a kid’s birthday party, and one offers the other a popsicle. When the other rejects it because of the high fructose corn syrup in it, she loses her mind and tries to explain “it comes from CORN! It’s just like sugar! Everything is fine in moderation!
This campaign led to a lawsuit from the Sugar Association, claiming the campaign was misleading to their product. According to Dan Callister, a lawyer for the Sugar Association, the FDA’s decision confirms the association’s position that sugar and high fructose corn syrup are two entirely different products. “What do con men do?” He asked. “They normally try to change their name. The FDA has thankfully stopped that.”
The Corn Refiners Association claims the FDA came to their decision on “narrow, technical” grounds, and that they continue to believe most Americans are confused about high fructose corn syrup. Since the 1970s, the product has been used in processed foods, drinks, cereals, and other items. It has gained popularity due to its cheap cost and ability to easily mix with lots of other ingredients.
The American Medical Association still claims there is not enough evidence to restrict its use, and that it isn’t any better or worse for the body than sugar.
Either way, we consume far too much of both of them. My rule? Eat whole foods rather than processed foods and if I can’t pronounce the ingredients or “corn,” “syrup,” and “sugar” are three of the most common on the ingredients list, put it back.
Have you tried to cut down on your consumption of high fructose corn syrup recently?