Wednesday, September 15, 2010

High-fructose corn syrup by any other name is still pretty sweet

In May we reported corn farmers were launching a public relations campaign to counter the perception that high-fructose corn syrup causes obesity, among other things. Now the Corn Refiners Association has taken the next step by petitioning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rebrand high-fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar," Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times reports. Market research firm NPD Group reports 58 percent of Americans say they are concerned high-fructose corn syrup poses a health risk.

"Clearly the name is confusing consumers," Audrae Erickson, president of CRA, told Parker-Pope. "Research shows that ‘corn sugar’ better communicates the amount of calories, the level of fructose and the sweetness in this ingredient." Research into the link between high-fructose corn syrup and obesity has been inconclusive, Erickson reports. Consequently most scientists believe high-fructose corn syrup has a similar effect on health as regular sugar: too much of either is bad for you.

"I’m not eager to help the corn refiners sell more of their stuff," Dr. Marion Nestle, professor in New York University's department of nutrition, told Parker-Pope in an e-mail. "But you have to feel sorry for them. High-fructose corn syrup is the new trans fat. Everyone thinks it’s poison, and food companies are getting rid of it as fast as they can." Nestle, a longtime food industry critic, said the industry has plenty of motivation to change the name. "Even I have to admit it's not an unreasonable one," Nestle told Parker-Pope. (Read more)

1 comment:

gigabiting said...

The corn syrup industry has been practicing deception and misdirection for a while. They operate under the guise of a group called 'the Center for Consumer Freedom,' providing propaganda that poses as education.
Read Making Sense of the Sugar Wars