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September 15, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup Makers Want Sweeter Naming

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The Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the makers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), has asked the FDA to rename their product "corn sugar" in the face of a 20 year low in the consumption of the product in the U.S.

HFCS is one of the biggest sources of calories in the American diet due to its inexpensive price and low freezing point.

The CRA argues that there is little proof that high fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity, and while the FDA considers their application they have launched a nifty web site educating the public about corn sugar, which they argue is no worse for you than other sugars.

As the Associated Press article by Emily Fredrix points out, "Renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming "canola oil" in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming "dried plums" in 2000."

Yesterday the WSJ asked "What Do High Fructose Corn Syrup and Diddy Have in Common?", noting that corn syrup is now "attempting to join a long line of corporate name-switchers."

The name change would also differentiate HFCS from regular corn syrup.

Marion Nestle, a professor in New York University's department of nutrition, told the New York Times, "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."

She feels a better name would be "corn sugars" as there are actually two sugars in HFCS, glucose and fructose.

I'll go with that. I did not realize that there was a difference between corn syrup and HFCS, and the acronym HFCS sounds too much like a bank, or a chemical.

Corn sugar sounds natural... after all there is cane sugar and beet sugar.

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Posted by William Lozito at September 15, 2010 9:07 AM
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