FDA Rejects Name Change for High Fructose Corn Syrup

[Image via The Daily Green]

Make no mistake about the war between the sugar industry and the Corn Refiners Association. It’s about tens of millions of dollars in annual revenues.

Here’s a recap of previous installments:
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener that has been used for the last 30 years as a cheaper alternative to sugar. It is made from surplus corn. The corn industry is subsidized by the government through the Farm Bill, and as a result beverage and food manufacturers have a cheap sweetener.

Although sugar and HFCS are almost the same chemically, HFCS has a bit more fructose than glucose in it.

Many people prefer not to consume products with HFCS, due to the high correlation with increases in obesity rates ever since the sweetener was introduced in the 1980′s.

Responding to market demand, several big manufacturers have begun moving back from HFCS to sugar (sometimes touting their product as all natural). The Corn Refiners Association, which represents the HFCS industry, is seeing its members hurt.

So it decided to change the name ”high fructose corn syrup” to “corn sugar”, a less threatening name. A petition to the FDA was filed in 2010. The sugar folks retaliated with a lawsuit last year.

And what’s new this week?

The FDA said no to the corn refiners’ bid. But not because the chemical structure of the two sweeteners are different. Simply because the FDA defines sugar as a solid, dried and crystallized food — not a syrup, which is what HFCS is.

We have a feeling that we haven’t heard the last of this…

What to do in the supermarket:

From the evidence we have seen to date, there most likely is no difference between sugar and HFCS. Americans are consuming much too much of both. That said, the presence of HFCS in a product is usually a good marker of a cheap, processed food, whose manufacturer probably used other cheap ingredients to maximize profit. No thank you.

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  • EVIL food scientist

    “That said, the presence of HFCS is a product is usually a good marker of a cheap, processed food, whose manufacturer probably used other cheap ingredients to maximize profit. No thank you.” Oh No! Maximizing profits!Cheap ingredients!It’s almost like the food industry is a business and not an experiment in social engineering!A reasonably balanced article with few boogiemen, right up to the last sentence.

    • Ccbweb

      What is wrong with pointing out the main motivations of the manufacturers?  Point being, foods with HFCS are not often designed to be healthy products and you might want to think twice about eating/drinking it or at least doing so frequently.  

      • Smart Thrifty Mom

        Sort of correct…foods with HFCS are designed to be available and affordable (they are “not often designed to be healthy” nor are they designed to be unhealthy). What would be wrong with pointing out the main motivation of fooducate being to spin stories to scare ignorant people into purchasing overpriced trendy food products?

        Affordable modern food (courtesy of HFCS)? Yes, thank you very much!

        • Greatplumber2007

          What exactly do you mean by trendy food? You mean real food? Processed foods were designed to make money. The manufacturers do not care about your health. Maybe you need to educate yourself before you bash this app. HFCS is addicting making people need to eat more not less therefore it is more expensive in the long run. Not to mention the medical bills and discomfort of diseases our children will be facing if this crap continues to be pumped into their bodies from moms thinking they are being thrifty. That is not smart, it is abusive. Please find a good book on nutrition and read it if you care about your kids. The ultra mind solution is a good one. My kids were raised on that crap because I didn’t know any better. Hydrogenized fats are extremely harmful too. Read, read, read before you post things like this and make references to the word ignorant.

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  • http://twitter.com/JeniTidbitz Jennie

    HFCS doesnt have a place in my home, cheap or not.  We try to eat less processed foods, we try to make our foods from “scratch” more often and read labels lately.  I hope more people chose to do so as well.

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  • Lebo6

    There is a big difference between the two. Sugar goes through the bloodstream. Processed sugar is not good for us. Moderation is key. HFCS is processed through our liver like alcohol. It does damage like alcohol. It is not cheap in the long run. It becomes very costly. I got this app so when I am in the war zone (grocery store) I can avoid as many land mines as possible. We are being poisoned for the sake of a buck and a few extra minutes the night before using a crock pot. Fast food, processed food and more is not the avenue. Even our local news had a lady cooking a dish that contained Velveeta. Flies won’t touch it!

    • Leontine

       which app is this??? I need it!

  • Cartoonguy_99

    “Many people prefer not to consume products with HFCS, due to the high
    correlation with increases in obesity rates ever since the sweetener was
    introduced in the 1980′s.”

    And these people are idiots. HFCS isn’t the cause of anything. Over-consumption of calories is the culprit. As long as continually focus on individual foods instead of the real problem (over eating) then we’ll never win the obesity problem.
    Here’s why it’s popular to single-out a food: it takes the blame off yourself. The reason I’m a fat slob isn’t because I eat extra large curly fries 5 times a week and have ice cream every night for dessert, it’s because there’s HFCS in my coke!!!!

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  • Supermom101

    Love the photo attached to the article!!!

    Been avoiding processed – HFCS – products ever since I was diagnosed and treated for cancer over 12 years ago.  
    Purchased soda “hecho in Mexico” as a special treat for a high school graduation party because our son had it when he was in Spain and couldn’t believe how great it tasted.  That is… Coke in a glass bottle made with cane sugar not HFCS – seems the rest of the world refuses to drink HFCS!  Doing a science experiment with our youngest – took his tooth and placed it in a glass container and covered with soda – a friend told us the tooth would totally decay in three weeks – it’s been two weeks and (gag) it’s about 2/3rds dissolved. 

    Read on a billboard: America has the fattest poor people in the world.p.s. For the record – soda is rarely (if ever) purchased in our home and our kids drink mostly water.  We had some soda leftover in a can from the party to use in our experiment.p.s.s. I’ve never been a soda drinker since my cousin at age 13 showed me a rusty nail sitting in a can of soda…Best health to everyone.

  • LJSM

    Wow… the first ingredient on my Gatorade was high fructose corn syrup. If they changed the name, I probably wouldn’t know that corn sugar is pretty much the unhealthiest thing ever.

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