[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.
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.