Today, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) issued a press release stating that they are petitioning the FDA for the option to use the term “Corn Sugar” as an alternative to High Fructose Corn Syrup. Their main goal? To eliminate consumer confusion.

“Consumers need to know what is in their foods and where their foods come from and we want to be clear with them. The term ‘corn sugar’ succinctly and accurately describes what this natural ingredient is and where it comes from – corn.” – Audrae Erickson, CRA President

Wow, where do I begin. First, could this new initiative have anything to do with the nasty consumer backlash the CRA has experienced against HFCS? I’m starting to see “No HFCS” on all sorts of products. Do you think the HFCS manufacturers are starting to feel a pinch to their bank accounts? Consumer groups and active shoppers have sent manufacturers a message: they don’t want HFCS in their foods. What does the CRA do? Hey, we got it, let’s just change the name!

Second point, “eliminate consumer confusion?” The only confusion consumers will have if this petition is approved is trying to remember to look for Corn Sugar and HFCS on ingredient labels. There is not a clearer example of a group trying to hide their product behind a new name in hopes people won’t notice.

Third, “natural ingredients?” Just because something is derived from a fruit or vegetable doesn’t make it healthy (french fries anyone?). The main issue is not whether corn is healthy or not (we’ll save that for another post), but how HFCS is actually made and what it does to the body.

“Over the course of 6 or 7months, both male and female rats with access to HFCS gained significantly more body weight than control groups. This increase in body weight with HFCS was accompanied by an increase in adipose fat, notably in the abdominal region, and elevated circulating triglyceride levels. Translated to humans, these results suggest that excessive consumption of HFCS may contribute to the incidence of obesity.” - Princeton University Study, February 2010

“Products containing HFCS cannot be considered ‘natural’ and should not be labeled as such, the FDA has said. This is due to the chemical and enzymatic process that is used to make HFCS.” – High Fructose Corn Syrup report on Be Food Smart

As you can see, even the FDA has ruled that HFCS is not a natural ingredient and I sincerely hope the FDA sees through CRA’s thinly veiled attempt to hide their product from consumers. Be Food Smart is following this petition closely and will post an announcement if you need to start looking for Corn Sugar on ingredient lists. Join our email list or “like us” on Facebook to stay informed.

Corn Refiners Association Petitions FDA for Use of “Corn Sugar”