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Tag: corn

Image: Andres Rueda via Flickr

Don’t think you need buy organic meat? Think again. The US FDA released an estimate on the amount of antibiotics given to farm animals in the United States. The grand total is over 29 MILLION pounds in 2009!

2009 was the first year the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine required sales and distribution data of antimicrobial drugs approved for food-producing animals (cattle, poultry, swine) including:

“…(1) the amount of each antimicrobial active ingredient by container size, strength, and dosage form; (2) quantities distributed domestically and quantities exported; and (3) a listing of the target animals, indications, and production classes that are specified on the approved label of the product…”

- 2009 Summary Report, Food & Drug Adminstration

If we take cattle as an example, we know that they are meant to forage grass and digest it through their multi-chamber stomachs. Today’s commercially raised cows are fed a diet of corn, wheat, barley, sorghum, and likely never see a fresh blade of grass in their lifetime. They are eating a diet that they were not meant to eat and this has led to a situation
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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.
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