Sugar sham: Is high-fructose corn syrup just 'corn sugar'? 9/11
(This article is adapted from the September 2011 "Good Living" column in ShopSmartmagazine.org.)
Many food companies are replacing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a major ingredient in soft drinks and many other products, with cane sugar, and so they can claim 'no HFCS' on their labels (Log Cabin syrup and Hunt’s Ketchup, are just two examples).
To fight back, the Corn Refiners Association has renamed HFCS, now calling it "corn sugar," which makes the highly processed product sound more pure and natural.
With out an official "okay" from the Food and Drug Administration, the association launched an ad campaign and a website, CornSugar.com. But that little switcheroo is misleading, according to Consumers Union’s director of consumer safety and sustainability, Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D.
She explained to the Federal Trade Commission, which held a meeting on the subject, that HFCS is not corn sugar. HFCS is not naturally occurring as it is made by extracting starch from corn and chemically changing it into glucose, which is then processed into fructose. It may look like something from nature, but it was made through an industrial process. Also, the jury is still out on its health effects. Consumers Union believes more research is needed.
Other consumer groups, including the National Consumers League, have also protested about the 'corn sugar' ads.
So the next time you see and ad or pick up a product that says "natural," don’t be fooled! Read the ingredients label.
High-fructose corn syrup is not 'corn sugar.' 3/11
Where sugar hides and how to eat less. 1/11