The most maligned sweetener in America is trying to rebrand itself. The
winning new message? We're no worse than our competitor! That's what
manufacturers of high fructose corn syrup are trying to convey as they
seek to change the name of their product, to "corn sugar." The Corn
Refiners Association filed an application with the FDA Tuesday that
would allow its product to be described as such on food labels, and
they're already using the term in advertising and on their website.
"Whether it's corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can't tell the
difference," one ad says. "Sugar is sugar." Very public criticism from
very prominent figures, including Michael Pollan and Michelle Obama, has led to a precipitous drop in high fructose corn syrup consumption in the U.S. Several high-profile food companies have abandoned the sweetener (but always in favor of some other form of sugar), and
overall consumption is at a 20-year-low, even though "there is little
scientific evidence" that high fructose corn syrup is more harmful than
other kinds of sugar.
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