Bad press over health concerns has affected sales for the corn syrup industry and as a result the Associated Press reported today that corn syrup producers want to “sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar.” The article explained:
The bid to rename the sweetener by the Corn Refiners Association comes as Americans’ concerns about health and obesity have sent consumption of high fructose corn syrup, used in soft drinks but also in bread, cereal and other foods, to a 20-year low.
The article goes out of its way to include statements of the safety of high fructose corn syrup, claiming the only known negative health effect is obesity.
But sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same, and there’s no evidence that the sweetener is any worse for the body than sugar, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The bottom line is people should consume less of all sugars, Jacobson said.
“Soda pop sweetened with sugar is every bit as conducive to obesity as soda pop sweetened with high fructose corn syrup,” he said.
The American Medical Association says there’s not enough evidence yet to restrict the use of high fructose corn syrup, although it wants more research.