A Sugar By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

Brace yourself; it’s happening again: Another self-serving group is lobbying to use deceptive rhetoric to brainwash the American public into thinking and behaving a certain way – in this case, tricking them into purchasing products made with high-fructose corn syrup.

According to several media reports, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) has applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking to change the name of “high-fructose corn syrup” to “corn sugar,” because the group is worried about Americans’ negative perception of the substance.

Corn sugar. Sounds healthy, right? Well, the “corn” part, anyway. By attempting to change the name, the corn-refining industry is intentionally exploiting the public’s confusion regarding high-fructose corn syrup’s derivation, which actually involves the chemical conversion of corn starch into fructose.

There’s a reason why consumers perceive the substance as unhealthy — because it is. There have been numerous studies linking it to higher rates of diabetes and obesity, not to mention the resulting complications, such as heart disease.

Still, television campaigns, such as this one by the CRA, are attempting to dupe consumers into thinking they’re body “doesn’t know the difference” between high-fructose corn syrup and sugar from say, sugar cane. What these ads fail to mention is the chemically induced nature of the conversion process or that the country is using corn products as a sugar substitute simply because it’s cheap and abundant.

The good news is that consumers are becoming more informed and making smarter decisions, much in the same way they’ve made progress in regard to smoking. The tobacco industry has suffered from bad publicity, and the corn-refining industry should suffer that same fate.

Don’t let the CRA use deceptive PR tactics to mislead consumers. To urge the FDA to deny the CRA’s request, click here.



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