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FDA Rejects Bid to Rename High Fructose Corn Syrup “Corn Sugar”

Consumers Union supports FDA's position in order to avoid misleading consumers with a new label.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

FDA Rejects Bid to Rename High Fructose Corn Syrup “Corn Sugar”

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected a petition by the Corn Refiners Association to change the name high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar” on nutritional labels.

Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, had repeatedly urged the FDA to turn down the industry’s bid.

Urvashi Rangan, PhD., the director of the Consumer Safety Group at Consumer Reports, said, “The FDA did the right thing. High fructose corn syrup is not ‘corn sugar.’ If the name had been changed, it would have given consumers the wrong impression that this product is ‘natural.’ This is a corn starch that has to be chemically processed. The term ‘corn sugar’ simply doesn’t reflect the chemical changes that take place in production. Consumers know the term high fructose corn syrup, and they should be able to easily differentiate among products that use it.”

A Consumer Reports National Survey conducted in July 2007 indicated that a large majority of consumers – 83 percent — do not believe that ingredients like high fructose corn syrup should be used in products labeled as “natural.”