Tuesday, September 14, 2010


In light of the increasing bad press surrounding high fructose corn syrup- both the evidence of it's potential health detriments and decrying of it's pervasiveness in our food supply, the Corn Refiners Association has applied to the federal government to officially change the name of their product to "corn sugar". This clearly being the only reasonable course of action, as consumption of HFCS by Americans has recently reached a 20-year low.  That's right, apparently the problem is that Americans have become more judicious in their food purchasing/consumption decisions in regards to their health.

A slight reduction in HFCS consumption- apparently an issue of brand imaging

The Corn Refiners Association repeatedly claims that consumption of HFCS is no different healthwise than consumption of table sugar. If you browse the scientific literature, you'll find studies leaning either way on that matter (always question who was carrying out the study, who funded it etc, as well as the specific experimental design), although this recently published study out of Princeton University is particularly alarming. Researchers discovered increased body weight, body fat and triglyceride levels amongst male and female rats on a HFCS-laden over a sucrose-laden diet.

Now, I am more for the reduction of ALL sugar in the American diet, rather than just singling out one palpable offender; it's more likely that refined sugar in all forms contributes to the health problems of this country collectively.  But does that justify the apparent "sweeping under the rug" by the CRA in attempts to reprogram consumer perceptions of high fructose corn syrup? Should the solution really be to re-name HFCS so as not to make it stand out from other forms of sugar, in some apparent act of "fairness"?  Whether or not HFCS is the greater of evils perhaps shouldn't be our primary focus, but rather a reduction in sugar consumption in general. What is for sure is that shrouding it under the guise of a new name only perpetuates the underlying problem- excess sugar consumption.  I for one hope that the Corn Refiner's Association is denied their request; until Americans realize that all sugar is bad news for our health, I think HFCS must continue to be the fall-guy.

I'm sure you have all seen the commercial -

There are a couple of others like it too; they all involve some general cliche situation and fallaciously implicate that anyone who questions the nature of high fructose corn syrup as a legitimate food source is incompetent.

Well, I found this awesome video retort that definitely puts the Corn Refiners Association in their place:

Air this during the 5 o'clock news!

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