High Fructose Corn Syrup to Get a ‘Corn Sugar’ Name Makeover?

High Fructose Corn Syrup

The Corn Refiners Association has applied to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar” – gee, I wonder why?! According to a NY Times article, proponents of the change believe that this name more accurately reflects the nature of the syrup noting that the substance contains the same components as table sugar. The industry is worried that people have been misled by the name high fructose corn syrup and because of the current stigma now attached to the it, many food manufacturers are removing the syrup entirely from their products.

Granted, this is basically a PR stunt. While the term “high fructose corn syrup” may be misleading when comparing the substance to sugar, the public’s awareness of the prevalence of sweeteners in processed food products in general is a good thing. Changing the name to “corn sugar” does not alter the fact that a vast amount of food products sold in this country contain large quantities of sugar, whatever its form. If the basic chemistry of the sweeteners is the same, then perhaps the name change could help consumers’ overall awareness of sugar in their diet – regardless of where it comes from.

Still, the controversy over high fructose corn syrup remains, whether considering the health of individuals or of the planet as a whole.

“We do what we must, and call it by the best names.”-  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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