High Fructose Corn Syrup Producers on a Roll

hfcs website photo

One would think that the Corn Refiners Association would be busy enough right now that they could sit back and relax, but instead they are starting a big marketing campaign to beat back the Michael Pollans, Daniel Imhoffs and Richard Johnsons of the world who complain that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is making us fat. They are taking it to the public with a big new $30 million ad campaign, saying that the stuff has the "same natural sweeteners as table sugar and honey."

They have the courts behind them; Stacy Holk went after Snapples at the FDA for claiming that their product was "all natural," when it was full of HFCS, noting that there is nothing natural about the process of making the stuff:"Cornstarch is first treated with a purified enzyme, alpha-amylase, to produce shorter chains of sugars called polysaccharides. . . . The polysaccharides (short chains of sugar) are then broken down even further by adding a second enzyme called glucoamylase. . . . The addition of glucoamylase to the polysaccharides yields the simple sugar glucose."

The FDA concluded that it was natural, and in June the US District Court upheld them. So don't believe that "all natural" label- it's meaningless. PDF of court decision here;


As for the ad campaign, Debra Eschmeyer at the Ethicurian puts it better than I could:

"I find the Corn Refiners Association’s chutzpah unbelievable. Our already failing health care system is ill-prepared for the absolute crush and cost of the coming wave of diabetics, yet industry is spending millions of dollars to persuade us to partake of even more empty calories. With 30% of the U.S. population considered obese, the last thing our country needs is more sugar of any kind."

::Wall Street Journal; via the ::Ethicurian
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