Last week, the FDA finally denied a controversial 2010 petition filed by the corn industry agency, The Corn Refiners Association, which sought approval to allow the use of the alternative name ‘corn sugar’ to apply to the vilified processed sweetener, high fructose corn syrup.
The corn trade organization’s petition claimed that the name change would provide ‘more clarity’ for consumers apprehensive about using HFCS because of so many public attacks and help to eradicate any uncertainty about the ingredient’s function. The CRA made the argument, popularized in a slurry of television ads that stated “in moderation” HFCS could be used just like regular sugar, despite the fact that it is actually six times sweeter than cane sugar, most often genetically modified and linked directly to the rising rates of obesity and diet-related illnesses affecting 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 5 children in the U.S.
Cane sugar farmers and refiners brought strong opposition to the CRA’s petition, filing a lawsuit against the association claiming that the ‘corn sugar’ rebrand was nothing more than blatant deception by a struggling industry that is endangering the health of Americans and threatening the reputation of cane sugar, its farmers, refiners and distributors.
Displeased with the FDA’s ruling, the CRA claimed that the HFCS industry sees itself as a legitimate segment of the sugar category and consumers “have a right to know” what’s in their food in “a clear language that enables them to make informed dietary decisions.” No word on how the FDA’s decision will impact the lawsuit between the cane and corn industries.
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