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Organic Consumers Association

Big Corn Continues to Run 'Corn Sugar' Ads

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's health Issues page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

In 2010, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow manufacturers the option of using the term "corn sugar" instead of "high fructose corn syrup" (HFCS) on food labels.

 This renaming was a clever marketing ploy that would have easily hidden HFCS on labels, which is precisely what CRA wanted since so many people are now aware of the risks of consuming HFCS, and are seeking to avoid it in droves.

 Fortunately, at the end of May, the FDA finally took a stand and told CRA they weren't going to allow the re-naming of HFCS to "corn sugar" ... but somehow CRA is still getting away with advertising it as such on TV ...

No Corn Sugar on Labels, But OK on TV Commercials?

 You have probably seen CRA's marketing campaign on television. The commercials try to reduce shopper confusion and anxiety, showing actors who say they now understand that "whether it's corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can't tell the difference".

 The claim that all sugars are metabolized by your body in the same way is an outdated belief that has been shattered in more recent years by a growing body of scientific research, which I'll get to shortly. However, the main issue is that while the FDA has stepped in to say that calling HFCS "corn sugar" is not acceptable, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), whose job it is to decide whether or not ads aired on television are deceptive, has not.


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