Corn syrup by any other name (they’ll hope we’ll fall for it)

You probably know that there’s too much corn syrup in the American diet – the problematic kind is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which can be found in everything from ketchup to baked goods, sweet drinks, and soup.

Apparently the publicity has the corn industry worried, because now it’s using the term “corn sugar” in place of High Fructose Corn Syrup.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) thinks this is not a good idea and has told the corn industry to stop using “corn sugar.” This warning has not had any effect, according to a story in the Associated Press this week, and the term is still being used. As you can imagine, the folks who make beet sugar and cane sugar aren’t happy, either.

I’m not a chemist, but I try to be media literate, and whenever an industry’s solution to a problem is to think up a new name, I’m suspicious. In their book Trust Us, We’re Experts, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber expose the tactics used by industry to convince us that their products are safe and useful. It’s not a pretty picture.

What you can do: Read labels. Teach children to do the same. Choose products that have little or no HFCS. And look askance at new names for old problems.


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