There isn't a lot of evidence
that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is significantly worse for your waistline
than regular cane sugar. However, Americans' perceptions of HFCS have
plummeted and U.S. consumption of the sugary stuff is at a 20-year low. So the Corn Refiners Association announced that it's changing the name of HFCS to "corn sugar." The reaction from the blogging world has been both swift and apoplectic:
- "What do you do when everyone realizes that your product contributes to one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide?" asks Seth Millstein at Short Form Blog. "You change its name, of course, so people won’t know what they’re eating! That, and you launch a PR campaign to convince people that it’s actually not that bad for you."
- "Perhaps, with a name change, Americans will happily get back to the business of gobbling up the sugar substitute and supporting the pillar of the heavily subsidized corn industry with renewed vigor," writes a sarcastic Brian Merchant at Treehugger.
- "So, when the facts and consumer sentiment are against you, what is a poor, misunderstood oligopoly to do?" asks Tom Laskawy at Grist. "The answer: obfuscate! ...HFCS sales are at a 20-year low. More and more, science is indicating that the body metabolizes HFCS differently
from table sugar in a way that increases the risk of diabetes, liver
disease, and obesity. (Yes, we consume too many sweeteners of all kinds,
but as I wrote in this recent post,
there is evidence that this industrially extracted combination of
fructose and glucose has more health consequences than the ones that
humans have been consuming for far longer.)"
- "As more and more Americans
wake up to the dangers posed by high-fructose corn syrup—promoted by
the feds through massive domestic farm subsidies and protectionism
against Cuban sugar—the political corn industry wants to change the name
of its federal product," writes Lew Rockwell. "There is a massive ad campaign going on now to convince us all it’s
just 'corn sugar,' and no different in any way from sugar sugar. But
cane sugar is the only caloric sweetener that makes any health or taste
sense. Just drink a Mexican Coke as versus an American one."