Bad reputation? No problem... just change the name!
Since researchers have named High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as a culprit in the American obesity epidemic, sales of foods containing HFCS have gone down so much that consumption is at a 20-year low. (Read this:Why High-Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Insulin Resistance and this from Princeton researchers: A Sweet Problem)
Huge corn subsidies and high import tariffs on cane sugar make HFCS the cheapest sweetener available. As a result, HFCS is just about in every processed food you can think of - even those you wouldn't think needed sweetening. But people have become a bit more food conscious and are choosing foods with natural or organic sweeteners rather than highly processed ones. They are reading labels and abstaining from HFCS as well as other food gremlins and other additive "nasties".
So now, the people who brought us HFCS aim to rebrand it in order to boost sales. They will now be changing the name to "Corn Sugar" (Pssst... don't tell anyone it's the same thing as HFCS, ok?) - Corn Sugar sounds more "natural".
From Live Science:
The Corn Refiners Association has in the past marketed high-fructose corn syrup as natural. Our Bad Medicine columnist Christopher Wanjek argues otherwise:
"High-fructose corn syrup could be all-natural if cornstarch happened to fall into a vat of alpha-amylase, soak there for a while, then trickle into another vat of glucoamylase, get strained to remove the Aspergillus fungus likely growing on top, and then find its way into some industrial-grade D-xylose isomerase. This funny coincidence didn't happen in nature until the 1970s in a lab somewhere in Japan."
Now the Corn Refiners Association plans to ask the FDA to allow high-fructose corn syrup to be called simple "corn sugar" instead, AP reports. And already the group is advertising it with that name. The adds also claims there's no difference between corn sugar and cane sugar.
Oh, and one other thing... HFCS contains traces of mercury.
Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.
So - look out for "Corn Sugar" ... and don't be fooled.