Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Get Ready For The Next FDA Deception

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.


Anonymous said...

HFCS is simply sugar. It is essentially just like your table sugar. It is inaccurate to claim that those who oppose it are "researchers" since they ignore facts to push their biases on everyone. Your body does not know the difference between HFCS and sugar from cane or beets. Your body turns all sugar and all carbohydrates into glucose which it then burns for energy. This is just another in the many uninformed pseudo-scientific claims that crop up from time to time.

Judy Aron said...

Last I knew table sugar didn't have mercury in it - nor was it concocted in a lab.

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe HFCS has mercury in it? Could you be so stupid? As for the lab I assume you mean a factory. Sugar goes through a lot of processes to create what we like to see; nice clean small crystal white table sugar. HFCS goes through a similar process except they do not totally eliminate all the water so that it remains a fluid and is easier to use in a factory environment where is is combined with other ingedients to make cola or apple pies or candy, etc. It is simply sugar. You are being used by food bigots who have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with the truth.

Judy Aron said...

Ah, the name calling begins. That didn't take long, especially from someone who doesn't dare put their name to what they write.
So you don't believe the conclusive studies and reports about HFCS? The Washington Post reported the mercury issue- I am just relaying that to the public.
I believe that HFCS is not good for you and has contributed to the rise in obesity and diabetes in this country. You choose not to believe that - then that's fine. Perhaps you are the stupid one who is being manipulated by the "ever truthful" FDA and the corn lobby.
You want to eat HFCS - that's your choice.

musemater said...

Judy, I agree with you 100%.

Anonymous, just because you want unpleasant facts to go away won't change medical studies, if you weren't too lazy to read them before making your comments and your psuedo understanding of the sugars industry is just another fantasy. Your condescending explanation doesn't prove anything other than your ability to fool yourself.

Judy, thank you for your posting. I like the Jabba illustration and I'm sad to say there are many people I see everywhere I go who look not much different. It seems the poorest folks suffer the most as they have the least food dollars and the HFCS products are the cheapest. These people were not obese 10 years ago, only since the take over by HFCS and other additives. My solution is to always eat at home or pack sandwiches and home made tea, coffee, or water and I tell as many as will listen, but so many are unwilling to believe that the FDA/government would let things that harmful onto the market. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Diabetes is caused by genetics not by HFCS. You get from your parents not from sugar. HFCS was specifically formulated to be like table sugar. The name "high fructose" was a marketing ploy because in the 50's the food bigots thought that since fructose sugar was found in fruit and was natural it was good and people would like the sound of it. But either way it doesn't matter because all sugar and all carbohydrates are tunred into glucose by your body. Yur body needs glucose to power it and it doesn't know or care what form the original carbohydrate took.

There are no conclusive studies proving anything negative about HFCS or sugar. In fact it is exactly opposite. Sugar in general and HFCS in particular have been investigated and studied more then any other food and they have been found to have absolutely no harmful effect on health, except that they contribute to dental cavities. It is pure myth, superstution, speudo-science, etc that HFCS or regualr sugar is bad for you or causes diseases.

Like it or not we have all been consuming HFCS since the 50's and our life expectancies and general health has never been better. How could that be if HFCS was killing us?? Your lack of logic and inability to recognize when some food bigot or person with letters after their name is lying to you is endemic in this world. You are easily lead from one false claim to another.

Judy Aron said...

Genetics may be a factor in diabetes - that is your genetic make-up may make you more susceptible to becoming diabetic (disruption of normal insulin receptivity and energy production) but the truth is HFCS has been more prevalent in everything we eat. Our livers are being taxed and over consumption of the empty calories of sugar are contributing to obesity.

Like it or not - HFCS, and the GMO corn it is created from, cannot possibly be good to have in every food item on the supermarket shelf.

Renaming HFCS - which is the point of this post - is also deceptive and just a means to hide the truth from the consumer of what it is they are eating.

There is,some evidence that the body treats HFCS differently than glucose. When a person's liver is deciding what to do with glucose, it has several options: use it for energy; convert the glucose into triglycerides or store the glucose as fat. A 2008 study found that fructose seems to go directly to fat [source: Parker-Pope]. The problem may also be more severe with those who are overweight. The study concluded that fructose itself isn't bad -- particularly fructose found in fruits, which are nutrient rich -- but that many people could be better served by limiting fructose consumption and avoiding overeating [source: Parker-Pope].

You can enjoy HFCS (that's your choice) - I prefer to eat naturally made sugar - and stay away from processed foods that contain HFCS.