Friday, December 16, 2011

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I went out to lunch at work the other day, not something I typically do. I can count on one hand the number of times I do this in a year.

It was an Italian restaurant and I was oh so tempted to order lasagna, but I didn't, I stuck to my guns and ordered a steak salad. Top sirloin, romaine, grilled asparagus, grilled onions, tomatoes. One tablespoon Blue Cheese dressing on the side.

I chatted with Stacy over email "how did ya do?" she asked. "Great" I said, and I described my lunch. "Pretty good, except the high fructose corn syrup".

Right. The dressing. I am OK that I ate a little, I rarely eat anything like that, but you know  many people eat this all the time, and lot's of it. Hidden dangers of food that you just don't think about. The stuff makes you fat, it messes with your body, it's a killer.

A better choice would have been some plain olive oil and vinegar. Of all people, I should know better!  But I love blue cheese, and I should have asked for REAL blue cheese crumbles or just said no!

This is an article from the Associated Press that I had read and saved, from way back in September (I have stacks of interesting articles next to my computer just waiting to share with everyone).

The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned the corn industry over its ongoing use of the term "corn sugar" to describe high fructose corn syrup, asking them to stop using the proposed new name before it has received regulatory approval, The Associated Press has learned.

The Corn Refiners Association wants to use "corn sugar" as an alternative name for the widely used liquid sweetener currently labeled as high fructose corn syrup on most sodas and packaged foods. They're attempting an image makeover after some scientists linked the product to obesity, diabetes and other health problems; some food companies now tout products that don't contain the ingredient.

Though it could take another year before the FDA rules on the request made last September to change the name, the Corn Refiners Association has for months been using "corn sugar" on television commercials and at least two websites: and

A series of high-profile television, online and print advertisements tell consumers that "sugar is sugar" and that corn sugar is natural and safe, provided it's consumed in moderation.

In a July 12 letter obtained by the AP, Barbara Schneeman, an FDA director, wrote to the Corn Refiners Association to say she was concerned with the trade group using the terms high fructose corn syrup and "corn sugar" interchangeably.

"We request that you re-examine your websites and modify statements that use the term 'corn sugar' as a synonym for (high fructose corn syrup)," Schneeman wrote.
As of Thursday, two months after the letter was sent, none of that wording had been changed.

Audrae Erickson, spokeswoman for the Corn Refiners Association, said in an email to the AP that the group is currently reviewing its materials and will make changes if necessary.
"We do not believe that anyone could be confused or believe that the statements regarding 'corn sugar' on the websites refer to anything other than high fructose corn syrup," Erickson wrote.

The FDA has no regulatory control over the corn association's advertising because it is not selling a product but promoting an industry. The federal agency can prosecute companies that incorrectly label ingredients and Schneeman wrote that the FDA may launch enforcement action against food companies listing high fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar."
Beet and cane sugar producers have filed a lawsuit over claims that corn sugar is the same, saying they amount to false advertising. A federal judge is reviewing a motion to dismiss the case.

Scientists are split over whether high fructose corn syrup is any more damaging than regular sugar. The American Medical Association has said there's not enough evidence to restrict its use of high fructose corn syrup, though it wants more research.
In general, experts agree, consumers should be eating less sugar, whatever its origin.
Internal documents obtained by the AP indicate high-level skepticism over the planned name change, partly because regulators already have a substance on their books called "corn sugar," which is used as another name for dextrose.

Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, wrote in an internal email that a previous attempt by the corn industry to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to just "corn syrup" was misleading, could have robbed consumers of important information and would invite ridicule.

"It would be affirmatively misleading to change the name of the ingredient after all this time, especially in light of the controversy surrounding it," Taylor told colleagues in an email dated March 15, 2010. "If we allow it, we will rightly be mocked both on the substance of the outcome and the process through which it was achieved."

The proposed "corn syrup" name was subsequently dropped when corn makers filed a formal petition seeking "corn sugar" as the new name.

Taylor heads the FDA's food section and oversees food labeling to ensure products contain clear nutritional information.

FDA spokesman Doug Karas said Taylor's comments should be looked at in the context of the proposed name change to "corn syrup" and nothing should be inferred about what the FDA's decision may be regarding the ongoing review to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar."

Seven U.S. senators, all from America's corn-growing heartland, filed a letter with the FDA urging them to adopt the "corn syrup" name to help clear up consumer confusion.

End of article

Below is something from a website called Don't believe a word of it!

I am astounded by the blatant lies that companies can put on to the public! If this product was so good, why do they have an elaborate website filled with facts to convince you to buy it and feed it to your family? 

Sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup and sugar, make many nutritious foods taste even better, and can be part of a balanced diet. If you have questions about how high fructose corn syrup fits into your family’s diet, this section helps you get past the myths, so you can find the facts quickly.

High fructose corn syrup:

Is a natural sweetener made from corn
Is handled by the body the same as sugar
Has the same number of calories as sugar
Is as sweet as sugar
Is fine in moderation
Whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar.


Do you believe a "calorie is a calorie" - so if you ate 2000 calories of butter everyday you would look the same as eating 2000 calories of lean chicken everyday?

I doubt it. 

Then "sugar is not sugar"