Dispatch: Corn Syrup s Bad Rap

The New York Times chronicles the development of widespread and baseless distrust of high-fructose corn syrup: “What started as a narrow movement by proponents of natural and organic foods has morphed into a swell of mainstream opposition, thanks in large part to tools of modern activism like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter … This is happening even though many scientists say that high-fructose corn syrup is no worse for people than sugar, which costs some 40 percent more.”

“The bottom line in this debate is that science no longer matters,” says Stier. “It’s all about public perception.”

Dr. Ross agrees, noting, “All of the scientists quoted in this Times article – many of whom are no friends of the food industry, including Drs. Marion Nestle, Walter Willett, and Michael Jacobson – are quoted saying that high-fructose corn syrup is essentially equivalent to sugar as far as metabolism and calorie content are concerned. Nevertheless, activist groups manage to drum up a movement against corn syrup despite all of the science. It’s very frustrating.”

Dr. Whelan adds, “The charges brought against high-fructose corn syrup revolve around the notion that it causes more obesity than pure sugar. There’s no truth to that whatsoever, since they are equivalent in terms of calories.”