Concerned that high-fructose corn syrup is getting a bad rap for causing obesity, the Corn Refiners Association yesterday asked the FDA for permission to change the name of their product to corn sugar. Despite people’s fears, most nutrition experts agree that the sweetener is no worse for you than regular sugar. (“cane sugar”).
As Stier points out, HFCS has gotten a bad rap because people think it is less natural than sugar. “Neither are exactly natural, they are both cultivated and processed. And both should be considered equally safe.... and caloric.”
Dr. Whelan calls the proposed name-change “really a smart idea on their part,” noting that other name changes have made a difference in people’s perception of products. For example, canola oil was once called rapeseed oil — and irradiated food should really be cold pasteurized food, she says.
Even longtime food industry critic Dr. Marion Nestle admits changing corn syrup’s name isn’t a such bad idea, telling The New York Times: “I’m not eager to help the corn refiners sell more of their stuff. But you have to feel sorry for them. High-fructose corn syrup is the new trans-fat. Everyone thinks it’s poison, and food companies are getting rid of it as fast as they can.”