FDA Denies Bid to Get High Fructose Corn Syrup Renamed

Posted on May 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has opted not to allow the makers of high fructose corn syrup to change the name of the product.

The Corn Refiners Association was hoping to get high fructose corn syrup’s name changed to the more pleasant-sounding “corn sugar.”  They petitioned the FDA way back in 2010, and justified the petition by saying that the product was only half fructose, with the other half being glucose.  They say their corn syrup is a form of sugar that has the same nutritional value as regular white sugar.

The FDA denied the request on the grounds that labeling the product as corn sugar would be misleading.  They said that sugar doesn’t imply a syrup but rather a crystallized, dried, and solid sweetener.  Dextrose, itself a solid corn sweetener, already fits most of that description.  The FDA also stated that those persons who suffer from fructose malabsorption and hereditary fructose intolerance could be affected by high fructose corn syrup, and a name change therefore would not be advisable.

The Sugar Association filed a lawsuit last year as a means to challenge the Corn Refiners Association’s claims that their product was just as nutritious as normal white sugar.  Sugar supporters seemed happy with the FDA’s decision.  Not so with supporters of the name change, who said that the FDA only denied the request for narrow and technical reasons.

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