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‘Corn Sugar’ Suggestion Nixed

The FDA announced it would not rename high fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar," despite arguments made by the Corn Refiners Association.

sugar bowl blue field

Photo: Robert Parvianen (Flickr)

It's official, the stuff in your sugar bowl is not the same as the stuff in your soda can.

By Any Other Name

The FDA has officially rejected a petition to rename high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as “corn sugar.”

Nearly two years old, the request came from the president of the Corn Refiners Association, Audrae Erickson, who claimed consumers have an inaccurate picture of HFCS in their minds. Renaming it “corn sugar” would reframe the product in consumers’ minds.

Sweet But Not Sugar

But, the FDA argued, “sugar” means solid, dried and crystallized, while “syrup” means liquid or aqueous under its standards. To call HFCS “corn sugar,” then, would be inaccurate.

Another reason for opposing relabeling is that consumers who have an intolerance to fructose could mistakenly consume products with “corn sugar,” believing them to be safe.

Read More:

  • FDA says HFCS is HFCS; it is not corn sugar (Food Politics)
  • Response to Petition from Corn Refiners Association to Authorize “Corn Sugar” as an Alternative Common or Usual Name for High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) (FDA)
  • FDA rejects bid to rename high-fructose corn syrup ‘corn sugar’ (Los Angeles Times)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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