Just because you change the name of something doesn’t make it any better than it was. Well, the Corn Refiners Association would have you think otherwise with their petition to rebrand high fructose corn syrup as “corn sugar” on food packaging. Obviously, the best way to tackle a bad reputation is to simply rename your product!
Corn, corn, corn. We all know by now how subsidized the almighty American grain is, and that it’s found its way into hundreds upon hundreds of food products on grocery store shelves, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, and largely for the worse of the health of the American people. Evidence has been piling up that high fructose corn syrup has adverse health effects (obesity, anyone?), and as a result sales have been steadily shrinking. So what do the corn refiners do? Well, change the name, of course.
Tom Laskawy at Grist sums up the move:
As long as government policy and industrial agricultural practices ensure a vast overproduction of cheap corn, food processors will continue finding creative ways (animal feed, vehicle fuel, wallboard) to use it all. The only option that remains is the last refuge of marketing scoundrels everywhere: deception.
For a good laugh, the official corn sugar website offers up some rather humorous “simple facts” about HFCS including:
- High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar that is handled by your body the same as sugar or honey.
- Regardless if it’s honey, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup or just plain sugar, we metabolize it the same.
It’s too early to tell what will become of the petition, but we won’t be fooled…
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Image credit: Flickr via Sasakei
Walter Williams may have given us the reason for the name change:
Justin Van Kleeck
Sugar has gotten its own bad rap over the years, hence the million-and-one names for sugar you find on packages. So I am not sure how fully rebranding it “corn sugar” will help, except to make people think it is something totally different–maybe healthier, maybe not. What worries me less is the health factor than the fact that corn is used so widely in our food products (not to mention ethanol) and has such damaging effects on the environment, especially because it is usually raised using industrial, monoculture methods.
It is a shame that garbage like this is put in our food. I personally suffered from severe headaches for decades because of my allergy to MSG. After going to over 19 doctors not one ever brought it up as a candidate.
I discovered it when I tried to cut HFCS from my diet. Not only did I lose 80 lbs but I haven’t had a headache in almost a year. Thanks for your article 🙂
The high fructose corn syrup website you are talking about above, is that sugarscam.com? I stumbled upon a couple of videos made from them and was quite impressed at their attempt (and somewhat successful way) of making all “sugar” appears to be the same, no matter what way it is manufactured or used by the body. Luckily, prior to watching their po-dunk videos, I had buffered up by watching “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” and was well equipped with the tools to fight their brainwashing power….haha.
I personally think that their name change is another way of protecting themselves. Ya changing the name takes a lot of work, media, and time, but in the end, I think they will benefit. My reasoning? When I think of sugar, I think of the little sugar cubes near coffee and tea counters in hotel lobbies, I think of the sugar dish on my grandmother’s countertop- the one she uses to dust the strawberries on a shortcake, or to measure out a quick extra tablespoon for baking. Sugar has a protective, comforting, and traditional connotation to it. Its the pure form of sweetness that we connect to sugar cookies, or delight found in homemade lemonade.
High Fructose Corn Syrup on the other hand has the “Corn Syrup” identity. The syrup implies a bottle, and this bottle is neither a cute honey bear bottle filled with worker bees dedication, nor a Aunt Jemima’s maple syrup pancake bottle linked to those great breakfast aroma’s filling a house. Corn Syrup goes it into the gross (most likely plastic) bottle with the annoying self glueing sticky top that nobody want to clean off. However, take away the word High, the word Fructose, and the word Syrup and replace them with the ‘Sugar’ title and something magical happens! This substance suddenly sounds like the glistening hexahedron powder grandma is loyal to. It’s now worthy of its own container on a countertop, and sure doesn’t sound like it belongs in an evil bottle! The highly processed characteristics disappear. Now it just seems like a grainy substance that comes from the corn kernal when broken open. And even better, it is simply mixed in just like our good old grandma’s sugar. In fact it is sugar!…Or at least, thats what they want us to think, and unless we continue to remind ourselves of how much it is squeezed, chemically altered, and processed before it arrives to us already added to our in foods: unless we educate other on the health effects it tolls on humans, they will benefit from the name change.
o- and sorry for my long reply, good job if you made it to the end! thanks for reading.
This is despicable, it’s obvious the Corn Growers Association cares about one thing and one thing only: MONEY! They could care less that HFCS has and continues to make millions sick and or kills them!
JoAnn L Bills
Do they really think that by changing the name to corn sugar that this will make a difference, I don’t think so I think it just makes it stand out all the more. Our government needs to find a better way to make sure that our foods are going to be safe. They are feeding this to all of our cattle, chickens and more, when will it all stop.
My name is Hagit and I’m a product manager in a plastic company name Keter.
I want to use your corm image on one of our stickers we put on plastic box.
I can send you PDF if you would like for your approval
Thanks in advanced
PS you have cool blog 🙂
The credit for that image is at the end of the post… it’s not ours.