Corn Sugar Simply Makes Sense

By: DeEtta Bohling, Communications Specialist, KCGA/KGSPA

The Corn Refiners Association recently announced they filed a petition with the FDA to change the name of high- fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to “corn sugar.” As expected, I watched as the Twitterverse instantly chimed in on the debate. Those up in arms over the name change, I find incredibly amusing. Less amusing, though, is that there are people that truly believe that HFCS is uniquely responsible for obesity in America.

Studies published in leading journals and a considerable amount of evidence suggests that sugar is sugar. HFCS is nearly identical in composition to sugar and both contain approximately 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Health and nutrition experts are in agreement that the body is unable to tell HFCS apart from table sugar. In 1983, The U.S. FDA formally listed high fructose corn syrup as safe for the use in food and reaffirmed that decision in 1996.

“Sugar cubes don’t grow on trees. Unfortunately, some people seem to believe that one form of sweeteners is somehow more natural than another. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Even so-called “raw sugar” goes through some processing before being crystalized and put into brown sugar packets.” –Sweet Scam

Critics say changing the name from HFCS to ‘corn sugar’ attempts to confuse consumers. The reality is, that allowing manufactures to use the term ‘corn sugar’ helps to clarify the true nature of the product. Currently, HFCS leads consumers to believe that the product is higher in fructose than other sweeteners, which simply isn’t true. HFCS has no more fructose than table sugar or honey.

Frankly I feel that corn sugar is perfect. A large amount of research on this topic of fructose versus HFCS has shown that fructose in any sugar — be it cane sugar, beet sugar, or sugar from corn or many other sources — has the same adverse additional effects on health,” says Barry Popkin, director of the University of North Carolina Interdisciplinary Obesity Center. “Corn sugar clearly identifies correctly sugar from corn as not having more fructose than any other sugar source.”

So what about the companies that have decided to steer clear of HFCS and replace it with cane sugar? Data shows that the companies using this marketing technique are showing no increase in sales. What seemed like an excellent marketing opportunity for some, didn’t pan out. About 70% of the public surveyed thought that HFCS was a bad name choice and 40% thought HFCS has more calories than sugar. Corn farmers want the best food quality and nutrition for themselves and their families.

The petition to change HFCS to ‘corn sugar’ has been filed and a docket number has been assigned. FDA has 180 days to respond but the actual decision could be made in a matter of months or as long as two years.

Vote for “Corn Sugar” on the NY Times Blog.

Vote “YES” for corn sugar on this poll.

A Sweet Taste of Truth

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cynthia1770 on September 28, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    “HFCS is nearly identical in composition to sugar and both contain approximately 50% glucose and 50% fructose”

    Please go to ADM’s website and check out their three grades of HFCS.
    Cornsweet 42, 42% fructose
    Cornsweet 55, used for soda, 55% fructose
    Cornsweet 90, intensely sweet and used for low-cal foods and beverages.
    Could that be 90% fructose?
    The problem is this. It is not HFCS. It is HFCSs. There are at least three grades with varying
    fructose content. Foods are only labeled with HFCS, and for the consumer it’s a black box.
    Is it HFCS-42, HFCS-55, HFCS-90 or something in between?
    Cynthia Papierniak, M.S.


  2. Posted by Maddi on October 8, 2010 at 12:58 PM


    While there may be different grades of HFCS, manufacturers would still use a similar grade of cane sugar if they had to in their products. The amount of fructose in the product would remain the same, no matter if corn or cane sugar is being used. I think you might find with a little more research that the amount of fructose in cane sugar can vary too.


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