The health effects of corn syrup have been debated, and many Americans now generally believe that corn syrup may not be the best sweetening choice for their health. So what does the Corn Refiners Association do? Well, change the name of course.
The Corn Refiners Association has asked the FDA to rename ‘corn syrup‘ as ‘corn sugar‘. The renaming may take years to be officially allowed on food labels, but the CRA is already using it in advertising. Here’s a link to their BS PR for ‘corn sugar’. And wait, here’s another. And another (this is a must watch video).
Is corn syrup, er…corn sugar, actually bad for you?
While there is new evidence that corn syrup may cause more rapid weight gain than other added sweeteners, if consumed in moderation, is corn syrup really that much worse for you than other added sweeteners? Maybe, or maybe not. It isn’t really known.
However, I can’t even find the stuff in the UK (not that I’d be that excited to find it). Coke in the UK is sweetened with sugar, and I have to say, I do find it slightly more delicious.
In some way, it’s good that they are changing the name. ‘Corn syrup’ isn’t very descriptive. It’s not clear that it’s a sweetener, and it’s important for people to know what they are consuming.
What is the Corn Refiners Association?
It’s not that unusual for a company to rebrand something to improve its image, but this is food, and this is just ridiculous. Is the CRA really trying to dupe consumers into consuming something they believe to be unhealthy? Are they some sort of evil corporation? Who are the CRA anyway?
They certainly are an agribusiness…and boy, do they lobby. They have allotted $20 to $30 million for public relations and an advertising campaign for corn syrup. This is because they have a lot to lose.
Corn syrup started being used in many foods because it was significantly cheaper than ‘real’ sugar. This is because of the corn subsidy. However, many corporations are ditching corn syrup because the price gap between corn syrup and sugar is shrinking. This, combined with the negative public opinion of corn syrup, may just be the end of corn syrup’s empire, and the CRA wants to prevent this from happening.
If something is truly benign (and delicious) you don’t need to advertise it. When is the last time you saw an advertisement for an apple?
Their bloated advertising campaign makes me not want to eat corn syrup even more, regardless of what they call it.
What is your opinion on corn syrup? Do you consume it, or avoid it?
Flickr Creative Commons License by Hannah Donovan