Consumer groups celebrate FDA refusal to call high fructose corn syrup 'sugar'

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Consumer groups applaud this week’s federal Food and Drug Administration's rejection of a new, more marketable name for a much-maligned ingredient: high fructose corn syrup.

A backlash against the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup found in just about every sweetened and processed food in this country prompted its makers to push for a marketing makeover, renaming the sweetener “corn sugar.”

But that effort by the Corn Refiners Association generated an avalanche of opposition from the Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, National Consumers League and more. They claimed that a name change would conceal the ingredient from consumers who believe corn syrup is worse for health than traditional sugar.

Its detractors say that because high fructose corn syrup is a chemically-processed substance — not the original sweetener extracted from corn — it's worse for health than traditional sugar or sucrose.

The corn refiners counter that that’s untrue, pointing to an American Medical Association study that says it appears "unlikely” that high fructose corn syrup is any more likely than sucrose to cause obesity and related health issues.

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