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Corn Refiners Association

Corn Refiners Association sued for falsely claiming that high fructose corn syrup is same as sugar

Saturday, December 24, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Corn Refiners Association, HFCS, sugar

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(NaturalNews) Those crafty television commercials that claim high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is basically the same thing as conventional sugar have gotten the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the group responsible for creating them, in a heap of trouble. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reports that the sugar industry has now sued CRA for making these and other unproven claims about HFCS that are inaccurate and misleading to consumers.

You have probably seen them at one point or another. A concerned mother is portrayed as an idiot for questioning the HFCS content of the mysterious purple drink being fed to her children at a birthday party, and a boyfriend is reprimanded in the park by his girlfriend for refusing to take a bite out of her HFCS-laden popsicle.

These and other corn industry-funded advertisements, which are part of CRA's multi-million dollar campaign to salvage the image of HFCS, are a poor attempt to convince the public that "sugar is sugar," and that the body cannot tell the difference between white, refined sugar and HFCS. But nothing could be further from the truth, says the sugar industry -- and CRA even openly admitted this back in 1997 during case proceedings relating to the export of HFCS to Mexico.

"Like the horse and the automobile, sugar and (HFCS) are two different products in terms of their physical and functional characteristics, as well as in their production process, distribution and commercial application," said Peter Buzzanell, a corn industry expert, in an affidavit during that time.

But the corn industry has changed its tune to account for declining sales, and now insists that HFCS is no different than table sugar. And yet the simple compositional differences between HFCS, which is obviously high in fructose, and refined table sugar, which consists of sucrose, are enough to show, at the very least, that the two substances are definitely not the same.

However, CRA says that not only are its claims valid, but that it should also be allowed to rebrand HFCS by calling it "corn sugar" instead. CRA has filed a petition with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rename HFCS, but has already begun using the new name in various products without receiving an official FDA ruling.

"The industry has done a very good job trying to convince people it's sugar from corn," Michael Goran, professor of preventive medicine and director of the Childhood Obesity Center at the University of Southern California (USC), is quoted as saying in AJC. "It's not, it's manufactured from corn by a highly industrialized process."

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