Posted by Linda Bonvie
August 30, 2012
Despite the fact that the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) was foiled in its attempt to steal the name “corn sugar” for its laboratory-created sweetener high fructose corn syrup, the CRA has not given up the ship when it comes to finding new ways to promote its controversial concoction.
While the FDA at the end of May turned thumbs down on the CRA petition that attempted to “officially” rename HFCS “corn sugar,” the latest tactic from Big Corn is to hit food and beverage manufacturers, grocery retailers and chain restaurants with the message that most consumers no longer care about HFCS, don’t bother checking food labels for it, and those that do avoid it are merely a “small but vocal minority.”
After a short time licking its wounds from the FDA bashing, the CRA has done a total makeover of its industry-geared “Corn Naturally” website –now trying to convincing its viewers that “96% of consumers aren’t avoiding HFCS.”
Free lunch with a healthy helping of hype
Aside from its web and advertising efforts, the CRA is also hosting “lunch & learn” sessions for businesses. That’s right, a free lunch hosted at your business location complete with loads of research all designed to answer your “top concerns” about HFCS. It seems the CRA will spare no expense (or HFCS-sweetened food and drink) when it comes to delivering this ‘consumers don’t care’ message to industry.
The newly designed cornnaturally.com site is an all-business black and white affair with its previous ‘down home’ look, farmer- in- a-cornfield graphic and cheery corn cobs peeking around the corner now gone. It comes complete with sections for manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants, as well as data from the CRA’s favorite research company, Mintel, which is heavily quoted throughout.
In the “chain restaurant” section, we’re told that “97% of consumers don’t check for HFCS on the menu (it’s listed on menus now?); food and beverage manufacturers are asked, “can you afford the high cost of hype?” and are further informed that (once again) “97% of consumers don’t check the label for HFCS,” and grocery retailers are told that “shoppers aren’t buying HFCS-free products.”
While the CRA spent over $60 million to try and make its “corn sugar” dreams come true, it didn’t work. Consumers, health and advocacy groups and health professionals all rejected the attempted alias, and now it’s time to make sure that food purveyors don’t buy the group’s tossing aside of their concerns.
You can help stop the “high cost” of this hype by signing our petition to tell the food industry that “we don’t want high fructose corn syrup in the foods we buy!”
The goal is to reach 100,000 signatures by the beginning of October. The petition will then be delivered to the CEOs of some of the largest food and beverage companies and grocery and restaurant chains as well as the FDA.
Consumers told the CRA what they thought about the “corn sugar” name switch, and now it’s time to let the food manufacturers and retailers know that, yes, we do care what’s in our food, and we DON’T want high fructose corn syrup there!