What’s Behind the High Fructose Corn Syrup Ads

Posted by
August 28, 2011

If you watch TV, you’ve probably seen commercials about High Fructose Corn Syrup and wondered what they’re talking about.

The corporations sponsoring these ads have spent more than $50 million dollars in an attempt to convince U.S. consumers that High Fructose Corn Syrup is really just “corn sugar.”

What’s behind the ads? The Corn Refiners Association filed a petition with the FDA to change the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup in order to hide its presence from consumers on food packages.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a man-made sweetener that can be found in hundreds of grocery store products. It’s much cheaper than sugar, and companies have been using it for decades to sweeten sodas, fruit juices, breads, ice creams, Popsicles, cookies, crackers, yogurts, salad dressings, barbeque sauces, frozen pizzas, ketchups, mayonnaise, English muffins, hamburger buns, snack chips—the list is endless.

But High Fructose Corn Syrup is not sugar.  Sugar as we know it comes from sugarcane or sugar beets.

Corn is a starch that doesn’t have enough sugar in it naturally to be used as a sweetener. So the corn has to be altered in a lab and then fructose chemically bonded to it to make it sweet.

The name “High Fructose Corn Syrup” was chosen by the corporations that produce it when it was first introduced. They thought it was a good name back then.

But now they claim the name High Fructose Corn Syrup is “confusing to consumers.”  These same corporations have now petitioned the Food & Drug Administration (the government agency that regulates food packaging) to let them legally change the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to “corn sugar.”

But the truth is, consumers are not confused at all by the name. They know exactly what High Fructose Corn Syrup is. And plenty of people have serious concerns about this sweetener.

As a result, millions of families are not buying foods and drinks that contain it, school districts across the country are forbidding it in vending machines, major food and beverage makers are going back to using genuine sugar, and big supermarket chains like Whole Foods are banning it from their shelves.

The only “confusion” around this issue would arise if the name High Fructose Corn Syrup was allowed to be changed.

In addition to all of the fishy TV ads, the corporations that make High Fructose Corn Syrup tried to bribe influential mommy bloggers with WalMart Gift Cards in order to persuade them to say nice things about High Fructose Corn Syrup in their blogs. They are also pressuring members of Congress to support their corn sugar hoax.

Do they think they can fool the American public?