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FDA Says High-Fructose Corn Syrup is Not "Corn Sugar"

Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration denied the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) petition to rename high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as "corn sugar," a request they had made almost two years ago, arguing that sugar and HFCS were one in the same.

The FDA reasoned the action would confuse consumers and "could even pose a health risk to those suffering from fructose intolerance."

In a letter to the CRA President Audrea Erickson, the FDA rejected three different arguments the CRA had made requesting the name change. Mainly that "sugar" refers to a solid, dried, crystallized food, not a syrup.

The FDA stated that "the use of the term 'sugar' to describe HFCS, a product that is a syrup, would not accurately identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties."

Erickson of the CRA issued a statement claiming that the FDA denied their claim on narrow technical grounds. Adding, "The fact remains--which FDA did not challenge--that the vast majority of American consumers are confused about HFCS. Consumers have the right to know what is in their foods and beverages in simple, clear language that enables them to make well-informed dietary decisions."

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