Did you know high fructose corn syrup is actually NOT high in fructose? Are you surprised? Confused? You are not alone.

Most people mistakenly make this assumption because of its name. While HFCS is higher in fructose than regular corn syrup which has no fructose, it has comparable levels of fructose to table sugar.

As such, on September 14, 2010, the Corn Refiners Association petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking that manufacturers have the option of using “corn sugar”* as an alternate name on product labels. “Corn sugar” tells consumers exactly what this product is – a type of sugar made from corn.

On May 30, 2012 the petition was denied by the FDA. The full text of the FDA’s May 30 decision may be found here. The following statement was released by the Corn Refiners Association in response to the FDA’s decision.

Statement of Audrae Erickson, President, Corn Refiners Association on the Food & Drug Administration Denial of Petition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 30, 2012

CONTACT: David Knowles
202-331-1634

The Corn Refiners Association works every day to educate consumers about high fructose corn syrup, particularly that it is nutritionally equivalent to other sugars. The Food & Drug Administration denied our petition to use the term corn sugar to describe high fructose corn syrup on narrow, technical grounds. They did not address or question the overwhelming scientific evidence that high fructose corn syrup is a form of sugar and is nutritionally the same as other sugars.

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. In light of the FDA’s technical decision, it is important to note that the agency continues to consider HFCS as a form of added sugar, and requires that it be identified to consumers in the category of sugars on the Nutrition Facts Panel on foods and beverages.

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*The term “corn sugar” today is an FDA approved alternate label name for dextrose, a corn-based sweetener that contains no fructose. Dextrose is a glucose-based product known for its mild-sweetness and texture. It is used in a variety of food and confectionary applications and it is almost always labeled dextrose or dextrose monohydrate on the ingredient panel.