FDA Halts Corn Syrup's Plans to Become 'Corn Sugar'

Will this corn syrup health debate end now?

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Good news to all anti-high-fructose corn syrup groups; the FDA has officially denied the petition to change corn syrup's name to "corn sugar."

In a letter to the president of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), Michael M. Landa, of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, says the petition doesn't provide sufficient grounds for the name change.

According to FDA standards, "sugar is a solid, dried, and crystallized food; whereas syrup is an aqueous solution or liquid food."

Furthermore, while the CRA says that "corn sugar" is rarely used in food labeling, the FDA counters and says that a specifc sugar name, "dextrose," and "corn sugar" are used interchangeably.

The slap in the face, however, would be FDA's admission that high-fructose corn syrup is not necessarily as healthy as the CRA wants people to think. "Because such individuals have associated 'corn sugar' to be an acceptable ingredient to their health when 'high-fructose corn syrup' is not, changing the name for HFCS to 'corn sugar' could put these individuals at risk and pose a public health concern," Landa writes.

The CRA, meanwhile, argues that "[the FDA] 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." Nice try CRA.