Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Similar to Sugar?
Makers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) have sued a sugar industry trade group for allegedly maligning their product by claiming false advertisements that say HFCS is similar to natural sugar. This group of food companies that includes Cargill Inc., and Archer-Daniels Midland Co., says that their sales are jeopardized by the misleading allegations made by sugar companies that HFCS makers are falsely advertising their products as nutritionally equivalent to sugar.
High fructose corn syrup is produced from corn and is used as a sweetener in many foods and drinks. On the other hand, natural sugar comes from sugar beets or sugarcane, and is more expensive than HFCS. The United States is the biggest manufacturer and consumer of HFCS. Beverage makers such as Coca-Cola have been using HFCS since the 1980s, but recently, food makers have been trying to return to the use of sugar after corn syrup has been linked to obesity by some studies. As a result, many food manufacturers promote the absence of HFCS in their products to sell more to consumers.
The recent lawsuit filed by HFCS manufacturers in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles is a counter claim to a lawsuit filed in April last year by the sugar industry, which includes growers, sugar processors and their trade group, the Sugar Association.
Corn refiners have previously been denied by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to call HFCS “corn sugar”. When they tried marketing corn syrup as “natural” (from corn) and claimed that the human body could not detect the difference between HFCS and sugar, the sugar industry sued them for making the false claims.
Adam Fox, a lawyer representing the Sugar Association says that HFCS is not a natural product and is not the same as real sugar, adding that the sugar industry should not be blamed for the problems they are having.
Gillam, C. Sugar vs. corn syrup: sweeteners at center of bitter food fight. http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/nm/sugar-vs-corn-syrup-sweeteners-at-center-of-bitter-food-fight
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