The FDA May Change High Fructose Corn Syrup Name to Corn Sugar
The FDA is currently taking comments as to whether to change the name high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to corn sugar. The Corn Refiner's Association is lobbying hard for the name change because more and more people are refusing to buy products with HFCS in them. As a result, many food manufacturers have stopped using HFCS and replaced it with sugar. This is also a result of the sky rocketing price of corn. The cost of corn has shot up nearly 50 percent in the past couple of months.
HFCS Versus Sugar
The Corn Refiners are scrambling for a solution and changing the name to corn sugar is the first step to an image makeover. Let's be clear, sugar and HFCS share the same biochemistry. However, HFCS goes through highly unnatural processing. The process starts off with corn kernels. The corn is spun at a high velocity and combined with three other enzymes: alpha-amylase, glucoamylase, and xylose isomerase, so that it forms a thick syrup that's way sweeter than sugar.
According to a Princeton study, reported on AOL Health, rats fed a diet rich in HFCS accumulated more belly fat and had higher levels of circulating triglycerides--"both of which are factors in metabolic syndrome, a precursor to heart disease -- than their sugar-fed peers."
The syrup also interferes with the body's metabolism so that a person can't stop eating. It's truly hard to control cravings because high fructose corn syrup slows down the secretion of leptin in the body. Leptin is a crucial hormone in the body that tells you that you're full and to stop eating.
Not FDA's Place
Moreover, the reason for the change has little to do with the fact that sugar and HFCS have a similar biochemistry and everything to do with increasing the market share of the product.
Here's a portion of Marian Nestle's FDA comment which she posted on her blog Food Politics:
It is highly unlikely that public misunderstanding of nutritional biochemistry and the differential physiological effects of glucose vs. fructose will be addressed and corrected by changing the name of HFCS to corn sugar.
Therefore, the name change is not in the public interest. Its only purpose is to further the commercial interests of members of the Corn Refiners, and that is not one the FDA should be concerned about.