Corn Sugar Name Change - Not

High fructose corn syrup new name rejected by FDA

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) High fructose corn syrup won't get its requested healthier-sounding name. The United States Food and Drug Administration officials have denied a request by the Corn Refiners Association to rename its sweetening agent corn sugar.

The Corn Refiners Association had requested the alternative name in 2010, but FDA officials said the petition "did not provide sufficient grounds for the agency to authorize 'corn sugar' as an alternate common or usual name."

"Read nutrition labels carefully."

The main argument for the name change had suggested the proposed name more closely reflects consumer expectations and more accurately describes the sweetener. However, the FDA indicated in rejecting the name change that it considers sugar a solid, dried or crystallized food, not a syrup.

The FDA said a change to corn sugar "would suggest that (high fructose corn syrup) is a solid, dried, and crystallized sweetener obtained from corn" and would not accurately reflect the basic nature of the food.

The Corn Refiners Association has indicated that the most commonly used forms of high fructose corn syrup, commonly used to sweeten sodas, breads and cereals, is half fructose and half glucose.

It recently has been running a campaign that includes television advertisements suggesting that the sweetener is equivalent to white table sugar.

"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 Corn Refiners Association said in a statement following the decision.

The Association also pointed out that high fructose corn syrup must be identified to the public in the sugars category on nutrition labels pasted to foods and beverages.

Health concerns have previously been raised about consumption of high fructose corn syrup and its potential link to obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, however, studies have suggested it may be no more unhealthy than other types of sugars.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 31, 2012
Last Updated:
May 31, 2012