The Journal Star on Nov. 25 ("Corn sugar is better label," editorial) supported efforts by the Corn Refiners Association to have the Food and Drug Administration change the name of high-fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar."
The efforts are an attempt to prop up sales of the sweetener suffering in the wake of ongoing research about its impact on health. In light of the controversy, many consumers want to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, and the government should not get in their way.
That's why leading consumer organizations, including the National Consumers League, Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America, have told the FDA to keep things as they are. The refiners association itself supported FDA adoption of the name "high-fructose corn syrup" about 30 years ago, and food manufacturers and consumers have referred to the sweetener by that name for more than a generation. FDA has limited resources and should not expend taxpayer dollars on what amounts to an image makeover for a sweetener that has fallen on hard times.
Changing the name of high-fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar" would simply confuse consumers and facilitate the corn refining industry's efforts to engage in a commercially motivated coverup.
Yes, the Journal Star notes that a name change would be in the interest of Nebraska farmers, but that interest is trumped by the consumer's right to honest information about what's in processed foods.
Sally Greenberg, executive director, National Consumers League