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Corn Syrup by Any Other Name (Please)

Posted on Sep 15, 2010

Now that high fructose corn syrup has officially been smeared by everyone from foodie guru Michael Pollan to political prankster Stephen Colbert, the business brass behind the maligned sweetener has gone into identity crisis mode ... and emerged with a bold new rebranding campaign.

But will the FDA buy it? That remains to be seen, but meanwhile, get used to hearing about the virtues of “corn sugar.”  —KA


But while it could take the FDA two years to rule on whether corn syrup can self-identify as corn sugar, Corn Mellencamp or just a mysterious, sexy glyph, the image overhaul has already begun in earnest. You may already have seen the two new ads, both of which feature smiling children, fields of corn as high as an elephant’s eye and nary a whiff of aggressive agribusiness.

The experts at would furthermore have you know that, in the words of the Jesus and Mary Chain, they are just like honey. “A sugar is a sugar whether it comes from corn sugar or cane sugar. All are safe and natural. Your body can’t tell the difference,” they explain on their abundantly verdant Web page. Oh yes, by all means, leave the decision-making to our indiscriminating bodies!

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Fat Freddy's avatar

By Fat Freddy, September 16, 2010 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

From the Cola Wars, to the Sugar Wars. Wait, we had a Sugar War before. Anybody remember saccharin? Yeah, that causes cancer as well. Oh wait, it only causes cancer in rats, not humans.

In 2000, the warning labels disappeared because scientists learned that rats have a unique combination of high pH, high calcium phosphate, and high protein levels in their urine.[19][20]  One or more of the proteins that is more prevalent in male rats combines with calcium phosphate and saccharin to produce microcrystals that damage the lining of the bladder. Over time, the rat’s bladder responds to this damage by over-producing cells to repair the damage, and this leads to tumor formation. This does not occur in humans, so there is no bladder cancer risk.

First scientists said that it did, then they said it didn’t, wow, what is one to believe? I know, let’s ban the little toys in Happy Meals.

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By Tim, September 15, 2010 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Uhhh…yeah, they should probably take that part out about the body not knowing the difference. The UCLA study ( published last month states:

These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation. They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth.

It doesn’t suggest that high fructose corn syrup plays a role in initiating the cancer, but it should be enough for me to cease consumption of the stuff. And in case you’re wonderings, yes, they did test the cancer cells with cane sugar and nothing happened.

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By Fat Freddy, September 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps they should change Maple Syrup to Maple Sugar, as well.

I know, let’s place tariffs on sugar, and subsidies on corn, and then blame all the food manufacturers for using corn syrup, and cry about how ADM is big, bad, evil monster, AKA: TEH EVEL CORPORASUN. Ahhh, government planning at its best!

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anaman51's avatar

By anaman51, September 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

Polishing the turd. How American!

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By samosamo, September 15, 2010 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment


Aw, those guys in marketing really are something. A piece of shit
by any other name is a piece of shit.

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