High Fructose Corn Syrup: Not the Same as Sugar
CITIZENS for HEALTH launches new website FoodIDentifyTheft.com
Corn Fructose Industry Heats Up Battle with Sugar
WASHINGTON, October 3, 2011 – High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a man-made sweetener used in thousands of grocery store products and it has a serious image problem. Consumers are avoiding it. Food companies are taking it out of the products they make. Some supermarkets have banned it. Demand for this highly-processed ingredient is falling fast.
The Corn Refiners Association – comprised of corporations that make HFCS - decided that changing the name was a way to fix this problem. They are petitioning the FDA so that HFCS can legally be called "corn sugar" and ultimately just "sugar”. An official decision hasn’t yet been made, but in 2008 the Corn Refiners Association began a $50 million dollar marketing campaign labeling HFCS as “corn sugar”. They are now being sued by a group of sugar farmers and refiners who believe the name change will confuse consumers and harm the sugar industry.
This issue saw significant media attention on September 13, 2011 as The Corn Refiners Association filed a motion to dismiss which U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall is currently considering.
While the legal decision is pending, Citizens for Health, one of the nation's most respected consumer advocacy groups, has launched a new website, FoodIdentityTheft.com, to alert and inform Americans about misleading labeling on many food, beverage and health products.
"Every day we see stories about food makers trying to pull a fast one on consumers," said Jim Turner, consumer advocate and Chairman of Citizens for Health. "Resources like FoodIdentityTheft.com are necessary to ensure that consumers are aware of the deceptive practices some corporations are using."
FoodIdentityTheft.com provides current information on many vital issues, beginning with the controversy surrounding the proposed name change of High Fructose Corn Syrup.
"Many consumers believe that the U.S. government will protect us from false advertising or stop corporations from making unproven claims about their products," said FoodIdentityTheft.com Senior Editor, Linda Bonvie. "But the truth is, corporations have a huge influence in Washington. We as consumers have to protect ourselves, stay informed, and tell our legislators and government agencies that we won't accept being lied to."
According to Bonvie, "FoodIdentityTheft.com is not advocating the benefits or decrying the harm of this product. We simply believe there is no valid reason for the name change. It would only confuse consumers and allow food makers to conceal the identity of this product on ingredients labels."
About Citizens for Health
Funded by concerned consumers, non-profit partners, food growers, and businesses, Citizens for Health is a non-profit organization that provides over 100,000 supporters with the latest consumer news, action alerts, and ways to demand access to healthy food, non-toxic products, and truthful, non-misleading health information. More information is available at www.citizens.org
James S. Turner, Esq. is Chairman of Citizens for Health, and a principal in the firm Swankin & Turner, founded in 1973. He represents businesses, individuals and consumer groups in a wide variety of regulatory matters concerning food, drug, health, environmental and product-safety matters. Mr. Turner has served as special counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Food, Nutrition, and Health and to the Senate Government Operations Subcommittee on Government Research. Recently Mr. Turner was the lead attorney on a successful petition to the FDA to reclassify acupuncture needles from Class III to Class II medical devices, permitting their legal importation and distribution. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University School of Law.