Lifestyle & Belief

FDA rejects giving high fructose corn syrup new name


Bill Raben loads a grain truck as he helps to harvest corn on land he farms with his brother October 4, 2008 near Carmi, Illinois.


Scott Olson

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday rejected the Corn Refiners Association’s bid to rename high fructose corn syrup as "corn sugar."

According to the Associated Press, the Corn Refiners Association submitted an application to the FDA in 2010 asking to have its product renamed "corn sugar" on nutrition labels. The agency denied the application because it defines a sugar as a solid, dried and crystallized food, not a syrup.

More from GlobalPost: Over 40 percent of Americans could be obese by 2030, new study finds

FDA food safety chief Michael Landa said there i already a solid corn sweetener on the market called dextrose, and that liquid corn sweetener contains ingredients that might negatively affect people "with hereditary fructose intolerance or fructose malabsorption," reported Agence France-Presse. According to the corn industry, the FDA controls food labeling, but cannot prevent it from describing the product as "corn sugar" in advertisements.

High fructose corn syrup is cheaper than regular sugar and has been a popular choice for food companies for decades, according to NPR. The corn product's reputation took a beating in 2004 when a report suggested it was a major cause of the obesity epidemic. The American Medical Association said there wasn't enough evidence to restrict high fructose corn syrup and the authors of the 2004 report have since recanted, but public perception of the product remains poor.

More from GlobalPost: Obesity costs US twice the amount previously estimated, study says