High Fructose Corn Syrup Tries to Sweeten Its Image

High fructose corn syrup has a bad reputation as a potential cause of obesity in America. Now manufacturers are hoping a name change will revamp its image.

As the American consumption of high fructose corn syrup has hit an all time low, producers of corn syrup are worried that people are becoming more concerned with its possible link to obesity and diabetes. Hoping to overhaul the product’s image, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) applied to the federal government to change its name from high fructose corn syrup to what they believe is a sweeter sounding alternative: corn sugar.

The group hopes the rebranding will help remove the stigma surrounding high fructose corn syrup and confusion about the engineered food product. The sweetener has been attacked by anti-obesity campaigners and even first lady Michelle Obama, who claims she won’t give her daughters products containing the ingredient. Sales have fallen drastically in the U.S. after campaigners have linked it directly to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. The scrutiny has led major food companies, like Sarah Lee and Kraft Foods, to remove HFCS from certain products.

Audrae Erickson, president of the CRA, insists that the name change is simply to let customers know what is in their food and where their food comes from.

“The term ‘corn sugar’ succinctly and accurately describes what this natural ingredient is and where it comes from – corn,” she said.

The CRA hopes rebranding the sweetener’s name will help bolster consumer trust and counter the decline in sales, but first the Food and Drug Administration will have to approve the bid for the new name, a process which could take up to two years.

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