New name, same product

By Danielle McLaughlin
October 5, 2010

When you hear the words, “high fructose corn syrup” what comes to mind?  Sugary drinks?  Junk food?  High fructose corn syrup has gotten a bad reputation over the past couple of years and rightfully so.  This bad reputation is catching up with the refined sweetener and The Corn Refiners Association is petitioning to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar.”

Please tell me what makes the name “corn sugar” sound any more appealing or healthy for that matter?

Corn syrup, corn sugar… it all sounds the same to me.  I think it’s a good thing that people are becoming more conscious of what they’re eating. However, The Corn Refiners Association is changing the name of high fructose corn syrup because they are losing money.

I don’t think changing the name is a smart solution.  I understand that The Corn Refiners Association needs to increase their revenue but this seems like a way of tricking people into buying a product.

The Corn Refiners Association believes that by changing the name of high fructose corn syrup, they will generate higher revenues along with a better reputation.  This has proved to be a successful method of marketing in the past, with products like prunes whose name has been changed to dried plums to attract more consumers and rapeseed oil whose name has been changed to canola oil.

I think these name changes are understandable because they make the product seem more appealing and products like dried plums and canola oil do not pose health risks to the same degree as high fructose corn syrup does.

America is a country where two thirds of the population is overweight and out of those two thirds, one third is obese.  This seems to be a growing problem and high fat, high-sugar foods seem to play a key part in contributing to these outstanding statistics. Why, in a country that New York Times recently named “the fattest country in the world,” (not that it wasn’t already obvious) would people be trying to make a refined sugar product appear more desirable?

Pictured above is part of an ad campaign created by the Corn Refiners Association. They are the main group pushing toward high fructose corn syryps name change. -- MCT

According to multiple dieticians, high fructose corn syrup has a greater impact on blood glucose levels than ordinary sugar so it does pose a higher health risk than ordinary sugar.

Either way, an extreme amount of money is being used for advertisers to market junk food, fast food and soda while fruits and vegetables seem to be ignored.  We should be promoting healthy products, not changing the names of unhealthy ones to gain more consumers.

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Danielle McLaughlin

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