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Consumer groups urge FDA to reject 'corn sugar' label for HFCS.

Consumer groups have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to reject a Corn Refiners Association bid to allow "corn sugar" as an alternative labeling declaration for high fructose corn syrup. CRA says that allowing the use of "corn sugar" on ingredient lists would help consumers understand that HFCS is simply a sugar made from corn.

CRA said in its petition: "The proposed alternate name 'corn sugar' more closely reflects reasonable consumer expectations and more accurately describes the basic nature of the ingredient and its characterizing properties. Accordingly, revision of the high fructose corn syrup [generally recognized as safe] GRAS affirmation regulation to recognize 'corn sugar' as an alternate common or usual name would promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers."

However, consumer groups including the Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumers League have written to FDA claiming that if food makers were allowed to label HFCS as corn sugar, it could obscure an ingredient with which the majority of consumers are already familiar.

The Consumer Federation of America pointed out that FDA already defines "corn sugar" as dextrose, and that nutrition experts have put forward names that may more accurately reflect the nature of HFCS, including "corn glucose and fructose syrup" or "glucose-fructose corn sweetener."

It could take FDA up to two years to decide whether to allow food manufacturers to list HFCS as corn sugar on ingredient labels.
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Publication:The Food & Fiber Letter
Date:Mar 14, 2011
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