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NewsBites August 2012 Issue

FDA Nixes “Corn Sugar” Labeling

Don’t look for “corn sugar” to replace “high-fructose corn syrup” (HFCS) on package labels any time soon. To the chagrin of the Corn Refiners Association and delight of the Sugar Association, the FDA rejected a 2010 corn-industry petition to recognize “corn sugar” as an alternate label for the controversial sweetener. The agency ruled that “sugar is a solid, dried and crystallized food… whereas syrup is an aqueous solution or liquid food.” Therefore, the proposed “corn sugar” term “would not accurately identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characteristic properties.” Moreover, the FDA concluded that consumers would be confused, noting a 30-year history of using “corn sugar” as a label for dextrose, a simple, solid sugar also derived from corn. People with fructose intolerance who’ve come to know dextrose/corn sugar as an acceptable ingredient could be confused and put at risk if “corn sugar” also meant HFCS. The corn refiners said the FDA had rejected its petition on “narrow, technical grounds.” The Sugar Association called the ruling “a victory for American consumers.”

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