Corn Refiners Association Continues False TV Ads About Sugar

The big thing in their ads is that the body cannot tell the difference.  This is the big false statement.  The human body reacts differently to different kinds of sugars.  It is so different that specific kinds of sugars are pose a health risk to a great many people, and for some, it can even kill them.

Recently, the FTC denied a name change the Corn Refiners Association wanted.  This would have changed which sugar type the name “corn sugar” was applied to.  Currently, the legal meaning of “corn sugar” is for dextrose monohydrate, commonly known as glucose.

The name “corn sugar” has been a long known name for an alternative sugar for people who are intolerant of fructose, or for health reasons (like blood sugar spikes) need to avoid fructose.  What the CRA wanted to do was change the name to reference the kind of sugar that would be dangerous to these people.  It would have put this group at very serious risk since they may have used products labeled under the new definition, as if it were the old safe sugar.

But instead of acknowledging facts one can learn in basic organic chemistry class (yes, I took the class in college and learned about sugars and how they react), they want to lead the market into confusion with both a dangerous changeover of one name, and false information about sugar chemistry to the public as a whole.

Common table sugar made usually from sugarcane, or in some cases from sugar beet, is primarily the chemical sucrose.  Sucrose is a disaccharide, which is a more complex sugar consisting of two monosaccharide sugars chemically bonded.  The body processes disaccharides differently, and more slowly, than monosaccharides.

HFCS is High-fructose corn syrup.  The name is accurate because it is a syrup (24% water by definition from USDA), and it has been processed to contain a greater amount of fructose than the corn syrup normally obtained from corn with minimal processing.  Fructose is the component that is sweeter and more dangerous.  HFCS comes in three major grades, HFCS 42, HFCS 55, and HFCS 90, where the numbers represent the percentage of fructose among the sugar components.  The remaining sugar is glucose.  HFCS 55 is what is used in soft drinks.

HFCS is considered by the FDA as “generally safe”, which is a classification for food additives as an alternative to being classified as a drug, exempting it from the FFDCA rules.  But “generally safe” does not mean safe for everyone.  And it most certainly does not mean it is a good choice in a dietary sense.  While a young healthy adult would have no problems with high consumption on a regular basis, most other people would have issues with high consumption, and many even with very low consumption.  It (along with caffeine) is a culprit in young children being hyperactive (especially in the evening at bedtime).

HFCS should be consumed only in moderation (unless, of course, you are one of those people that need to avoid it altogether).  Use by diabetics should be confined to the medical regime they need to use.

The CRA needs to be shamed for their false TV advertising, or maybe even sanctioned for it.  Call your TV station and complain about this advertising and demand an equal amout of PSA time to counter it.  You might also complain to the FTC.

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