Farm Progress

Petition asks for option to label corn sugar as alternative to high fructose corn syrupNutritionally equivalent to sucroseRemoving consumer confusion

January 13, 2011

2 Min Read

The Corn Producers Association of Texas and the Texas Corn Producers Board are two of many organizations supporting the Corn Refiners Association’s petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asking that manufacturers have the option of using “corn sugar” as an alternate name for high fructose corn syrup on product labels.

This name more accurately reflects the composition of the substance, as the current name implies there is actually a high amount of fructose in comparison to other sugars, which is not the case.

A December 2008 report by the American Dietetic Association indicated “High fructose corn syrup… is nutritionally equivalent to sucrose. Both sweeteners contain the same number of calories (4 per gram) and consist of about equal parts of fructose and glucose. Once absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

This petition asks the FDA to allow manufacturers to use “corn sugar” as an alternate ingredient name for high fructose corn syrup on product labels. The current name has created some confusion among consumers.  Corn producers supporting this petition hope to clear up any inaccuracies or “myths” about high fructose corn syrup and help consumers base their purchase decisions on science-based facts.

In a July 2006 New York Times article, Chairman of the Nutrition Department at Harvard School of Public Health Walter Willett said links between high fructose corn syrup and obesity are unfounded.

“There’s no substantial evidence to support the idea that high fructose corn syrup is somehow responsible for obesity,” Willett explained. “If there was no high fructose corn syrup, I don’t think we would see a change in anything important. I think there’s this overreaction.”

According to the Corn Refiners Association, the current name high fructose corn syrup was selected by the corn refining industry to designate that this ingredient is higher in fructose than regular corn syrup. FDA codified the name high fructose syrup when it, in 1983 and 1996, affirmed by regulation that high fructose corn syrup is GRAS (generally recognized as safe).

The petition process could take two years to complete, but can be traced on the website. Any comments to the petition will also be posted to this site.

For additional up-to-date information on the petition or the initiative for consumer awareness, visit the Corn Refiners Association website at Information regarding CPAT involvement in the initiative will be posted to

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