The Corn Refiners Association has noticed that "corn syrup" is becoming kind of a dirty word. They could improve the product, perhaps, but that would be hard, so they decided to just rename it "corn sugar." But the FDA, which is in charge of things like what counts as "sugar," is having none of it.
So far, the FDA hasn't yet ruled on whether HFCS can be called "sugar," but in the meantime the corn refiners decided to just go ahead and do it because it sounded good. They've been comparing corn syrup to sugar in all their ads, despite the fact that the FDA is still checking out their claims that the two are sufficiently similar. The FDA asked them to quit it, but they said "nyahhhhh."
In a July 12 letter obtained by the AP, Barbara Schneeman, an FDA director, wrote to the Corn Refiners Association to say she was concerned with the trade group using the terms high fructose corn syrup and "corn sugar" interchangeably.
"We request that you re-examine your websites and modify statements that use the term `corn sugar' as a synonym for (high fructose corn syrup)," Schneeman wrote.
As of Thursday, two months after the letter was sent, none of that wording had been changed.
Not only is this potentially misleading, but there already is a thing called corn sugar. So this name change is unlikely to get approved — the FDA doesn't even want to let them drop the "high fructose" and just be known as "corn syrup." But that hasn't stopped the Corn Refiners Association, which is clearly pretty convinced that a rose by any other name won't f*cking kill you.