Photo: ParlHigh-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the sweetener everyone now loves to hate, is getting a makeover, as Tom Laskawy wrote last week. The National Corn Refiners Association has announced it’s changing the name of the industrially manufactured sweetener to the more natural-sounding “corn sugar.”
“Of course they want this change. HFCS is the new trans fat. Everyone thinks HFCS is poison,” writes nutritionist Marion Nestle on her blog. She goes on to say that she doesn’t think the sweetener is any more unhealthy than refined white sugar (although some scientists do disagree on this point).
Alas, as one of Nestle’s readers pointed out, the name “corn sugar” is already an FDA-regulated term, for d-glucose or dextrose. Oops! The Corn Refiners have petitioned the FDA to let the term apply to both forms of corn-derived sweetener, but as they’re different chemically, they might be out of luck.
The name change may also be too late to change public perception: FoodNavigator reports that sales of HFCS at Archer Daniels Midland, Tate and Lyle, and Corn Products International declined about 9 percent between 2007 and 2009.
We’d hate to see a great product like HFCS get retired. Our entire cheap food system could crumble! Stevia‘s not ready for prime time!
So, dear readers, want to help the Corn Refiners out?
Grist’s Facebook fans had already begun sharing their suggestions of suitable new names when The New York Times‘ Well blog enlisted some experts to come up with substitutes. Michael Pollan offered “Enzymatically Altered Corn Glucose”; Nestle came up with “Corn Glucose and Fructose Syrup.”
Yawn. Grist readers’ suggestions are so much more creative. Here are some of our favorites from the Facebook page:
HFCS: Highly Funded Crappy Science — Tracey Sturgal
Diabetes Syrup or maybe Fat Juice or Lard-ass Sweetener — Wyatt Lawrence
Liver-Destroying Diabetes-Inducing Corporate Subsidy Syrup (LDDICSS?) And then make the producers drink it straight up. — J P Green House
A chemical derivative of the vegetable formerly known as corn. Or simply as the symbol, -$ — Dori Pitzner
Corporate Welfare — Sherrie Hall
C.R.A.P. Consistently Ruins American People. (Well, it ruins every kind of people; I just needed something to fit with the “A”.) — Erin Hare
Got any more?