Don't let Big Corn try and fool U.S. food and beverage manufacturers
In May of last year, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration rejected the 2010 petition from the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) the aim of which was to have the laboratory concoction called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) officially given the sweeter-sounding name “corn sugar.” Although the CRA had spent over $60 million to try and sell consumers on the idea that HFCS was a “natural” substance that was really just “sugar made from corn,” the message didn't fly with either consumers or the FDA. The majority of comments to the FDA were strongly worded objections to changing the name to “corn sugar” that demonstrated the power of a collective consumer voice.
You would think that would be the end of this attempted trickery. But the CRA, as it turns out, has a few more ploys to play.
The newest is a marketing campaign aimed at food and beverage manufacturers, grocery retailers and chain restaurants – the message being that “96% of consumers aren't avoiding HFCS.” The purpose of this campaign, led by the Corn Refiners Association, is to encourage the food industry to continue with, and even to ratchet up the use of HFCS in foods and beverages.
This latest Big Corn blitz is intended to convince the industry that we consumers don't check food labels, don't have any real interest in food ingredients, and seem to be as totally uninformed as the silly neighbor in the CRA's “Sweet Surprise” commercial who couldn't think of a reason why she didn't want her child drinking punch with HFCS in it.
But as the corn refiners know, that's disingenuous. Consumer awareness of food ingredients is actually at an all time high. More moms and dads than ever are attempting to keep HFCS out of their kids' diets (and aren't fooled by the CRA's patronizing commercials). They know HFCS isn't sugar (as the FDA itself has ruled), isn't natural and doesn't belong in our food!
Andrew Weil, M.D., one of the country's best known wellness authorities, recently said this about HFCS; “I will predict to you that high fructose corn syrup is going to turn out to be one of the very worst culprits in the diet...a direct driver of obesity in kids, one of the single worst things you can give to people that have this genetic constitution that predispose them to insulin resistance.”
Please sign my petition to tell H. J. Heinz Co., PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, General Mills, Nestle USA, J. M. Smucker, Unilever North America, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, and the Coca-Cola company that you don't want high fructose corn syrup in your food!
Please don't be hoodwinked by the latest scheme of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) to sell more HFCS. According to the CRA's new marketing campaign directed to major food manufacturers, “96% of consumers aren't avoiding HFCS.” This is NOT true. The Associated Press reports that use of HFCS has dropped 11 percent between 2003 and 2008. Currently, consumer awareness of food ingredients is at an all time high. More moms and dads than ever are attempting to keep HFCS out of their kids' diets. We know that HFCS isn't sugar (as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration itself has ruled), isn't natural and doesn't belong in our food!
For the CRA to provide this misleading information regarding consumer concerns to food manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurant chains is a tremendous disservice to the food industry as well as the public. As you know, no matter how much is spent to advertise, promote and develop your product, it is all to no avail if the consumer doesn't purchase it.
And as the Chicago Tribune recently reported, fructose levels in the HFCS added to food and beverages are not just 42 or 55 percent as the CRA tells the public, but can be as high as 90 percent, an amount of fructose not acknowledged to be “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, by the FDA.
Despite what your company is being told by the Corn Refiners Association, a large percentage of people are making a point of avoiding foods containing HFCS. Please don't let those with a financial interest in selling HFCS fool you with disingenuous claims. Listen to your customers and stop using HFCS in new products, reformulate those that do contain it, and don't let the CRA feed you misinformation about the very real concerns of consumers.
Thank you for your time.