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FDA denies application to call syrup ‘corn sugar’

NEW YORK – High-fructose corn syrup won’t get a wholesome new name after all. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday rejected the Corn Refiners Association’s bid to rename its sweetening agent “corn sugar.”

Given the sweetener’s bad reputation in recent years, the association submitted an application to the agency in 2010 to have the product renamed on nutrition labels.

But the FDA said that it defines sugar as a solid, dried and crystallized food – not a syrup.

Separately, the association has also been running a marketing campaign to explain that its syrup is actually a form of sugar and has the same nutritional value as familiar white, granular table sugar.

That in turn prompted a lawsuit in which the Sugar Association last year claimed the campaign is misleading. Dan Callister, a lawyer for the Sugar Association, said the FDA’s decision confirms that sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are two distinct products.

The Corn Refiners Association issued a statement Wednesday noting that the FDA denied its petition on “narrow, technical” grounds and it stood by its claim that “the vast majority of American consumers are confused about HFCS.”


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