Corn Syrup or Corn Sugar: Will You Swallow Name Change? (POLL)
(CBS/AP) Americans have grown so sour on high fructose corn syrup, so its makers want to sweeten its image with a new name:
The Corn Refiners Association applied Tuesday to the federal government for permission to use the name on food labels. The group says they hope a new name will ease confusion about the sweetener, which is used in soft drinks, bread, cereal and other products.
Americans' consumption of corn syrup has fallen to a 20-year low on consumer concerns that it is more harmful or more likely to cause obesity than ordinary sugar, perceptions for which there is little scientific evidence.Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same, and there's no evidence that the sweetener is any worse for the body than sugar, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The bottom line is people should consume less of all sugars, Jacobson said.
Some scientists have linked consumption of full-calorie soda - the vast majority of which is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup - to obesity.
The FDA could take two years to decide on the name, but that's not stopping the industry from using the term now in advertising.
There's a new online marketing campaign at www.cornsugar.com and on television. Two new commercials try to alleviate shopper confusion, showing people who say they now understand that "whether it's corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can't tell the difference. Sugar is sugar."
Renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low erucic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming "canola oil" in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming "dried plums" in 2000.
Will consumers swallow this time?
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