Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Withdraws Support for “Corn Sugar Sham”
Send Your Comments to the FDA Today!
Washington, D.C. – Citizens for Health continues to monitor developments regarding the Corn Refiners Association’s petition to the FDA seeking to rename high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) “corn sugar” – a duplicitous effort to confuse consumers into believing this processed goop is healthier than it really is.
Thousands of CFH supporters and other concerned consumers already have sent messages opposing the petition to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA, as well as Congressional Representatives.
CFH has learned that on May 5, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon sent a letter to the FDA expressing the state’s unwillingness to support this “corn sugar sham”. Although Minnesota has no official position on the petition at this time it is significant to note that the Governor’s office initially favored the name change but, after further consideration, the country’s fourth highest producer of corn chose to withdraw its support.
The more one learns about HFCS and the Corn Refiners’ petition, the clearer it becomes that the name change would be a “sweet” deal for producers of this substance – but a “sour” one for consumers. Consumption of HFCS has been linked to diabetes, high cholesterol and triglycerides, heart disease and increased risk of osteoporosis, among other health concerns, and is widely recognized as a major factor in the epidemic of childhood obesity.
The Corn Refiners claim their petition is in the interest of “consumer clarity”. But, as consumers who work to stay informed about what we put on the dinner table and into our bodies, we have to ask: How can changing the name of a product consumers have become familiar with over nearly three decades actually lead to greater clarity?
The answer: it simply won’t. HFCS is in just about everything we eat, and changing a name consumers have come to recognize and watch out for will only make it more difficult to identify and avoid foods that have a negative impact on our health and the health of our families. It is also worth noting that HFCS is a cheaper means of sweetening foods and its use results in greater profits for producers of HFCS as well as those companies that use the goop to sweeten their products.
The momentum is growing behind opposition to the Corn Refiners’ petition. Add your voice to those against this sham and join with Citizens for Health, Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, and consumer groups such as the Organic Consumers Association, Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports magazine), the National Consumers League and the Consumer Federation of America – send your comments today using the link at the top of this post!
Please note that the website for posting comments, Regulations.gov, will undergo a maintenance outage and will be unavailable beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday June 11, 2011 until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday June 12, 2011 (times are EDT).
Sample Letter Opposing Changing the Name of HFCS to “Corn Sugar”:
As a concerned and educated consumer, I urge the FDA to reject changing the name “High Fructose Corn Syrup” (HFCS) to “Corn Sugar” and deny the September 14, 2010 petition request for this action, Docket FDA-2010-P-0491-0001/CP, for the following reasons:
–Renaming HFCS at this juncture would be confusing to American consumers. Introduced into our food supply in the 1970’s, HFCS now accounts for more than 40% of the caloric sweeteners added to our foods and beverages. After 4 decades we have become familiar with this ingredient and know how to look for it on product labels, and we should not be forced to learn new terminology in order to protect the Corn Refiners’ bottom line.
–HFCS has been used extensively in our food supply for about 40 years. In contrast, sugar has been used as a sweetener for more than 1,500 years. We may still be unaware of the true health impacts of HFCS consumption.
–Several research studies have linked HFCS consumption to diseases of the liver and kidneys, as well as diabetes, and the name should remain consistent so that we can make informed decisions about what we put into our bodies.
I am an informed consumer and am not confused about the origin and properties of HFCS. All Americans deserve truthful, non-misleading health information and should not be misled into purchasing or consuming HFCS under the new name “corn sugar”. Please join with me, Consumers Union, the National Consumers League and the Consumer Federation of America, and oppose this petition.
Thank you, and I look forward to your response.