Sugar Association Commends FDA Commitment to Consumer Right to Know; Regulators Affirm Changing HFCS Name Would Confuse Public

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON (May 30, 2012) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today denied a Corn Refiners Association (CRA) petition to rename high-fructose corn syrup “corn sugar,” saying the action would only serve to confuse U.S. consumers and could even pose a health risk to those suffering from fructose intolerance.

The FDA ruling, issued in a letter to Corn Refiners Association President Audrae Erickson following 20 months of review, rejected all three arguments made in the CRA’s petition, which was filed on September 14, 2010. The CRA had asked the FDA to implement a name change after launching a multi-million dollar advertising and marketing campaign that argued that sugar and HFCS were identical.

Those actions set off more than a year of litigation initiated by U.S. sugar farmers and refiners, who are trying to stop the CRA’s campaign. That lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

“The FDA’s ruling represents a victory for American consumers,” said Dan Callister, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the ongoing litigation. “It reaffirms what most consumer advocates, health experts and policy officials have been saying all along: only sugar is sugar. HFCS is not sugar. The next step is for the federal court to end the CRA’s misleading propaganda campaign.”

According to the FDA letter announcing its denial of the petition, “the use of the term ‘sugar’ to describe HFCS, a product that is a syrup, would not accurately identify or describe the basic nature of the food or its characterizing properties.”

Second, the FDA stated, “We are not persuaded by the arguments in the petition that consumers do not associate ‘corn sugar’ with dextrose. The term ‘corn sugar’ has been used to describe dextrose for over 30 years.”

The FDA decision went on to say that granting the CRA petition could endanger consumer health. “Corn sugar has been known to be an allowed ingredient for individuals with hereditary fructose intolerance or fructose malabsorption, who have been advised to avoid ingredients that contain fructose,” Michael M. Landa, Director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in the letter to Erickson. “Because such individuals have associated ‘corn sugar’ to be an acceptable ingredient to their health when ‘high-fructose corn syrup’ is not, changing the name for HFCS to ‘corn sugar’ could put these individuals at risk and pose a public health concern.”

Contacts:
Lee Betancourt; (202) 973-5323; lbetancourt@levick.com
Eric Rose; (805) 624-0572; eric@englanderpr.com

More Press Releases

the sugar association

It’s Official: FDA Recognizes Nothing is Added to Real Sugar

June 18, 2019

June 18, 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s issuance of its final guidance regarding the labeling of added sugars for single-ingredient sweeteners, Dr. Courtney Gaine, President and CEO of the Sugar Association, issued the following statement: “It is a relief for the sugar industry to finally have a […]

the sugar association

Sugar Association Celebrates More Than 75 Years of Telling Real Sugar’s Farm-to-Table Story

June 12, 2019

June 12, 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Sugar Association is marking more than 75 years as the scientific voice of the United States sugar industry. Founded by beet and cane sugar growers and refiners during World War II in 1943, the group was dedicated to the scientific study of sugar’s role in food and the […]

the sugar association

Sugar Association Proud to be a Sponsor of Ag Day 2019

March 11, 2019

March 11, 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representing sugar beet and cane growers, processors and refiners throughout the United States, the Sugar Association is proud to support The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) as it hosts National Agriculture Day on March 14, 2019. This will mark the 46th anniversary of National Ag Day which is celebrated […]

More Press Releases

Stay in Touch

Sign Up