Prepared Foods August 9, 2004 enewsletter

There is no credible scientific evidence to conclude that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a unique contributor to obesity, according to a new report released by the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy at Virginia Tech-National Capital Region.

The findings are the result of the Ceres Workshop, "The Highs and Lows of High Fructose Corn Syrup," co-sponsored by the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, University of Maryland, and which included experts on nutritive sweeteners, carbohydrate chemistry and human metabolism.

The scientific roundtable examined several aspects of HFCS, including the composition and manufacturing of the sweetener, a review of the scientific literature, and an examination and discussion of questions about consumption patterns and possible health outcomes.

"Commentaries that suggest HFCS is a unique contributor to obesity are doing a disservice, especially from a public policy perspective. There are already too few resources available to address the (obesity) issue, and we cannot afford to divert public policy attention toward agenda-driven theories that are unsound scientifically," said Maureen Storey, PhD, Virginia Tech, director of the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy.