December 19/Washington/Medical Daily-- The Sugar Association said it sent a request to the Food and Drug Administration on December 19 to reject the Corn Refiners Association’s (CRA) petition to change the name "high-fructose corn syrup" (HFCS) to “corn sugar,” citing a recent study on human metabolism.

The Sugar Association, which represents major U.S. sugar companies, sent findings to the FDA suggesting “the proposed name change would mislead consumers.” The association says the report refutes the CRA claim of “no metabolic differences between HFCS and sugar.”

The statement was based on a study published on December 5, conducted by departments at both the University of Florida and the University of Colorado. The association said the study had shown “significant differences in human absorption and metabolism of HFCS compared with sugar.”

"The metabolism study confirms that the human body experiences significantly different acute metabolic effects from the consumption of HFCS when compared to sugar," said Andy Briscoe, president and CEO of the Sugar Association, according to the statement.

"This research builds on earlier animal studies suggesting that HFCS and sucrose can have different effects on body weight and obesigenic measures," Briscoe said.

The fight between the corn and sugar industries began last year, when CRA proposed a name change of high-fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar.”

The argument was that the new name “more accurately describes this sweetener and helps clarify food products labeling for manufacturers and consumers alike,” according to the CRA statement.

The Sugar Association argued the corn industry desperately wanted to fight the public perception that corn syrup causes obesity and, because of the bad associations HFCS had on obesity and other diseases, decided to change the name.

The Sugar Association said sales of HFCS have fallen and the corn industry has waged a “multi-million dollar campaign” to call HFCS “corn sugar” on websites and television ads.

In a statement, the Sugar Association said, “[m]any consumers read food labels to identify and avoid foods that contain HFCS and, as a result, sales of the sweetener have fallen.” The Sugar Association further noted the corn association “began a multi-million dollar campaign to promote HFCS as ‘corn sugar’ -- which is the name of an entirely different sweetener (dextrose) - on its websites and in TV advertisements.”

 From the December 20, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.