One of the first articles we published when this site was first created was about High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and its connection to the rise of obesity and other diseases in America. This is a testament to how dangerous this product is. As people find out about the dangers of products like this, they start avoiding food containing that particular product. If the industry that makes these products were ethical or moral, they would stop putting the product in foods like the consumers want. Although, if they were ethical and moral, they would not put things in them that were dangerous in the first place.
However, we all know corporations only care about their bottom-line and creating the best return on investment for their shareholders. The reason why they started using HFCS in begin with was because the fructose was very sweet making it a great sweetener and the process was very cheap. So, instead of getting rid of the HFCS like consumers want, they try to do what every corporation does when they receive bad press…
They try to “Rebrand”.
Rebranding is a simple to understand plan. If a corporation is getting bad press as a whole or if one of their products are, individually, they attempt to change their company name or the individual product name. They do this in hopes of tricking consumers into not realizing they are a buying product from the company getting the bad press (I wrote about Monsanto trying to do this earlier in the summer) or in this case buying HFCS under a different name. Fortunately for consumers, the FDA actually did their job (for once), and in 2012, did not allow HFCS manufactures to change the product name to Corn Sugar.
Nonetheless, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), who put in the petition to change all HFCS to Corn Sugar, would not back away that easily. They were able to get HFCS-90 (a product that they claimed did not even exist until around 2013 despite later admitting its been approved by the FDA for decades) to now be labeled Fructose or Fructose Syrup. HFCS-90 is exactly what you would expect it to be– HFCS that is an astonishing 90% Fructose and 10% Glucose!
For those that don’t understand why this ratio of Fructose to Glucose is so astonishing, read the my previous article (I linked above) to find out health problems associated with changing the ration of 50/50 Fructose to Glucose, found in naturally occurring cane sugar, to the 60/40 ratio found in most HFCS. The 90/10 ratio would make this product Super High Fructose Corn Syrup and potentially a lot more dangerous than the already very harmful HFCS!
Here is what the CRA has to say:
“A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label [anymore], they will state ‘fructose’ or ‘fructose syrup’.”
General Mills’ Vanilla Chex was the first to take advantage of being able to claim their product was HFCS free by using HFCS-90 and calling it Fructose. This is blatant deception geared at tricking consumers who are trying to avoid normal HFCS. These people buying these products are thinking they are making the healthy choice by avoiding HFCS, when in reality they are buying the most potent form of HFCS! This deception is not isolated to the Chex brand of General Mills products, other brands have started utilizing the renaming of HFCS-90 to deceive consumers as well.
We have to make people aware of these deceptions. We must also start looking for this name on the label as well. Most importantly, we must work to get these harmful products out of our food supply, once and for all. I think the best way to do this is supporting organizations like Citizens for Health, who have started petitions for the FDA to force any food product with fructose, to identify the exact amount of fructose it contains. When more people realize this is happening and start signing petitions (if you haven’t signed the one I link, you really should do it now) we help in making HFCS a thing of the past. So, lets all start spreading the word about this deception!