American Medical Association says our bodies process corn sugar the same way as sugar from beets and sugar cane. The only real difference is which plant the sugars come from. "High-fructose corn syrup" sounds industrial. And it's true: Corn is processed in factories to produce corn sugar. But so are beets and sugar cane.
This has been a point of contention lately. Starbucks and other companies have started replacing high-fructose corn sugar with other sugars. The resulting products are usually called "natural."
If it isn't clear by now, we're all being hoodwinked. Sweetener swaps aren't making anything we eat or drink more natural or better for us. Those things won't change if high-fructose corn syrup becomes "corn sugar," but at least one line of our food ingredient labels will suddenly become meaningful. And it has the benefit of telling consumers that, yes, there's sugar in what they're buying.
This name change isn't a name game. It's something consumers, and the FDA, should support.
David Martosko is the director of research at the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies and consumers to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.