The Sugar Association, citing recent consumer research and a new study on human metabolism, advised the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reject a pending request to change the name of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

In 15 pages of comments submitted to the FDA, the Sugar Association confirmed that the proposed name change would mislead consumers. The comments included findings from a recent in-depth survey by consumer research expert Dr. Joel B. Cohen, who previously has been commissioned to conduct consumer research for the Federal Trade Commission and professional organizations including the National Cancer Institute. The HFCS survey results and associated comments were added to the public record in response to the Corn Refiners Association's September 2010 FDA petition seeking to replace the name of HFCS.

Many consumers read food labels to identify and avoid foods that contain HFCS and, as a result, sales of the sweetener have fallen. In response, the CRA 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. CRA also petitioned the FDA to remove the "corn sugar" name from the real corn sugar product and transfer it to HFCS. This would enable food companies to remove the "high-fructose corn syrup" name from their ingredient labels and refer instead to "corn sugar."

The comments also refute the CRA claim that there are no metabolic differences between HFCS and sugar. They reference a groundbreaking study, jointly conducted by several scientific departments at both the University of Florida and the University of Colorado, Denver, and published on December 5, 2011 by the scientific journal Metabolism, which shows 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. "This research builds on earlier animal studies suggesting that HFCS and sucrose can have different effects on body weight and obesigenic measures. The FDA should accordingly reject the proposed name change in the best interest of consumers' health and their right to know."