The Food & Drug Administration on Wednesday decided that high-fructose corn syrup by any other name is still a liquid solution of fructose and glucose, and not what it considers to be sugar. Many companies such as Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Hershey (NYSE:HSY) use HFCS in some of their products.
The verdict is a disappointment for the Corn Refiners Association, which had hoped changing the sweetener’s name to “corn sugar” would lessen the ugly baggage stuck to the gooey syrup’s reputation. By FDA standards highlighted in its decision, sugar is a “solid, dried and crystallized food” and syrup is a “aqueous solution or liquid food.”
The Sugar Association, on the other hand, is pleased by the verdict. The Sugar Association brought a lawsuit against the Corn Refiners Association over a separate marketing campaign claiming high-fructose corn syrup is a form of sugar.
“The FDA’s ruling represents a victory for American consumers,” Dan Callister, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the ongoing litigation said in a press release. “It reaffirms what most consumer advocates, health experts and policy officials have been saying all along: only sugar is sugar. HFCS is not sugar. The next step is for the federal court to end the CRA’s misleading propaganda campaign.”
In a statement on its website about the decision, The Corn Refiners Association firmly stands by its assertion that there is “overwhelming scientific evidence that high-fructose corn syrup is a form of sugar and is nutritionally the same as other sugars.”