Monday, October 12, 2009

King Corn takes on Big Sugar

Those groups so vigorously and valiantly defending High Fructose Corn Syrup with multi-million dollar advertisements are facing a treacherous and unforgiving foe:


A "newswire" press release from Richard Berman's Center for Consumer Freedom entitled "New Ad Campaign Pushes Back Against Big Sugar's Bogus Attacks on High Fructose Corn Syrup" describes the role played by Big Sugar in this public relations war.  According to Richard Berman, Big Sugar has "propagated" "blatant inaccuracies" about High Fructose Corn Syrup; they have "spoon-fed misinformation" to the public about HFCS.

Berman contends that Big Sugar is responsible for a "disingenuous and baseless attack within the food industry" unlike any he has seen in his 30 years in the business. He explains that "The sugar industry is relying on urban myths and marketing gimmicks to perpetuate this misinformation about high fructose corn syrup."  What misinformation? Well, although Big Sugar doesn't want the public to believe it, "leading nutrition experts are in universal agreement that the two products are nutritionally equivalent."

Wow!  Experts in universal agreement????  That's a first!  Prior to reading this "news story" I would never have believed it to be possible that leading experts were in universal agreement about anything!  I'd say that's something to celebrate.  Like world peace or something.

Ok, so (big surprise, i know) i researched Big Sugar.  The first thing I found was some pretty damning articles from Time Magazine; after perusing a few and not recognizing the names, i realized the articles were all over 50 years old.  Then i found a pretty ridiculous advertisement from the early 1970s promoting sugar consumption on the grounds that it is just a source of energy.  I found some more recent articles about tariffs and international trade agreements.  (Basically, domestically made sugar prices are inflated as a result of huge tariffs placed on imports of sugar from other countries; there are also apparently some domestic sugar companies who engage  in unsavory practices to keep the prices high.)  And I found references to the dark history of foreign sugar cartels.  But the closest thing I found to a lobbying group that would mirror the Corn Refiners Association, Center for Consumer Freedom, or American Beverage Insititute, was the Sugar Association.

Ok, so let's return to the ring, where the bloody fight is being waged between Big Sugar and King Corn.

What has the Sugar Association actually said about High Fructose Corn Syrup?  It's frankly sad that they resort to such name-calling, mud-slinging and unprofessional behavior. 

What about the Sugar Association's multimillion dollar television- and full-page newspaper- ad campaign attacking poor High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Um, well actually there are no commercials.

Why is the Corn Refiners Association and Center for Corn Freedom (oops....  CONSUMER not corn!) spending tens of millions of dollars to counter one press release?

Who is actually most actively promoting sugar at the expense of High Fructose Corn Syrup?


just kidding.  but seriously, the majority of the efforts the Corn Refiners Association and Center for Consumer Freedom are fighting are actually led by consumers, consumers who don't work for any lobbing group or otherwise stand to gain monetarily from their efforts.  Consumers who are willing to pay more for foods with shorter ingredient lists.  Consumers who, for whatever reason, prefer "table sugar" to "corn sugar," which is glucose enzymatically isomerized to fructose.


In the interest of impartiality, below is a link to Berman's latest newswire release in which he describes Big Sugar's "disingenuous and baseless" attack against poor High Fructose Corn Syrup:

"New Ad Campaign Pushes Back Against Big Sugar's Bogus Attacks on High Fructose Corn Syrup"


  1. It's almost funny.. the CCF claiming that Big
    Sugar is waging a war with the CRA. You hit the nail on the head when you said that the CRA is battling people like you (and me). It seems like Berman keeps stooping lower. Next the fight against HFCS will be considered anti-American!
    I preach the treachery of HFCS. The industrial sweetener is not the same as sucrose (table sugar). HFCS-55 is 55% fructose: 45% glucose. Mathematically that works out to be 55%:45%=
    55/45= 1.22. 22% more fructose than glucose in every can of Coke. And we've gotten fatter and sicker because of that sugar imbalance. It is patently dceceptive for the CRA to claim that HFCS is essentially the same as sugar. The CRA designed a fructose enriched sweetener and now they're back pedaling. I applaud every company that is taking the HFCS out. Kudos to Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, who recently took HFCS off their shelves. Keep up the good website. To your health.

  2. Thank you for the comment! It's so good to know there are active and informed consumers out there who are taking a proverbial stand. Keep on spreading the word!!!

  3. Change the US and regulate HFCS! Your support is appreciated! Sign the petition here!