High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) False Advertising Case

Since 1980 it has been advertised as “real sugar” and millions of Americans have switched from the real sugar to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) due to the false advertising of the corn syrup industry.

Most people think of fructose as a natural fruit sugar.  After all, it is found in fruits, but the amount of fructose is relatively small and fruit has many other beneficial nutrients on its own.  The fructose found in processed food is a different case altogether.  Food makers have replaced sucrose with high fructose corn syrup (“HFCS”) to sweeten foods and beverages. The average consumption of HFCS has more than tripled since the early 1980s (from about 19 pounds to 60 pounds per person per year).  HFCS comes from corn.  Because fructose in HFCS is part man-made as opposed to natural sugars found in fruit, the body metabolizes it very differently than sugar.

In a 2008 study in the Journal of Nutrition it was reported that increased consumption of fructose doubled a persons ability to make fat.  Fructose leads to higher levels of triglycerides (risk factor for heart disease).  Fructose may also alter appetite, increasing hunger and cravings for sweet foods.  Some researchers argued the consumption of fructose by children may program developing brains with intense desire for sweets, leading to lifelong over-consumption of sweets, diabetes, etc.

TIP:  Don’t give HFCS food and beverages to children.

The most responsible resolution is to have the appropriate information disseminated to the consumers.  Let the consumer decide what they choose to purchase. But to sell HFCS as something that it is not, is immoral.

This country has a lackadaisical history of policing false advertising.   False advertising or deceptive advertising is the use of false or misleading statements in advertising.  Truth in advertising refers to consumer’s having the right to know what they are buying and that all necessary information should be clearly written on the label.  False advertising is illegal in most countries.

We believe consumers have a right to know what the truth is regarding the products they consume.  There should definitely be consequences for these companies deliberately deceiving consumers.   Government agencies need to apply consistent guidelines and send strong messages to manufacturer’s that are bending rules to their benefit, strictly to increase their profits.

Is the fight between the Sugar Association and the Corn Refiners Association over advertising HFCS as a natural sugar a valid argument?  What is your opinion?

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