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Corn Refiners Association Launches Web Site to Inform Us All About Sweeteners

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From the “Web Sites as Propaganda Machines” file, I am flabbergasted to bring news that the Corn Refiners Association has launched a web site called “sweet smarts” so they can inform all of us ignorant folks out in the webosphere about how different sweeteners stack up against each other.  (i.e. try to convince us that 4 calories worth of high fructose corn syrup is no worse for you than 4 calories worth of honey or sugar.)

They have a cute little quiz that I took.  I deliberately got all of the answers wrong so they could preach at me, and tell me how great hfcs is.

They presented two very arguable (in my opinion) points as factual.  First, they referred to research which came to the conclusion that sweetening beverages with HFCS does not have any different affect on hunger and satiety than regular sugar.  I’m guessing they were referring to one such study that I posted about last July, whose findings were highly dubious, as I opined at length.

The other was that high-fructose corn syrup is considered natural based on the FDA’s definition of natural.  Careful with that one, now – they did NOT say that the FDA had described HFCS as being natural.  They said HFCS is considered to be natural according to the FDA’s definition of the term ‘natural.’   Those are two very different things.  Considered natural by who???  One can only surmise….

The Center For Science In the Public Interest initiated a lawsuit against Cadbury-Schweppes for labeling 7-Up as “All Natural.”  The crux of the lawsuit was that 7-Up contains  HFCS and therefore can not be labelled as “all natural.”  As a result, Cadbury-Schweppes dropped the “all natural” claim and CPSI dropped their lawsuit.  As a bonus, Cadbury-Schweppes also dropped the “natural” claim from Snapple labels as well, but a lawyer still filed suit against the company last summer, attempting to get class action status.

The CPSI’s claim that HFCS is not natural is explained in this quote, “…in to contrast to table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup is made through a complex chemical industrial process in which corn starch molecules are enzymatically reassembled into glucose and fructose molecules.”  (SOURCE:  The Center For Science In The Public Interest)

I took a look at the “Terms of Use” section of the Sweet Smarts web site, and it was so long and heavy with legal disclaimers, my jaw hit the floor.  I was ready for some legalese, of course, but this read like a cell-phone contract.  I was really shocked that it didn’t have an arbitration clause in it!

They also seemed to be pushing a sweetener I’d never heard of called “neotame.”  I guess that is the next big thing we’ll be hearing about.  I wonder whether the Corn Refiners Association is connected to it at all.

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