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What is ‘Natural Sugar’? Could it be HFCS?

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I’m getting really irritated by food labelling these days. It’s getting harder and harder to figure out what is in the products I want to buy.

I picked up a bottle of ‘Simply Lemonade’ at the store and looked at the list of ingredients last week. One of the ingredients listed was ‘natural sugar’. That tells me nothing.

According to the FDA, “It cannot be said that high-fructose corn syrup is not natural.” They did this in response to the Corn Refiners Association petitioning them to allow high-fructose corn syrup to be determined ‘natural’ by the FDA.

Now, the FDA did not come out with a determination on whether HFCS is natural or not. They simply made that aggravating statement. That statement means that products can have a label of “all natural” on them, even if they contain HFCS.

So when I look at a food label and see the ingredient “natural sugar” – I have to put it back and not purchase it. I don’t appreciate being played with like that when it comes to something I’m putting into my body.

Tell it like it is – Or I’m going to put your product down and buy something else from a manufacturer that can be straight with their customers!

Your High-Fructose Corn Syrup Blogger

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  1. I’ve got to agree! This has been driving me crazy for a long time! I’m very annoyed when I see “natural flavors” and even something like “vanilla flavor”… If it’s pure vanilla (or whatever), why doesn’t it just say “vanilla”???

    And how about seeing “spices” on an ingredient list – well, WHAT spices? Consumers have the right to know what they’re consuming! Which is why I believe “secret recipes” are a bad idea… everyone has the right to know EXACTLY what they’re ingesting.

    Has anyone ever concluded what the deal is with Jarritos? I’m searching for a lemon-lie soda without HFCS that does not come in aluminum/BPA cans (as in Blue Sky), but rather in glass bottles. (We never drink soda, actually, but need this because we must make a party punch.)

  2. I believe Jarritos uses “natural granulated sugar” but can’t find any info on whether that means sugar beets or cane sugar. If it’s sugar beets it would most likely be GMO, if it’s cane sugar then it’s Non-GMO. Hopefully the company will respond to my inquiry on Facebook or Twitter.

  3. Paul R. Potts says:

    A couple of nights ago I got my son a bottle of Jarritos soda at a local (Michigan) Mexican restaurant and noticed that instead of indicating it had cane sugar or beet sugar in it, the label now listed “Natural Sugar” on the front, in the ingredients list, and in a small circular logo on the back. I have no idea what this means as far as product labeling regulations but I am immediately suspicious that from a regulatory perspective, “Natural Sugar” has no meaning and might legally include just about anything, including high-fructose corn syrup. I’m not pleased about this. It isn’t like we frequently drink soda; it is a very occasional treat. But I won’t buy this product again while it has such obfuscated labeling.

    • Curt Chelin says:

      And, beware of “natural flavoring” as well. It can include MSG and other chemical concoctions.

  4. I also read every ingredient on every label and will not purchase or consume any item that has “HFCS” in it. And they should NOT be able to change their name for our food labels, they just need to STOP using “HFCS” all together.

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