"High fructose corn syrup" wants to change its name--and reputation.

The Corn Refiners Association thinks that "high fructose corn syrup" is a tainted phrase, and is seeking FDA clearance to change the name to ""corn sugar."

The addition of high fructose corn syrup into the American diet starting back in the 1970's is often blamed as a primary driver of much of the country's obesity problem.

So is the industry association which includes food giants like Archer-Daniels-Midland and Cargill asking for a name change to trick consumers into thinking they're avoiding the diet-damaging ingredient with the name change? No, they say they want the change so consumers associate their product with a "natural" ingredient.

From The Wall Street Journal:

"We hope to erase consumer confusion," said Audrae Erickson, president of the Washington, D.C., trade group, which has been waging a two-year campaign to dispel the growing perception among some consumers that the corn industry's sweetener isn't as natural as sugar.

You may have seen the trade group's advertising campaign trying to sway public opinion, and attempting to convince food manufacturers--from Starbucks to Kraft Foods not to remove high fructose corn syrup from its list of ingredients and replace it with "real sugar."

The WSJ also reports that per-capita consumption of all caloric sweeteners has dropped about 12% over the past decade as diet-conscious consumers shifted to bottled water or products containing artificial sweeteners. But consumption of corn-derived sweeteners sank at a much faster rate—20%—than did refined sugar, which dropped 3%.

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