Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Savvy shoppers know to scour nutrition labels. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Labels are already pretty tricky to decipher— it’s difficult to make sense of ingredients like xanthan gum, datem, and disodium phosphate. Nutrition information could have gotten even more confusing, thanks to a suggestion from the Corn Refiners Association.
In 2010, the CRA petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to change the term “high fructose corn syrup” to “corn sugar” on nutritional labels. Yesterday, the FDA denied the request, suggesting that the name change would have inaccurately portrayed the ingredient as “natural.” The sweetener is widely used in snack foods, condiments, and other pantry staples. (And sugar is in more foods than you might think.)
In order to make thoughtful decisions about what to feed their families, shoppers need to be able to understand the ingredients, and recognize those that they want to avoid. Here’s hoping that keeping the term “high fructose corn syrup” will empower consumers to shop smart.