A lawsuit brought by a collective of American sugar farming conglomerates against the "corn sugar" wording found in high-fructose corn syrup communications further elevated the awareness that corn syrup is not a sugar-based product, the Associated Press reported
in late April.
However, the corn industry claimed the campaign was issued for educational purposes.
"Sugar is sugar. High-fructose corn syrup and sugar are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent; experts have supported this claim," Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, said, according to the Associated Press. "The name 'corn sugar' more accurately describes this sweetener and helps clarify food products labeling for manufacturers and consumers alike."
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" picked up the "corn sugar" discussion in a mock commercial that aired last night, but while the debate has centered on the question of how food is labeled and advertised, both sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are considered to be very unhealthy additions to one's diet.
Sugar has been linked to so many ailments, including the three major health maladies of cancer, obesity, and diabetes, that it is increasingly being considered an outright toxin. According to a report
in The Vancouver Sun
on Friday, sugar has been openly associated with "poison."
"High fructose corn syrup and sucrose are exactly the same. They're both equally bad," Dr. Robert Lustig said in a lecture that was carried broadly across the Internet.
Dr. Mark Hyman, writing for the Huffington Post
on Friday, listed five reasons
why high-fructose corn syrup is considered deadly, amplifying the health implications of the issue.
"The current media debate about the benefits (or lack of harm) of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in our diet misses the obvious," Hyman wrote. "The average American increased their consumption of HFCS (mostly from sugar sweetened drinks and processed food) from zero to over 60 pounds per person per year. During that time period, obesity rates have more than tripled and diabetes incidence has increased more than seven fold. Not perhaps the only cause, but a fact that cannot be ignored."