Remember those 2008 TV ads that tried to make high fructose corn syrup sound, well, less bad for you? Though instrumental in inspiring hilarious spoofs, those ads don’t seem to have worked on the public — because the corn industry is now trying to rebrand the much-hated sweetener as “corn sugar.”

This latest marketing effort by the Corn Refiners Association already has a website — cornsugar.com — to champion its cause. Getting the FDA’s permission to call corn syrup “corn sugar” would benefit you, according to the website, because the new name “enables consumers to easily identify added sugars in the diet.”

Of course, I’m among the skeptical eco-minded health-conscious foodies who suspect the effort at rebranding will confuse the consumer, not educate them. As Siobhan O’Connor points out at GOOD:

One would guess that [the name change] has more to do with the fact that HFCS has been fingered as obesity’s public enermy number one, the overconsumption of which has been linked to countless chronic health problems.
Tom Laskawy provides a rundown of those problems at Grist:
HFCS sales are at a 20-year low. More and more, science is indicating that the body metabolizes HFCS differently from table sugar in a way that increases the risk of diabetes, liver disease, and obesity.
And we also can’t forget that some high fructose corn syrup is laced with mercury.

It could be up to two years before the FDA makes a decision on the Corn Refiners Association’s request, but it won’t be long before you start spotting the industry group’s rebranding marketing efforts. “On Sunday night I saw a TV ad for the stuff that featured sweeping shots of nature,” writes Siobhan. Have you seen this latest ad yourself?

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