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What's up with those High-Fructose Corn Syrup Ads?

September 24, 2008

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Two recent television commercials sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association claim that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is fine in moderation. They argue that it has no artificial ingredients and has the same calories as sugar and honey.

Yes, it is initially made from corn, but then it’s processed so the cornstarch is broken down into glucose. HFCS is found in most processed foods and contains 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. Many people believe that since it contains fructose, which is naturally found in honey, fruits and vegetables, then it cannot be that bad for you. Think about where HFCS is found: soda, Wonderbread, Cool Whip and other processed junk food. Do you associate health with these products? Several studies have linked the consumption of processed foods to the increasing rates of diabetes and obesity in America.

The Corn Refiners Association has spent $30 million on this ad campaign to boost the reputation of HFCS.

Watch out for public service-type commercials funded by the same companies who profit from the products they are promoting. It’s only natural for consumers to be confused by these statements. Be a media detective and pay attention to who is sponsoring commercials and advertisements. Of course the Corn Refiners Association wants you to believe that high-fructose corn syrup is good for you!

What was your reaction to the ads?