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CRA Responds to Citizens for Health’s False Claims about HFCS

Corn Refiners Association Responds to Citizens for Health’s False Claims about High Fructose Corn Syrup

June 4, 2014

CONTACT: David Knowles
(202) 534-3494

WASHINGTON, DC – Contrary to claims by sugar industry front group Citizens for Health (CFH), very few food and beverage companies are removing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from their products. Recent research from Mintel Research Consultancy and GNPD shows that fewer than 3% of new products were introduced as “HFCS-free” between 2002 and 2013. In fact, CFH fails to point out that several brands, such as Hunt’s Ketchup, have switched from sugar back to HFCS after finding that consumers are concerned about total sugar intake, not any one particular type.

This reflects other recent findings from Mintel showing that nearly 80 percent of consumers are concerned about total sugars, whereas only 3 percent of consumers name HFCS as an ingredient they avoid.

It is not surprising that CFH conspicuously omitted the fact that reformulations and “HFCS-free” marketing have not paid off for food and beverage companies. Nielsen data shows that regardless of marketing strategy, brands that switch to “HFCS-free” formulations have continually seen flat or falling sales.

There is widespread agreement in the scientific, medical, and regulatory communities that HFCS is nutritionally and metabolically equivalent to sugar—as affirmed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Medical Association. HFCS is similar in composition to sugar and has the same number of calories.

Citizens for Health exists for the purpose of disparaging high fructose corn syrup. With funding from the sugar industry, they have for years promoted false science and leveled reckless and untrue allegations against other sweeteners. This is just the latest example of their efforts to boost sugar industry profits by harming a competitor.


The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein and fiber.

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