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Inconclusive Fructose Study

Inconclusive Fructose Study Author Admits Conflict of Interest

January 26, 2012

CONTACT: David Knowles
(202) 331-1634

WASHINGTON – A study published in the journal Metabolism, which attempts to evaluate the effect of high fructose corn syrup versus sucrose (sugar), is in fact not a comparison and should not be used to base any conclusions about sugar metabolism. The authors of the study conceded the study had “several limitations,” and were unable to draw meaningful conclusions based on their data.

In addition, one of the authors, Dr. Richard Johnson, disclosed a conflict of interest in the study, stating that he has a patent application for inhibiting fructose as a potential way of treating various metabolic conditions.

According to Audrae Erickson, President of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), “This study does not compare high fructose corn syrup to sugar made from cane and beets, and it did not use real-life diets as a model. In fact, the authors noted that the sugar, or sucrose, had ‘broken down’ into the very same sugar compounds contained in HFCS. The study is also inconsistent with the great weight of scientific authority showing the nutritional and metabolic equivalence of HFCS and sucrose.”

A leading expert on metabolism and sweeteners agrees that there are significant flaws in the research methodology.

“This was not a comparison of HFCS and sucrose as the authors claim in the title and abstract, but rather a comparison of HFCS and an inconsistent product that at the end contained almost no sucrose,” according to cardiologist James M. Rippe, M.D., founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute and professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Central Florida. “Results of this study cannot be used to form conclusions about the similarities or differences between HFCS and sucrose.”


The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) 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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