Friday, April 18, 2008

FDA: HFCS is Not "Natural"

"A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official sent the corn refiners lobby into a tizzy today, by stating that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), whatever merits or demerits it may have, should not be marketed as ‘natural,’” wrote Parke Wilde at U.S. Food Policy.

Lorraine Heller at FoodNavigator-USA.com reports that she wrote FDA to ask whether high-fructose corn syrup could be labeled "natural." Geraldine June at the FDA responded:

"The use of synthetic fixing agents in the enzyme preparation, which is then used to produce HFCS, would not be consistent with our (…) policy regarding the use of the term 'natural'.
"Moreover, the corn starch hydrolysate, which is the substrate used in the production of HFCS, may be obtained through the use of safe and suitable acids or enzymes. Depending on the type of acid(s) used to obtain the corn starch hydrolysate, this substrate itself may not fit within the description of 'natural' and, therefore, HCFS produced from such corn starch hydrolysate would not qualify for a 'natural' labeling term."

The corn refiners association released a press statement:
A comment today by a single Food & Drug Administration employee regarding whether High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is “natural” was mistakenly portrayed by an online news outlet as the official position of the agency, but actually reflects only the personal view of that one employee who was responding to a reporter’s question.
Last year, under pressure from possible consumer group lawsuits, Cadbury Schweppes agreed not to use the term "all natural" in advertising 7-UP, a carbonated beverage made with HFCS.

1 comment:

Neal Fortin said...

For more on "natural" labeling, see "Naturally Confused" at http://www.foodproductdesign.com/hotnews/naturally-confused.html.