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One of the most emailed stories from the New York Times Sunday was about corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup has become something of a nutritional demon over the last several years, as consumers plead with manufacturers to replace HFCS with plain old sugar. Hunt’s is now shipping ketchup that brags on the label, “No high fructose corn syrup.” Most scientists have concluded that HFCS is not nutritionally different from sugar, according to reporter Melanie Warner. Both will make you gain weight if you consume enough.
But no matter. Consumers have become convinced that HFCS is bad — and sugar is “natural” — and so they aren’t buying. Sales of HFCS were down 9 percent in 2009 from 2007 in the U.S. Warner tells how the Corn Refiners Association has begun a campaign to try to give back HFCS’ good name. They’ve spent $30 million in the last two years. Sales are still down. And people are buying a more “natural” Mountain Dew with sugar.
Meanwhile, manufacturers have found a place to sell their HFCS — Mexico. They are replacing sugar in Mexican sodas with HFCS. Consumption of HFCS south of the U.S. border is expected to be up 50 percent.