High Fructose Corn Syrup Cures Blindness

Okay, this press release from the Corn Refiners’ Association doesn’t go so far as to claim that high fructose corn syrup cures blindness, but it comes damn close. Nevertheless, as an example of PR spin and wilful statistical abuse in support of a cause — the greater glory of high fructose corn syrup — it is an exemplar of its kind.

I’m particularly fond of this section, but there are plenty of others to choose among:

Myth: High fructose corn syrup is solely to blame for obesity and diabetes.

Reality: There is no scientific evidence to suggest that high fructose corn syrup is uniquely responsible for people becoming obese. As noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996, “the saccharide composition (glucose to fructose ratio) of HFCS is approximately the same as that of honey, invert sugar and the disaccharide sucrose (or table sugar).” Obesity results from an imbalance of calories consumed and calories burned. U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that per capita consumption of high fructose corn syrup is actually on the decline, yet obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise. In fact, obesity rates are rising around the world, including in Mexico, Australia and Europe, even though the use of high fructose corn syrup outside of the United States is limited.


  1. I don’t expect HFCS to cure blindness and straighten a curved spine, but the hazards of HFCS are greatly exaggerated, as described in this rather wordy article from May of this year: