Josh Sosland: HFCS TV special highlights confusion around caloric sweeteners

by Josh Sosland
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Corn refiners breathed a sigh of relief this week after the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric ran a special segment about high-fructose corn syrup on Eye on Your Health. Titled, “Is high-fructose corn syrup really so bad?”, the story was prepared by CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller who described HFCS as “just sugar with an image problem.”

The lengthy and well researched news piece also quoted Michael F. Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest who told Ms. Miller, “The evilness of high-fructose corn syrup has become an urban myth.” The story noted that parents in San Francisco recently forced schools to stop serving chocolate milk sweetened with HFCS. They also identified many consumer packaged goods reformulating away from HFCS, citing “consumer trends.”

The Corn Refiners Association described the story as a “breakthrough news report.”

It’s understandable that the group is cheered by coverage in the mainstream media setting the facts straight about various caloric sweeteners. Still, when a network news story titled “Is high-fructose corn syrup really so bad?” is cause for celebration, you know you are digging out from a very deep hole.

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