Credo Action

Tell General Mills: Stop hiding high fructose corn syrup

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Petition text to General Mills:

Immediately stop labeling products containing HFCS-90 – which is concentrated high fructose corn syrup — as containing "no high fructose corn syrup."

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    Tell General Mills: Stop hiding high fructose corn syrup

    Update: General Mills has replied to CREDO via twitter that the “fructose” contained in Chex products do not contain “HFCS-90, or any form of high fructose corn syrup.” However, upon further contact with the company, General Mills declined to offer any additional substantiation or information regarding the source of fructose in Chex. The Corn Refiners Association has announced that it is now labeling forms of high fructose corn syrup simply as "fructose." The only details General Mills will supply is that their fructose is "not synthetic." General Mills should provide consumers with the source of its fructose.

    General Mills’ Vanilla, Chocolate and Cinnamon Chex boxes all proudly display a label that should make many health-conscious consumers happy: “no high fructose corn syrup.”

    The only problem: it’s not true.

    These General Mills products all contain a super-concentrated sweetener that is made from high fructose corn syrup, and within the Big Ag industry is literally called “HFCS-90” or high fructose corn syrup-90.

    But then the Corn Refiners Association changed the name to “fructose.”1 And now General Mills is not only disingenuously hiding their corn syrup behind this innocuous alias – the company is bragging that its products don’t contain any!

    We deserve to know what we’re eating. Tell General Mills to stop hiding high fructose corn syrup.

    The “fructose” label is especially nefarious, since fructose is a naturally occurring fruit sugar, and HFCS-90 is a highly concentrated, highly processed product that is molecularly different from the fructose you would eat in your apple.

    The corn industry waves away HFCS-90 as a minor ingredient, stating “HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and 'light' foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness.” But that’s clearly not the case. According to the label, there is actually more HFCS-90 in Cinnamon Chex than there is actual cinnamon!2

    Tell General Mills: Stop hiding high fructose corn syrup.

    Clearly General Mills is eager to make its claims, as many consumers are increasingly avoiding high fructose corn syrup over health concerns.

    The drastic increase of this cheap sugar replacement in the past 40 years has coincided with skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases. And while the science is still emerging, a number of studies – including one just released from the University of Utah3 – have found evidence that high fructose corn syrup is more toxic than sucrose, or traditional sugar.

    Or course, both sugar and high fructose corn syrup are unhealthy in large amounts. But making healthy choices starts with understanding what we are eating. And as long as companies like General Mills are not only changing the names of ingredients, but also flat-out lying on the front of the box, informed choices are that much harder.

    General Mills is sensitive to our pressure. The company was recently forced to stop labeling products containing synthetic ingredients as “natural.” With our pressure, we can force the company to come clean about products containing high fructose corn syrup.4

    Tell General Mills: Stop hiding high fructose corn syrup.

    Thank you for fighting for safe food.

    1. "Sweetners," Corn Refiners Association
    2. "Gluten Free Cinnamon Chex," General Mills website
    3. "High-fructose corn syrup more toxic than sugar, study finds," Oregonian, 1/5/15
    4. "General Mills Will Stop Marketing Synthetic Products As ‘Natural’ To Make Them Appear Healthier," 11/19/14