The high fructose corn syrup battle has many fronts: There's the court of public opinion, the court of law and, perhaps most importantly, the “court” of the Food and Drug Administration.

Last September, the Corn Refiners Association, petitioned the FDA to let them replace “high-fructose corn syrup” with “corn sugar” on ingredient labels. According to internal memos obtained by the Associated Press, the FDA is having none of it.

Cloaked in the language of legality and corporate reticence, these memos are like mash notes from a bad relationship. In this setup, Big Corn is the ardent lover, trying desperately to impress a disinterested girl (the American public) and win the approval of her strict parents (the FDA). C'mon, America. Why won't you just fall in love with “corn sugar”?

According to the AP story, Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, wrot colleagues in an email dated March 15, 2010:

It would be affirmatively misleading to change the name of the ingredient after all this time, especially in light of the controversy surrounding it . If we allow it, we will rightly be mocked both on the substance of the outcome and the process through which it was achieved.

It's comforting to know that the government agency charged with overseeing our nation's food safety isn't utterly spineless, incompetent or, worse yet, completely corrupted by agribusiness.

LA Weekly