Mom Bloggers Paid to Promote High Fructose Corn Syrup

By Jaclyn Bruntfield, via Harrison Patch,

Earlier this month, the Corn Refiners Association, an industry trade group, invited some mom bloggers to listen in on a conference call about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

The call, which was organized in conjunction with a web site called Mom Central, has stirred up some controversy in the mommy blogging world, with some of the participants writing about it in return for $50 gift cards.

Other bloggers turned down the invitation, citing ideological opposition to accepting money from the Corn Refiners Association in return for advertising all the wonderful aspects of consuming HFCS.

I must say, my feelings were really hurt when I found out I wasn’t invited to the corn syrup propaganda party. Though I’m still trying to get over my disappointment—like a teenager who didn’t get invited to the popular girl’s sweet 16—it seems that I didn’t miss anything particularly enlightening.

Desiree Peeples of Mommy Reporter said that she declined the offer because the Corn Refiners Association was “pimping” bloggers and promoting claims that HFCS is “harmless in moderation and not any more damaging to health than say, cane sugar or honey.”

Jessica Gottlieb, another mom blogger, also chose not to participate in the call because she believes that real food has “roots or a mother.”

But other bloggers weren’t so discerning. Take Hil’Lesha, blogger at To the Motherhood, where she said that the conference call made her think about all of the foods in her pantry that contains different types of sugar and while she’s “not sure what to think” about claims that HFCS isn’t harmful to one’s health, she said she would keep their opinions in mind.

The Corn Refiners Association’s blog tour is the most recent tactic used to help put HFCS on an equal playing ground with refined sugar, honey and even agave nectar. The campaign started in 2008 as many large food companies, at the behest of consumers fearful of the detrimental health effects of consuming corn syrup, stopped using HFCS in their foods.

They’ve so far used a media blitz (see this amusing commercial that implies that corn syrup is natural and healthy) and lobbied the FDA to allow HFCS to be renamed “corn sugar”. Most recently they’ve appealed to mothers to spread the message that corn syrup…ahem…corn sugar, is healthy in small doses.

But it’s questionable whether the tactics have been effective.

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