And Another: Indiana Bill Seeks To Ban High-Fructose Corn Syrup

March 6, 2024
First shot at the sweetener in decades claims it poses a danger to Hoosiers’ health.

An Indiana state representative has introduced a bill to ban the use of high-fructose corn syrup in food and beverage products sold in that state. It’s the first shot at the widely used sugar we’ve noticed in a decade or two.

Rep. John Bartlett back in January proposed House Bill 1074, “Ban on high fructose corn syrup as food ingredient,” citing some studies that say it poses a danger to health.

"High-fructose corn syrup has been found to increase risk of chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” he told us in an email. “While HFCS is prevalent in many foods consumed daily, from fruit juice to condiments, many people are unaware of the risks associated with its consumption.

"Recently, Indiana was ranked as the 10th worst state when it comes to facilitating the healthcare needs of its inhabitants,” he continued. “The health department lists heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases as the top causes of death for Hoosiers. They attributed a considerable number of cases being related to 34% of Hoosiers being overweight. Since HFCS has been linked to these prevalent conditions in Indiana, I found it appropriate to propose a measure that could reduce both healthcare costs and the risk of deadly diseases."

High-fructose corn syrup was demonized as the root of all obesity two decades ago, as one 2004 study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that fructose is digested, absorbed and metabolized differently than glucose and that difference may lead to obesity. There is a tiny bit more of fructose in HFCS than in table sugar. The kerfuffle lasted most of that decade but died down by 2010.

Bartlett’s bill would charge the state health commissioner with enforcement. “A person who recklessly violates this chapter commits a Class B misdemeanor,” the bill states.

Indiana grows an awful lot of corn, almost all of which is used for commercial purposes, such as food ingredients.

Bartlett’s bill has been referred to Committee on Public Health.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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