In case you missed it | Corn sugar and death sticks


Corn sugar and death sticks

Names matter. Just ask the Corn Refiners Association (CRA). They’re the folks who bring us high-fructose corn syrup, which can be found in everything from breakfast cereals to soda to processed meats.

Some health advocates believe that high-fructose corn syrup behaves differently in the body than sucrose and glucose and plays a role in the fattening of America and in the increase in diseases such as diabetes. As a result, health conscious consumers have shifted away from products that contain high-fructose corn syrup.

Since 1999, annual consumption of high-fructose corn syrup has dropped from 45.4 pounds per person to 35.7 pounds per person. That’s a decrease of 21 percent, roughly the same decline over the same period of time as cigarette sales.

The CRA, which has contacted this paper in the past to explain why we should quit saying mean things about high-fructose corn syrup, isn’t taking this lying down. They’ve petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to permit them to call their product “corn sugar” rather than high-fructose corn syrup. Apparently, they hope this verbal sleight of hand will enable their product to appear on food labels without consumers realizing it’s there. Oh, sure, they’ll tell you that their product was named back at a time when consumers glommed processed foods and no one worried about having unnecessary sugars in their mac and cheese. They’ll tell you, too, that “corn sugar” is really no different than cane sugar or any other kind of refined sugar. (We don’t buy that.)

But what this amounts to is an attempt to trick consumers into eating something that many have consciously opted to eliminate from their diets. And that’s just dirty. Let’s hope the FDA, which too often functions as an arm of the corporate food and drug industry, doesn’t permit it.

Or let’s make a deal. They can call their product “corn sugar,” but only if tobacco companies are required to refer cigarettes as “death sticks.”

Ads on tap for shattered DREAM

Somewhat lost in the recent hubbub over the Republicans in Congress blocking the defense bill that would have repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was that the DREAM Act was also attached to the bill’s fate.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, or simply prefer not to think about anything related to them dagburn “illegals,” the DREAM Act would allow green cards to be issued to undocumented immigrants who, among other things, have a clean record and agree to attend college or enroll in the military.

So now a handful of groups have pooled their resources to launch a Spanish-language advertising campaign to make sure all of those Latino constituents don’t vote for the jerks who blocked the dreams of their grown children who have graduated from high school but can’t go to college or get a job.

The Service Employees International Union, Mi Familia Vota Civic Participation Campaign and America’s Voice are launching a $300,000 radio ad buy in nine markets across the country, including Denver, where Latino voters will play a decisive role in contested races this November and two years from now.

There’s also a voter mobilization effort in several Colorado counties, including Boulder, in which organizers are urging Hispanics to vote — against Republicans.

“Latino voters must take stock in who is with us and who is against us,” says Jessie Ulibarri, Colorado state director of the Mi Familia Vota campaign.

Ouch. Good thing them illegals can’t vote, or them right-wing rednecks would really have a problem!

Happy freakin’ holidays

OK, we just couldn’t help sharing this one, for those couples who are splitting up — and hoping to get an early jump on their holiday shopping.

You’ve probably heard of tree ornaments bearing the words “First Christmas Together” or some other sappy sentiment for couples whose love is still fresh.

Well, now there’s an outfit in St. Louis making the “Breakup Ornament” that commemorates your Last Christmas Together. Now you can properly celebrate those last few weeks or marriage with as much zeal as those first few weeks. Puts a warm feeling in your chest and a lump in your throat, doesn’t it? The sweet sight of holiday lights, the sound of bells jingling, the smell of ink drying on the divorce papers… Check out if, come December, your relationship is like your egg nog: on the rocks.