Natural sugar is processed from sugarcane. The compound that forms the natural sugar is known as sucrose and is a disaccharide formed by two monosaccharide - glucose and fructose. Though this product has fructose, the numbers of fructose particle are less as compared to those in high fructose corn sugar (FitSugar, June 1, 2009).
The food industry should replace corn sugar with natural sugar. This will reduce the number of products that have high fructose corn syrup, thereby reducing it consumption. The government in its turn is to ensure that sugarcane farming is subsidized sufficiently or on par with corn farming. Pure fructose products should be banned by the government. This will ensure that the people producing fructose-based products will opt for glucose-based products. Natural sugar should also be used in beverages instead of fructose.
The prime reason why the food and beverage industries are using the high fructose corn syrup is because the government subsidizes corn. Therefore, to encourage natural sugar use, the government should subsidize sugarcane or stop subsidizing corn. This will create level-playing field for the two raw materials to compete, thus ensuring that manufacturers’ choice is not based on the cost.
There are no active consumer education programs on fructose products use that is funded or even supported by the government. All that is left for consumers is to make their own decision based on researches, of which results most of them have never had a chance to know. Consumers do not even trust most of most of these research centers. The reason behind this attitude is because of increased confusion between the reports produced. Some of the results oppose the use of high fructose corn sugar and their products, while others show that there is no health risks associated with these products. Thus, the consumer is left at a dilemma of determining who is telling the truth.
Proper consumer education conducted by a trusted body, such as government agencies or ministry, should be put in place. This will help consumers understand the risks behind using high fructose corn syrup and its sub-products. Outreach programs, official website, education campaigns and even media talk shows based on scientific facts should be initiated. This will help consumers make informed decisions.
Having scientific facts and evidence will make the consumers adopt a health conscious behavior. They should be informed on how to determine products that contain high fructose corn syrup, which are the best substitute that they should use and what steps need to be taken once a person's health is at risk. The food and drinks processing industries should be held accountable for the health problems which may result from the use of their products. Consumers should also be educated on their rights, such as the right to sue manufacturers of products that are found to have caused negative effects to their health. This way, the companies producing such products will be forced to change and start producing natural sugar-based products.
The two problems discussed above are not merely disease-related but also pertain to conditions that can lead to severe complications or other silent conditions. Research has shown that Type 2 diabetes can be caused by diabetes. Therefore, controlling diabetes will result in reducing the incidences of Type 2 diabetes. The government has a mandate to safeguard the citizens from being exploited in whatever manner by the business people. Since the companies have alternatives to high fructose corn syrup, it is the government role to formulate and enforce policies preventing unchecked use of corn sugar. The claim by the food processing industries that even sucrose contains fructose is not a reason enough for continuous use of high fructose corn syrup.
People should also take the responsibility to secure their own health. A personal decision to avoid using high fructose corn syrup will play a significant role in reducing these diseases. However, this can only be effective if there is a substitute for the syrup and enough reasons as to why people need to avoid using products with a high content of fructose corn syrup. For these two conditions to be realized the government needs to educate the people and place an emphasis on using the natural sugar.