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Corn, Beer, and the FDA

A few weeks ago I wrote about A Typical American Day…with Corn, thinking it would be the best way to demonstrate how prolific corn is in our everyday lives. What I didn’t realize, was that Corn Products International is actually very open about all the places corn has been integrated into our society.

Corn Products International

For example, I thought it was almost a secret that corn is used in beer production. Von (of Corn-Free Foods & Products List) demonstrated that although it is sometimes easy to determine if a beer contains corn, that isn’t always the case. As she investigated further with Sierra Nevada, it was all about asking the right questions. This post of hers is a great example of how important it is to know more about the manufacturing process involved, regarding the food you are inquiring about. It is necessary to ask specific questions – to get that desired “corn free” or unfortunate “contains corn derived ingredients” response.

Back to my initial point, Corn Products International displays in their marketing literature, that corn is used everywhere.

“Corn Products International takes a kernel of corn and unleashes a variety of ingredients that act as building blocks for literally thousands of consumer and industrial products.”

Personally, I like their word choice “unleashes a variety of ingredients” – it feels quite appropriate. Their Product & Services page and Industries Served page display all the many places you can find corn. What they don’t explain though, is the extent that their footprint reaches. As of this point in time, I do not know of any commercially available, corn free shampoo, conditioner, deodorant (with antiperspirant), or multi-vitamin.

Corn Products International

Whether you are a fan of abundant uses of corn for eco-friendly reasons, or against it for allergy reasons – one thing is clear. Corn is everywhere, we know that – and it is hidden. Corn is hidden in “Natural Flavors,” or simply used in the manufacturing processes either in the creation of, or packing of various items.

Though Corn Products International is happy to declare corn-derived “Dextrose is used in intravenous fluids, pharmaceutical applications, vitamins, amino acids and alcohols” they do not label these items as “contains corn” and put those with a corn allergy in a position of serious health risk. Even for those with a mild allergy to corn, it can be incredibly dangerous to receive their allergen directly, intravenously!


Are you aware of the FDA Petition addressing this issue? If you have not yet signed this petition, please take a minute now and sign. Tell the FDA: Corn Needs to be Included in Food Allergen Labeling. After you sign, please share the petition on your Facebook and Twitter pages too.

If you would like to help even more, please consider donating a few dollars to help advertise this petition. Your dollars can help make sure more people see, and sign, this petition. There is a PayPal Donate button in the top right sidebar of Live Corn Free, just for this purpose. Your help and effort is greatly appreciated!


  1. This tweeks me to know end.. Every packaged item in the grocery store has an ingredient list except alcoholic beverages. Why is that?

    I have alread signed that petition to the FDA. Personally, I'm getting tired of guessing the source of some ingredients, and having to tell BF "thanks for grabbing something for dinner Hon, but I can't eat that". I've got a "don't eat" list memorized but he doesn't. If it just said "CORN!" across the package, I wouldn't have to feel like an ingrate because he probably wouldn't have brought it home.

  2. I completely agree Julie319!


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