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Sugars that aren’t so sweet Part IV, HFCS and Mercury February 12, 2009

Filed under: Food Additives,Sugar — Yvette @ 11:10 pm

I’ve posted about how high fructose corn syrup is not a healthful substance, but I’ve recently read an article that makes me even more fearful of it.  Apparently, HFCS may contain traces of mercury.  Mercury poisoning is very serious and can cause brain damage.  Pregnant women should be even more careful around this substance because it can harm an unborn fetus.

The HFCS website will have you believing that it’s product is natural because it is made from corn.  While I’m sure part of it comes from corn, the key components of HFCS are caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, alpha-amylase, gluco-amylase, isomerase, ilter aid, powdered carbon, calcium chloride, and magnesium sulfate.  Ugh, doesn’t sound so tasty now?

The two chemicals that can possibly contain mercury are the caustic soda and hydrochloric acid.  There are two kinds of caustic soda on the market today; one is called “mercury grade” and the other is produced through a much safer method .  It just so happens that the HFCS industry is the biggest buyer of mercury grade caustic soda.

Several products were tested, and traces of mercury were found in Quaker, Hunt’s, Manwich, Hershey’s, Smucker’s, Kraft, Nutri-Grain, and Yoplait.  Since HFCS is in almost anything now a days it has me wondering, if these products were contaminated with mercury, how many others might be?

The HFCS website attempts to defend itself by saying that some meats and seafood contain mercury and that traces of this substance can also be found in our drinking water.  How does that justify the presence of mercury in HFCS, which is used in a countless number of products on the market today?  It seems in an attempt to defend themselves the HFCS industry is pointing it’s finger and claiming, “well they’re doing it too!”  like little children.  Another claim is that there isn’t enough mercury to cause a concern.  But HFCS is in our bread, ketchup, soups, baking supplies, soy sauce, juices, sodas, pasta sauces, candy, snack bars, crackers, and an endless list of products.  Who is to say that someone may be ingesting too much or too little?  The defense comes from the President of the industry, why not defend your product when your paycheck depends on it?  Besides, we are aware of the mercury content of fish, so that way we can be conscious of how much we consume.  Whether you choose to continue consuming HFCS or not, I believe you should at least be aware of what might be going into your body.

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One Response to “Sugars that aren’t so sweet Part IV, HFCS and Mercury”

  1. […] Sugars that aren’t so sweet Part IV, HFCS and Mercury « Rethink. […]


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