A study published in the February issue of the Environmental Health Journal shows widespread mercury contamination in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is found everywhere in foods and drinks. The source: some HFCS makers are using mercury-contaminated sodium hydroxide in their manufacturing processes, while others have phased it out.
Now the real question is this: which is more toxic– the mercury or the HFCS itself?
You do not need a degree in toxicology or food nutrition to determine in about 5 minutes what the answer is, unless you are in the corn industry or Big Food. The HFCS is more toxic than the mercury that is in it!
Studies show HFCS contributes to obesity, kidney stones, diabetes in children and adults. It also hurts the kidneys and liver. Folks who drink as few as 2 cans of pop a day are at risk. A lot of kids drink 1 liter; some drink two liters! Americans consume 40 pounds a year of the stuff on average. (I suppose that means some consume over 120 pounds.) See http://www.highfructosecornsyrup.org and especially Sickly Sweet: Why and How to Avoid High-fructose Corn Syrup at FamilyEducation.com
In the subject study, the mercury levels in the HFCS were hardly detectible. The study showed half of the 20 samples of HFCS had no detectible amount of mercury, less than 0.005 micrograms per gram (that is less than 5 parts per billion). Most people have no idea what a billion or a trillion is, especially in Washington, D.C., not to mention what a part per billion is.
|NOW GET THIS: One part per billion (ppb) is equivalent to 1 minute of the total elapsed time since Jesus Christ was born!For the love of cheese, 5 ppb of mercury in everything we eat and drink can do no harm!|
D I G G I T
The study did show the other half the samples had levels that ranged from 0.1 to 0.5 micrograms/gram (100 to 500 ppb). That is 20 to 100 times more that the samples that were at or below 5 ppb So now we are looking at the equivalent on a time scale of 20 to 100 minutes out of 2000 years.
Hippocrates’ code is “the dose makes the poison”. I spoke with a toxicologist once who actually believed the opposite is true for some compounds. This PhD believed the ridiculous theory that there are no safe levels of certain toxic compounds or elements, including mercury. He was the guy who said to avoid kissing your baby or breathing to close to your loved ones. Why? Because, he said, the mercury gas vapors that come off your teeth fillings. I tried to wise him up, but he wouldn’t wise. (Reminds me of the “one fiber theory” with asbestos-that helped class-action trial attorneys reap $50 billion, a small portion going to the real victims)
As would be expected the Corn Products Manufacturers Association agrees with this assessment, saying these minute levels of mercury are everywhere in everything. What they did not say was that their HFCS itself was far more dangerous than the mercury that is in it.
HCFS is manufactured with heavily government subsidized, genetically modified corn. In the 80s, the corn industry tycoons had gotten the federal government to impose a tax on imported sugar. These steps were needed to make HFCS appear much cheaper to the consumer and than sugar.
We could have made the headline of this story “HFCS is More Toxic Than Mercury That Is In It”. Although true, too many people would think it was a hoax.
Many have switched to diet pop: the aspartame (is that one called Equal or “Sweet and Low”?) that studies show helps you get fat. Problem is that is causes neurological problems in some and decomposes into formaldehyde like substances if it sits in the hot sun, but does so anyway in the gut. Now, Splenda and Sucrolose, well, that is another story. Honestly, I don’t know which is worse: HFCS-laden pop or the “diet” drinks. But it’s nice the pop makers give us choices when it comes to America’s other drinking problem.
Unfortunately, a Google news search showed only 20 articles on the mercury study. This is quite unexpected. Normally, a panic would break out. It is unfortunate because a panic would cause avoidance on most modern foods, including soft drinks, that contain HFCS. That could have been big plus for public health, albeit for the wrong reason.