Tuesday, February 10, 2009

mercury in HFCS?

I must live under a rock. All the wandering I've been doing lately, I hadn't once heard all of this news. Not that I'm surprised by it, really, but for crying out loud...when is it going to end?

Nevermind...I already know that answer.

I'm telling you, just how much more do you need to know to start making changes in your life? I'm not being sarcastic here at all, I am being very sincere. If all this contamination and 'hidden' and 'proprietary' ingredients are being crept out into the public view like this, how much more do you think is still being covered up by those powers-that-be?

Insane. Just insane. It's all for our own good, you know. We are too ignorant and selfish to make decisions for ourselves. We need a big brother to keep us on the right track.


As if we needed another reason to avoid high fructose corn syrup. (You’ll want to put down that soda now.)

Last week two studies were released showing that mercury was found in some high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

One study tested 55 brand-name foods (containing HFCS) from grocery store shelves in Fall 2008, and found mercury in nearly one-third of those products. Do you have any of these at home?

The Mercury Risk

Mercury is a toxin to the brain. There is no “safe amount” to ingest. It is especially dangerous for children and unborn babies whose brains are developing.

Even if the doses are small, it’s a concern because Americans consume so much HFCS on a regular basis: 12 teaspoons per day on average.

The Questions

How could the mercury be there?

HFCS is produced using many chemicals, and those chemicals are made by various manufacturers. Some of those manufacturers still use an outdated process involving mercury to make two of the chemicals, which can then be sold to HFCS producers. Consequently, mercury residue can end up in the final product.

The FDA knew about the possibility… and did nothing. In 2005 a researcher at the FDA named Renee Dufault tested samples of HFCS, and found mercury in nine of twenty samples. The FDA chose not to tell consumers, change industry standards, or do any more testing. Renee Dufault left the FDA, and those test results are now published in the current issue of Environmental Health.

How did the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) respond?

This study appears to be based on outdated information of dubious significance. Our industry has used mercury-free versions of the two re-agents mentioned in the study, hydrochloric acid and caustic soda, for several years…

In 1983, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally listed high fructose corn syrup as safe for use in food and reaffirmed that decision in 1996.

The CRA’s response basically assures me that any HFCS I consumed during my childhood did in fact contain mercury. They do not want to assume any responsibility or do additional testing for the current findings.

What to Do

So how do you know if the HFCS in your other food contains mercury? They won’t tell you. The HFCS manufacturers consider it “proprietary.” You may want to avoid it altogether.

You can call the customer service number on the back of food packages and express your concern.

In 2007, then-Senator Obama introduced legislation that would phase out the use of mercury, but it did not pass. Four chlorine factories in the United States (and more outside the U.S.) still use mercury to create those chemicals, which can then be sold to HFCS manufacturers. You can send an email to the CEOs of those companies.

High fructose corn syrup is as safe as sugar? Give me a break.



LizBeth said...

Do you read Backwoods Home? Think you'd like Claire Wolfe.


Humble wife said...

I read this study and went through the pantry. I am sickened that in the name of money we have sold out. I am slowly making all my own mixes and have been baking from scratch for a few years now but have bought ketchup, bbq sauce and hersheys syrup.

I am so glad that we are on the path of simplicity.

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

I heard about this. I had been seeing cheesy positive TV commercials about HFCS and just rolled my eyes at them, strictly on trying to make HFCS seem good. Then I heard about the mercury and was very irritated. No wonder it needed the publicity! Another reason not to care much for HFCS or the TV. Thanks for the info on ways to be heard about it. Any tips on ways to have your husband hear your requests to get rid of the TV? :)

Mrs. Dewey Smith said...

I have no idea what to do about the husband/wife split on television.
We have it here, really. Dewey is always hopeful that there is something, anything, of some use on television and that I can find ways to use it for schooling and such.
And I do enjoy a quiet afternoon watching a video....the Waltons, Little House on The Prairie, Christy, etc.

I'm torn. It's such an incredible time-waster. And I'm going to have to account for all those wasted hours one day. Same as with the computer here. Waste beyond measure more than I like to admit.

Our no-TV choice is simple. We won't pay for satellite, and we won't waste money on a converter box. TV is going all-digital ...eventually... and we will then be without television viewing here. Cut and dried. We are too far in the sticks for cable, we barely get PBS with an antenna as it is.

The decision was really made for us. It's easier that way. Without the extra 'connections' such as satellite or that converter, it's a done deal in this household. We have far too many other things we want to do with our money than pay for television that isn't fit for viewing.


Mrs. Arrow said...

Nothing like waking up to a nightmare!!! Heard about HFCS just 3 weeks ago myself. My husband poo-pooed it, but that is because he is SOOOO busy at work I don't think he can process the news. But I know he loves the bread I've begun to make. And he'll love the homemade yogurt, jelly, mayonaisse, etc...(don't worry dear, just eat it).
TV is a constant source of annoyance for me. My husband won't give up cable for love nor money. I just keep praying, and it stays off until daddy gets home!!! No TV on school days, period.

Prairie Mom said...

We heard about it a couple of weeks ago. We have been trying to eliminate all HFCS from our diet, but it is a real challenge as it seems nearly everything has it as an ingredient. When we heard about the mercury, we redoubled our efforts. We are finding that we are ending up having to buy more and more from the health food store. Of course, we are also canning and making as much of our own as possible also.



Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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