As Michael Pollan points out, the development of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) allows cheap, subsidized corn to be converted into cheap, subsidized sugar.
In other words, HFCS is used by food and beverage manufactures because it costs less than commercially refined sugar.
But not only is high fructose corn syrup linked to obesity and diabetes, the process involved in manufacturing HFCS results in mercury contamination.
And our bodies process HFCS in a compellingly different manner than refined sugar.
The extra metabolic step for fructose molecules is missing in HFCS, which is why a Princeton University research team concluded that excess fructose in HFCS is metabolized to produce fat, while glucose is largely processed for energy or stored as a carbohydrate, called glycogen, in the liver and muscles.
Additionally, new evidence suggests a steady diet of high fructose corn syrup slows the brain, and impairs memory and learning.
Most consumers are unaware that there are different types of HFCS. They differ in terms of the ratio of fructose to glucose — specifically HFCS-90, which consists of 10% glucose and 90% fructose.
HFCS-90 is a strain of HFCS but it has 90% fructose, almost twice the legal limit allowed for use in our foods and beverages.
The FDA has never approved HFCS-90 because it says it “does not have adequate information to assess the safety of..the final product”
The FDA also noted that “additional data on the effects of fructose consumption would be needed to ensure that this product is safe”
The NPO Citizens for Health points out that the Corn Refiners Association, a lobbying group that represents the companies that manufacture HFCS-90, admits this banned ingredient has been in use “with FDA knowledge for decades”
“In blatant violation of government regulations, one manufacturer, Archer Daniels Midland, even markets a non-FDA approved food product, Cornsweet 90® on its corporate website.”
The FDA has only approved HFCS with no more than 55% fructose content. But a 2010 study found that samples of Coke, Pepsi and Sprite all had fructose levels much higher than the legally approved FDA limit.
Citizens for Health has filed a petition with the FDA to enforce the legally approved levels of HFCS fructose in our foods — and punish food makers that violate these regulations.
The petition also demands that food and beverage labels include accurate HFCS fructose levels. We urge you to click here to add your name and comments to this important FDA petition.