In 2009, a study found that almost half of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury — a carcinogenic chemical element that is toxic in all its forms to the human body. Even more troubling, nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products that listed HFCS as the first or second ingredient were found to contain mercury as a whole. It is clear that mercury is highly present in the HFCS-laced food supply, so why is it still on our shelves?
The Washington Times reports on the 2009 study:
HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.
“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply,” the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies, said in a prepared statement.
In the first study, published in current issue of Environmental Health, researchers found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples of commercial HFCS.
And in the second study, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit watchdog group, found that nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury. The chemical was found most commonly in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.