Is HFCS the Devil’s Candy? (Part 5)

Frankensteins

Yikes! The Devil’s Candy, again! Really, the subject is worthy of attention. Dr. Pretlow once mused:

Could this one substance be bringing down our whole society? Why not? There is a school of thought saying lead poisoning from the water pipes brought down the great civilization of Rome.

So, let’s look at one more fascinating article about high fructose corn syrup, this one from Citizens.org, by Linda Bonvie, who also regularly writes for the website Food Identity Theft.

Bonvie has long been concerned about HFCS90, which is about as bad as it sounds. The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) claims that its sweetener is not really high in fructose, and that the amount of fructose in it is pretty much the same as what’s in cane/beet sugar. Bonvie begs to differ, saying that HFCS90 is a laboratory-created monster of a Frankensweetener, and nothing good can come of its use.

The public has been lead to believe that HFCS90 is only a stop on the way to the finished product. According to legend (and a corn industry ad campaign), a substance is made that is 90% fructose, true — but then it’s diluted back down with regular glucose.

But now it appears that the very concentrated HFCS90 is an end in itself, a finished product which is then added to other ingredients to produce junk food and sweetened beverages. These pseudo-foods have addictive qualities that can hook a person in the same way that hard drugs can, as Childhood Obesity News has mentioned many times.

Bonvie writes:

But now, the CRA itself has come out and admitted that HFCS containing such mega doses of fructose has been in use ‘with FDA knowledge for decades.’

Given that the fructose content of HFCS is a topic the CRA would prefer not to discuss, it’s unlikely the organization would ever have made such an acknowledgment if not for a petition filed with the FDA this past September by Citizens For Health. The petition requests that the agency take action against food and beverage manufacturers using HFCS with fructose levels above 55 percent (the highest amount the FDA allows) and in the interim, require that actual percentage of fructose it contains be specified on the label.

Without bringing lawyers into it, and freely interpreting, the CRA’s argument sounds to the ordinary sensible person something like this: “Well heck, we’ve been putting this super-charged high-octane stuff into food for decades now, and getting away with it, and the FDA has known about it too — so, what’s the problem?”

When Bonvie queried the Food and Drug Administration, an FDA spokesperson termed HFCS a “nonstandardized food” and also, puzzlingly, said HFCS is “not high fructose corn syrup.” (If this begins to sound like Alice in Wonderland talk to you, you’re not alone.)

She speaks of Dr. Michael Goran, who is director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center:

Dr. Goren, who regards higher fructose intake as a risk factor in health problems such as diabetes (as do other experts), analyzed samples of Coke, Pepsi and Sprite, and found that fructose  levels in the HFCS used in these popular beverages went as high as 65 percent.

All of this leaves us with a question: how do we know the precise fructose content of food products containing HFCS? Is it 42 percent, 55 percent, 65 percent, 90 percent, or somewhere in between? […] [S]ecrecy is impermissible when it comes to what we’re ingesting — and how much.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Corn Refiners Admit HFCS with 90 Percent Fructose Used ‘for Decades’,” Citizens.org, 04/18/13
Image by IowaPolitics.com.

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