High Fructose Corn Syrup is Deemed “The New Trans Fat”
Medical Experts Link Questionable Sugar Substitute to Serious Health Risks
WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Food & Drug Administration’s recent decision that it no longer considers the man-made additive “partially hydrogenated oils,” (or what is commonly referred to as “trans fat”) safe, consumer groups and medical experts are now zeroing in on the highly controversial sugar substitute High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as the most dangerous industrial ingredient in the nation’s food supply. There are many similarities between the proliferation of HFCS and the trans fat saga, including a growing public awareness of its dangers and the decision by various food companies to jump on the NO HFCS bandwagon.
Jim Turner, a Washington based attorney who in the 1960’s was instrumental in convincing the FDA to remove the cancer causing artificial sweetener cyclamates from the generally recognized as safe list of food chemicals, and who now chairs Citizens for Health, believes that the demise of HFCS will soon follow the fate of trans fat:
Both replaced a natural ingredient with a highly chemically processed industrial product so shrouded in secrecy that that neither one has been made available for purchase in grocery stores.
Neither can be metabolized naturally by the human body and both cause excessive damage to the liver.
Both were initially touted as ‘safe’ and were accepted by the FDA—only to fall suspect by independent medical experts shortly after their introduction
The makers of both products spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbyists, national TV ad campaigns, and paid medical experts in an effort to confuse consumers about health risks and convince the American public that their product was safe.
Adverse health effects and alarming obesity rates began to appear as soon as both of these products were introduced into the food supply.
In response to escalating consumer concerns, food makers, grocery stores and restaurants began to voluntarily remove these worrisome ingredients from their products.
Local communities tried to ban or restrict both of these ingredients in order to stem the burgeoning medical costs associated with them.
Lawsuits were brought against the manufacturers and users of trans fats and High Fructose Corn Syrup, claiming these substances cause serious health damage.
As clinical evidence mounts against High Fructose Corn Syrup, independent medical experts are now lining up to let consumers know just how serious the health risks are.
Dr. Mark Hyman, a physician and chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, said recently that consuming High Fructose Corn Syrup “is driving most of the epidemic of heart disease, cancers, dementia and…diabetes.” He noted that HFCS “goes right into your liver turning on a factory of fat production.” He believes that “if we took one thing out of our food supply that would make the biggest difference, it would be High Fructose Corn Syrup.”
Natural sugar made from sugar cane or sugar beets has been in the U.S. food supply for more than 150 years, without any spikes in obesity or Type 2 diabetes. But as Dr. Robert H. Lustig, an expert in obesity, metabolism and disease has observed, “Type 2 diabetes was “unheard of in children prior to 1980–the time when High Fructose Corn Syrup began to be incorporated into processed foods in America.”
Dr. Michael Goran, a professor of preventive medicine and the Director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center at the Keck School of Medicine at USC, reported that levels of HFCS found in Coke, Pepsi and Sprite are in violation of FDA guidelines and are at concentrations that have never been Generally Recognized as Safe by the U.S. government.
In an effort to alert consumers to these dangers, Citizens for Health filed a petition with the FDA asking that the agency take action against food and beverage manufacturers using HFCS with fructose amounts above 55 percent (the highest amount the FDA allows), and to also provide accurate HFCS labeling information. Concerned Americans are encouraged to share their opinions to the FDA by submitting their comments and signing the Citizens for Health petition.
About Citizens for Health
Funded by concerned consumers, non-profit partners, food growers, and businesses, Citizens for Health is a non-profit organization that provides over 130,000 supporters with consumer news, action alerts, and ways to demand access to healthy food, non-toxic products, and truthful, non-misleading health information. More information is available at www.citizens.org.