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Mercury in high fructose corn syrup

  1. From the 80s of the 20th century, manufacturers have gradually started to use high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar. This sweetener is known in English-speaking countries under the abbreviation HFCS (High-Fructose-Corn-Syrup). Corn does not naturally contain fructose; this is made through an industrial process by means of enzymes from glucose present in maize. For the manufacturer, high-fructose corn syrup has the advantage that it makes products last longer. The shelf life of a product is increased and it has a cheaper cost. The latter is mainly due to US government subsidies on corn production and US import duties on sugar made from beets. Incidentally, this trade policy of the U.S. very controversial.


  1. Natural or synthesized? What diseases does synthesized fructose lead to? Glucose fructose syrup is in everything Mercury in high fructose corn syrup Mercury in supermarket products Lies from the industry corner

Natural or synthesized?

  1. Glucose fructose syrup is called a natural substance by manufacturers. They are the only ones who consider it a natural product; most people consider it a synthesized confectionery. Glucose-fructose syrup is more responsible for obesity than sugar. In addition, it is responsible for learning and behavioral problems of children. HFCS is contained in soft drinks that can be widely sold at school. A study was carried out in Australia in which the soda machines were removed from school for a few weeks. This led to better school results within a few weeks.

What diseases does synthesized fructose lead to?

  1. Fructose itself is a substance that occurs in fruit; it is also called fruit sugar. By making fructose from glucose through chemical arts, many people, even doctors, have the idea that soft drinks containing high fructose corn syrup are healthier than soft drinks containing sugar. however, this reasoning is based on a great misunderstanding. Graduated physician and natural physician Geert Verhelst has shown in his book ´Suiker Zoetstoffen´, that because of fructose:

Glucose-fructose syrup is everywhere

  1. Gluciose fructose syrup is often accompanied by white sugar, sometimes even supplemented with artificial sweeteners in cookies, candy, jams, cereals, cakes, pastries, crackers, bread, ice cream, sauces and many other products . You quickly receive a lot of HFCS. In total, three enzyme processes are released on corn starch so that HFCS is formed with the help of bacteria. That is a complicated industrial process and if you then want to describe HFCS as 'natural', this term will be very stretched.

Mercury in high fructose corn syrup

  1. Renée Dufault is a researcher who collected samples in 2005 from various manufacturers of high fructose glucose syrup. Nine of the 20 samples contain a large amount of mercury. The average American receives as much as 50 grams of HFCS daily, which equates to 28.5 mcg of mercury via HFCS. That is a high percentage, higher than the mercury content in fish. Although it was already known in 1957 how to make HFCS knot, it was only discovered in the 1970s that this can best be done with sodium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, a substance that is created with the help of mercury. However, manufacturers report time and again that mercury has been lost in a 'mysterious' way. In 2000, four American companies reported that 7 tons of mercury had "evaporated into thin air". The same reports were also made by English manufacturers. Environmental organization Oceana found out that the companies are responsible for mercury pollution in the air and in the water supply. But that only explains part of the 7 tons of mercury loss. In 2003, 9 mercury processing plants worldwide reported that 8 tons of mercury had been lost to air and water. There was no explanation for the remaining 30 tons of mercury that was 'lost'. This had ended up in the high fructose corn syrup. That explains the high mercury levels that Renée Dufault had seen in products with HFCS. Not all high fructose corn syrups use mercury for their production process.

Mercury in supermarket products

  1. Dr. David Wallinga of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy researched products for the presence of mercury in a different way in 2009. He simply bought 55 products with HFCS in the super market and found that one third of those products contain mercury. This included well-known brands such as Quaker and Kraft, brands that are also for sale in the Netherlands. Barbecue sauces contained the most mercury and soft drinks contained no mercury at all. Wallinga indicates that his research was a snapshot. Mercury levels may change at other times.

Lies from the industry corner

  1. The industry responded defensively to the studies showing that mercury is in products containing high fructose corn syrup. Erickson is the chairman of an advocacy group for corn processing companies and said the industry has moved away from using mercury-related manufacturing processes years ago. This is a false statement as there are still many companies using caustic soda, which requires mercury. The FDA, the US food authority, has not responded to findings of mercury in many supermarket products since 2005.

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