FDA Knew about Mercury in Your Sweetener

More details on the government’s knowledge about contaminated corn syrup are coming to light. The FDA, the watchdog for consumer food safety, knew high fructose corn syrup could contain toxic mercury as early as 2005 and didn’t reveal the problem to the public.

An FDA scientist co-authored a study in 2005 discovering this serious health concern. Yet the FDA still allowed an advertising campaign touting corn syrup as “natural” to go forward.

The Corn Refiners Association is running an extensive TV campaign attempting to negate the findings. Information on their website

http://www.hfcsfacts.com  – featuring a large ear of corn with authoritative statements from experts, including one from the American Medical Association – are often based on facts posted years before the situation was known. The association’s response that news of the presence of a highly toxic substance in what is perhaps our most commonly used food sweetener is based on “information of dubious significance” is reminiscent of the now famous denials about the hazards of smoking postulated by the tobacco industry.

A classic move, to be sure. But will consumers fall for it yet again? Or are they perhaps wising up to the ways of advertisers and their penchant to spin half-truths and false facts into a neat comfortable package that consumers will complacently accept?

Time will tell.