Flutterby™! : Mercury in Corn Syrup

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Mercury in Corn Syrup

2009-01-27 21:20:40.097823+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

As if you needed another reason to avoid it, Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury:

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

Apparently the problem is the use of mercury contaminated caustic soda when making the HFCS. Here's the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy article on mercury in HFCS, and the PDF of the report (which I have not yet read).

The Environmental Law Foundation filed suit in 2003 to make sellers of Balsamic and many red wine vinegars notify Californians that they contain lead, I wonder if we're now going to see Proposition 65 warnings in the cereal aisle? I'm hopeful, it's good to see that many of the hidden aspects of food safety that we've just been assuming that the government is taking care of for us are coming to light.

[ related topics: Health Food Wines and Spirits California Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Missing Relevant Data made: 2009-01-27 22:31:34.399562+00 by: Jim S

The highest food item tested in the report is 350 parts per trillion. (Quaker Oatmeal to Go) The FDA rule on mercury in bottled water 2000 parts per trillion, this limit also applies to public drinking water supplies. (page 11 of http://www.state.nj.us/health/eoh/hhazweb/mercury.pdf)

The authors of the report certainly know the 2000 ppm acceptable limit. They had room in the article to talk about the 8 tons of mercury used in the chlorine process, but not this fact that lets people assess the risk.

It is probably reasonable to stop using mercury grade caustic soda in food processes, though they don't mention if there is a cost difference.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-28 18:43:37.67263+00 by: Dan Lyke

Thanks for the relative numbers, Jim. I meant to go see if I could track down similar lead numbers on the Balsamic vinegar issue as well, maybe if I drop a hint here someone will do it for me.