Consumer Group says High Fructose Corn Syrup is “the new trans fat”
A recent PRNewswire report suggests that certain consumer groups, based on research and expert opinions, feel that high fructose corn syrup should be next up, after the trans fat ban. The Citizens for Health group, after observing the FDA’s plan to more than likely proceed with declaring all man-made trans fats as “no longer safe,” identified HFCS as the next dangerous ingredient in the nation’s food supply.
Citizens for Health chairperson, Jim Turner, identified the following issues with high fructose corn syrup:
– Like trans fat, there seems to be some level of secrecy involved in the manufacturing and testing of HFCS
– Both ingredients appear harmful to a human’s liver (not all experts agree that HFCS has been sufficiently identified as a liver-damaging agent)
– Manufacturers of both trans fats and HFCS spend millions of dollars on lobbyists, TV ads and on other methods to convince consumers that both are “safe’
– As health concerns have mounted, food companies, supermarkets and restaurants have voluntarily removed trans fats quickly and in some cases HFCS from their recipes
– Lawsuits have been filed by consumer groups and individuals asserting that these two ingredients are “seriously compromising consumer’s health”
Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, and a HealthCorps board member, has gone on record stating that he believes HFCS is driving most of the epidemic of heart disease, cancers, and diabetes.
Other experts suggest that “too large doses” of HFCS are easily found in many soft drinks, and those amounts should be classified as “not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.” Currently, there appears to be greater consensus in the medical community with regards to man-made trans fats and the “not GRAS” designation. Ongoing research and discussion regarding the possible dangers of HFCS continues.
As a general rule consumers should avoid highly processed and refined foods that typically contain trans fat and HFCS, and read labels carefully to find hidden sources of these two ingredients.