High Fructose Corn SyrupHigh fructose Corn syrup is used as a sweetener to replace the ordinary table sugar in almost all the process foods in America. what are the detrimental effects? what are...

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose Corn syrup is used as a sweetener to replace the ordinary table sugar in almost all the process foods in America. what are the detrimental effects? what are the outcome of recent research? who are all conducting research? Is there any clear-cut evidences which can be proved that it is causing obesity or diabetes. does it contain high levels of mercury which is a toxic substance? why regulatory authorities are keeping quiet if it is harmful? why cant it be taxed like sugar? There are many products available with labels saying "NO HFCS" HFCS controversy is making people doubtful to eat many foods? is it a myth? I would like to know more about it .please explain with references from some good source.

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't claim to know much about any of this; but when I all of a sudden start seeing commercials touting this product as being safe (as a reaction to some entity speaking out against it, no doubt), I can guess it's probably propaganda.

Perhaps you've seen one of the ads--someone makes a crack about a cereal or a beverage, asking "You know what they say about high fructose corn syrup, right?"  The holder of the prodect says, "What, that it's virtually the same as any other sugar..." and so on.  Which, of course, shuts the mocker up--quickly. 

Our advertising experience should tell us this is a ploy to disarm the public regarding the dangers of this product.  Follow the money. Don't buy into the lie.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Like auntlori, I have noticed the influx of commercials, paid for by the corn farming industry. touting the safety of high-fructose corn syrup. I know from experience with my boyfriend's and granddaughter's diabetes that corn, like any starch, metabolizes into sugar and can have a detrimental effect on one's blood sugar level. "High-fructose" is simply a euphemism for "sugar-filled."

I agree with auntlori that this is nothing more than a ploy to try to lull the public into thinking that high-fructose corn syrup is "natural" and "safe." Anything is poisonous if you ingest it in high enough doses, and if you look on the labels of most processed foods, you will find sugar in some form, along with sodium.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No single product can cause obesity - it has to be certain products and ingredients in products, consumed over time in a pattern of behaviors that lead to the obesity.  The problem is that some products, High Fructose Corn Syrup being one of them, modify our eating behaviors by encouraging us to eat more sugary foods.  It is also in a lot of products we don't realize, like many fruit juices, so when we think we are drinking something healthy and nutritious, natural, we in fact aren't.  The vast majority of the time the HFCS content is not clearly advertised on the product itself.  You have to check the ingredients.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of the problem is that for a long time HFCS was described as no different from sucrose in its effects on the body/metabolism. It is becoming clear that this is not so, and that HFCS is broken down differently. It is being implicated as one of the major factors in the dramatic increase in obesity levels in the US. The food industry is heavily reliant on corn, and if you start checking labels carefully, you will be stunned at how many products contain HFCS. I am on a campaign to have as little of it as possible in my house. It's hard to do--the stuff is in everything from cereal to crackers to applesauce.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As my old granny used to say - "Everything in moderation." I guess #6 really makes a valid point in identifying how advertising "masks" the reality of so much of what actually processed food contains nowadays. This does highlight the need for us as responsible citizens to not be taken in by the glitzy advertising and make our own informed decisions about the kind of food we buy and how we feed ourselves and our families.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The above posts make very good points. As consumers we must educate ourselves on what is and is not healthy for us. The problem is that even reading labels is a complicated process. When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with diabetes we thought it would be as simple as looking for "sugar-free" items. Boy were we wrong!

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A good (and interesting) source on this is Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He writes a little bit about it in Omnivore's Dilemma as well but I recommend the former first.

jacobj48 | Student

Should there be a Ban on the use of High Fructose Corn Syrup?

jacobj48 | Student

What is the correct way to know the truth about HFCS. I have read that it contains high mercury levels which is potentially dangerous. If you surf the web you can find many articles that claim bad effects of HFCS? Why regulatory agencies or FDA not  evaluating these products with the help of new technological analysis?