The food we eatMercury Found in High Fructose Corn Syrup

Published 29 January 2009

The ingestion of mercury can have serious health consequences; too bad the high concentrations of mercury were found in fructose corn syrup, the ingredient that has replaced sugar in many American staples

This cannot be good news. Quantities of mercury have been found in high fructose corn syrup, the ingredient that has replaced sugar in many of U.S. processed foods. U.S. News’s Maura Judkis reports that reports have also come out that the FDA knew about traces of the toxic substance in food, and sat on the information. This news comes out against the backdrop of revelations that the peanut butter factory responsible for the salmonella outbreak has a storied history of health violations.

Mercury in high fructose corn syrup affects many of the most popular foods in America, including yogurt, soda, candy, juice, and jelly. Even a small amount of it can have serious health consequences. “Mercury is toxic in all its forms,” said IATP’s David Wallinga, M.D., and a co-author in both studies. “Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply.”

The Corn Refiners Association is disputing the results of the study, but a watchdog group’s study came to similar conclusions as the original study. More research is needed to determine exactly which foods are affected, but some of the foods tested were from leading brands such as Hershey’s, Quaker, Hunt’s, Manwich, Smucker’s, Kraft, Nutri-Grain, and Yoplait.