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Friday, February 20, 2009

What Does Mercury Have To Do With It?

Sweetness and Blight
Why is the FDA unwilling to study evidence of mercury in high-fructose corn syrup?

Last month, two new studies reported traces of mercury in products made from high-fructose corn syrup, the food industry's favorite sweetener. Rather than act to correct the situation, the FDA has hewn closely to the corn industry's party line: 1) no mercury shows up in HFCS (although we haven't tested it); 2) and besides, detected levels are so low that they could cause no harm. Really?, asks Tom Philpott. He shines a hard light on the FDA's claims, asking why the agency won't ban the mercury-associated industrial chemical used to make high-fructose corn syrup -- and he explains what Erin Brockovich has to do with it all.

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