New findings challenge studies linking mercury to HFCS – CRA
of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/On-your-radar/Contamination/New-findings-challenge-studies-linking-mercury-to-HFCS-CRA
By Jane Byrne, 23-Mar-2009
from third-party testing conducted on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
from all the production facilities in the US and Canada show that no
quantifiable levels of mercury were detected in any of the samples
analyzed, claims the CRA.
According to the Corn Refiners Association
(CRA), the North American manufacturers of HFCS
commissioned independent testing and expert review following recent
reports alleging mercury
findings in the food and beverage ingredient.
HFCS is found in sweetened beverages, breads,
cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On
average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS.
“The American public can now rest assured that
high fructose corn syrup is safe,” said Audrae Erickson, president of the CRA
The CRA said the tests were conducted by the
Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratory and results were confirmed by Dr
Woodhall Stopford, a leading mercury researcher and director of a
toxicology programme at Duke University Medical Center, who added that
HFCS does not appear to be a measurable contributor to mercury in
According to the CRA, the Eurofins laboratory
received 119 samples of HFCS (42 and 55) in the last two months from
all 22 of the US and Canadian HFCS producing facilities.
Eurofins said it found no quantifiable mercury
in any of the samples, using accepted methods for quantifiable
detection (limit of quantification of 0.005 mg/kg or five parts per
billion and a detection limit of two parts per billion).
The Eurofins results challenge a study
published in the January issue of Environmental Health, which
claimed that mercury was found in nearly 50 per cent of tested samples
of commercial HFCS.
Moreover, a recent study by the US Institute
for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) claimed that mercury was
detected in nearly one-third of 55 brand name food and beverage
products, where HFCS is the first or second highest labelled
ingredient, including, it claims, products by Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft
The authors concluded that possible mercury contamination
of HFCS was not common knowledge within the food industry that
frequently uses the sweetener.
‘Cause of contamination’
The IATP’s Dr David Wallinga, coauthor of both
studies, explained how HFCS could become tainted with chemical.
He said that for decades, HFCS has been made
using mercury-grade caustic soda produced in industrial chlorine
plants, with the caustic soda used for, among other things, the
separation of the corn starch from the corn kernel.
The use of mercury cells to produce caustic
soda can contaminate it, and ultimately HFCS, with mercury, said