High Fructose Corn Syrup isn’t Sugar: The Lawsuits and Health Effects

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 in Health, Food News, & Big Pharma

Kevin Hayden – TruthisTreason.net

Source: Reuters (in part), Lengthy Hayden’s Note below

Originally posted May 2nd, 2011

* Sugar growers seek an injunction over HFCS advertising

* HFCS group stands behind its ads

Sugar producers think recent marketing efforts by manufacturers of high-fructose corn syrup aren’t so sweet.

In a lawsuit filed last year, three sugar distributors say that equating HFCS with real sugar — with slogans like “your body can’t tell the difference” — misleads consumers, trying to offset growing customer concerns about obesity and diabetes.

Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, said the lawsuit is without merit, as HFCS and sugar are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent.

“Sugar is sugar,” Erickson said.

Hayden’s Note:

Ms. Erickson recently contacted me regarding my upcoming article on high fructose corn syrup, GMO corn, and how sugars effect the human body. The email was certainly attempting to persuade my opinion on HFCS’ effects.  But that’s what lobbyists are paid to do, right?  The Corn Refiners’ Association essentially represents the entire HFCS industry and is little more than a massive lobbying and PR front.

To say, “Sugar is sugar,” is blatantly false and simply misleading.  Especially in light of the fact that it’s almost elementary knowledge that there are a half dozen different types of sugar and each are processed and regulated differently in the body.  Each have their own unique effect on the human system and we typically consume several different sugars on a daily basis.

The three main types of sugar are:

  • Glucose: made when your body breaks down starches and is used for energy.  Dextrose is the same thing.  The human body eventually converts all sugars to glucose … but with varying effects on organs and efficiency.
  • Fructose: the sugar found in fruits and vegetables.  Fructose has a low glycemic index, which means that it takes a long time for the body to break it down, resulting in a slow, steady release of sugar rather than a sudden rush.  For this reason, natural fructose is sometimes recommended for people with diabetes due to insulin regulation issues.
  • Sucrose: Regular table sugar and is made from cane or beet sugar.  This is a two-sugar molecule with one glucose and one fructose bonded together.  It should be noted, however, that Monsanto produces GMO sugar beets (currently in court battles, but they’ve already planted and harvested them against a prior court order…)

An important distinction to be made, however, is that while fruits and vegetables have fructose – most are high in fiber and contain loads of vitamins.  What’s so important about fiber when consuming large amounts of fructose?

Glad you asked, because fiber is essential for a healthy, well regulated body!

Benefits of fiber:

  • Lowers the level of cholesterol
  • Lowers triglycerides
  • Reduces the risk of colon cancer
  • Enhances the factor of weight loss
  • Improves diabetes and insulin regulation
  • Moves bowels (detox!)

Researchers from the University of California compared glucose and fructose consumption among 32 overweight or obese people and found that they resulted in very different health changes.

After drinking either a high fructose corn syrup – or glucose-sweetened beverage that made up 25 percent of their daily calories for 12 weeks, both groups gained a similar amount of weight.  However, those drinking the high fructose-sweetened beverage experienced an array of other unhealthy effects, including:

  • An increase in visceral fat; the kind that embeds itself between tissues in organs and is hard to get rid of, even with regular exercise
  • Less sensitivity to insulin, one of the first signs of diabetes
  • Increased fat production in the liver
  • Elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Increased levels of triglycerides

People who drank the glucose-sweetened beverage, meanwhile, experienced no such changes.

“This suggests that in the same way that not all fats are the same, not all dietary carbohydrates (sugars) are the same either,” Peter Havel, Professor of Nutrition at the University of California Davis and lead author of the study stated.

The United States is the biggest consumer and manufacturer of high-fructose corn syrup, with soft drink makers being the largest users.  It can also be found in just about ~70% of all processed foods you buy at the grocery store.

Cancer Cells Proliferate Using Fructose

Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, U.S. researchers said in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same.

Tumor cells fed both glucose and fructose used the two sugars in two different ways, the team at the University of California Los Angeles found.

They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, may help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types.

“These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation,” Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.

“They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth.”

Big-Ag and Market Control

If HFCS is so different from regular sugar and has potentially adverse health effects, why it is so widely used?  Why would the Corn Refiners Association say that it’s the same as any other sugar?

Again, I’m glad you asked! (Shout-out to Emery - inside joke.)

Beginning in 1973, policy changes promoted by Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz deregulated the corn market. He dismantled supply management policies, selling off government storage bins used as food-security reserves and implemented “fencerow to fencerow” planting.  Instead of farmers being paid government subsidies in order to not produce too much corn (supply management), they were now paid subsidies in order to over-produce (essentially).  This led to further development of ways to increase yields per acre – which led to the research and development of genetically modified seeds during the next Administration.

So, fast forward to the 1990’s / 2000’s – We’re sitting on top of piles and piles of GMO corn that is not even edible directly from the field.  Farmers are no longer able to feed themselves without heavy, commercial food processing and still barely scraping by.  The over-abundance of corn naturally paved the way for ethanol producers to use it for fuel purposes, even though it has an extremely poor sugar content (the required ingredient for ethanol) when compared to several other, more-sustainble crops.

Market Prices and Benefits for the Agri-Terrorists

And with this abundance of corn, market prices stay relatively low.  This is when the HFCS industry really ramped up its campaign and started replacing real sugar with corn syrup everywhere they could.  It was promoted as a safe alternative – the “same as sugar.”  But we know this isn’t the case.  Instead, it’s a matter of profit margins, nothing more.  The government is doling out money to corn farmers to continue producing while giving tax breaks to bio-tech industry leaders such as Monsanto to further increase yields and allowing the HFCS industry to flourish.   Cheaper corn equals cheaper “sugar” and that’s why they use it.

Furthermore, with the low cost of corn recently ($1.60 per bushel = 56 lbs!), commercial feed lots are using it almost exclusively to feed their cattle.

But I thought cows ate grass…?

When cows are fed a steady diet of corn – not to mention genetically modified corn – they swell up to market weight in about 6 months compared to the grass-fed cows’ maturity of over 12-16 months.  That’s great, you say?  Well, this causes the cows to experience various infections and their body begins to shut down.  Thus, farmers give them a continuous, low-dose of antibiotics throughout their life.  The FDA recently revealed that 80% of the antibiotic use in America is devoted to food animals.  Staggering, isn’t it?

Once that meat hits the processers, depending on it’s destination, it is mixed with GMO corn or GMO soy as a filler, preservatives and additives.  And by the time it finally arrives to your plate, it’s still chock-full of even more preservatives, tasty chemicals, modified corn genetics that produce pesticides, soy and brimming with delicious antibiotics.  Mmmm.

The GMO Corn Deception

As more and more consumers are waking up the GMO deception, the corn industry is becoming increasingly defensive in order to protect their lobbying clients and their GMO overlords.  The Corn Refiners Association has asked federal regulators to allow HFCS to be called “corn sugar.”  But the sugar manufacturers’ lawsuit says that the HFCS industry “jumped the gun” and started using the term before receiving approval.  This is a big deal for those who wish to eat healthier, avoid GMOs or reduce their bad sugar intake.  “Corn sugar” sounds rather innoculous when compared to High Fructose Corn Syrup.  And that is their goal.  Mislead, distract and dumb down.

Ms. Erickson said the Corn Refiners Association will “vigorously” defend its right to petition for the name change with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  “We stand by the message in our ads and the science behind it,” Erickson said.

I believe they have a right to call it whatever they want, as long as people can understand what exactly it is.  And to do that, we must not only educate people and be honest regarding the “science behind it” and how detrimental it can be to the human body, but we need GMO labeling requirements.  Most other countries have labeling laws or even import bans against genetically modified foods.

The case in U.S. District Court, Central District of California is Western Sugar Cooperative et al. v. Archer Daniels Midland Co et al, 11-3473.

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