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Mercury in Corn Syrup?

Fifty different brands of high fructose corn syrup containing foods were tested for mercury.

August 27, 2009 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited



What about that mercury thing, though. The corn corporations say there’s no mercury. Fact… or fiction?
Fact. Everything you wanted to know about high fructose corn syrup but were afraid to ask. Researchers looked at 50 different brands, from soda pop, to pop tarts. There’s that yogurt again.
The results? 30% of these foods with high fructose corn syrup were contaminated with mercury, and it was 60% for the dairy foods. Here’s how much mercury an average woman of childbearing age could get eating these products every day. This is the EPA’s safe upper limit. So, we probably shouldn’t let our kids become children of the corn. Of course a can of tuna may have as much mercury as an entire gallon of high fructose corn syrup, but still... Taking the mercury content into account, high fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar, but neither is good for you. They are both just empty calories—calories, with no nutrition.
When I gave testimony before the federal 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee this year I actually sat right next to the representative from the Sugar Association. Of course the pork producers were there, the dairy council, the Salt Institute, but I got to chat with Big Sugar.
Check out this classic sugar industry ad: If sugar is so fattening, how come so many kids are thin. Have you looked around recently? The tagline? “Sugar: It’s not just good flavor; Sugar is good food.”
As unbelievable as that one was, this one’s my favorite: “Mary is a busy girl. She needs sugar in her life. For energy. She needs energyless, artificial sweeteners like a turtle needs a seatbelt.” “18 calories per teaspoon—and it’s all energy.” That’s the problem! Only the sugar industry could take their greatest weakness—empty calories—and try to spin it into something good
Note to mothers: “Play it safe with your little ones, make sure they get sugar every day.” This was a real ad—I’m not making this up.
I mean, can you imagine even the meat industry, coming out and saying something like “eat lard?” Yes, I imagine you can. Another actual ad, though dated, and of course: a message brought to you in conjunction with the Department of Health. They are in fact happy because they eat lard.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on high fructose corn syrup. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Vitamin B12: how much, how often?Mercury Testing Recommended Before PregnancyIs Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Aspartame: Fibromyalgia & Preterm Birth, and Anti-Cancer Nutrient Synergy in Cranberries

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on high fructose corn syrup. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    • nogmofoods

      Thank you so much doc for the informative video, and may the Most High YAH continue to bless you.  My family and I try to eat as healthy as possible, but the truth is that the foods in the supermarkets, and almost everywhere are designed to kill us, and folks had better start waking up.  We knew about the high fructose corn syrup, and is now looking at eliminating or minimizing the use of sugars in our diet, and focus more on using natural sugars through jucing. Hey  doc, maybe you would like to check out, an alternative medicine practitioner who is very instrumental in removing mercury from the body. 

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Vitamin B12: how much, how often?!

  • Rebecca

    Would you mind citing the research on the mercury content of the products you refer to in the video? The research cited below is not it. Thank you.

  • Yann

    Hi Dr. Greger! Have you seen this: ?? Might it be true that there is so many heavy metals (iron in that case) in cereals that they get attracted by magnetism?

  • Carlo

    The link in the Sourced Cited is not the right one.

    Here it is: