Mercury Found in Commerical Corn Syrup
Almost half of the corn syrup tested in a new study contained mercury, according to HealthDay News. And a third of commercial food products with corn syrup had mercury as well.
The studies focused on high-fructose corn syrup, known as HFCS, which is often produced using caustic soda that contains mercury, the news service reported.
One study, published in the Environmental Health journal, found detectable levels of mercury in nine out of 20 commercial HFCS samples.
The other study found that one of every three brand-name foods, out of 55 tested, included mercury, HeathDay News reported. The most common foods with mercury were dairy products, dressing and condiments.
“The bad news is that nobody knows whether or not their soda or snack food contains HFCS made from ingredients like caustic soda contaminated with mercury,” said Dr. David Wallinga, of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, in HealthDay News. He co-authored both studies.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, high levels of mercury can cause brain and liver damage. Short-term exposure to high levels of mercury can increase blood pressure and trigger rashes, eye irritation, nausea, vomiting and other health problems.
“Mercury is toxic in all its forms,” Wallinga said, according to HealthDay News. “Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered.”