Consumer Health Group: HFCS is “The New Trans Fat”

Nearly a month after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, the major dietary source of trans fat in processed foods, are no longer GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), a prominent consumer advocacy group is calling for an end to the use of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

In a press release, Citizens for Health called HFCS “the most dangerous ingredient in the nation’s food supply,” and stated that it has filed a petition with the FDA to “take action against food and beverage manufacturers that use HFCS concentrations above approved limits, and to require accurate HFCS labeling information.”

Citizens for Health claims that both trans fats and HFCS are “highly-processed industrial ingredients” and “cause excessive damage to the liver.” In its release, the consumer group included a statement from Dr. Michael Goran, Director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center, who reported “HFCS found in many soft drinks are at excessive concentrations not Generally Recognized as Safe by the FDA.”

The American Beverage Association and the Corn Refiners Association (CFA) have long argued that HFCS is not uniquely responsible for the country’s obesity epidemic and that sugar and HFCS are nutritionally equivalent. In an October statement, the CFA, citing data published in Nutrition Journal, reported that it is an “increase in total calories that is driving the increase in obesity rates.”

“Virtually all of these additional calories are in the form of grains and fats, whereas fructose-containing sweeteners such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup account for only 1.3% of the increased calorie consumption since 1970,” the CFA stated.

Here is the full release from Citizens for Health:

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Deemed “The New Trans Fat”

Researchers Link Questionable Sugar Substitute to Serious Health Risks

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Following the Food & Drug Administration’s recent decision that it no longer considers the man-made additive “partially hydrogenated oils,” (commonly referred to as “trans fat”) safe, consumer groups and independent doctors are now targeting the highly controversial sugar substitute High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) as the most dangerous ingredient in the nation’s food supply.

Jim Turner, who chairs Citizens for Health, a leading consumer awareness group, believes the demise of HFCS will soon follow the fate of trans fat:

  • Both are highly-processed industrial ingredients shrouded in secrecy.
  • Both cause excessive damage to the liver.
  • Both spent millions on lobbyists, TV ads and highly paid advocates to try and convince consumers that their products are safe.
  • As health concerns escalated, food companies, supermarkets and restaurants voluntarily removed these ingredients.
  • Communities began banning or restricting these ingredients to stem the burgeoning medical costs associated with them.
  • Lawsuits piled up, claiming these ingredients cause serious health damages.

As clinical evidence against HFCS mounts, independent researchers are going on record to alert consumers about its health risks:

  • Obesity expert Dr. Robert H. Lustig stated, “Type 2 diabetes was unheard of in children prior to 1980–when High Fructose Corn Syrup began to be incorporated into processed foods.”
  • Dr. Mark Hyman, Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine, said HFCS “is driving most of the epidemic of heart disease, cancers, and diabetes.”
  • Dr. Michael Goran, Director of the Childhood Obesity Research Center, reported that the HFCS found in many soft drinks are at excessive concentrations not Generally Recognized as Safe by the FDA.

Citizens for Health has filed a petition asking the FDA to take action against food and beverage manufacturers that use HFCS concentrations above approved limits, and to require accurate HFCS labeling information.  Concerned consumers are encouraged to visit the Citizens for Health website to submit their comments and sign the petition.

About Citizens for Health
Funded by concerned consumers, non-profit partners, food growers, and businesses, Citizens for Health is a non-profit organization providing over 130,000 supporters with news, action alerts, and ways to demand access to healthy food, non-toxic products, and truthful, non-misleading health information.  More information is available at www.citizens.org.