Should High Fructose Corn Syrup Be Banned? By Lorne A Washburn HL 440 Project Winter 2010
Introduction High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is used in many foods and beverages as an artificial sweetener that can also offer additional benefits such as enhancing fruit and spice flavors in foods, give them soft textures, and keeping them fresh. (Corn Grower's Association, 2010) There have been many news articles and television campaigns based on whether or not HFCS is bad or not. (Severson, 2009)
Issue:Should High Fructose Corn Syrup be Banned? Definition of Terms: High Fructose Corn Syrup: “is a sweetener made from corn and can be found in numerous foods and beverages on grocery store shelves in the United States. High fructose corn syrup is composed of either 42 percent or 55 percent fructose, with the remaining sugars being primarily glucose and higher sugars.” – from (Corn Grower's Association, 2010) Ban: To prohibit the distribution of a product by legal means (Merriam-Webster, 2010)
Conclusion Pro Con Yes, High Fructose Corn Syrup should be banned. No, High fructose corn syrup should not be banned.
Reasons and Evidence Pro High Fructose Corn Syrup should be banned because: Con High Fructose Corn Syrup should not be banned because: The price of HFCS is cheaper due to the artificially inflated prices of cane sugar in the United States (R., 2008)(Bovard, 1998) Many consumers prefer the taste of cane sugar to HFCS sweetened products (Severson, 2009) Some soft drink companies have started producing soft drinks using sugar instead of HFCS (pentui1, 2009) In 1960, no HFCS was eaten by people (Mercola, 2004) Today, 63 lbs on average are ingested yearly by people (Mercola, 2004) Americans ingest 132 calories on average of HFCS, while the top 20% ingests 300 calories a day, and it is not unheard of to consume 700 calories per day (Mercola, 2004) HFCS is much cheaper than cane sugar; US prices of HFCS are almost half the price of cane sugar (R., 2008) HFCS is in many foods, as well as drinks and juices, as an artificial sweetener and due to its cheap cost and availability due to the production by US corn growers (R., 2008)(Mercola, 2004) HFCS consumption has risen over 1000% between 1970 and 1990, due to its increase use in foods as a sweetener, as well as it being cheaper and 20% sweeter (Mercola, 2004) 55% of sweeteners today are made from corn (Mercola, 2004)
Reasons and Evidence Pro High Fructose Corn Syrup should be banned because: It has been hypothesized with the rise in high fructose corn syrup consumption in the United States have come a rise in obesity rates (Forshee et al., 2007) HFCS accounts for about 41 percent of all sweeteners that contain calories that are consumed in the United States (Mercola, 2008) Con High Fructose Corn Syrup should not be banned because: Studies have shown that high fructose corn syrup does not have a significant effect on obesity, nor would eliminating it have an effect on obesity rates in America. (White, 2008) Increased intake of sugar has not entirely contributed to obesity rates, as overall caloric intake has risen since high fructose corn syrup became a sweetener, and thus cannot be contributed solely to HFCS (White, 2008)
Reasons and Evidence Pro High Fructose Corn Syrup should be banned because: A Princeton study has shown that HFCS consumption in rats in two different experiments has lead to higher obesity rates as well as increased triglyceride levels (Parker, 2010) The first study had rats ingest water sweetened with HFCS, while the other group received water sweetened with table sugar. The HFCS group gained much more weight than the table sugar group (Parker, 2010) The second study was focused more on the long term affects of HFCS in rats and many of the rats that consumed HFCS food compared to normal rat food exhibited many of the same symptoms as humans do that suffer from the metabolic syndrome (Parker, 2010) Con High Fructose Corn Syrup should not be banned because: Some people that have analyzed the Princeton study on HFCS say that there are some flaws in the study such as: The rats ingested a large amount of food that would be comparable in human terms to more than the average daily intake(Erickson, 2010) There were no table sugar controls for the long term study and none for part of the short term study (Erickson, 2010)
Reasons and Evidence Pro High Fructose Corn Syrup should be banned because: Some people have parodied the corn grower’s advertisements on many video sites such as Youtube.com, and state how HFCS intake can predispose someone to diabetes due to elevated insulin levels as well as limiting the body’s ability to discern when it is satiated (adso1327, 2008) Fructose gets stored as fat in the body, unlike glucose that gets utilized as energy Triglyceride levels also rise with fructose consumption (Mercola, 2007) Some studies have also shown that HFCS has links to obesity, diabetes, and the human metabolic syndrome (Mercola, 2007) Con High Fructose Corn Syrup should not be banned because: A campaign has been put out by the Corn Grower’s Association to try to combat the perception of HFCS being bad, and states that HFCS is fine in moderation (TrueChristianDOTcom, 2008)
Prescription Pro High Fructose Corn Syrup should be banned due to the health reasons and speculations that it is one of the greater causes for obesity, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. Con High Fructose Corn Syrup should not be banned because it is a safe alternative to table sugar as it should be used in moderation, as well as the fact that it is much cheaper and thus makes things more affordable.
Implications Pro If High Fructose Corn Syrup is banned: Many food products will be produced using cane sugar and many other sources of sugar such as beet sugar, instead of HFCS People will be able to hopefully live healthier lives, if the studies linking HFCS to obesity and diabetes are true Prices on many products that used to contain HFCS but now contain sugar will most likely rise, due to the increased cost of sugar compared to HFCS Con If High Fructose Corn Syrup is not banned: Prices will remain relatively low for products due to the lower cost of HFCS compared to sugar Obesity rates might continue to rise or stay the same (the different results of different studies do not offer a clear view when taken as a whole)
Assumptions Pro Are the studies relating HFCS to obesity true? Would consumers accept the sugar sweetened products with a higher price, given the health implications? Con Are the studies linking HFCS and obesity really as false as some studies and experts say? Would the low prices of corn compared to sugar stay low, keeping it as one of the main sweeteners in the country?
Evaluation using Paul’s Standards Pro Evaluation Clear and precise Has significance to health Plausible Arguments are consistent Has in depth arguments Accurate data Con Evaluation Has clarity Logical Fairness Plausible Arguments are complete Consistency in arguments
Works Cited Mercola, . (2004, April 10). Six reasons why corn is making you fat. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/04/10/corn-fat.aspx Mercola, . (2007, July 24). How High fructose corn syrup damages your body. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/07/10/how-high-fructose-corn-syrup-damages-your-body.aspx Erickson, A. (2010, March 22). Gross errors in princeton animal study on obesity and high fructose corn syrup . Retrieved from http://www.corn.org/princeton-hfcs-study-errors.html Parker, H. (2010, March 22). A Sweet problem: princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain. Retrieved from http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/ Mercola, . (2008, October 21). Guess who funds high fructose corn syrup studies?. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/10/21/guess-who-funds-high-fructose-corn-syrup-studies.aspx Severson, K. (2009, March 20). Sugar is back on food labels, this time as a selling point. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/dining/21sugar.html?_r=2 R., Mark. (2008, May 26). Sweet deal: high-fructose corn syrup price vs. consumption. Retrieved from http://www.ethicurean.com/2008/05/26/hfcs-history/ White, J. (2008). Straight talk about high-fructose corn syrup: what it is and what it ain't. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 88(6), Retrieved from http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/88/6/1716S?ijkey=QWxerxxoSOP4o&keytype=ref&siteid=ajcn doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.25825B Forshee, R., Storey, M., Allison, D., Glinsmann, W., Hein, G., Lineback, D., et al. (2007). A Critical Examination of the Evidence Relating High Fructose Corn Syrup and Weight Gain. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 47(6), 561-582. doi:10.1080/10408390600846457 Bovard, J. (1998, April). The Great sugar shaft . Retrieved from http://www.fff.org/freedom/0498d.asp pentui1, . (2009, May). Pepsi: throwback.. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6enLmmdMgU&feature=player_embedded adso1327, . (2008, September 30). High fructose corn syrup: get the facts!. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYiEFu54o1E&feature=player_embedded# TrueChristianDOTcom, . (2008, September 04). High-fructose corn syrup ad 2. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVsgXPt564Q&feature=player_embedded Corn Grower's Association, . (2010). What is Hfcs?. Retrieved from http://sweetsurprise.com/learning-center/what-is-hfcs Merriam-Webster, . (2010). Ban. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/netdict/ban