Posting in Cancer
The scrutiny over high fructose corn syrup will only increase with a new Cancer Research article, written by UCLA scientists, linking fructose to cancer.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), a corn-based sweetener developed in 1957 and engineered into a wide range of food starting in 1975, looks headed to becoming a major health concern of this generation.
In the process Archer Daniels-Midland may become a one-company "big tobacco."
ADM is not the only HFCS producer, just the largest and best-known. Overall HFCS production has fallen 13% from 2001.
ADM led the push for HFCS in food during the 1970s, and by the mid-90s had one-third of the market. The company helped it replace cane sugar in soda, becoming a major political player. It's also a major advocate for ethanol, also produced from corn. (ADM logo from Wikipedia.)
There has been occasional pushback, mostly over foreign policy (ADM gives to both sides and is often most generous to Democrats) but in recent years it is dietary science that has become the focus of criticism.
The initial charge against ADM was that it was promoting obesity, since HFCS dominates the U.S. market for soda sweeteners. It's not just the "soda tax." It's also the willingness of policy makers to let poor people buy soda with what used to be called food stamps. Critics call it a $4 billion subsidy.
It's not just obesity per se that's trouble for corn syrup.
Since 2004 there have been studies linking HFCS to diabetes. A later Yale study charged diets high in HFCS led to resistance to insulin. Despite sizable industry pushback, many scientists now see a link between HFCS and diabetes.
Thus ADM and HFCS have now become a bete noire for liberal columnists, who hint darkly about the industry killing us, much as conservative pundits have gotten on the company for allegedly trying to bail out Fidel Castro. Other conservatives call the company an example of corporate welfare.
The scrutiny, and intensity, is only going to ratchet up with a new Cancer Research article, written by UCLA scientists, linking fructose to cancer. The study was immediately criticized by the industry's Sweetsurprise Web site, but study author Anthony Heaney was adamant to CBS, saying fructose speeds the growth of cancer cells.
"I think this paper has a lot of public health implications," Heaney told CBS. "Hopefully, at the federal level there will be some effort to step back on the amount of HFCS in our diets." That's as close as most scientists come to jumping up-and-down, demanding government action based on their work.
Politically, a perfect storm is brewing. Both sides of the aisle are attacking HFCS, dietary science is piling on. ADM's political contributions have fallen dramatically this decade, but those of rival HFCS producer Cargill have increased.
If ADM's politicking picks up again suddenly you are nearly certain to hear about it, as the political wagons circle, spurred on by dietary science, around HFCS.
UPDATE: BoingBoing is currently featuring a post fisking Heaney's conclusions, calling them overly broad. Cancer cells will grow in any sugar solution, and there is no smoking gun.
Aug 6, 2010
I gave extensive background beyond this study for a purpose. There is enormous skepticism among medical scientists about High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is growing, just as skepticism about tobacco was growing in the 1950s, when use of tobacco was at its height. I suppose an anti- tobacco study from 1952, if reported as I've reported here, would have been dismissed as you dismiss this. And it's possible that in this instance you might be right. Based on past history, based on current trends, it is very likely that the political heat on this industry will only increase. As a reporter following facts I think I have a right to make that claim, even if you disagree with it.
So are you reporting facts about a recent study, or are you just making a political statement about an industry? I'm not saying that the industry is healthy, only that the article title you chose reflects more of a personal political belief rather than a factual reporting of an important study into the metabolism of cancer. I'm getting sick of "reporters" that lace a story with their own political viewpoint which skews and muddies the actual facts. I suppose it's a sign of the times, but I just couldn't help pointing out the fact that this study doesn't directly support your thoughts about the HFCS industry. To shed light on the problems with HFCS, please report on stories directly related to those problems, not making indirect connections or insinuations.
a study was done showing that coffee causes cancer. Rats were given the equivalent of 100 cups a day...... there is no better scare tactic than to present studies that do not provide clear results, nor rational methods of examining the subject. Yes some studies are valid, many are not, in fact they are nothing more than sponsored claptrap.
I agree that the link between HFCS and cancer is, as yet, unproven. But that does not mean the industry itself is healthy. Our food industry is based on 1930s knowledge of the body and 1930s regulatory schema. We are in a different set of circumstances today and our incentives should change accordingly.
Albee... Asians eat fermented soy. The soy here in America is much more insidious. It's not fermented and soy oil and soy by-product are used as fillers in many processed foods. This is on top of the "nutraceutical" soy products mentioned by deusXmchna@.
There may be something to the soy comment. While Americans are sucking down "nutraceutical" soy products in vast quantities with artificially inflated (sometimes added) isoflavones, our Asian brethren have been eating a drastically different type of soy diet, with many more fermented soy products. I don't have a dog in this fight (the soy fight), and the verdict isn't in yet, and may not be for awhile- even a generation or two, but I thought I'd point out that may be something going on there- and the "if something was up the Asians would be belly up" thing doesn't quite fit (because that was my response the first time I heard the initial whispers in the food communities, and I got SCHOOLED on the differences in soy use between the cultures); Again- might be.. might not be.. might be something to be a bit aware of.
of course if this were true we should immediately stop eating fruit, any fruit, and stop drinking fruit juice. oh those ads for orange juice! they are just meant to kill you; probably a terrorist plot. because one half of the dimer sucrose is fructose, let's cut that out also. maybe someone should begin to wonder why of the four things our tongues can detect is sweet.
Actually there are already studies showing that cancer cells metabolism switches from oxygen based to anaerobic-sugar based metabolism, called the "Warburg Effect". Most recently, MIT and others are looking more closely into this: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/cancer-metabolism-0406.html HOWEVER, this has nothing to do with the sugar that is ingested!!!! It has everything to do with how the cancer cells are metabolizing the sugar in our blood, which is produced from everything we eat. ANY sugar, whether it's HFCS, cane, or whatever, will increase the amount of sugar in our blood. To say that HFCS is causing cancer, or to insinuate it, is misguided.
"Soy is the component adding to the explosion of thyroid problems." Possibly GMO soy. If non-gmo soy was the cause, then most of the Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans would have an explosion of thyroid problems. That simply is not the case. Also remember most of the HFCS and CS is made from gmo corn. As for Dana, when he is right and somebody attacks, I'll defend. When he is wrong, I am happy to call him on it here :)
I believe over-engineered food is the basis of many of our health problems, HFCS being one of many. Really too much corn (in its many forms) and soy in our diets. Both promoted by the Department of Agriculture since Earl Butts was Secretary of Agriculture. Soy is the component adding to the explosion of thyroid problems. Soy destroys our thyroid and corn sweeteners make us fatter....it's dismal and out of control. Time for corporate America to stop destroying our food. Time for the government to stop letting corporate America destroy our food supply in pursuit of the almighty dollar.
the cancer is probably caused from the mercury they are finding in it. 'Studies find mercury in much U.S. corn syrup' http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE50Q5IA20090127 WASHINGTON | Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:15pm GMT 9Reuters) - Many common foods made using commercial high fructose corn syrup contain mercury as well, researchers reported on Tuesday, while another study suggested the corn syrup itself is contaminated.
I share your concern. I have been marking spam as spam whenever I see it, as soon as I see it, and looking at all comment threads regularly. It's up to the techs to do the actual deletion, although I would like that technical power. (Which I would never use on, say, Albee_Freeoneday)
It has been proven that cancer cells feed on fructose, sucrose... any sugar which would include HFCS. Better to use safe sweeteners like stevioside
J Nutr. 2009 Jun;139(6):1269S-1270S. Epub 2009 Apr 15. The state of the science on dietary sweeteners containing fructose: summary and issues to be resolved. Murphy SP. Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA Abstract This article highlights the discussion of the issues that had been raised during the International Life Sciences Institute North America- and USDA Agricultural Research Service-sponsored workshop surrounding the consumption of fructose. One conclusion of the discussion was that the metabolic effects of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose appear to be similar in humans. However, there have been few studies directly comparing the effects of fructose to other caloric sweeteners, such as glucose, HFCS, and sucrose. Differential effects may include those related to insulin sensitivity, triglyceride and lipoprotein levels, and glycated protein levels. Further exploration of the differences between nutritive sweeteners should be the basis of a research agenda. Studies should also further investigate factors that might affect the results, such as the amount and form of the sweetener consumed, the macronutrient composition of the basal diet, the length of the study, and the characteristics of the subjects. Meanwhile, health professionals could help consumers by providing simple messages, such as the importance of consuming lower levels of energy, including those from all caloric sweeteners.
"Corn syrup is notoriously nonpartisan" Yes. It is between those who value their health and those that don't. "HFCS ... not materially different from cain-derived sugar in cancer cell growth" Perhaps not regarding cancer based on one single study. However, it IS different than other sweeteners in the human body. By the way... it is cane not cain
Linking HFCS to cancer is an absurd overreach from this study. The facts don't support it. HFCS is not the only source of Fructose, and it's not materially different from cain-derived sugar in cancer cell growth. If you're just predisposed against processed foods, fine - but don't kid yourself into believing that science supports your bias. It doesn't, in this case.
I think I made that clear. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have cooperated with the industry, each with their own motivation.
Good job on bringing this to everyone's attention. HFCS should not be in foods at all. Either should genetically engineered foods. And anyone wanting to do a bit of research can find loads of studies proving HFCS is not healthy, and in fact is extremely harmful to people. But the US government (FDA and USDA) says it is safe, and OK for people to use. The FDA the same group that allowed asparteme to be sold as a sweetener, the same group that took saccharine OFF the list of proven carginogens because the saccharine producers asked them to. the FDA the same group that is banning (and using armed people) to prevent consumers from buying raw dairy. The FDA the same group that wanted to seize cherries becuase the USDA did a study and found cherries were more effective at getting rid of arthritis problems than pharmaceuticals. The FDA that said "There is No Absolute Right to Consume or Feed Children Any Particular Food." on page 25 of thier answer FARM-TO-CONSUMER LEGAL ) DEFENSE FUND, et al., ) ) Plaintiffs, )) v. ) No. C 10-4018-MWB ) KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, Secretary, ) United States Department of Health ) and Human Services, et al., )) Defendants. Another case of the US government good doers taking away our rights.
uh, the study doesn't say fructose causes cancer. The study only shows that pancreatic cancer cells can metabolize fructose, so if you already have pancreatic cancer it will grow faster. So those with pancreatic cancer may live longer if they don't drink fructose containing drinks...but note that is only suggested by the study, not confirmed by experiments.