If the specter of obesity and diabetes wasn't enough to turn you off high- fructose corn syrup (HFCS), try this: New research suggests that the sweetener could be tainted with mercury
, putting millions of children at risk for developmental problems.
In 2004, Renee Dufault, an environmental health researcher at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), stumbled upon an obscure Environmental Protection Agency report on chemical plants' mercury emissions. Some chemical companies, she learned, make lye by pumping salt through large vats of mercury. Since lye is a key ingredient in making HFCS (it's used to separate corn starch from the kernel), Dufault wondered if mercury might be getting into the ubiquitous sweetener that makes up 1 out of every 10 calories Americans eat.