Another bit of HFCS Truth

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Every time I see one of those commercials about how high-fructose corn syrup is “made from corn and fine in moderation” I get a little upset. I’m not upset because what the commercial claims is untrue, although it is misleading. I’m not upset at the moxie of the corn lobby. People selling stuff are supposed to, well, try to sell their stuff.

I get upset because the only reason HFCS is so prevalent in the U.S. diet is because sugar tariffs and taxes make it cost effective. Put HFCS, or any other pseudo-natural sweetener on equal market footing with sugar and guess what? No one would buy the stuff. The fact that it might be okay in moderation–and I agree with Dr. Oz that it’s not–is therefore a secondary issue at best.

From whence do these tariffs arise and who do they benefit? The tariffs benefit companies that make HFCS, companies like ADM. It works like this: ADM lobbies Congress. Congress places tariffs on sugar. ADM sells HFCS to Coca Cola. ADM and Coke get fat, owing directly to corporate welfare. Everybody else gets fat on the made-from-corn sweetener that no one would otherwise use.

Nice racket.

12:13 pm on March 29, 2009