Saturday, 19 October 2013

Okay, This Makes Me Mad...

EU Rule That Food Industry Can Call High Fructose Food Syrup Healthy

          I quote from The Guardian, (17/10/2013)
'the EU has now ruled that food and drink manufacturers can claim their sweetened products are healthier if they replace more than 30% of the glucose and sucrose they contain with fructose.'

      More and more evidence is slotting into place to show that sugar, not fat, is the underlying cause of 'the obesity epedemic.' And that the worst, most poisonous, most dangerous kind of sugar is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
       Ever since it was introduced, in the 1970s, obesity and the incidence of related ill-health has risen in step with its use. All over the world. Wherever HFCS is introduced, obesity, diabetes 2, heart disease, liver disease, and other related diseases quickly follow.
      The Food Industry love it, because it is very cheap and they need to use much less to make food sweet. Therefore their profits climb. American farmers love it, because it made them rich. American politicians love it, because it keeps the price of food - albeit junk food - cheap, and helps them win elections.
       And now our politicians, in the EU and UK are following their lead. Our Food Industry - in as much as it's 'ours' in these multi-national days - are keen to follow.
     They poison us to get rich - and blame it all on us. Because you put the food in your mouth, right? So, even though they told you it was 'healthy', it's your fault. You believed them, you fool. You believed your government, you idiot.
     The whole EU argument is based on the 'fact' that HFCS has a lower GI - that is, it doesn't cause as high and sudden a spike in blood-sugar as refined white sugar, or sucrose.
      This is so simplistic, and ignores so much recent research, that it takes the breath away.
      It ignores the fact that HFCS is worse than sugar, bad as refined sugar is. If 'poison' is defined as something which damages health when introduced into the body, then HFCS is a poison.
       You don't have to take it from me. Here's the highly qualified and experienced Dr. Robert Lustig. His lecture is too long to embed
Robert Lustig, MD
here, but this is the link -
        It is long, but he's a highly entertaining and charming lecturer, and it's well worth watching.
        He explains how closely ethenol - alchohol - and HFCS are linked, and how the body metabalises both in the liver, because the rest of the body can't handle the stuff or use it. Which makes both poisons.
          But, as he points out, we've admitted that alcohol is a poison for centuries - and regulated it.
         If I understand correctly, HFCS doesn't cause a spike in blood-sugar because your body identifies it as poison and shunts it straight to the liver - the de-toxifying organ. And the liver struggles to deal with it, especially in the volumes of it we consume, in, say, fizzy drinks.
          Both alcohol and HFCS cause a build up of fat in the liver, and inflammation - cirrhosis. They both cause obesity, and also increase in appetite (because the hormone which tells us we've eaten enough, leptin, is inhibited.) They both cause hyper-tension, clogging of arteries and lead to heart-failure. It increases the risk of gout.
         And this is the stuff that the EU is going to allow to be labelled and advertised as 'healthy'.
         Mothers are going to be targeted by the Food Industry and told that this 'fruit-juice' - flavoured, coloured HFCS - is 'healthy'.
          It's going to be put - even more than it is now - into yoghurt, bread, ready-meals, cakes, biscuits, cereals, drinks, sauces, pickles... And every jar, tin and packet is going to be labelled 'healthy.' And 'natural.' One of your five a day.

          Whenever you see a food or drink labelled 'natural', 'low-fat' or 'healthy' - be very, very suspicious.

          We're in the middle of an obesity epidemic, we're told. Diabetes 2 and obesity threaten the future of our Health Service.
          And our leaders' response?
          Not only let the Food Industry pump even more poisonous, addictive High Fructose Corn Syrup into our food - but let them claim that it's healthy!

          Now let's pause a moment and ask why they're doing this?
          Is it because they've yielded to Food Industry pressure without bothering to read any of the research?
             Have they yielded to Food Industry pressure because they're too stupid to understand the research?
          Or have they yielded to Food Industry pressure because of lobbying from vested interests whose main concern is the money to be made? Regardless of how much pain and suffering their product causes - regardless of whether it destroys the NHS?

          Which would you consider to be their best excuse? Or the most likely reason?
          Which reason makes them least fit to hold office or make any decisions on our behalf?

          And let's bring in something else - our government recently passed the third reading of 'The Gagging Law', which they claim is to control lobbying by vested interests. Which would be a good thing, if it actually did that.
          But it doesn't.
         What it does is target individuals and charities, and prevent them from campaigning on issues before an election. It would make it illegal, for instance, for me to write this blog and bring this matter to your attention during the run-up to an election. You might, for instance, after reading this, think it was not a good idea to vote for any government that supported the EU in labelling a poison 'healthy'.
          And that would disappoint the Food Industry. It would be undemocratic and grossly unfair to millionaire MPs and the Food Industry, now wouldn't it?
         Why would this government of millionaires, relations of the queen, and people who sit on the boards of big multi-nationals want such a law passed, do you suppose?
          I remember, years and years ago, watching a documentary about the Tobacco Industry - at about the time they were fighting against the clearer and clearer evidence that smoking was a cause of lung-cancer. I wish I could post a link to the programme, but sorry, I can't.
          One moment of it, however, stays very clear in my memory. An American tobacco executive was being questioned by an off-screen interviewer, as he defended tobacco, and advertisements for it aimed at children. The off-screen voice asked, 'Do you allow your children to smoke?'
          This simple question seemed to cause the executive some difficulty. He ummed and ahhed, and tried to evade it. The off-screen voice repeated the question. If tobacco was harmless, and advertising it by using cartoon characters that appealed to children was harmless, then surely he allowed his children to smoke - right?
          The executive blustered for a few more moments. (He would never have been allowed in front of camera these days.) Then he relaxed as an answer came to him. Leaning back in his chair and smiling, he said, "Listen. Smoking is for the young, poor and stupid." His body language and smirk made it clear that he thought this a clinching argument, a piece of devastating wit and insight.
          The camera remained on him, and the interviewer kept silent, letting the executive's remark hang there. The camera remained on him as his smirk faded and his eyes became shifty. Had the thought crossed his mind that perhaps his clever remark hadn't been so clever after all?
          I remember it because it was one of the most shocking, revealing things I've ever heard. There, summed up in eight words, was the Tobacco Industry's attitude to its customers. There, stripped bare, was the utter contempt for us, and bigotry, that lies behind all that clever, sumptuous, calculated packaging and advertising.
          And Big Tobacco and Big Sugar are often the same companies. The people behind them have the same attitude to us. Cereal that's more than 50% sugar and advertised with funny cartoon characters? Fizzy drinks that are slightly flavoured High Fructose Corn Syrup? Bread stuffed with so much sugar that it's really cake? All marketed to the young, poor and stupid.
          Obesity? Diabetes 2? Heart disease? Liver disease? - They're for the young, poor and stupid.
          I find that the image of that executive's smug face is a great  aid to eating genuinely healthy food.
          I gave up food containing added sugar in January this year, and I can't say that I've missed it. I also find that I zip round the supermarket, buying fresh meat, fruit and veg, without even noticing the shelves of cakes, biscuits, desserts etc. Not even chocolate attracts me any more. I no longer have to use will-power to pass the aisles of sugar-laden packages. They no longer even register with me.
          But if I was ever tempted again... I think I'd only have to imagine my money going into the pocket of some Food Industry executive who sneered at me for being, if not young, then stupid and poor. The sugary item would go back on the shelf. I think I'd rather live on raw cabbage and liver than contribute a single penny to his income.
          But the EU are going to give him a helping hand!

          (I've posted on this subject before. You can read the post here.)


Sue Bursztynski said...

I've tweeted this post. I can understand your feelings about this. Thank heaven we haven't had tobacco advertising here in years, apart from sports events and I think that has been dealt with. There was a book called Merchants of Death I read many years ago, which told of an Asian country which objected to ads aimed at children and marketing to them by a big US tobacco company, which came down on them hard, something about interfering with their business; the government had to give in. Recently, in Australia, where I live, there was a huge row with the tobacco industry over plain packaging, but our Labor government won. They first argued hat it wouldn't make any difference and then that it was about interfering with their business. But in Oz, cigarettes are now sold from behind a wooden door at the counter and they have plain olive packaging and horrible images on them. Thank heaven it went through before the last election, because we are now stuck with a conservative government that will probably act like yours(they're already working on destroying a pollution tax) because they only care about business. Let's hope they don't find out about that gagging law!

madwippitt said...

Next step is to get an allotment Sue! Then you can eat produce which hasn't travelled a zillion miles and been grown out of season, thus adding to all the planet's other problems, and which is fresh as opposed to having been treated with god-knows-what to lengthen it's shelf life to weeks rather than days, and which is organic rather than containing all sorts of nasty pesticides which aren't good either for you or the planet and it's essential bug life!

Marc Sanders said...

Canadian CBC aired an excellent documentary just two weeks ago on "The Secrets of Sugar":

It shows how the sugar industry deliberately concealed the health risks known to them already back in the 70s.

Sounds like tobacco tactics?

Sounds like some historically unprecedented legal and financial claims?

Sounds like Coca Cola will only be allowed to advertise mineral water at Olympic Games and soccer world cups?

I think so.

Ever wondered why "life-style" diseases started spreading only once sugar consumption surpassed the metabolically safe levels of max. 50g/day (acc. to WHO) back in 1900, and why they exploded since sugar is found in almost every product? (

Ever wondered why ADHD became the number one performance killer in our schools?

Ever wondered why insulin-dependent forms of cancer are on the rise?

Because sugar and HFCS both contain fructose, which messes up the whole metabolic system.

Evolutionarily, it was meant as a fruity calorie boost once a year prior to winter.

Today, it's the all-year number one calorie source in the US, and on the rise worldwide.

Something went wrong.

Something has to change.

As a first step, the EU must withdraw their "health claim" and issue a "health warning" of fructose and sugar in general.

Only then will we be back on the right track.

Please spread the word.

Susan Price said...

Thank you for all your comments - and Sue, thank you for tweeting.

Karen - I am seriously thinking of growing some raspberries, blackberries etc in my small garden next year - if I ever get the garden sorted out! I couldn't keep up with it while my parents were ill, and it went feral - and then after they died, I didn't have the heart for a couple more years. But I have built a tower of strawberries!

Marc - agree so much with all you say, and thank you for adding information and links.

Jenny Alexander said...

This makes me mad too, Sue. My policy has always been that the closer a food is to its natural state the better it is for you, so I don't eat any processed stuff but cook from basic ingredients, and never eat cakes/puddings/biscuits at all except in social situations (I'm only human!) Food manufacturers love salt and sugar because they're preservatives and addictive, which is a double cash-back situation. Governments love food manufacturers because they've mostly got their sticky little fingers in the pie. I hope we'll see health warnings on processed foods like on tobacco products in the end though, as the evidence mounts up

madwippitt said...

You can grow a phenomenal amount in even a small space; and some things, like chard and beetroot can even be quite decorative in a border. strawberries and mint and even cherry tomatoes can look terrific in a hanging basket ...

Anonymous said...

Home grown taste better too! We've been doing it for ages. There's even a corner shop on the Isle of Man which allows people to place their excess on show for sale! Good idea. However, most people want the toxic sprayed, waxed and genetically modded stuff that supermarkets put on their exhibition shelves.

I think the politicians probably suffer from a combination of downright corruption in some cases and basic ignorance of scientific issues on the other.

I live in Switzerland (non EU) and we can buy produce here that is 'banned' in the EU. We get a mag regularly called 'pro specia rare' for the seeds we plant.

Who was the American magnate who said 'No one ever went broke underestimating the taste and intelligence of the public'?


Susan Price said...

Variations on that quote have probably been attributed to a lot of people, but I always thought it was Mark Twain who said, "Nobody ever lost money by underestimating public taste." You only have to look around to see how right the man (or someone else) was.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Can't et an allotment here, alas. My balcony garden wouldn't stretch to homegrown fruit, though I did have strawberries for a while(five per season. ;-D). I agree about staying away from processed food, as much as possible, and when I have a cake it's a homemade one. I've even made my own pasta now and then. But it's nice to have a few tins of beans, chick peas, tomatoes, etc, for those nights you come home late and exhausted and want to throw together a soup or a pasta sauce.

I buy fruit in season, refusing to buy imported. Still, this is a big continent and if you live in Melbourne and want to get tropical fruit in summer, it has to come from Queensland. Pineapples just don't grow don't south.