Mercury Found in Corn Syrup

Researchers believe contamination comes from corn syrup
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2009 8:11 AM CST
Researchers have found trace levels of mercury in many big-name processed foods that use high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener.   (©Allen's VISION(????))
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A test of some of America's most popular processed foods has turned up trace amounts of mercury, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. Researchers believe that the mercury, found in levels far lower than in seafood, comes from plants that use caustic soda laced with mercury to produce high-fructose corn syrup, widely used as a sweetener.

Researchers said the tests show processed foods could be a "significant additional source of mercury"—especially worrisome since many of the foods tested are popular with young people—and urged the industry to take steps to avoid contamination. Spokespeople for firms named in the report downplayed its significance, claiming a person would need to eat "100 pounds of ketchup every day" to ingest unsafe levels of mercury.