Mercury in High-Fructose Corn Syrup?
Researchers Say 17 Products Tested Had Some Mercury; Industry Group Says Syrup Is Safe
WebMD News Archive
WebMD contacted the makers of all 17 products that tested positive for
mercury in Wallinga's report.
ConAgra Foods, which makes Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe and Hunt's Tomato
Ketchup, is "absolutely confident in the safety of our products,"
ConAgra Foods spokeswoman Stephanie Childs tells WebMD.
Childs notes that "the levels of mercury reported in our ketchup are
well below the EPA's safe exposure level. In fact, we estimate that you'd have
to eat more than 100 pounds of ketchup per day to even come anywhere near the
EPA's safe exposure level in terms of mercury.
A spokeswoman for Kraft Foods, Adrienne Dimopoulos, tells WebMD that Kraft
has not had time to review the study's findings. However, "Kraft Foods'
highest priority is the safety and quality of our products and the safety of
our consumers. All of the ingredients we use are approved and deemed safe for
food use by regulatory agencies, including the US FDA."
Amy Reilly, a spokeswoman for Target, which makes Market Pantry Grape Jelly,
tells WebMD that Target is carefully evaluating the information and that
"Target looks to the Food and Drug Administration to provide guidance on
the safety of food additives and ingredients."
An FDA spokesperson tells
WebMD that the FDA takes mercury contamination in food very seriously and
that methylmercury is the form of mercury that's of the greatest concern.
Dietary exposure to methylmercury comes almost exclusively from fish, and the
new research on mercury in high fructose corn syrup doesn't provide enough
information or analysis because it focuses on total mercury levels and the
potential levels of exposure are extremely low, the spokesperson