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The HFCS lawsuit

HFCS makers sued for causing teen’s type 2 diabetes

The parent of a 14-year-old with type 2 diabetes has sued several companies that make high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), alleging that the substance is “toxic” and its consumption caused the teen’s disease. S.F. v. Archer-Daniels- Midland Co., No. 13-634 (U.S. Dist. Ct., W.D.N.Y., filed June 17, 2013).

The complaint details the purported effects of HFCS on the human body, asserting that it is associated with metabolic disease, liver inflammation and insulin resistance, chronic hyperinsulinemia, and type 2 diabetes. It also alleges that the fructose in HFCS “‘tricks’ the brain into wanting more food and stimulates excessive and continued consumption” and that it “bypasses the insulin-driven satiety system, suppressing ‘the degree of satiety’ that would normally result from a meal of glucose or sucrose, thereby causing and contributing to over consumption on a chronic basis with the adverse effects therefrom including the development of type 2 diabetes.”

Alleging that HFCS use and consumption have “become nearly omni present in American foods and beverages,” increasing by more than 1,000 percent between 1970 and 1990, the complaint also contends that the defendants “in conjunction with the Corn Refiners Association” embarked on a publicity campaign “that attempts to recast HFCS as a natural product that is ‘natural, nutritionally the same as table sugar and has the same number of calories.’” Seeking a damages award for “loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, . . . future lifelong and permanent medical complications including the probability of surgery and shortened life expectancy,” as well as compliance “with rigorous dietary and pharmaceutical restrictions her entire life,” the plaintiff alleges strict liability; failure to warn; negligence; gross negligence; and willful, wanton and reckless conduct. In addition to $5 million, the plaintiff seeks exemplary and punitive damages, costs and disbursements.

Attorney J. Michael Hayes, who is representing the plaintiff, reportedly said he believed this was the first consumer product liability case to be filed against HFCS manufacturers. A Corn Refiners Association spokesperson apparently said that HFCS is safe and natural and that the allegations are false and unsubstantiated. Association President and CEO John Bode said, “The plaintiff is seeking to profit by making claims that are contradicted by solid, credible research, as well as the Food and Drug Administration and the American Medical Association. This lawsuit will confuse consumers and mislead them about how to make the right choices for a healthy diet.” See Law360, June 20, 2013.

 

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There is a lot of science already out there about hfcs not being correctly recognized by the brain, meaning it's more likely to cause weight gain and lead to more sugar cravings because it doesn't have the same chemical properties as sugar.  It's the same science that applies to artificial sweetener - they screw up your body's insulin production because it thinks you need more than you do.

Parenting and/or self-control are always a factor, but, do you think people really have a clue how absolutely bad hfcs is for them, or do they assume it's no different than sugar, thanks to that silly campaign they ran a few years ago?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 6:01 PM on Jun. 25, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,172 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I don't think most people pay attention, or realize just how many products it's in. Try finding basics like bread, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or jam without it. You expect bad stuff to be in crap like twinkies, but you don't think that it's going to be in basics, so few people look.
    We are totally HFCS-free here. If my oldest son gets any, he acts all sorts of weird. I can always tell if he's had ketchup at the school.
    JulieJacobKyle

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 6:05 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • Interesting. I have been reading about this myself. I do wonder why doctors suggest sugar substitues for insulin dependent patients and people trying to lose weight.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 6:08 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • I think a lot of people assume hfcs is harmless because of the ad campaign. I remember the ads, and even at the time, I thought they were long on cozy reassurances and short on substantial research. I think even more people have some idea that hfcs is at least somewhat harmful, but they don't really know how to avoid it because it's use has become so widespread in all kinds of processed foods.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 6:09 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • HFCS "may" have caused it but the mother allowed it. You don't get D2 from rarely eating sweets. She should have controlled what her child put into his mouth better or more like what she allowed him to eat. People need to blame someone else but themselves when they know they are at fault.
    I already know how bad it is that's why my kids get it sparingly.
    LostSoul88

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 6:09 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • HFCS "may" have caused it but the mother allowed it. You don't get D2 from rarely eating sweets.

    And you don't get HFCS from "eating sweets". Re-read JJK's post - it is literally in everything. Go out to your kitchen and start reading labels. Unless you've made everything from scratch or bought specialized food, it's in your bread, your ketchup, your pb&j, your cereal, crackers, oatmeal, granola bars, fruit snacks, juice boxes, just about everything that's in a box, can or jar. Even if it's not a sweet food, it very likely has hfcs in it.
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:15 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • I buy most of my stuff without it already, I look for it in every label
    LostSoul88

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 6:16 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • NP, when we first started paying attention to labels in 2010, we couldn't find a single brand of bread that didn't have it. I ended up buying a breadmaker and freaking baking all my bread. Then of course, he didn't like that bread much and he stopped eating his lunches and lost a bunch of weight. Now at least there are a couple of brands without it if you pay attention, but it's only because more people are speaking up about it.
    JulieJacobKyle

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 6:22 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • a month ago i stopped eating foods w/ HFCS cause i found it makes my joints hurt. well its in freaking EVERYTHING! even the bread i had been buying had it as the 2nd ingredient! its freaking stupid!! throw in getting rid of dextrose and theres very little processed foods i can eat.

    and its not the corn syrup thats the problem, its the high fructose part. more & more research is proving that fructose is bad news. corn syrup is fine in moderation (my grandpa has eaten it on his biscuits every morning for 60+ years and is in better shape than ppl 10 years younger than him) but the fructose fucks with the brain.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 8:59 PM on Jun. 25, 2013

  • "The parent of a 14-year-old with type 2 diabetes has sued several companies that make high-fructose corn syrup"OP
    Type 2 diabetes has a strong link to family history. If someone in this girl's family, like mom, dad, grandparents she stands a greater chance of getting D2. There is something else me and DH has discovered about diabetes, and its a rare form of diabetes called "maturity-onset diabetes of the young" My DH was diagnosed 7 yrs ago. So we pay attention on what we feed dd, and her getting her exercise and all that stuff.
    We all know about how people get D2, overweight, especially if the fat is collected more in the tummy area, lack of exercise, and so on. Saying that sugar caused her daughter to get D2? Getting off her ass would get rid of D2. I find suspicious there are no pics of this girl or her family.... Most would appear on TV to get the public sympathy of a 'pretty girl" with D2, and it the farmers fault.
    Michigan-Mom74

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 1:40 AM on Jun. 26, 2013

  • " “loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, . . . future lifelong and permanent medical complications including the probability of surgery and shortened life expectancy,” as well as compliance “with rigorous dietary and pharmaceutical restrictions her entire life,”
    Thats FUCKING bullshit. DH has D2, and he lives a normal life. He eats healthy, with NO rigorous dietary and pharmaceutical restrictions. WTF?? I am willing to bet she is on metformin. Its the most common and its what my DH takes 2x a day. And the girl doesn't do what the docs tell her, yes there is a chance of a shorter life. Eat right, exercise, check blood sugar levels 3 or more times a day. And she really tries, she can actually cure herself of D2. She is 14, not 40.
    Michigan-Mom74

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 1:53 AM on Jun. 26, 2013

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