It’s been called “the Devil’s candy,” the “crack of sweeteners,” and other names we can’t repeat here. You might say that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has gotten a bad rap. Fortunately, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is changing that—showing that HFCS affects the body no differently than a wholesome glass of milk. This acquits soft drinks of the gratuitous obesity charges spread by pseudo-experts and trial lawyers. But that responsibility should not have been theirs in the first place.
In a court of law, the burden of proof falls on those leveling the accusations. But public opinion doesn’t work that way. In the media, even unfounded accusations immediately put the defendants in the unfair position of having to prove their innocence. (See McCarthyism or the Salem Witch Trials) This reversal allows nutrition activists to adopt a “guilty until proven innocent” approach when slandering their bogeyman du jour.
HFCS is not alone. Food cops have unduly tarnished the reputations of saccharin, caffiene, and acrylamide — to say nothing of tuna fish. With groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals constantly claiming that entire categories of food are dangerous, it’s no wonder so many Americans seem confused about “healthy” eating. People should forget about “bad carbs” and high-fructose-whad’ya-call-it, because the best rule is the most basic: The dose makes the poison.
Leading nutrition experts at the American Dietetic Association (ADA) denounce the "good" food, "bad" food campaigns backed by pseudo-science. On the other hand, the ADA recommends that we focus on the amount, rather than the type of foods consumed. Anything else is just a red herring.