HFCS - the reason behind its use

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An interesting observation from Lee at Moorewatch:
A few weeks ago the lovely DonnaK posted a list of Mikey�s latest idiocies, as well as her critique of them. One particularly stuck out in my mind.
Proposal Three: Ban high fructose corn syrup. �And I will be the poster boy of that campaign.� Earlier in his lecture, Moore suggested that corn syrup�s historical dominance as a sweetener was a result of government collusion with large agribusinesses.
This is, simply put, one of the most retarded things he has ever said. The EXACT OPPOSITE is true. The prevalence of HFCS is a direct result of government interfering in the free market, and it was implement by the Grand Socialist himself FDR. Here�s what I wrote FOUR YEARS AGO on my personal blog regarding this issue.
There�s one aspect to this that this article neglected to mention. The next time you buy a Coke look at the ingredients. You won�t see sugar, you�ll see �high fructose corn syrup.� This is sugar syrup made from corn, and it�s used in almost everything. Why? Because the high tariffs on imported sugar inflate the price to such a high level that using corn syrup is far less expensive. The main group lobbying for these high sugar tariffs is a corporation called Archer Daniels Midland. Why should ADM care about sugar tariffs? Because, you guessed it, ADM are the makers of, among other things, high fructose corn syrup. There�s absolutely no reason that Coca Cola couldn�t be made, as it used to be, with sugar, except for the artificially high price caused by government interference in free trade.
To put it in simple terms, the government puts tariffs on imported sugar in order to keep the price artificially high. (I have heard estimates that sugar is five to ten times more expensive than it would be if subject to market forces.) The makers of HFCS only have to make their product a penny or two cheaper than sugar to make it an economically attractive alternative. Coca Cola alone must save millions, of not billions, of dollars by saving those few pennies with each batch of Coke they produce.

Why is business able to collude with government? If government were to get out of the sugar price support business, and let the market decide, you would have fewer products using HFCS because sugar would immediately drop in price. What Mikey is proposing with his ban on HFCS is treating the symptom, not the disease itself. If the government were not involved in sugar prices, then there would be no avenue for business to collude with them to keep the price of sugar high. Mike is therefore correct in stating that it is collusion between agribusiness and government, but he implies some kind of corporate conspiracy, when the simple solution is to just end all farm subsidies once and for all.
Another reason to thank Archer Daniels Midland -- nice job watching out for the consumer there guys. Oh, and the lobbying for the huge government subsidies on Ethanol Production -- sheer genius. Companies like ADM give business a bad name...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on November 1, 2008 8:30 PM.

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