business news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB posted a long and scientifically phrased email last week from Ash Byrnes about the relative merits of Hugh Fructose Corn Syrup, using a lot of words I didn’t understand…and expressing views that not everybody agreed with. MNB user Jerome Schindler, for example:

I wonder what qualifications Ash Byrnes has to review HFCS beyond having an interest in the molecular basis of nutrition. Why should I pay more attention to her theories than the expertise of organizations such as the Corn Refiners Association, FDA etc.

Individuals can say/write anything they want and (with limited exceptions) are shielded from legal responsibility by the 1st Amendment. Entities such as the Corn Refiners Association can be held responsible for any false, deceptive or misleading statements they make.

The same people saying HFCS is bad for us are telling us fruit is good for us. What is in fruit? Fructose, that's what.

I'll stick with the main line nutritionists who say that it makes no difference to the human body whether you consume sugar or HFCS. Either one should be consumed in moderation.

The thing is that there would appear to be plenty of nutritionists on both side of the issue – not all the so-called “main line” nutritionists believe that HFCS is harmless. So I guess you choose your poison, and I choose mine.

Another MNB user had a similar reaction as me to her scientific dissection of HFCS:

I absolutely agree with her…I think!

On another subject, I got the following email from MNB user Kyle Potvin:

As a regular reader of MorningNewsBeat, I was happy to see your mention of resistant starch. One of our clients is National Starch Food Innovation, makers of Hi maize resistant starch, a natural form of resistant starch made from corn (non-GMO). We share your view that resistant starch is not a silver bullet and encourage consumers to include all three types of fiber (insoluble, soluble and resistant starch) in their diets as all three types provide different health benefits. Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that including natural resistant starch in a healthy eating plan can help weight control, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, balance energy and promote digestive health. And the best news is that foods with resistant starch can easily be added to the diet by consuming more legumes, grains and even bananas. Also, Hi-maize is found in a growing number of supermarket foods such as bread, cereal and pasta, providing the health benefits without changing the taste or texture of the products. Some experts advise Americans double their current intake which is about 5 grams to get closer to the target 15-20 grams per day to obtain these optimum health benefits.

And, on the subject of Chinese-made generic prescription drugs being imported into US, MNB user Richard Thorpe wrote:

Given that the FDA will not allow Americans to buy American and Canadian drugs in Canada it will be absolutely amazing if Chinese made pharmaceutical drugs are allowed in. Perhaps the amount of our debt that China owns is making our government fearful of saying no or demanding safety.

Finally, we got the following email from Beatrice Orlandini, an MNB user from Italy:

I like your comments about the CIES World Business Summit. I appreciated your positive views on European diversity. It helps our self-esteem.

It strikes me to increasingly hear and read about recession in the USA. We've been coping with it for years now. We haven't recovered. Maybe we've gotten used to it. Who knows.

But, as all things, there is a great opportunity in a recession, too. It's a great opportunity to shift your lifestyle and find a different beacon. Ethics can be a very powerful one.
It comprises so many parts of your life! The kind of clothes you wear (says who that it all "has" to be designer?), the kind of car you drive (says who it has to be the fastest, biggest, sportiest?), the kind of food you buy and cook, the way you recycle, the way
you shop (a few weeks ago I realized I could not force myself to buy a huge bottle of laundry detergent on promotion because there was so much, too much, useless plastic). Each and every one of us could find surprising examples.

So if it helps us all, consumers, manufacturers and retailers, to increase our level of awareness then it is not all bad.

I love that phrase: Find a different beacon.

So many of us have been sailing in one general direction using a specific set of assumptions, and now we have to change course because of new storms and patterns.

It’s changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, but in even more profound ways than Mr. Buffett suggested.

And, as always, it is both challenge and opportunity.

Find a different beacon.

I love it. If I knew how, I’d turn that phrase into a song…
KC's View: