NAFTA Boosted Canada’s Corn Syrup Consumption

DanIndustry News Release

naftaA new study claims the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has drastically changed the Canadian diet by boosting consumption of high-fructose corn syrup. The peer-reviewed study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that as tariffs on high-fructose corn syrup dropped over a four-year period, consumption grew from 21.2 calories of corn syrup per day in 1994 to 62.9 calories-per-day by 1998. The study linked the increase as a possible contributing factor to increasing obesity and diabetes rates over that time. The connection between free-trade agreements and health has not been well-studied, according to the study’s researchers, who say that to date, most research on globalization and nutrition has examined the effects of foreign direct investment: how consumption patterns change when multinational food companies, such as Coca-Cola, begin producing and advertising in new markets. Former U.S. Department of Agriculture chief economist Joe Glauber told the Washington Post that: “This connection between trade and nutrition is getting to be a very big question,” while cautioning that the research is in its early days. High fructose corn syrup is commonly used as a sweetener in soft drinks.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.