High-fructose corn syrup, found in many foods, is made using a toxic chemical catalyst. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is used as a sweetener in nearly all mainstream packaged foods in the United States, from bread to soda and even breakfast cereal. It has been blamed for increasing the number of empty calories in the U.S. diet, and researchers have even linked it to diabetes and obesity. Another danger from this ubiquitous ingredient comes from the toxic chemicals that are used to turn corn into corn starch and then into HFCS. One of these chemicals,glutaraldehyde, is so dangerous that small quantities can burn holes in the human stomach. Like other chemical disinfectants, it can severely irritate the lungs, eyes and throat and can cause headaches or dizzinessif inhaled. Because two of the chemicals used in HFCS production introduce mercury into the mix,a recent study found that between one-third and one-half of all HFCS-containing productson the market tested positive for mercury contamination. In some cases, the level of mercury was high enough that a woman eating an average amount of HFCS as represented in the American diet could ingest more thanfive times the maximum recommended upper limit of mercury.