Corn syrup lobby fires back | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
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Corn syrup lobby fires back 

The article about Weaver Street Market banning high-fructose corn syrup (Now Serving, Jan. 23) may mislead consumers. 

Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard School of Public Health nutrition department chairman, told The New York Times, "There's no substantial evidence to support the idea that high-fructose corn syrup is somehow responsible for obesity."

New research continues to confirm that high-fructose corn syrup is safe and no different from other common sweeteners like sugar and honey.

High-fructose corn syrup is a natural sweetener and has the same number of calories as sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high-fructose corn syrup "generally recognized as safe" status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review.

High-fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits, too. It keeps foods fresh. It enhances fruit and spice flavors. It retains moisture in bran cereals and helps keep breakfast bars moist.

Consumers can see the latest research and learn more at

Audrae Erickson
President, Corn Refiners Association
Washington, D.C.

Cheshire's review: Right on

I felt compelled to comment on Godfrey Cheshire's movie review of Jimmy Carter Man from Plains, the documentary directed by Jonathan Demme ("Man on fire," Jan. 23). I was quite pleasantly surprised with the evolution of the movie review into an insightful cultural and political analysis of America from the '70s to current time.

Kudos to Cheshire for relating the history of Carter, as covered by the film, to a reflection of the decline of American popular culture and critical political analysis, manipulation of the media and growth of influence peddling. I have been impressed by the quality of many of Cheshire's reviews in the past, and this just adds to my appreciation of his breadth of knowledge and ability to integrate and communicate his insights.

Larry Meek
Chapel Hill

Cheshire's review: Off base

Godfrey Cheshire's review of Jimmy Carter Man from Plains is factually and conceptually absurd.

He believes that the "Israel lobby" is so powerful that it can suppress debate on the conflict, yet John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt and Jimmy Carter have gotten extensive airings. If the "Israel lobby" is so powerful, why has the media given their books such extensive coverage?

He states that "every major news organization carefully toes the pro-Israel lobby's party line," yet when I listen to National Public Radio, I hear the Palestinian view of the conflict much more frequently than the views of the "Israel lobby." Is it not probable that most Americans support Israel because it is a pro-American democracy rather than because of an evil lobby?

Cheshire could oppose the policies of the Israeli government without being anti-Israel. He could do so with respect for the well-founded fears of Israelis and without demonizing those who differ with him. Every time this justifiably cautious people are victims of terrorism and have their right to exist implicitly questioned by people like Cheshire, they move to the right. Is this the result Cheshire desires, or are he and people like him achieving the opposite of what they desire?

Even if the Israeli government wished to sincerely and fairly resolve the conflict, with whom should they negotiate? Should it be Hamas, Fatah, either of their military wings or any of the many independent militias? 

Creating a fictional demon called the "Israel lobby" is no help in resolving a long-standing conflict between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. It is only the ranting of someone whose political views trump reality and truth. To counteract dangerous right-wing distorters of the truth like Rush Limbaugh, one does not require his left-wing counterpart.

Bob Jacobson

Editor's note: Jimmy Carter Man from Plains opens Friday, Feb. 1, at Galaxy Cinema in Cary.

Impeachment debate lacked debate

From the description in the Indy of the recent debate in Carrboro about impeachment ("Impeachment debate in Carrboro: An excerpt," Q&A, Jan. 23), it looks like there was no debater truly advocating the president's position. Doesn't that seem odd for a debate? Isn't that a little like a debate on capital punishment where the only issue is whether it should be by lethal injection or firing squad?

Here's what the debater opposing impeachment is quoted as saying: "It's manifestly clear to anyone that has been watching this administration operate [that] it is above the law—considers itself beyond the law—and just doesn't give a . . . well, I won't complete the sentence." And this is the debater who was supposed to be in Bush's corner!

I'm definitely no fan of the Bush administration, but I like to see fair play. Though I wasn't there in person, this debate sounds like it might've been a teeny bit slanted.

Dave Strausfeld

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