Target: William Johnson, President and CEO of Heinz
Goal: Convince Heinz to discontinue using high fructose corn syrup in all of its ketchup products
Over the last few years, Heinz has made some of its products healthier by replacing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with cane sugar. But apparently only the wealthy are worthy of the healthier version of ketchup. Heinz only uses cane sugar in a few of its more expensive products. Restaurants like McDonalds and customers on a budget are forced to use the versions containing HFCS. Tell Heinz to treat all of its customers equally by offering healthier ketchup to everyone.
High fructose corn syrup is used as a sweetener in an enormous number of food products. Even when consumed in moderation, it can cause heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more. Controversy exists over whether or not the sweetener is really as harmful as some studies suggest, but it may be because those who defend HFCS have an incentive. The government subsidizes corn, therefore making it cheaper to farm it–so any business that uses high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar saves a lot of money.
Even those who don’t buy Heinz products are still paying for them. Not only is HFCS harmful in our diet, it’s harmful for the planet as well. Corn crops are typically not rotated with other crops, meaning the soil is only used to grow corn. This depletes the soil of nutrients, resulting in the need for more pesticides and fertilizer. It also requires large amounts of energy to chemically alter corn to create HFCS.
Despite widespread propaganda stating that high fructose corn syrup does not negatively impact the health of Americans, science proves something else. The government should not be subsidizing corn and therefore making it more profitable for corporations to use corn-based products. But we can’t always depend on the government to do what’s best for the people. We can ask Heinz ourselves to stop using HFCS in all of its products by signing this petition.
Dear William Johnson,
You are obviously aware that high fructose corn syrup can have negative health and environmental impacts. This is demonstrated by your decision to remove the ingredient from a few of your more expensive products. But what does this say about your business practices? That only those who can afford the more expensive brands using cane sugar instead of HFCS deserve to be healthy?
Not only are you producing a product that has been known to cause heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure and tooth decay, but by using HFCS instead of sugar, you are increasing the need for irresponsible farming practices. You are also using a more energy-intensive practice than what would be required if you used cane sugar instead.
You received a pay package worth $14.4 million last year. Surely you can afford to pass some of those earnings onto your customers and the planet by discontinuing the use an ingredient that, although cheaper, is more harmful. We urge you to stop using high fructose corn syrup and instead use cane sugar in all of your ketchup products.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Joe Phillipson via Flickr.