Tag Archives: food

Guerrilla Health Warning

Arizona Green Tea warning

What's hiding behind the label?

A couple months ago I spotted this almost official-looking label on some jugs of green tea during a grocery run.  Guerrilla health warning, or just the work of a merry prankster?  It reads:

“This product is largely made up of high fructose corn syrup.  High fructose corn syrup has been proven to make you very tired and unmotivated.  It gives kids attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.) and problems learning in school.  It has been designed to convert intelligent, motivated citizens into unhappy, needy consumers.

We get rich off your bad health.

Statement required by law under provision 10602.411″

I saw that Corn Refiners Association ad for the first time last night (I’m not a big TV watcher, so I’m not too sure how long this has been running), and it reminded me of the above photo I took in November.   Whether or not I’m feeding the hunger of an attention-starved underground marketing firm, or taking up the cause of a guerrilla health awareness group, I thought I’d investigate the intentions of the labelers.

An October 2008 New York Times article cited a study from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, which found that “people who drank two or more sugary sodas a day were at 40 percent higher risk for kidney damage, while the risk for women soda drinkers nearly doubled.”  The article also talks about other health risks posed by HFCS, such as liver disease, along with the effects of HFCS production on the environment.

More recently, an article in yesterday’s Guardian in the U.K. reported that U.S. researchers discovered HFCS contains traces of mercury.  Ouch.  The CRA issued a press release rebutting the Guardian’s story, saying that the evidence was outdated.

Debate aside, I just want to know who’s behind the home-made warning labels.  A search of the numbers “10602.411” came up with no results; however, 10602 is the zip code of White Plains, NY (Any relevance? Who knows). Perhaps the triangles are a symbol?  Comments/tips on this are encouraged!

For the record…I’m not advocating, nor discouraging, the purchase of the above branded green tea.