Thursday, September 30, 2010

Away On Vacation: With Kindle.

The Cockroach Catcher & his wife will again be travelling to somewhere where the coffee still struggles with mist and moisture to produce all the flavour and antioxidant you may want.

©2008 Am Ang Zhang
There is one drawback: you do not have easy access to books!

This is where Kindle comes in handy. Yes a 3rd generation gadget that allows you to store and read books and other printed material.   You can pack with you thousands of books on this device that weighs less than a paperback.

This has inspired me to launch a Kindle edition of The Cockroach Catcher (yes, the book).   More importantly, the Kindle edition costs a fraction of the physical copy.  If you do not yet own a Kindle, you can simply download the free Kindle software and read Kindle books on your iPhone, iPad , iPod touch & your Personal Computer. You can read the book within seconds from ordering.        US Verson

Here are some reviews:

Most recent one from Chez Sam’s:

And CC, your book is amazing! I am only on page 44 but so far, so wonderful. I think how you turned this anorexia patient around just goes to show what human interaction rather than tick box protocols can do in a short period of time and at low cost too. This is an exemplary illustration on perhaps one of the reasons why a good health system like the one in Singapore can not be fully implemented in Britain. it's the change of perceptions and methodology to suit that's difficult.

And, as a city girl, I found your early life in villages fascinating and very enriching for a bright child like yourself, I suppose, had I been your mother, I too would have not asked you any questions when you were told to leave that school ... but the school supplier of cockroaches! [shiver]Dearime! I run a mile when I see one, let alone catch them and dissect them! boys will be boys after all, now that I know that you weren't joking. you are a cockroach catcher, not only of the soul, but for real! @@

The book is a must read doc, I am really enjoying it :-)”

Zhang laments the dawning of the age of red tape in psychiatry, which is the same all over the world. The emphasis on "guidelines", also known as "evidence based medicine", and artificial restraints on access to services, have changed the landscapes of our practice. If everyone practices cookie cutter type of medicine, where will we find new thinking and new treatments? 
This book is a "must read" for all professionals in the mental health field, and for all interested individuals. It is a kaleidoscope of life seen from the eyes of the therapist who genuinely cares about his patients as people. Zhang provides an in-depth understanding of the human condition. 
In my view, this book gives us a glimpse into the soul of psychiatry, into holistic medicine at its best.

From a doctor friend:

The Cockroach Catcher has evoked many images, memories, emotions from my own family circumstances and clinical experience.

Your pragmatic approach to problem solving and treatment plans is commendable in the era of micro-managed NHS and education system. I must admit that I learn a great deal about the running of NHS psychiatric services and the school system.

Objectively, a reader outside of the UK would find some chapters in the book intriguing because a lot of space was devoted to explaining the jargons (statementing, section, grammar schools) and the NHS administrative systems. Of course, your need to clarify the peculiar UK background of your clinical practice is understandable.

Your sensitivity and constant reference to the feelings, background and learning curves of your sub-ordinates and other members of the team are rare attributes of psychiatric bosses, whom I usually found lacking in affect! If more medical students have access to your book, I'm sure many more will choose psychiatry as a career. The Cockroach Catcher promotes the human side of clinical psychiatric practice in simple language that an outsider can appreciate. An extremely outstanding piece of work indeed.            More>>>>

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ecology: Locusts & Serotonin

Australian farmers having just recovered from one of the longest period of drought in recent memory are bracing themselves for another ecological effect of the return of the rainfall: locusts.

The drought caused a decline in the number of birds and other insects that normally feed on baby locusts. The rain also provided ideal breeding condition for locusts.

September being spring in Australia is when the locusts hatch and there are clear indications that the locusts will swarm.

Widespread high density hatching of eggs and the development of nymphal bands is expected during spring in the Central West, Far Southwest and Riverina regions of New South Wales, the Northwest and North Central regions of Victoria, and the Northeast and Murray Valley regions of South Australia. More localised high density hatchings are likely in Far West New South Wales, Southwest Queensland and the Far North and Southeast regions of South Australia.

Currently spraying with pesticides is the only means of control and they are not without problems.

“Some pesticides in use today are especially dangerous to wildlife. Two insecticides, carbofuran and diazinon, were involved in 55% of all bird incidents."

Earlier in 2009, scientists discovered that serotonin is the neurotransmitter that initiated the swarming behaviour in locusts:

Martin Enserink on 29 January 2009

Serotonin, the brain chemical involved in depression, anger, and a variety of other human behaviors, turns out to have another surprising role: It transforms desert locusts from solitary, innocuous bugs into swarming, voracious pests that can ravage orchards and fields in a matter of hours. The findings, published in tomorrow's issue of Science, could point the way to new locust-control methods that don't rely on insecticides.
Tom Fayle /National Geographic

Most of the time, the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) is a bland, greenish insect that lives an inconspicuous life, shunning other members of its species and flying only by night. But when their densities reach a certain threshold, locusts become gregarious: They seek out one another's company, start reproducing explosively, and eventually form massive swarms that can move thousands of kilometers beyond their usual habitats and create havoc of biblical proportions.

 The behavior changes are accompanied by a complete physical makeover, taking several generations, during which the insects first turn pink and eventually black and bright yellow.

.    Read the full article here>>>>.

It may be some time before we can make use of this new found knowledge!!!

Interesting facts from another website:     >>>> video

  • The 2010/11 locust season is predicted to be the worst outbreak in at least 30 years.
  • A swarm covering one kilometre can eat up to 10 tonnes of vegetation per day.
  • If 100 hectares of locust bands are not effectively controlled they may develop into 1,000 hectares of adult swarms.
  • Past campaigns have shown that for every $1,000 spent controlling locusts, at least $20,000 worth of crops and pastures have been saved.
  • Australian plague locusts generally mature within two weeks of becoming adult.
  • Females can commence egg laying 4-7 days after maturing.
  • In summer, eggs can hatch within 14–16 days.
  • Female locusts lay eggs in batches, called pods, in the soil and each pod can contain up to 60 eggs.
  • Locust “bands” can contain up to 15,000 hoppers per square metre at the front of the band.
  • Swarms generally fly within 15 m of the ground and frequently at less than 3m and often appear to roll across the countryside.
  • Swarms can infest areas up to 50 km2.
  • Locusts can migrate up to 600 km or more in a single night.
  • People in several countries eat locusts. Locusts are rich in protein and can be stir-fried, roasted or boiled.
  • A swarm of locusts, covering 1 kilometre (km)2, could contain anything from 4 million to over 50 million individual locusts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Asthma: Hookworm or QOF

As recent research dashed all hope that hookworm may help to reduce the incidence of Asthma, there may indeed be a simpler way: QOF or abandoning QOF

Doctors 'over-diagnose’
By Martin Edwards
20 Sep 2010

........The answer, unsurprisingly, involves money. The most recent contract between the NHS and GPs incorporates something grandly called the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), which aims to reward GPs financially for good clinical practice. Under a complex and arcane formula, the more patients we diagnose with and treat for certain disorders, the harder we are deemed to be working, and the more income our practice attracts. Working in misery-soaked south London, we were staggered to discover that the prevalence of depression among our patients was far lower than expected, taking account of factors like class and income.

These regulations apply to all NHS GPs and this over-diagnosis is not limited to depression. Some children, and a few adults, develop a wheezy chest when they catch a cold. However, we only get money if we diagnose asthma, a label that might well follow a child through school and into employment. And that single entry of “raised blood pressure”, often occasioned by a last-minute dash to the surgery, is sufficient to label you as hypertensive. Each of these labels can affect insurance, mortgage, loan or employment prospects.......
                                                                                    Read all: The Telegraph
Jobbing Doctor in a recent re-posting:

There are certain outcomes that have occurred as a result.

Firstly, Government underestimated the amount of high quality medicine taking place in primary care at that time, and so did not budget for it (despite being told repeatedly). This saw GP income increase by around 33%. Practices like mine had no difficulty in hitting the targets - we were there, pretty much, already.

Secondly, performance measures were always a very crude measure of clinical excellence, and therefore - as a valid measuring tool - had significant flaws. I have seen this.

Thirdly, it encouraged gaming with the system. Some GPs, whose practice income depended on hitting targets, would be tempted to distort the measures and also (on occasions) invent data. I have seen this happen in my locality (but not in my practice).

Fourthly, the focus would be on conditions in the QoF areas and other conditions - outside this system - may well get less attention.

Money distorts!!!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Salmonella: Duck Eggs, Frogs & Others

Ducks in my home village, China /© 2008 Am Ang Zhang

Years back when I was a medical student, we were taught that ducks basically carry salmonella as a matter of course due to their aquatic habitat and for that reason the Chinese have always been careful to make sure that ducks are well cooked unlike some modern day fancy cooking where duck meat is often presented rare. 

As it is coming up to Chinese Moon Festival time, it is worth mentioning that our moon cake often have one or two duck egg yolks in them, yes, salted egg yolk in moon cake. They too are of course well cooked.

Recently there has been an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 food poisoning in the UK.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) reported:

17 September 2010
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has investigated an on-going national outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8. 

Salmonella Typhimurium DT8 causes a similar illness to other forms of Salmonella infection, so symptoms can include diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever.

So far this year, the HPA has confirmed 66 reports of human infection in England and Northern Ireland.  Figures for previous years were 34 in 2008 and 47 in 2009.   

Of the reported cases two are known to have been hospitalised, one of whom has died. Cases are mainly adults with an average age of 46 years, and most are men (61 per cent).  Cases have been referred from Northern Ireland and most regions in England, with predominance in the South East and North West.   

 “It became clear from our investigations that the increase was related to the consumption of duck products, mainly eggs. It is important that consumers and caterers are aware that all eggs, including duck eggs, may occasionally be contaminated with Salmonella and follow advice provided by the Food Standards Agency in order to reduce the risk of infection. Eggs should be cooked thoroughly and good hygiene practices, such as washing hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces should be followed after handling or using duck eggs.”

There is of course another very important source of the infection: pets especially frogs and turtles.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported earlier in the year:

Strawberry poison dart frog (nicknamed Blue Jean frog)
- Dendrobates pumilio/
© 2008 Am Ang Zhang

During April--July 2009, the Utah Department of Health identified five cases of Salmonella Typhimurium infection with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns, predominantly among children. In August, CDC began a multistate outbreak investigation to determine the source of the infections. This report summarizes the results of this ongoing investigation, which, as of December 30, had identified 85 S. Typhimurium human isolates with the outbreak strain from 31 States.

31 States!!!

Environmental samples taken from patient homes in four states yielded the outbreak strain of S. Typhimurium. The Colorado Department of Public Health obtained matched isolates from two African dwarf frogs, and from a rock and water in the aquarium containing the two frogs. The New Mexico Department of Health matched the outbreak strain with isolates from the filtration system, gravel, and water from an aquarium in a patient's home containing fish and a small water frog. The Ohio Department of Health matched the outbreak strain with isolates from a patient's deceased African dwarf frog, its water, and the lid and edge of its aquarium. The Utah Department of Health obtained matched isolates from a container used to clean African dwarf frogs in a patient's home.

Traceback investigations of frogs associated with positive environmental isolates have been completed. African dwarf frogs from the homes of the Colorado patient and the Utah patient were prizes from games at two different carnivals. The vendor who distributed the frogs to both carnivals was from Utah and identified the source as a breeder in California. Environmental sampling from the vendor's home (of aquarium filters and skin previously shed from African dwarf frogs) yielded multiple isolates matching the outbreak strain. The aquatic frog from the home of the New Mexico patient was purchased from a pet store chain, whose distributor identified the same breeder as the source for all of its aquatic frogs. The family of the Ohio patient purchased its African dwarf frog from a department store, whose distributor identified the breeder as the ultimate source of its frogs.

Environmental sampling from the breeder's California facility yielded S. Typhimurium isolates matching the outbreak strain. Positive samples were collected from multiple locations in the facility, including water tanks that contained African dwarf frogs and gravel in the water filtration system.

CDC’s advice:

  • Persons at increased risk for serious infection from salmonellosis are children < 5 years old, elderly persons, and persons with weakened immune systems.
  • These persons should avoid contact with amphibians (e.g., frogs) and reptiles (e.g., turtles) and anything that comes in contact with them (e.g., aquarium, habitat, and water).
  • Keep amphibians and reptiles out of homes with children < 5 years old or people with weakened immune systems.

Iguana iguana, Costa Rica/© 2007 Am Ang Zhang
Remember the Iguanas?

HPA Latest: Bean sprouts!

Multiple Sclerosis, Iguanas and Wrong Foot

NHS: Frogs Frogs Frogs

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mosquito & Malaria: 3 Billion and Counting

From The National Geographic Magazine:

The mosquito has long, filament-thin legs and dappled wings; she’s of the genus Anopheles, the only insect capable of harbouring the human malaria parasite. And she’s definitely a she: Male mosquitoes have no interest in blood, while females depend on protein-rich haemoglobin to nourish their eggs. A mosquito’s proboscis appears spike-solid, but it’s actually a sheath of separate tools—cutting blades and a feeding tube powered by two tiny pumps. She drills through the epidermis, then through a thin layer of fat, then into the network of blood-filled micro capillaries. She starts to drink. To inhibit the blood from coagulating, the mosquito oils the bite area with a spray of saliva. This is when it happens. Carried in the mosquito’s salivary glands—and entering the body with the lubricating squirt—are minute, worm like creatures. These are the one-celled malaria parasites, known as plasmodia. Fifty thousand of them could swim in a pool the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Typically, a couple of dozen slip into the bloodstream. But it takes just one. A single plasmodium is enough to kill a person.  

In May 2006, I was visiting some friends in Montreal. Their youngest son was extremely bright. At the time, he was just about finishing high school. He was most interested in nature and in conservation. I noticed the book he was reading: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

By then, there was a good deal of controversy about the impact of Silent Spring. I remembered having a very interesting discussion with him on DDT and his views on conservation. We agreed that to be fair to Carson, she never advocated a total ban.

In September of 2006, WHO backed the use of DDT.

3 Billion and Counting premieres today in Manhattan. It was directed, written and produced by D. Rutledge Taylor, MD, and it explores the devastating death toll caused by malaria since the ban on DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane): 3 billion and counting indeed.

Elizabeth M. Whelan, the president of the American Council on Science and Health took up the story about the film:

"Dr. Taylor not only educates us, but he also sparks outrage about the unforeseen consequences of a scientifically ignorant chemical witchhunt, one that has caused untold human suffering and billions of deaths, primarily among children."

“Scientists have never found an effective substitute for DDT — and so the malaria death rate has kept on soaring.

“In his dissection of the rise of the environmental movement and the fall of science, Dr. Taylor not only educates us, but he also sparks outrage about the unforeseen consequences of a scientifically ignorant chemical witchhunt, one that has caused untold human suffering and billions of deaths, primarily among children. While any man-on-the-street interview will yield an overwhelming majority of negative comments about DDT — a ‘highly toxic, killer chemical’ – the reality is that DDT has saved more lives than any other man-made chemical.”

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Financial World: Lehman & Others

Lehman Brothers Building New York now Barclays Capital ©2009 Am Ang Zhang

This is the second anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and I thought it might be interesting to reprint some of my posts about the subject.

To Intervene Or Not: A Colossal Failure Of Common Sense.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

“It would not surprise anyone to find that in our work we come across some rather peculiar cases which are indeed stranger than fiction. You often saw the life story of some child unfold in front of you and there appeared little you could do to effect any change in the course it was going to take.” Chapter 36 Entrepreneur, The Cockroach Catcher .

Stranger than fiction!

“At the age of ten, I resided in some kind of a marital no-man’s-land, a beautiful but loveless gabled house.”
“……father had accepted the end of his marriage and had left my stunning fashion-model mother to bring up their five children all on her own. I was the oldest……”
“……mom now in desperate financial straits, my three brothers and
one sister and I ended up in a housing project in the worst part of a distinctly suspect city……”
“……there were gangs of trainee criminals staging shoplifting raids and night time burglaries all over the city……”
“……in eighteen months I went to three different schools, each on a bigger disaster than the last…….”

No this was not from one of my cases; this was extracted from a book I have been reading:

Read the full Post here>>>>>

Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection on the 15th of September and
Barclays Capital wasted no time in acquiring the main Lehman US operation on the 17th of September. Common sense?

Since March 2009 Barclays share price has gone up seven times.
A Colossal Failure of Common Sense is published by Crown Business, Random House.

Goldman Sachs, SEC & The Greatest Trade Ever

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wall Street Journal:
OCTOBER 31, 2009

It was the fall of 2007, financial markets were collapsing, and Wall Street firms were losing massive amounts of money, as if they were trying to give back a decade's worth of profits in a few brutal months. An investor named John Paulson somehow was scoring huge profits.

His winnings were so enormous they seemed unreal, even cartoonish. His firm, Paulson & Co., would make $15 billion in 2007.

Mr. Paulson's personal cut would amount to nearly $4 billion, or more than $10 million a day. That was more than the 2007 earnings of J. K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods put together. At one point in late 2007, a broker called to remind Mr. Paulson of a personal account worth $5 million, an account now so insignificant it had slipped his mind.

The Wall Street Journal’s Gregory Zuckerman in his book, “The Greatest Trade Ever” wrote:

Paulson & Co. had bet against about $5 billion of CDOs and made more than $4 billion from these trades—including $500 million from a single transaction—according to the firm’s investors and an employee of the firm. One of the biggest losers, however, wasn’t any investor on the other side. It was the very bank that worked with Paulson on many of the deals: Deutsche Bank. The big bank had failed to sell all of the CDO deals it constructed at Paulson’s behest and was stuck with chunks of toxic mortgages, suffering about $500 million of losses from these customized transactions, according to a senior executive of the German bank.

These were some of Paulson & Co.’s largest scores.

Mr. Paulson bought a $41 million home in early 2008 in Long Island and he lives with his wife and two daughters on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.                                            The New York Times.

Read all about it here>>>>>>>>>

History & Democracy : Liar’s Poker & The Big Short

Friday, August 6, 2010


I think there is something fundamentally scary about our democracy…. Because I think people have a sense that the system is rigged, and it’s hard to argue that it isn’t.

“By late September 2008, the nation’s highest financial official, US treasury secretary Henry Paulson, persuaded the US Congress that he needed $700bn to buy sub-prime mortgage assets from banks. Once handed the money, he instead essentially began giving away billions of dollars to Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and a few others unnaturally selected for survival.”

“By then it was clear that $700bn was a sum insufficient to grapple with the troubled assets acquired over the previous few years by Wall Street bond traders. That’s when the US Federal Reserve took the shocking and unprecedented step of buying bad sub-prime mortgage bonds directly from the banks. By early 2009 the risks and losses associated with more than $1tn worth of bad investments were transferred from big Wall Street firms to the US taxpayer. The events on Wall Street in 2008 were soon reframed as a simple, old-fashioned financial panic, triggered by the failure of Lehman Brothers.”

Dr Am Ang Zhang is the author of The Cockroach Catcher.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

HFCS: Hunts & Huffington Post

In a previous post on HFCS, I quoted an extract from the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy report. It indicates the food products for which total mercury was detected, highest to lowest. (Measurements are in parts per trillion.) 

As President Obama proclaimed September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Huffington Post is not slow in having another go at two of the biggest players: Coca Cola and PepsiCo.
        ........ One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a Nation is to safeguard the health and well-being of our children.  We now face a national childhood obesity crisis, with nearly one in every three of America's children being overweight or obese.  There are concrete steps we can take right away as concerned parents, caregivers, educators, loved ones, and a Nation to ensure that our children are able to live full and active lives.  During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, I urge all Americans to take action to meet our national goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.
          Childhood obesity has been a growing problem for decades.  While it has afflicted children across our country, certain Americans have been disproportionately affected.  Particular racial and ethnic groups are more severely impacted, as are certain regions of the country.  In addition, obesity can be influenced by a number of environmental and behavioral factors, including unhealthy eating patterns and too little physical activity at home and at school.
          We must do more to halt and reverse this epidemic, as obesity can lead to severe and chronic health problems during childhood, adolescence and adulthood, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma.  Not only does excess weight adversely affect our children's well-being, but its associated health risks also impose great costs on families, our health care system, and our economy.  Each year, nearly $150 billion are spent to treat obesity-related medical conditions.  This is not the future to which we want to consign our children, and it is a burden our health care system cannot bear.......

Huffington Post:
How Coke & Pepsi Could Save Us From High Fructose Corn Syrup
On November 6, 1984, a bomb went off in the food industry that forever changed the course of consumption: Coca-Cola and Pepsi announced plans to stop using sugar in their soft drinks, instead replacing it with high fructose corn syrup. With the launch of two press releases, U.S. sugar consumption decreased by more than 500,000 tons a year, according to historian James Bovard, driving sugar prices so high that it wrecked the market for sugar and replaced it with a thriving marketplace for high fructose corn syrup.

Today, over twenty years later, the jury is still out on the impact of this move. While members of the Corn Refiners Association fund ads urging us to believe that high fructose corn syrup is "natural" and presents little to no risk to our health, scientific evidence, unpopular in the corn industry, continues to mount that suggests otherwise.

Then came a report from Princeton:

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. 

This creates a fascinating puzzle. The rats in the Princeton study became obese by drinking high-fructose corn syrup, but not by drinking sucrose. The critical differences in appetite, metabolism and gene expression that underlie this phenomenon are yet to be discovered, but may relate to the fact that excess fructose is being metabolized to produce fat, while glucose is largely being processed for energy or stored as a carbohydrate, called glycogen, in the liver and muscles. 

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

Huffington Post continues:

As a result of this consumer concern, Coca Cola and Pepsi very often don't use high fructose corn syrup in the products that they manufacture and sell in other countries, as reported in the June 2009 Consumer Reports magazine. They've simply taken high fructose corn syrup out of their products in other countries (or in some cases, never used it in the first place).

In fact, Coca Cola with HFCS is not Kosher and many Jews tried to get Coke from Mexico as reported in The New York Times.

I’ve now heard this contention many times, but never more so than lately, as high-fructose corn syrup has become one of the most demonized ingredients in contemporary food culture. There’s a political angle (corn subsidies), an authenticity angle (it’s processed, very pervasive and just sounds industrial) and a paranoid angle (the entertaining conspiracy theory that the 1985 New Coke fiasco was an intentional failure, orchestrated to distract consumers from an ingredient switch in Coke Classic). The upshot is the curious celebration of sugar as natural and desirable. Pure-sugar soda fans motivate other product cults, including Passover Coke (using sugar instead of not-kosher-for-Passover corn syrup) available only around the Jewish holiday, and Dr Pepper from a particular bottler in Dublin, Tex.; Coke’s biggest rival has put out a product called Pepsi Throwback, “sweetened with natural sugar.” Somehow all the reverence for sugar manages to make high-calorie carbonated drinks sound like health food.

No amount of write ups in New York Times, Huffington Post or Publication from Princeton can match the new media of Facebook:

In May,2010 Hunts removed HFCS from its Tomato Ketchup:

New York Times reported:
But it was pleading comments like this one, from a devoted ConAgra customer, that finally persuaded Mr. Locascio, president of the meal enhancers category at ConAgra, to take action: “Hunt’s is by far the best ketchup ever, but please start making a variety without the high-fructose corn syrup,” wrote Jennifer from New Hampshire.

Early this year, she got her wish when ConAgra decided to reformulate one of its biggest brands, replacing the high-fructose corn syrup in Hunt’s ketchup with old-fashioned sugar. This month, new bottles featuring a banner proclaiming “No high fructose corn syrup” arrive in stores.

Hunt’s ketchup is among the latest in a string of major-brand products that have replaced the vilified sweetener. Gatorade, several Kraft salad dressings, Wheat Thins, Ocean Spray cranberry juice, Pepsi Throwback, Mountain Dew Throwback and the baked goods at Starbucks, to name a few, are all now made with regular sugar.