I loathe artificial sweeteners. First off, I haven’t found one yet that doesn’t make me sick in some way. Saccharine tastes horrible and gives me a headache. And possibly cancer. Nutrasweet gives me horrible migraines within minutes. And Splenda? Well, I bought into the hype about it being “made from sugar” despite my logical mind, which told me that a sugar substitute can’t be made from sugar.
Now, the sugar industry is fighting back.
In an effort to convince consumers that “Splenda is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” and to encourage them to “Think sugar, say Splenda”, the giant drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson is running a multi-million dollar advertising campaign encouraging the misperception that their artificial sweetener is equivalent to all-natural sugar. Splenda is not sugar and is not natural.
Splenda’s advertisements that read “The Dance of the Splenda Plum Fairy,” “Splenda and Spice and Everything Nice,” and “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Splenda is Sweet and So Are You” have been characterized by one marketing ethics reporter as nothing but “sleight-of-hand marketing.” Despite all the slick Madison Avenue advertising, the fact remains that Splenda is actually a chemical compound that contains chlorine. The more chlorine atoms, the sweeter the taste. Consumers deserve to know the truth about the food products they are purchasing for themselves and their families.
I often wonder about Nutrasweet, aka aspartame — it seems that the FDA rejected it at first, but then after a bit of manipulation by the CEO of drug company Searle (who’s name you may recognize: Donald Rumsfeld), the FDA changed their mind. Now there are many physicians who claim that aspartame is not only bad for you, but is causing an epidemic because of its toxic effects: blindness, seizures, brain tumors, and other serious neurological problems. And yet, people suck down those Nutrasweet-laden drinks like crazy, thus assuring that it will never go off the market.
There are so many people on both sides of this argument, but it seems to me that the ones decrying the “aspartame scare tactics” are those who are either anonymous or those who have an agenda to support aspartame. I just stay out of it and say pass the sugar.