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Is Splenda ok to eat?

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Food' started by MaryBeth, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. MaryBeth

    MaryBeth New Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    I know I have seen discussions about Splenda being good or bad before, but what are your opinions??
    My sister just sent this to me and wanted to know what I think..but I am not sure. I looked on Snopes.com for information about this being a 'fluke' but didn't find anything....

    Are ads for the artificial sweetener Splenda--that use the slogan "made from sugar so it tastes like sugar"--deliberately misleading?

    Yet two more consumer groups--the latest in a number who've questioned ads for the sweetener---believe that consumers are being deliberately deceived.

    Consumer First and the California Alliance for Consumer Protection asked the California state attorney general late last month to investigate potentially misleading advertising practices by McNeil Nutritionals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, that markets Splenda.

    In particular, a letter from consumer advocate Michael Ross and Jim Conran of Consumers called into question a series of ads that replace the word "sugar" with the word "Splenda," as well as references to the "Splenda plum fairy," and "Splenda and spice and everything nice."

    "We are concerned that this is a deliberate attempt on the part of the makers of Splenda to fool consumers into believing they are ingesting a natural product when in fact it is chlorine based," Ross and Conran wrote.

    "A food product made through a chemical process using chlorine in a chemical plant can hardly be considered natural," they continued.

    The letter also cites a national Internet survey conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which found that nearly half of respondents wrongly believed that Splenda or the chemically created synthetic artificial sweetener is a natural product.

    The two California groups are among a growing number of health and consumer advocates critical of Splenda's marketing tactics, including Generation Green, the Organic Consumers Association, Florida Consumers Action Network, the Texas Consumer Association and the sugar industry, which put up a www.truthaboutsplenda.com website.

    Splenda, which is manufactured by the British company, Tate & Lyle, and marketed in the U.S. by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil Nutritionals, is made by a multi-step, patented chemical process that alters the molecular structure of sucrose by removing hydrogen and oxygen from sugar molecules and then replacing them with chlorine.

    As I've noted previously, sucralose also contains a chemical called phosgene, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as "a major industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides," and which, at room temperature, is a "poisonous gas."

    In my opinion, before you use Splenda, it's important to review some of this recent information. From what I've read, I won't ever touch the substance. But I urge you find out for yourself.

    * Check out mercola.com's "Is Splenda Making You Sick? Find Out Some Common Reaction Symptoms,"the dangers of Splenda (sucralose), and extensive testimonials from people, who've experienced all kinds of post-Splenda health woes.
    * Read Generation Green's letter asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Splenda's misleading marketing campaign. (The press release points out that the Splenda ingredient label doesn't even list sugar as an ingredient, as is widely advertised.)
    * Examine the website, TruthAboutSplenda.com. Ironically, this popular Internet spot -- which presents some compelling research -- is sponsored by the sugar industry, which is experiencing a drastic slowdown in sales, in large part, due to Splenda's popularity and worries about obesity.
    * Visit SplendaExposed.com from toxicologist Dr. Janet Starr Hull.
    * And glance at the Sucralose Toxicity Information Center.

    By filing the complaint, perhaps the California consumer groups believe they've found a kindred spirit in California's attorney general Bill Lockyer. In August, Lockyer sued McDonald's, KFC, Burger King and the makers of Pringles and other processed potato products, for failing to warn consumers that their products produce a carcinogen called acrylamide when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures

    To view this article online, please visit: http://www.commonvoice.com/article.asp?colid=3127

    Generation Green Asks California AG to Investigate Splenda Ads

    EVANSTON, Ill., Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Generation Green today sent a letter to California's Attorney General Bill Lockyer, urging an investigation of misleading advertising practices by Johnson & Johnson for its artificial sweetener Splenda.

    Specifically, Generation Green says the advertising misleads consumers into believing that Splenda is a natural product, made from sugar. In fact, Johnson & Johnson does not even list sugar as an ingredient in Splenda. In the letter, Generation Green called on the state of California to take such steps that are necessary to halt Johnson & Johnson's misleading Splenda marketing campaign within the state and to require Johnson & Johnson to provide complete and accurate product information to California consumers.

    Rochelle Davis, Executive Director, and Robert M. Brandon, Project Director, both of Generation Green, sent the following letter, dated Oct. 10, to California's Attorney General Bill Lockyer:

    On behalf of Generation Green and thousands of member families concerned about the health and welfare of our children, I would vigorously echo the recent calls upon your office to begin an investigation into misleading advertising by Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Nutritionals LLC for the artificial sweetener sucralose, which is sold under the brand-name Splenda.

    Generation Green is a non-profit advocacy group comprised of parents and other concerned citizens who favor corporate and governmental policies that will allow children to grow up protected from exposure to toxins. We place great importance on protecting the consumer's right to know about chemical exposure, particularly related to food so that people are able to make informed decisions, especially with respect to their children's health.

    The issue of Splenda advertising is of significant importance for California consumers, and indeed, for consumers across the country. Today, Splenda holds over a third of the sweetener market only six years after its approval as a food additive by the FDA in 1998. This remarkable growth is attributed to the perception that Splenda is natural and sugar-based. This perception is the direct result of Johnson & Johnson's intentional efforts to mislead consumers regarding the product. The slogan "made from SUGAR so it tastes like SUGAR," which is pervasive in Splenda print and broadcast advertising, seeks to mislead and confuse consumers into believing that Splenda is a natural product of sugar. It is a misleading claim.

    The facts are these:

    * Splenda is a chemically created product in which sugar molecules are manipulated through chlorination and other processes so as to be completely unrecognizable as sugar.
    * Following chlorination, a further chemical process is applied using phosgene, a poisonous gas described by the Centers for Disease Control as a major industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides.
    * The Splenda label does not and cannot list sugar as an ingredient, as sugar is not recognizable in the final product.

    The legal requirement of advertising substantiation -- that advertisers and ad agencies have a reasonable basis for advertising claims before they are disseminated -- is especially important when consumer health and safety is at issue, such as in a food additive like Splenda.

    Nonetheless, Johnson & Johnson encourages consumer confusion by continually highlighting the word "sugar" in its advertising campaign, seeking to bolster the false association between Splenda and sugar in consumers' minds.

    This is a dangerous development, as the product is quite clearly anything but natural.

    Even more troubling, many of the Splenda ads focus on images of children; these ads convey the message that Splenda is a better, more natural product for children than other artificial sweeteners. These ads aim to encourage parents to provide or prepare food items for their children with Splenda. In one television commercial aired earlier this year, a child's voice says "Splenda and spice and everything nice. That's what little girls are made of." over video of children playing. This advertisement clearly equates Splenda with sugar (replacing "sugar" with "Splenda" in a common expression) and is intended to encourage the use of the product for children.

    Moreover, Splenda's product expansion has focused on creating "low sugar" products like snack foods, breakfast cereals and soda -- indeed, Splenda is now an ingredient in many of the "convenience foods" that parents might give to their children, or that children might select for themselves.

    Generation Green has been concerned for some time that this product expansion signals a clear intention by the Johnson & Johnson to target, not only parents, but also children, with its misleading Splenda advertising. That's why earlier this year Generation Green wrote to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission seeking a full investigation into Johnson & Johnson's Splenda advertising campaign.

    In the absence of aggressive FTC action on this issue, it is vital that state offices like yours take up this issue on behalf of consumers. If, as there appears, the company has no basis for suggesting that Splenda and sugar are closely linked and equally natural products, we call upon the state of California to take such steps that are necessary to halt Johnson & Johnson's extensive Splenda marketing campaign within the state and to require Johnson & Johnson to provide complete and accurate product information to California consumers.

  2. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    My personal feeling is the less chemicals we put in our bodies, the better off we are. I'd much rather have a spoonful of honey in the tea, than the packets of junk that leave the nasty aftertaste. I don't purchase soda unless we're having a party. At home we use a lot of seltzer and mix it with different fresh juices. I'd rather my son have a piece of real chocolate cake, than all the chemicals and hydrogenated oils in processed desserts. I find real foods far more satisfying than the "diet" foods. And today one can take insulin for what is consumed.

    I have no knowledge of the veracity of the claims and really do not doubt them, but keep in mind, the sugar industry has a vested interest to dispel the connection of Splenda and sugar.
  3. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

    Jun 1, 1995
    From the first post:
    As I've noted previously, sucralose also contains a chemical called phosgene, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as "a major industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides," and which, at room temperature, is a "poisonous gas."

    It could just as easily said:
    As I've noted previously, salt also contains a chemical called chlorine, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes as "a major industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides," and which, at room temperature, is a "poisonous gas."

    Be careful taking these kinds of claims at face value. Also look at who is hyping "anti-Splenda" -- it's people selling things -- books, for example. I especially like this -- reason #5 for avoiding Splenda:
    No one has considered the fact that chemical sweeteners may be at the root of many unexplained disease symptoms that puzzle your doctor. (See http://www.issplendasafe.com/top7reasons.html).

    So now Splenda, like aspartame before it, is responsible for all illnesses in all people?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2005
  4. julia

    julia Approved members

    Oct 24, 2005
    I think Splenda, like any artificial sweetener, is fine when consumed in small amounts. Personally, I don't like any of them, but I'm not much of a sweet eater (well, that's a lie, I'd kill for chocolate most days).
  5. Red (aus)

    Red (aus) Approved members

    Oct 23, 2005
    I am another that prefers real sugar to the artificial stuff. I don't think splenda is any better or any worse than any of the other artificial one's and if we wait long enough, they'll all be targeted at some stage, it's just the nature of big business to have positive and negative information available. If we searched the net hard enough we could find seemingly good reasons to cease all but breathing and possibly cease breathing too. The trick is to filter the garbage out, which is not always easy. The quickest way to filter out most of the garbage is to check who is making the claims, and their real credentials, don't take anything at face value, read more widely and do some research of your own. And just remember that most things are fine in moderation and if a product were truly as dangerous as is claimed, it would have been yanked off the shelves long before we heard about it.
  6. maverickmom (Kerri)

    maverickmom (Kerri) Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    My understanding is that Splenda passes through the gut unabsorbed, as the body doesn't recognize it as a carbohydrate. So given that, I don't see how it could linger long enough to cause harm. Also, Japan has been using sucralose for over 20yrs (it is only "new" to the US), so it would appear to have a long safety record behind its use (ie: no significant side effects after all this time). I'm neither arguing for or against it here (that is for each person to decide for themselves)...my own personal motto is "everything in moderation."
  7. chappy

    chappy New Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    i prefer splenda to regular sugar since it doesn't cause such a spike in my blood sugars as regular sugar does and it tastes better than the other artificial sweetners out there.
  8. pinkpower

    pinkpower New Member

    Feb 1, 2006
    I think splenda is fine because it is a sweetner that is ok.
    I have it in my house because the nurse i know says it is ok but not sugar.
    so i think it is fine.
  9. healthnut999

    healthnut999 New Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Never recommend Splenda ...

    I would *never* recommend Splenda. I had stomach cramps and indigestion for about 2 months before I realized the cause was Splenda. After I stopped using it, the symptoms completely disappeared. Check out Side Effects of Splenda for more info and spread the word: Just Say No to Splenda!
  10. kel4han

    kel4han Approved members

    Dec 27, 2006
    I am honestly overwhelmed by all of it. From plastics to sweeteners. Cows milk to vaccines. We live in a world that is so fast paced and industrialized it is nearly impossible to know the truths behind any studies. If I could live in the middle of nowhere and live off the land, I would. That is not realistic for most of us. I think we all try to limit exposures we see as potentially being harmful. Its scary. If I thought about all the details of how this world and our food, etc etc etc, is wrong I would never sleep again. If splenda doesn't get me, something else will. Obviously, someone we love has diabetes, so something, somewhere got us already from a "trigger" stand point. I make limitations, yes. I personally believe if it is manufactured, preserved or involves chemicals it is harmful. But what can we really do to prevent the bizzilion things around us from doing us harm? I guess you gotta love the USA. :mad:
  11. Momof4gr8kids

    Momof4gr8kids Approved members

    Sep 3, 2006
    Like Jeff said, it is dolled up for the media. We do about half and half at this stage. We do light juices, SF hard candies, like suckers, and use splenda in tea, coffee, and other drinks that have a need to be sweetened, and we buy diet soda when we do have soda. Anything with fat, as well as sugar is easier to cover with insulin for Julia at least, so cakes, cookies, and ice cream, and things along that line have sugar.
    Some sugar free items still have a lot of carbs so beware of that when choosing which to buy.
  12. Budapest

    Budapest Approved members

    Nov 29, 2006
    We use it -- both the kind that comes in small pockets the be added to drinks and the baking kind that can be used in cakes etc.

    No problems, so far.
  13. livacreature

    livacreature Approved members

    Sep 30, 2007
    Splenda does not contain aspartame but it is artifical. I consume it, because sometimes you just want something sweet that won't completely screw over your blood sugar and aspartame triggers migraines for me. I try to limit my intake and stick to natural sugars most of the time. There is a new soda, by Virgil's that is sweetened with stevia and does not contain phosphoric acid (bad for the bones). It is quite the nice alternative. :-D
  14. Link

    Link Approved members

    Jul 13, 2007
    we don't use Splenda, as it is "relatively" new, but use good old Saccharine instead, even though it's a chemical, it's been around for 100+ years, and had it's times of bad publicity, was tested multiple times by multiple governmnents and always was passed on as OK, no bad effects...

    these days it's generic, no reason for any corporate entity to protect it, and it tastes OK in drinks once you get used to it...

    I only wish that there were any retail sugar free drinks you can buy who use saccharine, but they are all aspartame + acesulfame K, of which I do not have a good opinion, but meh, we buy them anyhow when out...
  15. zell828

    zell828 Approved members

    Feb 20, 2008
    We use Splenda. My husband makes kool-aid with it at times and I have baked with it. We also drink diet sodas. I also have used the small packets to put on grapefruit or cinnamon toast for my kids. Never had a problem with it and I trust it.
  16. skimom

    skimom Approved members

    Jan 16, 2008
    The majority of the ridiculous claims made against various foods etc is done by people who have no clue what they are talking about - they have a little knowledge (eg the chlorine comment) and then they extrapolate it to create a major health crisis. A little knowledge in the wrong hands is a dangerous thing. Would you stop drinking water because one of it's components is hydrogen which is a highly explosive gas? WOuld you stop eating salt because it contains sodium, one of the most reactive metals known ( sodium has to be stored in oil in its pure form as it will react with the moisture in the air)I bet these scaremongers haven't even passed a high school chemistry class.
  17. rachabetic

    rachabetic Approved members

    Mar 18, 2008
    I have heard (my mom read it somewhere) that splenda, or any artificial sweetner is harmfull to non diabetics. This is because the body thinks that it is sugar, and so it produces insulin. But the insulin is not needed to use the carbs, so it just goes unused. This can help cause insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes. It's ok for me to have my propel with slenda, or anything else because my pancreas doesn't produce any inuslin anyway! So now I have an excuse of why the propel is mine!:D
  18. Kaileen

    Kaileen Approved members

    May 6, 2008
    Sounds like we'll just stick with sugar: just a bit less of it. Have you ever tried sweet tea with Splenda? Eww!
  19. Karenwith4

    Karenwith4 Approved members

    Dec 2, 2007
    Have you ever tried Stevia?
    We use it for food sweetening and I haven't found an aftertaste.
  20. dragonblimps_mom

    dragonblimps_mom Approved members

    May 25, 2008
    I don't want to get into the subject whether Splenda is "natural" or not or whether "chemicals" are universally bad for you but I can give you some personal experiences.

    In my younger days, I worked at a research lab doing data analysis. This lab had done previous studies on Aspartame before I started working there. I was "privi" to some of the raw, untabulated data. Based on what I saw, the control rats had brain "lesions" (labspeak for "tumor" or other physical anomaly) at nearly the same rate as the high dose animals. To the FDA that means there is no statistical affect from consuming Aspartame. BULL****! Control rats do not normally have brain lesions. My guess is that the study was messed up in a big way and the control animals were dosed either by food handling mistakes or possibly by airborne contamination at some point in the process. NOTE: This is only my opinion, and should not be construed as fact in any way. (This is labspeak for "I don't want to be sued!")

    Fast forward to the study on a substance that was to become Splenda. This study involved feeding the test substance to dogs. There were three dosage levels plus a control group. At the end of the study there were no physical anomalies noted in any of the test groups, all dogs were physically healthy. I personally received the blood results from the laboratory and ran statistical analysis on them. None of the study scientists saw the data before I did. That blood work was squeaky clean. No deviation in any way between the controls and any of the test groups.

    These two personal experiences influenced my decision to limit the amount of Aspartame in my diabetic daughter's diet. When available, I try to get products that contain Splenda instead. That is not to say Splenda is totally safe. My mother gets headaches whenever she eats something with Splenda. I personally find it WAY too sweet for my tastes so I avoid it. But weighing the risks vs benefits of both sweeteners, I think the risks outweigh the benefits for Aspartame and the benefits far outweigh the risks for Splenda. Does my daughter still eat things with Aspartame - on occasion but rarely.

    That's my two cents and I'm sticking to it.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008

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