Monday, January 24, 2005

The Truth About Truthaboutsplenda.com

Here we go again--another propaganda web site with misleading information. First of all, and this should come as no surprise, it is funded by the sugar lobby. I don't have to tell you that they might be a little biased. While walmartfacts.com abuses statistics to "support" its cause, truthaboutsplenda.com uses misleading rhetoric to "make" its point.

The site constantly harps on the fact that Splenda is a "chlorinated compound." But so is table salt! Just because an element is toxic, that does not make its compounds harmful. They use scaremongering, conspiracy-inferring statements about how there are over 3,500 products using Splenda "and none of them say the product contains chlorine." Hmm, I do not recall ever reading about chlorine in the ingredient list of a product including salt. It isn't listed because a "chlorinated compound" is not the same thing as chlorine. Hydrogen is flammable--it's the chief fuel of the sun and indeed the entire universe. Water contains hydrogen, so is water flammable? Of course not. Likewise, my can of Campbell's soup doesn't list hydrogen or oxygen as ingredients.


Here is a typical statement from the site:
Fiction: The chlorine found in Splenda is similar to that found in other foods we eat.
Fact: The manufacturer of Splenda claims that chlorine is naturally present in such foods as lettuce, mushrooms and table salt, but they never directly state that eating Splenda is the same as eating these foods. Remember, Splenda is not a natural substance, it is an artificial chemical sweetener manufactured by adding three chlorine atoms to a sugar molecule. And again, because there have been no long-term human studies on Splenda to determine the potential health effects on people, no one can say with certainty that the substance is safe to eat.

First of all, the Splenda people "never directly state that eating Splenda is the same as eating these foods" because obviously Splenda is not the same as lettuce, mushrooms, or table salt for many reasons. The sugar producers couldn't possibly claim that eating sugar is "the same" as eating lettuce, either. Then they ominously warn that "Splenda is not a natural substance." If you stop to think about how many substances in food are not natural, you will see how silly this line of reasoning is. Is high fructose corn syrup a naturally occurring substance? One could argue that refined sugar isn't a truly natural substance, either. Finally, they claim that "no one can say with certainty that the substance is safe to eat." Okay, but for that matter, is sugar safe? It can make you fat. It causes trouble for diabetics. So I wouldn't say it's safe "with certainty" for everybody. The statement is vague and subjective.

That is the type of rhetoric on truthaboutsplenda.com. It is full of scary language and innuendo but lacking in concrete evidence. It's just a front for the sugar lobby and tells no real "truth." Unfortunately, plenty of people will fail to see this for what it is. I would not be surprised to get an e-mail titled "the dangers of chlorinated Splenda" from people like my grandmother who pass along everything they see on the Internet without question.

I'm not declaring whether Splenda is safe or not. I'm just encouraging critical thought and analysis of propaganda masquerading as truth.

UPDATE 01/28/05: I should have given a citation for truthaboutsplenda.com's connection with the sugar industry (specifically the Sugar Association) since the site itself conceals this.


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post. I got here through http://www.churchofcriticalthinking.com/ and I hope some of your readers migrate over there, just as some of us (or maybe just me) are coming over here.

When you say "sugar lobby" it makes me think of walking into the lobby of a hotel or a theater, and it's filled with sugar. Mmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how many times can you use the word chlorine in one page? I'm speaking of the anti-Splenda article of course. Funny thing was, they kept using the word as if it were some big scarry thing. As a biologist and chemist, I kept reading it without understanding why I was supposed to be so upset about a substance that contains chlorine. Isn't NaCl (sodium chloride) something they teach in middle school? Ooooh, that contains two dangerous chemicals, it must be lethal. Well actually it is... in large doses, but it's also necessary for life in small amounts.
I searched the whole site looking for a sponsor name but didn't find it. I assume you are correct about the sugar lobby since that makes the most sense. Really transparent propoganda. Bah.
BTW, I too stopped by from Church of Critical Thinking.
Eat well, stay fit, Die Anyway

PheloniusRM said...

I recently received a forwarded emailed about margarine. The scare tactic was that "margarnie is only one molecule different than plastic!" "Would you melt your tupperware and spread it on your toast?!"

Michael Goldfield said...

Splenda is NOT safe. Visit mercola.com and check out the truth about this dangerous artificial chemical sweetener.

Anonymous said...

I bet this Dr. Mercola has friends in the "sugar lobby"

Candebear said...

Besides, this Dr. Mercola is trying to sell some weird supplemental stuff himself....who knows. All I know is that I got my blood sugar down with Splenda along with controlling the ingestion of "refined carbohydrates" and lost ~20 pounds over the last 14 months....I'm at a healthy weight, thank you very much! Plus, other sugar substitutes TASTE like chemicals...ever notice?

Anonymous said...

The difference is people will consume tons of spenda to get their daily sugar fix. And in doing so they probably ingest a ton more chlorine this way than they normally would otherwise. Who eats tablespoons of salt everyday? I think it’s the total amount of chlorine being consumed over time that could be harmful as compared to where the chlorine comes from. Have there being any studies looking into this? What does chlorine do in the body anyway, I know it’s in our tap water so there must be something already out there and it is probably bad news since most people prefer to drink filtered water at a premium price!

lilly said...

Just came across this blog about splenda and the sugar industry. thought all of you would find this very interesting.

http://www.commonvoice.com/article.asp?colid=2391meline of events.

leaflady said...

My hubby is a 43 year insulin dependent diabetic. Splenda is the only sweetener that I can bake with. I also use it to make koolaide and koolaide jell-o. Perhaps we do use too much.

I agree about the hype from sugar lobbyists. They will say anything to protect their 'share' of the marketplace. They have succeeded in keeping Stevia out of products in this country even tho the rest of the world uses it and has for centuries.

Speaking of hype, how many of you had heard of DHMO and all the damage it can cause? If you want something interesting to read, look up DHMO. It seems NO,LA has way to much of this stuff for anyone's good or pleasure. LOL.

Thanks for this website. I found you by accident while researching possible side effects of too much Splenda. My ulcer has been acting up and I've had more intestinal gas than usual. I was wondering if my increased consumption of Splenda could possibly be the problem. I doubt it, but will reduce the amount I use and see.

David Johnsen said...

Leaflady, are you eating any foods that have been sweetened with sugar alcohols? Their names often end in "tol" like maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol etc. They are really common in low carb "sweets." Some of them can increase gas, but I don't know about ulcers. More info:
http://ific.org/publications/factsheets/sugaralcoholfs.cfm

Jeff Hamlin said...

Right on DJWriter! Only a total moron would think the SUGAR ASSOCIATION actually cares about people. They just want their share of the money and could care less about the health of americans.

Anonymous said...

I am recently suffering from an ulcer for the first time, and looking to see if there's any association between Splenda and ulcers. I have been using Splenda for more than 5 years, and not excessively. It probably has nothing to do with my ulcer, but if anyone else has had any experience with the subject, please post.

Anonymous said...

Re: Fellow with ulcer. I have been told by first hand users that they had success with drinking cabbage juice immediately after juicing. (within three minutes)
Length of times; variable.
Chuck Williams, D.C.

Anonymous said...

hmm, I am using Splenda excessively because it tastes just like sugar, I've been getting mouth ulcers lately a lot. I don't think it's related. I'm going to try to go back to Stevia though, although it just doesn't have quite the same addictiveness as Splenda and sugar.
I agree that the sugar industry's probably not looking out for people's health, the amount of sugar I eat has been linked to cancer also, but I have the feeling that Stevia's better, I use the leaf stuff and put it in teabag filter paper so it doesn't leave leaves in my tea.

Anonymous said...

I have no association with the sugar industry. I like sugar. I don't use Splenda or any other artificial sweetener.

This entire "controversy" is nothing but the sugar industry using our court system to try and throttle back a competing product. The TruthAboutSplenda sit is nothing more than a fiendishly clever attempt to get a "buzz" started that Splenda is made from clorine. Who wants to eat bleach, eh?

The sugar people don't want their product to wind up like butter.

"Half truths" are nothing more than lies. Splenda does contain sugar. With a few clorine molecules added in the labratory. Which doesn't make it made out of cholorine. The Splenda people were less than honest saying that "It tastes like sugar because it's made from sugar", and the sugar people are less than honest saying that Splenda is made using chlorine. Both are half truths, and lies.

Oleomargerine is probably manufactured from some yucky sounding things. ("I can't believe it's artificially colored and flavored whipped soybeans" won't ever be a brand name). And, the butter lobby never reminds you how their product is made by stirring milk until the fat curdles. Both products won't hurt a normal person. Neither would Splenda or sugar. There are a lot of people who can't eat sugar that need something like Splenda. The rest of us can use the real thing, unless we want to forgo the calories.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find information on foods and why people believe they are bad. However, the most common thing I find is propaganda and sales pitches. This is EQUALLY prevalent on the natural foods side as it is on the non-natural foods side. Try to find information on a web site without being sold a product. And there is no science usually, only stories and old wives tales. I agree we need to be skeptical of sales pitches, but it would help if there was information available without the sales pitches. Anyone have any ideas on where to find these, or is it all a roll of the dice or a choice of faith on who you believe?

Anonymous said...

I consume 2 cups of splenda a day every day. It has been 5 years.... So far no trouble. I weighed 265 pounds 5 years ago now 205. Thanx splenda!