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Sugar substitutes are taking the heat

Comments by J. C. Spencer

The Sugar  Association calls deceptive advertising and untruthful claims Sugar substitutes are taking the heat for what the Sugar Association calls deceptive advertising and untruthful claims. The informed individual becomes the educated consumer. Glycomics, the science of sugars, helps answer the questions of what is healthful sugars, harmful sugars, and what I call Royal Sugars in my book Expand Your Mind - Improve Your Brain. The Endowment for Medical Research in Houston, Texas is developing an advanced educational website on the science of sugars at www.endowmentmed.org

Now, here is the news on the battle against Splenda by the Sugar Association.

The Sugar Association Applauds California Assembly Health Committee's Plans to Hold Hearings on Deceptive Advertising of Artificial Sweeteners

WASHINGTON, May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mark Lanier, who was recently honored with the Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association's 2008 Consumer Advocacy Award and who is a trial lawyer for the Washington-based Sugar Association, representing thousands of sugar farmers from across the nation, applauded the decision of the California Assembly Committee on Health to hold hearings in California concerning the use of deceptive advertising by makers of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda.

"Document after document from Johnson & Johnson's own files show that they knew all along that their advertising was false and that it was misleading consumers into believing that Splenda is natural, safe, and healthy. We look forward to telling a California jury the full truth about Splenda, including the substantial efforts Johnson & Johnson went to in an effort to cover up its deception," stated Mr. Lanier.

Splenda is marketed as healthy and safe for children and adults but there have been no long-term human tests to support this claim. In fact, the website http://www.truthaboutsplenda.com/ has received numerous consumer e-mail complaints associating Splenda with a host of problems, including severe gastrointestinal side effects. And if you Google "Splenda", consumers can find several other websites highlighting concerns.

Although Johnson & Johnson has spent hundreds of millions on misleading advertising to intentionally fool consumers, Splenda is not "natural." In 2004, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) conducted a survey in which over 46% of respondents believed Splenda to be a "natural product." CSPI has stated in court filings "that it is in the public's interest to stop fraudulent and misleading marketing at any point."

In December 2004, The Sugar Association brought an action in United States District Court, Central District of California alleging that Johnson & Johnson uses false, deceptive and misleading marketing to induce customers to purchase Splenda. In its complaint, The Sugar Association claims that Johnson & Johnson has chosen to compete not only in the artificial sweetener market against products like Sweet'N Low and Equal, but also in the natural sweetener market against sugar. Johnson & Johnson intentionally changed its advertising so that consumers no longer view Splenda as a mere "packet" sweetener, but instead perceive it as a "pantry staple food," in part by introducing a Splenda-branded product it claimed "offers a true sugar baking replacement."

Over the past several years, advertising regulatory authorities in France, Australia and New Zealand have found Johnson & Johnson to have used misleading advertising to promote Splenda and have required Johnson & Johnson to stop or change its advertising due to confusing and misleading comparisons to sugar. Last year a similar case against Johnson & Johnson alleging false, misleading, and deceptive advertising was tried by a jury in federal court in Pennsylvania. After the jury requested a calculator during its deliberations, Johnson & Johnson abruptly settled and insisted upon sealing all settlement details to continue to cover up the truth about Splenda from consumers.

The Sugar Association

CONTACT: CONTACTS: Rich Masters, Qorvis Communications, 1-202-448-3144,
or Eric Rose, Englander & Associates, 1-805-624-0572, both for The Sugar

Web Site: http://www.truthaboutsplenda.com/

Last Updated ( May 30, 2008 at 10:28 AM )