If you steer clear of diet fizzy drinks and harmful artificial sweeteners in food, there’s something new lurking that you’ll want to avoid. This one is… well… sugar-coated with the sweetest lies.
You might even think about giving it a try since it doesn’t add calories or raise your blood sugar. And if you Google it, you won’t find any warnings about its harmful effects.
Is it possible that Big Food has finally come up with a “safe” diet sweetener?
In a nutshell, no…
But the company that makes this new additive has done a sneaky little manoeuvre that will allow it to be added to drinks, chewing gum, ice cream and even chocolate milk. And you’ll have no clue it’s there.
20,000 times sweeter…
Advantame is the latest artificial sweetener that has been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It will be allowed in almost all food and drinks. And it’s made by the same Japanese company that brought us MSG – Ajinomoto.
That should be the first tipoff that this new chemical isn’t all sweetness and light.
Despite the big FDA announcement, Advantame isn’t totally new. It’s a super-high concentration chemical derived from aspartame. That’s right, that brain-damaging, toxic sweetener that flooded store shelves in diet fizzy drinks and diet everything else.
Only this is more like aspartame on steroids.
All Ajinomoto is saying is that it’s a combination of aspartame and vanillin – artificial vanilla flavouring.
But a lot more went on in the laboratory than just mixing those two ingredients together. Believe me, this is complex chemistry, not just vanillin and aspartame put in a blender.
We already know a lot about the toxicity of aspartame. For instance, it’s made of three chemicals that are toxic to brain cells – and it can kill them.
So could Advantame be an even bigger danger?
To get an idea of how potent Advantame is, aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar. This “new” one is 20,000 times sweeter.
And if this “newbie” is thousands of times sweeter than aspartame, could it be thousands of times more dangerous as well?
The only ones who have waded in so far on Advantame is the US Centre for Science in the Public Interest. It said in a statement that the number of mice that lived to the end of a study on Advantame “was below” the FDA’s own recommendations. The group said that doesn’t give it much “confidence in the safety of a chemical” that millions will consume.
And then there are the studies that the FDA reviewed – ones that showed some bad effects on test animals, but the agency ignored.
In an “in house” memo two years ago, the FDA noted “abnormal clinical signs” in studies with mice and Advantame. And these abnormal reactions sound an awful lot like the many complaints about aspartame made to the FDA. Things like abnormal behaviour, aggression, irritability, convulsions and abnormal eye movements.
But that didn’t stop it from getting that big fat FDA rubber stamp: APPROVED.
Neither did the findings of enlarged renal lymph nodes in all the female test animals given the chemical sweetener. But that wasn’t “statistically” important, the memo said.
The NutraSweet Company, the ones that first brought us aspartame, filed a complaint with the FDA way back in 2011 about Advantame. The complaint had to do with a loophole in food labelling. Flavouring additives don’t have to be labelled by name. But sweeteners do.
The company said that because Advantame can sweeten at such low amounts, it can add sweetness to drinks and foods but not be listed on the label, thanks to that flavouring “loophole.”
The NutraSweet Company complained that it “would be very deceptive to consumers”… And deception is something they sure know a lot about.
Bear in mind all the material in this email alert is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“FDA approves new artificial sweetener” Leah Zerbe, May 21, 2014, Rodale News, rodalenews.com
FDA memo March 3, 2012, FDA docket, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., filing of a food additive petition, regulations.gov
Letter from the NutraSweet Company to the FDA, September 19, 2011, FDA docket, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., filing of a food additive petition, regulations.gov
“New report backs supplements for eye health” Engredea News & Analysis” May 1, 2014, newhope360.com