By Dr. Mercola
June 26, 2013 | 46,397 views
The artificial sweetener sucralose, better known by its brand name Splenda, has been on the US market for fifteen years.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Splenda in 1998 based on more than 110 safety studies, only two of which were actually conducted on humans (these two studies consisted of a combined total of 36 people, of which only 23 people actually ingested sucralose!).
Since then we’ve seen many red flags that this artificial sweetener is anything but safe, not the least of which are the many personal anecdotes of adverse reactions to Splenda, which are posted on my site.
Research has also been conducted showing that Splenda is not the safe sugar alternative it was promoted to be (see below for a few examples), and now even the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is sounding an alarm against this popular artificial sweetener.
CSPI Finally Gets It Right About Splenda
CSPI, a consumer watchdog group that focuses on nutrition and food safety, has finally downgraded Splenda from its former “safe” category to one of “caution.” The move came following an unpublished study by an independent Italian laboratory that found Splenda may cause leukemia in mice.1 According to CSPI:2
“The only previous long-term feeding studies in animals were conducted by the compound’s manufacturers.”
After more than 10 years, CSPI has finally gotten it right about Splenda, but generally this is an organization whose guidelines need to be taken with a grain of salt. For starters, while recommending that people avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin, they also consider drinking diet soda to be safer than drinking regular soda.
Yet, there’s little doubt in my mind that artificial sweeteners can be even worse for you than sugar and fructose, and there is scientific evidence to back up that conclusion. I am glad they finally came to their senses. I remember pleading with Michael Jacobson, their director, many years ago to reevaluate his position, but at the time he was convinced of Splenda’s safety.
CSPI also spearheaded a campaign against the use of healthful saturated fats during the 1980s, touting trans fats as a healthier alternative. It was largely the result of CSPI’s campaign that fast-food restaurants replaced the use of beef tallow, palm oil and coconut oil with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are high in synthetic trans fats (linked to numerous chronic diseases like heart disease).
In 1988, CSPI even released an article praising trans fats and saying “there is little good evidence that trans fats cause any more harm than other fats” and “much of the anxiety over trans fats stems from their reputation as ‘unnatural.’”3
It wasn’t until the 1990s that CSPI reversed their position on synthetic trans fats, citing it as the greater public health danger, but the damage had already been done. Even to this day, many still mistakenly believe that margarine is a healthier choice than butter… but getting back to Splenda, it’s a step in the right direction that CSPI has sounded an alarm over its use.