Artificial sweeteners are bad for you. This is not news. But companies just keep on touting the (nonexistent) health benefits of articicial sweeteners, trying to convince consumers that not only are they better than sugar, but that they’re actually good for you. The latest culprit? Johnson & Johnson, who are now being sued for claims that Splenda Essentials can help people lose weight and live healthier lives.
Johnson & Johnson claimed that Splenda Essentials, a version of the sweetener that supposedly contained vitamins and other “healthy” powdered mix-ins, can prevent disease. Misrepresentation of the health claims (like that B vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants can help you lose weight) of the product was a bad move, as three consumers in California said they were misled. And bam! A lawsuit, filed on behalf of consumers by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the center, said:
“It’s ridiculous — but apparently profitable — to claim that bulking up Splenda with vitamins or powdered fiber is going to make it a magical health food. It’s an artificial sweetener, not pixie dust.”
Johnson and Johnson apparently doesn’t comment on litigation, but this isn’t the first time the company has been sued over misrepresentation of Splenda. In 2005 the company’s subsidiary was sued over the claim that Splenda is “made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar.”
Splenda is actually a combination of sucrose and chlorine, a mixture that’s about 600 times sweeter than sugar. Yuck—regardless of the bogus health claims on boxes on Splenda Essentials, why would you EVER want to eat something made with the same chlorine that’s in swimming pools? Kind of turns my stomach just thinking about it, much less putting it into my tea.