• Wed, Aug 15 2012

Johnson & Johnson Sued, Because Duh: Splenda Doesn’t Cause Weight Loss

splenda essentials lawsuitArtificial 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.

Photo: Splenda.com

 

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  • Nancy

    First, totally agree with this article, it’s ridiculous of Splenda to claim how healthy it is or that it causes weight loss. That said:

    “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? ”

    Chlorine in pools is elemental chlroine and is used to purify water. Splenda didn’t just put chlorine like in our pools into their food, they made a new molecule -Sucralose- by replacing a couple atoms in sucrose with chloride ions. Chloride ions are also in salt which is in almost everything we eat. Sorry, it’s a huge pet peeve of mine when people say a product is bad because of one it’s atoms; it’s like the time blisstree had that post about the McRib having some of the same chemicals as a yoga mat. There elements make up our world in different combinations.
    Take oxygen for example: we breath O2 which is two atoms of oxygen put together to make a molecule, the ozone is made of O3 which is 3 atoms of oxygen put together and it would be damaging to breath in, then there’s water which is 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom (H2O), then there’s carbon monoxide CO2 which is deadly to humans despite the fact that we’re like 20% made of carbon and we need oxygen to live.
    Also, diamonds are COMPLETELY made of carbon. And humans are almost 20% carbon. Yet I am nothing like a diamond.

    Anyway, back to topic: Wikipedia tells me that Sucralose was approved for human consumption by the FDA, as well as it’s counterparts in New Zealand, Canada and Australia, and the World Health Organization, and even deemed safe by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    Chlorine’s not the issue here, but the molecule they used the chlorine in

    • Nancy

      Oops that last line wasn’t supposed to be there lol

  • Lauren

    Have to agree with Nancy, but it is interesting to note that artificial sweeteners actually have been correlated with weight GAIN instead of weight loss. Smarter people than I have figured out that it has something to do with insulin. My diet coke obsession was something to be reckoned with but I think I have actually lost weight giving it up. No more artificial sweeteners for me, from now on, I am just gonna say screw it and eat the sugar or put my big girl pants on and drink the coffee unflavored.