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Monday, July 11, 2005

Timeline Of Events Shows A Link Between Sugar Industry And Splenda Attacks

The following timeline regarding the intruiging relationship between Dr. Stuart Fischer and the Sugar Association openly attacking Splenda should open your eyes to the coordinated effort to destroy this product that so many of us low-carbers love and appreciate for helping us break our sugar addiction:

The media advisory sent to promote Dr. Fischer lists Qorvis Communications as the contact. Of note, Qorvis is the PR firm representing the Sugar Association. They are the group behind www.truthaboutsplenda.com, press releases, press conferences, etc. They appear to have a very coordinated campaign against Splenda. (my emphasis)

December 2004
The Sugar Association filed a lawsuit against McNeil Nutritionals, the makers of Splenda.

January 2005
The Sugar Association hires Qorvis communications to launch PR attack campaign against Splenda.
Qorvis says Splenda is Not So Sweet - http://www.truthaboutsplenda.com/news/01-17-05-qorvis.html

The Sugar Association and Qorvis launch www.truthaboutsplenda.com.

The 'Truth About Splenda' Website Launched; Website Represents First Step in a Major Public Education Campaign. http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0112-08.htm

Generation Green becomes first ì-consumer group to issue press release about Splenda's marketing and calling for an FTC investigation.

Splenda Marketing Campaign Seeks to Mislead, Confuse Consumers
http://www.generationgreen.org/2005-01_lead-story.htm

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy issues press release and files complaint with FTC regarding Splenda advertising

The Sugar Association and Qorvis issue press release. Five Lawsuits Filed Against Splenda; Johnson & Johnson Under Fire Concerning False Advertising and Misleading Consumers About Splenda
http://truthaboutsplenda.com/news/01-27-05-lawsuit.html

February 2005
The Sugar Association and Qorvis issue press release announcing press conference.

On Valentine's Day Nothing is Sweeter than the Truth! Press Conference to Announce Latest Effort in Fight Against Splenda's Misleading Marketing Practices

The Sugar Association and Qorvis issue press release regarding press conference organized by Qorvis. Growing Number of National Organizations Raise Concern With Splenda's Marketing Practices; Certain Groups Urge FTC to Investigate Misleading Advertising Confusing Consumers
http://www.truthaboutsplenda.com/news/02-14-05-growing.html

Florida Consumer Action Network issues release demanding FTC probe into Splenda marketing campaign.

March 2005
Organic Consumers Association issues release asking Splenda ads be investigated

The Sugar Association and Qorvis issue press release. Dieticians Think Splenda Ads Are 'Rotten';J&J/McNeil's Splenda Ads Win Canadian 'Rotten Apple' Prize
http://truthaboutsplenda.com/news/03-24-05-dieticians.html

The Sugar Association and Qorvis issue release, More Nutritionists Questioning Splenda's Marketing Claims; Ads Saying Splenda is Like Sugar 'Could Come Back to Haunt Us'

April 2005
Alabama League of Environmental Action Voters (AlaLEAVs) sends $1000 checks to environment groups to convince them to protest expansion of a Splenda plant. Media speculates that the Sugar Association was involved.

PAC checks surround Splenda battle - http://www.al.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/news/1114766225317990.xml

June 2005
The Sugar Association and Qorvis issue advisory making Dr. Stuart Fischer available for media interviews.


How about this? It seems the plot behind the scenes from the sugar industry and its allies has been unfolding for nearly eight months in an all-out assault against the makers of Splenda. With such calculated steps being taken by the sugar industry to protect themselves from economic failure because their product is a major contributer in the obesity epidemic in this country, don't think they won't do everything within their means to bring an end to their primary competion. Even if that means trumping up false allegations against a good product like Splenda, they'll do it and never think twice about it.

This is such a shame and it must be stopped. Contact your Congressman today and ask him to help stop this harassment by the sugar lobby against Splenda. If you are livin' la vida low-carb and believe Splenda has played an important role in your weight loss and improved health, then you should stand up and make your voice heard. Do it not only for the sake of your health, but also the health of all those who are being needlessly scared about the alleged "dangers" of Splenda. I contend sugar is a lot more dangerous for you than Splenda will ever be. Our voice must be heard on this issue!

7 Comments:

Blogger Kalyn said...

Jimmy, thank you for your excellent research on this topic. I am putting a link on my blog sending people to read this if they are concerned about Splenda.
Kalyn Denny
http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com

7/12/2005 1:11 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

Jimmy what about this Stevia stuff I have just heard of. What do you know about it?

7/12/2005 2:42 PM  
Blogger Regina Wilshire said...

Interesting....but, and this is just a question, if Splenda isn't really made from sugar, isn't it false to advertise that it tastes like sugar because "it's made from sugar"? I think that's what's got the sugar association's feathers ruffled.

On a different note, criticism of Splenda and other artificial sweeteners isn't new...this recent spate of "attacks" is just different.

Personally I prefer to look at what research has shown to determine if eating it is safe or not. From that perspective, I think the jury is still out.

7/12/2005 4:52 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

THANKS FOR THE LINK, Kalyn! Did I mention I've added a link to your blog in my book? :-)

Jeff, I have not personally tried Stevia, but many of my low-carb friends swear by it. It has a strong sweetness like Splenda, but is not in the spotlight right now. If it gains popularity, then I expect these pro-sugar people to go after it, too.

Regina, I agree to a point with your assertion about the advertising of Splenda. But this goes much deeper than any false claims against Splenda. The sugar lobby will stop at nothing to get more people to buy their product. Sales are sluggish right now with sugar and it's hurting them big time because of low-carb. YOU GOTTA LOVE IT! Their agenda behind their attacks should be examined more than Splenda's advertising techniques.

THANKS for all the great comments on this blog post!

7/12/2005 6:45 PM  
Blogger DietKing said...

I've tried Stevia--I find the taste (in my opinion) to be horrid--yes, indeed, it's extremely sweet (alot more than sugar) and yes, it's all natural, but the aftertaste is horrendous--to the point where it'll screw up your coffee, the same way xylitol (another sugar substitute with wonderful medicinal qualities) will with its 'cool' aftertaste. But, again, this is my own opinion.

Adam

7/13/2005 12:53 PM  
Blogger Levi said...

Adam, you might want to experiment with some different brands of Stevia. I've tried some that I didn't like and others that I did.

As far as Stevia is concerned, is is simply an extract of the Stevia plant. If you go into your local garden center, you may see them for sale as I have. break off a leaf and take a bite - it's sweet! You can actually make your own Stevia this way, but the process I've seen looks a bit too time and energy intensive. I'd rather just buy the stuff.

But the fact that it's just a plant and that no big company has a patent for it means that you don't have that big money backing it up. So far in the U.S. the sugar industry most likely has convinced the FDA to not allow Stevia to be labeled as a sweetener. Instead it is considered a "supplement" and so has to be sold in the same aisle as the vitamins. In the UK, they've managed to outlaw it altogether, so be glad that we can at least get it period!

While I do enjoy Splenda occasionally, my personal preference would be that there would at least be a CHOICE to get similar products with stevia instead. Splenda doesn't have all the issues that aspartame has of course, but I'm still a bit nervous ingesting a compound that's only existed for the last 10-15 years. Our bodies haven't had eons to encorporate them or to develop systems to warn us against eating them.

But these are just personal sentiments and I recognize that for some, the need to have a sugar replacement like Splenda outweighs the potential (and currently invisible and theoretical) risks. Big sugar of course is just doing what any large economic interest tends to do - it's trying to kill it's competition and trying to get more and more demand for its product so that it can make and sell more. The way it's doing this may be slimy, but it's nothing new, and it probably pales in comparison to the back room dealings of the past and probably even the present when it comes to this and other industry's manipulations of government...

7/13/2005 3:07 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

Hey Jimmy, here is the newest press release about this issue.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Matt J. Lauer
July 25, 2005 mlauer@qorvis.com
202-448-3127

Splenda Ads by Johnson & Johnson Are Misleading, Says Advertising Standards Board
New Zealand Ad Authority Upholds Complaint Against J&J

Washington, D.C. [July 25, 2005] -- The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Johnson & Johnson for misleading marketing practices in advertisements for the chlorinated artificial sweetener Splenda. “This complaint is on the basis that Splenda is being compared directly to sugar and misleading and confusing consumers into thinking it’s as natural as sugar because it’s ‘made from sugar and tastes like sugar,’” according to the upheld complaint.

The Authority’s Advertising Standards Complaints Board, made up of representatives from New Zealand’s advertising and marketing agencies, reviewed 15 second and 30 second versions of an ad for the artificial sweetener along with focus group input. The Board determined that the ad deceived consumers into thinking Splenda is all natural like sugar, when it is actually a chemical compound. “The [Splenda] advertisement...gave rise to a likelihood of a consumer being confused and mislead as a result of the comparison in the advertisement,” the Board decided. According to the ASA, when the Board upholds a complaint, they ask the company not to run the ad again.

In reality, the product Splenda does not contain and is not sugar. The artificial sweetener ingredient (sucralose) in Splenda is manufactured chemically. The sweetness of Splenda is due to the chlorocarbon chemical (sucralose) that contains three atoms of chlorine in every one of its molecules. In fact, the name sucralose is misleading because it is not a sugar but a chlorinated chemical.

In the United States, Johnson & Johnson is currently involved in more than ten federal and consumer class action lawsuits alleging misleading marketing for the chlorinated artificial sweetener Splenda.

“This is an important ruling for consumers. As more and more sweeteners are used to formulate foods in the U.S., consumers need to be vigilant in reading the ingredients part of the Food Label to verify if the product is made with all natural real sugar or some man-made, chemical sweetener. To help consumers, advertising of these food products must be accurate and not misleading,” says Andy Briscoe, President of the Sugar Association.

The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority was formed in 1973 and is a self-regulating body comprised of marketing and advertising agencies in New Zealand.

To learn more about the truth about Splenda, please contact Rich Masters at Qorvis Communications at 202-496-1000, email at rmasters@qorvis.com or visit the website www.truthaboutsplenda.com.

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7/26/2005 3:23 PM  

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