Consumer watchdog group lowers safety rating of Splenda due to links with leukemia

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If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to head into your pantry and clear out all products that contain the artificial sweetener Splenda (otherwise labeled as “sucralose” – read your labels!). Recently, the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI) has downgraded the safety rating for the sweetener in the yellow packet from “safe” to “caution” after a study found that it caused leukemia in lab rats. For information on this and other food additives, visit the CSPI’s “Chemical Cuisine” report found here.

This is information that needs to go far and wide. Due to a massive commercial campaign resulting in 60 percent of the market share, Splenda has been positioned as the safer alternative to artificial sweeteners, which include Equal (which contains aspartame, dextrose and maltodestrin) and Sweet ‘N Low (containing saccharin). The people have been duped into believing that this is a safe way to cut calories and sugar and maintain weight loss. What is not told in the slick commercials is the story of how Splenda came to the market.

In 1975, researchers were attempting to create a new insecticide. A young Indiant chemist and his advisor at Queen Elizabeth College in London began by taking sulfuryl chloride (an extremely toxic chemical) and mixing it into a sugar solution. The violent reaction that resulted in this experiment formed an entirely new compound (1′, 4, 6, 6′-tetrachloro – 1′, 4, 6, 6′ – tetra deoxygalactosucrose). The young chemist was told to test the compound. He misunderstood these instructions and literally taste-tested the concoction. To his surprise and wonder, it was incredibly sweet. He reported back to his advisor who was stunned that he would put such a potentially highly toxic substance into his body. However, the excitement over discovering this new sweetener overtook his advisor, who began putting it in his coffee, even going to so far as to nickname it “Serendipitose”. When the young chemist reminded him that this could be highly toxic, his advisor is reported to have said “We’ll survive!”

After experimenting with many different combinations, and learning that it had no use as an insecticide, the researchers settled upon the current version of the artificial sweetener.  (Taken from The History of Splenda: The Best-Selling Artificial Sweetener in America).

Side effects of Splenda are reported as:

  • Migraines
  • Gastrointestinal distress/IBS
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain
  • Body numbness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath

The list goes on and on – literally. It’s time to take back our health and demand that our food supply is not contaminated with harmful and hidden chemicals. Say “NO!” to artificial sweeteners. I wrote more about this in my post America’s Food Obsession.

By Julie Hurley, Founder of Hurley Health and Wellness

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