Diet Pepsi may cause cancer – consumer watchdog downgrades it from “caution” to “avoid”

Can Diet Pepsi cause cancer? Possibly. It contains the commonly used sweetener Sucralose. A new study shows that this sweetener causes leukemia and related blood cancers in mice, when they consume it long term. Nobody can know for sure if this means some people drinking Pepsi will end up with leukemia, but it’s quite possible.

The findings caused the consumer watchdog CSPI (known for occasionally being very wrong) to downgrade Sucralose from “caution” to “avoid”.

CSPI: CSPI Downgrades Sucralose from “Caution” to “Avoid”

Pepsi must be disappointed. It’s just been 6 months since they changed ingredients from the artificial sweetener Aspartame to Sucralose, launching the “new diet Pepsi“, due to health concerns over Aspartame.

The problem with sweeteners

Other negative effects of artificial sweeteners include making it harder to lose weight, disturbing the gut flora and raising blood sugar.

Of course, diet sodas are still preferable to the sugar-bomb real thing – especially when it comes to weight and metabolic disease.

Massively better options include water, coffee or tea.


How to Lose Weight #9: Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Another Reason to be Skeptical of Artificial Sweeteners

Study: Avoiding Diet Beverages Helps Women Lose Weight



  1. mdargavel
    Can someone translate this study in real world terms... what does "500ppm" added to their feed mean in terms of human consumption? 1 diet soda per meal? 20? Seems to me like this would be an important thing to communicate in this kind of study.
  2. Rimas
    While I agree water, coffee, tea, selzer are FAR BETTER than diet sodas sweetened with artificial sweeteners, I have a problem trusting ANYTHING that CSPI recommends. CSPI were the ones that recommended getting rid of coconut oil and replacing it with TRANS-FATS based on I don't know what studies. Now they're back-peddling from the trans-fats and recommending just plain old (toxic) vegetable oils. They're STILL battling against saturated fat despite plenty of evidence that it is benign, if not BENEFICIAL for health (as in European countries where the higher the consumption of percentage of calories from saturated fat, the lower the rates of heart disease). CSPI is dinosaur that needs to go extinct in its current form.
    Replies: #6, #10
  3. Butler Reynolds
    I never look to CSPI for the truth. The fact that the organization's name is an act of deception is all you need to know about them.
    Reply: #7
  4. Eric Sodicoff MD
    I agree with Rimas and Butler. Perhaps the CSPI may get it right some of the time. If they disavowed their stance of saturated fat being unhealthy they may begin to gain some stature in my book. Until that time, all of their pronouncements must be subjected to the closest of scrutiny. It is best to stick to the actual original scientific data without looking to the dubious CSPI endorsement.

    That said, all artificial sweeteners should considered guilty until proven innocent. If they trick the tongue into sending the sweet message to the brain, then other metabolic processes are probably mis-triggered as well. The best advice it to avoid the lot of them.

  5. NS
    Isn't considering things guilty until proven innocent the reason we are in this mess? (e.g. Saturated fat and cholesterol in food)
    What we need is good science (and from what I have read I am not convinced this study qualifies) not more "common sense" and "gut feelings" about what is or isn't healthy.

    There seems to be a lot of scare-mongering around artificial sweeteners, even when the science doesn't back up the fears (e.g. Aspartame)

    In the face of such fears we have people who think agave syrup is healthy and that it is better to add honey than artificial sweeteners (though frankly where people draw the line on what they decree artificial is often arbitrary or down to marketing).

    How about we just follow the science and not fear of artificial things simply for being artificial?

    As to the CSPI, even if they changed their stance on fat it wouldn't make them creditable, organisations can only earn that by a track-record of good, science-based policies.
    The CSPI on the other hand seem to be a pressure group with policies based on trends and beliefs. They have indeed done a great deal of damage by some of their successes (low fat milk for one). By luck or changing fashions alone they may get some things right, it doesn't matter, what matters is the underlying basis of their opinions, which is frankly not evidence-based.

  6. RT
    I agree with you 100%.
  7. RT
    For sure. They should be called Committee for Pseudoscience in the Vegetarian Interest. Their "healthletter" contains vegan recipes (without using the word "vegan"). Their agenda seems to be: don't eat animal products (without actually saying it so directly).
  8. Mike S.
    Frankly, I have taken to completely ignoring studies which show substance XYZ causes cancer in laboratory mice or rats. The list of things for which such studies have found a positive correlation with cancer has grown so large, I seriously doubt it is humanly possible to avoid them anymore. Plus studies of the studies have shown how often the actual correlations are weak, or potential confounding factors unaccounted for.

    I don't have the time or expertise to try to extract the signal of good science from the noise of bad science. So I just ignore it all (well, almost all - I do avoid eating lead paint). After all, worrying about it too much increases stress levels, and we know that's bad for you. Right?

  9. Leroy
    Shame on you.

    This organization - Center for Science in the Public Interest - is a fraud. They aren't scientific and do NO studies. They are a consumer advocacy group noted for its fails and fraudulent reporting. In 1989, CSPI was instrumental in convincing fast-food restaurants to stop using animal fat for frying. In 1994, the group first brought the issue of high saturated fat in movie popcorn to the public attention. In 2011, CSPI initiated a new project, Food Day. Food Day aims to help people "Eat Real," which the project defines as cutting back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods, and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein (specifically soy protein, preferably - though soy IS a poison, followed by lean fish and by very lean cuts of meat in very small amounts).... when will you be highlighting CSPI's position on those anti animal fat positions. As with sucralose, none of these positions are based on LEGITIMATE research, but simply positions that CSPI advocates!

    In the study, the involved scientists and the Ramazzini Institute that they work for is also a fraud.

    The Institute is infamous for doing so-called research studies, having big public announcements on their supposed findings (always very dire) and also their recommendations... without releasing their "data" for months, even years. And when the data is released, it universally gets shredded by actual scientific studies.

    What was the whole story here?

    BTW, this was from a study done by Ramazzini Institute in 2012 that CSPI used OVER YEARS to move their stance on sucralose from Safe to Caution and finally published Jan. 29, 2016, in the peer-reviewed "International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health" (now there is a major Medical Journal!). Its findings had been previously released at a conference in 2013, causing the CSPI to change its earlier "safe" rating to "caution."

    Many diabetics who use a very moderate amount of sucralose to sweeten their tea or coffee or one or two sucralose sweetened soft drinks - or protein shakes - a day will now be in panic. Those diabetics who mistakenly revert to a "natural sugar" (honey, molasses, powdered cane sugar, etcetera) are on YOUR head.

    Numerous studies have repeatedly proven the safety of sucralose (as well as aspartame and saccharin)... studies that have occurred over many, many years. Decades in some cases. The majority of sucralose is not even metabolized by the body!

    CNN noted that artificial sweeteners are not approved for unlimited use, then went on to say that although it seems doubtful that many people are using levels of Splenda that reach the "caution range" which is more than 23 packets - the equivalent of 48 teaspoons - of specifically sucralose a day! Diabetes doctors successfully treated (even cured mild cases) of diabetes many years ago with what in effect was LCHF diets (check out some of the older books) that INCLUDED use of the much defamed saccharin - the only artificial sweetener available then- in reasonable amounts (saccharin was the first artificial sweetener that - just like saturated fats and red meat - went through the pseudoscience false research that proclaimed it evil until thousands of real studies proved it safe... and had been used for many generations in Europe with no safety problems).

    This reminds me of the "Victorian Era Diet" that you published with glowing comments... a diet that is as fraudulent as the so-called Mediterranean Diet and the Okinawan Diet - and the true Victorian Diet killed people with malnutrition. But never being one to let facts interrupt something you WANT to agree with... even if just one tiny segment.

    Instead off looking for little fantasy pieces of unproven stories to report, maybe sticking to the proven, known positive aspects of LCHF Diet might be better? My daughter as well as one of her close friends, both recent converts to LCHF, had subscribed based on my recommendation, have both since unsubscribed due to articles such as this (in my daughter's case due to the Victorian Era Diet article). I can no longer recommend this site to anyone due to articles such as this.... and am not sure that I myself will stay subscribed much longer; it seems the recipes are all that keep me aboard.

  10. Leroy
    CSPI is a wolf in sheep's clothing. They are not a scientific group (the vast majority of their members are not scientists, researchers, or doctors... They are like-minded laymen).

    CSPI's public policy recommendations, and usually the organization's motivation for making them, have been challenged by various parties, particularly governmental agencies not only in the US, but in Europe, Japan, etcetera.

    One example surrounds the organization's reversal of position on the question of trans fats during the 1980 and 1990s. During the 1980s, CSPI's campaign "Saturated Fat Attack" advocated the replacement of beef tallow, palm oil and coconut oil at fast food restaurants, while maintaining that hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated "vegetable" oils (most actually grain, bean, and seed oils - such as corn oil, soy oil, and canola oil - and ALL trans fatty acids oils) were not just benign, but we're HEALTHY for you! In a 1986 pamphlet entitled "The Fast-Food Guide", it praised chains such as KFC that had converted to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are lower in saturated fat but high in trans fat. As a result of this pressure, many restaurants such as McDonald's made the switch. Many, many years later CSPI began to grudgingly take an adversarial position against trans fats - as it became obvious that the FDA was on track to "drop the hammer" on trans fats, culminating in 2007 announcement by the United States Food and Drug Administration definition of the "safe amount of intake of trans fatty acids" (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils) was "zero grams trans fats per day". Which then progressed (though slowly - we are dealing with government agencies here - to a formal ruling in 2013, when the FDA issued a preliminary determination that trans fatty acids (hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil) are NOT "generally recognized as safe" and then to June 16th, 2015, when the FDA finalized its determination that trans fats are not generally recognized as safe, and set a three-year time limit for their removal from all processed foods and food products.

    Even more amazingly, the CSPI and this Ramazzini Institute was involved in an earlier "study" - and outright smear campaign in regards to aspartame (which started back in 2005 and simmered for years)!

    The Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences - now just the Ramazzini Institute in print - released several studies (2005 and 2007 - though the "studies" themselves had been done 2-3 years prior) which claimed that aspartame can increase several malignancies in rodents, concluding that aspartame is a potential carcinogen at NORMAL dietary doses (when in fact the studies used extremely HIGH amounts of aspartame several times daily - as one follow-up researcher reported, to meet those levels a human would have to spend hours a day for years doing nothing but consuming spoonfuls of aspartame to reach those amounts... in addition, the rodents used were laboratory rats specifically bred to be exceptionally susceptible to developing cancerous tumors - generally used in testing cancer fighting drugs).

    BTW, thirteen "occupational safety and health experts" (members of CSPI) signed an open letter from CSPI to the FDA expressing that the 2007 ERF study merited a reevaluation of aspartame's safety in humans, these studies have been widely criticized and discounted by the FDA and other food safety agencies.

    After reviewing the foundation's claims (both the CSPI and the Ramazzini Institute), the EFSA and the FDA discounted the study results and found no reason to revise their previously established acceptable daily intake levels for aspartame. Reported flaws were numerous and included, but were not limited to, the following: comparing cancer rates of older aspartame-consuming rats to younger control rats; unspecified composition of the "Corticella" diet and method of adding aspartame, leading to possible nutritional deficiencies; unspecified aspartame storage conditions; lack of animal randomization; type of laboratory rats used (carcinoma susceptible); overcrowding and a high incidence of already present carcinogenic infections in the test group; and the U.S. National Toxicology Program's finding that the ERF had misdiagnosed hyperplasias as malignancies.

    Reviews by the FDA and EFSA were hampered by the refusal of the Ramazzini Foundation to release all data and pathology slides, but from the materials received, the FDA and EFSA found that the data did not support the researcher's published conclusions.

    As a leading business magazine reported, "Take aspartame, which the Ramazzini Institute declared carcinogenic in a study it conducted prior to then, but released in 2005 and multiple studies thereafter. The European Union’s Food Safety Authority commissioned a panel of experts to examine this study as a matter of high priority, given its alarming findings; its conclusions, however, were devastating. It appeared that many of the rats - bred specifically to be susceptible to carcinoma much more readily - were already sick with chronic lung respiratory disease, which just so happens to cause the same kinds of cancer that Ramazzini attributed to aspartame. Other cancers were, the panel concluded, likely the result of the animals being forced to ingest extremely high doses of the chemical. The panel also raised questions about the accuracy of the cancer diagnoses based on the histopathological slides."

    And: "In a follow-up study by Ramazzini which linked aspartame to cancer in mice, EFSA questioned the practice of letting the animals die of old age before examining them from tumors.

    'It is generally accepted,' wrote EFSA, 'that life time studies until or close to natural death can lead to erroneous conclusions because of the following limitations. Older animals are more susceptible to illness and have increased background pathology, which includes spontaneous tumours and have a higher probability of autolysis than younger animals.'

    At the same time, the panel noted that numerous other studies, including many new studies, did NOT find any association between aspartame and cancer (or other safety concerns in reasonable use amounts) in humans."

    When the FDA asked Ramazzini to provide more data on the same aspartame study, and crucially, the histopathological slides so the accuracy of its diagnoses could be confirmed, the institute prevaricated, releasing only a portion of the data, and then refused to release the slides. Based on the information that they had and information obtained from the EFSA, the FDA reported:

    'Based on the available data, however, we have identified significant shortcomings in the design, conduct, reporting, and interpretation of this study. FDA finds that the reliability and interpretation of the study outcome is completely compromised by these shortcomings and uncontrolled variables, such as the amounts of aspartame used, the type of test rodent, and the presence of infection in the test animals.'

    Criticism of Ramazzini’s aspartame studies didn’t end there: The UK’s Department of Health Committee on the Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COC) and the French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA/ANSES), and the New Zealand Food Safety Authory (NZFSA) also criticized the poor quality of the work. The latter agency noted that the Ramazzini researchers conclusions 'were clearly not backed up by their own data.'

    You would think that a research institute would be so embarrassed by that kind of criticism that it would release all its data in order to defend its findings.

    But you would be wrong.

    The pattern was, tell the media about the cancer warning first, inflame public and political opinion, then stonewall the agencies on the data later. NONE of the studies were ever published in a LEADING, peer-reviewed cancer or medical journal."

    Reply: #13
  11. Casey
    My guess is that most health gurus (Diet Doctor no exception) prefer their followers get off any and every kind of artificial sweetener, "just in case," so when a news article comes along that supports their "just in case" scenario, they plug it. Probably should have looked closer at this one, though. I have been using the pure sucralose powder from Hard Rhino (I order it from Amazon.Com), and make my own liquid sucralose. I have heard several gurus say that the problem with sucralose is in the fillers used in the Splenda packets, and not the pure stuff. Who knows for sure? But it keeps me from craving sweets, and with no reputable science to back up the scary claims, I'll continue to enjoy my coffee and HWC with my sucralose.
  12. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    If you use some artificial sweetener once or twice a week then it's hard to understand that this could be a health problem in a otherwise healthy LCHF-lifestyle.

    A lot of research indicates that it could be safe with artificial sweetener. But there are also studies pointing in other directions. It's really hard to make good research that describes the effects on a 10+ year basis so I personally avoid excessive use of sweeteners.

  13. RT
    Interesting information! Due to the misinformation and propaganda that CSPI routinely releases (particularly in relation to fat-phobia, which is the absolute core of their activism), anything they say needs to be verified independently, with the bar set higher than normal. For example, even if they assert something about the unhealthfulness of sugar-laden sodas (which many of us here would probably tend to agree with), I would still rigorously verify the information before quoting them. They're too fond of citing cohort studies with no causal evidence in order to reach pre-determined conclusions in the case of their case against animal products. If they do the same thing with a point less likely to be disagreed with in this site, it diminishes one's credibility to parade of uncritically. This is underscored by the fact that sugar is about the only topic CSPI and the LCHF / Paleo community have in common. The best way to assess them as an organization is to simply have a look at one of their "Healthletters" and compare the fundamental assertions therein with the content of this site, or, say, Mark Sisson's or Kris Gunnars'.
  14. Leroy

    After gaining approval by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Canada (and other countries) in the 1990s, sucralose-based Splenda overtook aspartame-based Equal and NutraSweet and saccharin-based Sweet'N Low as the leading brand in the U.S. artificial sweetener market. The advantages of sucralose over regular sugar are many: it is so sweet that it can be used in much smaller quantities than sugar, it contains no calories, it has no harmful effect on teeth, it can be safely consumed by diabetics, and it is heat-stable and therefore suitable for use in baked goods.

    In the years since then, sucralose has (like aspartame before it) become the target of false claims that it is "unnatural" and therefore unsafe — rumors that, as UC Davis professor Carolyn de la Peña noted in her history of artificial sweeteners, have been fomented in part by the sweetener (sugars) industry itself.....

    The Medical Toxin du jour
    The (Supposed) Dangers of Splenda

    Claim: The artificial sweetener Splenda was inadequately tested and is unsafe for human consumption.

    Response: FALSE

    Example: [Collected via the Internet, 2014]


    I saw this notice about Splenda and I am wondering if it is true.

    Before you reach for a packet of Splenda (sucralose), think twice.

    Don't be fooled by its slogan "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar."

    Sucralose was approved for use in foods as a sweetener in 1998. Before approving sucralose, the FDA claimed to have reviewed 110 human and animal studies, but it turns out that only 2 out of those studies were actually on humans.

    "It is a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, and with detrimental health effects to match," explains Dr. Joseph Mercola.

    Let's look as some of the potential health risks associated to Splenda. Reported symptoms: Seizures, Dizziness, Migraines, Allergic reactions, Weight gain and increases in blood sugar, Blurred vision, Gastrointestinal issues.

    The reason it is so important to know about the effects of sucralose is because it is the number one selling artificial sweetener in America today. Most of the controversy surrounding Splenda is the way it is advertised. "The sugar industry is currently suing McNeil Nutritionals for implying that Splenda is a natural form of sugar with no calories," Mercola adds.

    What is sucralose really?

    The truth is that sucralose does start off as sugar, but it is what happens after that is the problem. In the factory, three chlorine molecules are added to the sugar molecule to make sucralose. This alters the chemical structure of the sugar, making it a molecule that does not exist in nature. Because it doesn't exist in nature, the body does not metabolize or digest this molecule. If our bodies were able to metabolize it, then sucralose would no longer have zero calories.

    Origins: Splenda is the trademarked brand name of a sucralose-based artificial sweetener which is several hundred times sweeter than ordinary table sugar (sucrose). According to legend, the discovery of sucralose was (like that of another artificial sweetener, aspartame) something of an accident that occurred by happenstance during the course of unrelated research: "The oddest manner in which a new sweetener came to light was when, one day in 1976, a foreign research student at King's College in London misheard the instructions of his supervisor, Professor L. Hough. Hough was searching for possible synthetic industrial applications of sucrose, the common sugar of cane and beet, and several derivatives had been produced in the laboratory. One of these was a trichlorosucrose (sucrose into which three atoms of chlorine had been introduced). Hough asked Shashikant Phadnis to 'test' the substance, but, his ear being imperfectly attuned to the language, Phadnis instead tasted it. Sucralose, as it became known, is one of the sweetest of all substances and can replace sucrose at less than one-thousandth of the concentration."

    After gaining approval by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Canada (and other countries) in the 1990s, sucralose-based Splenda overtook aspartame-based Equal and NutraSweet and saccharin-based Sweet'N Low as the leading brand in the U.S. artificial sweetener market. The advantages of sucralose over regular sugar are many: it is so sweet that it can be used in much smaller quantities than sugar, it contains no calories, it has no harmful effect on teeth, it can be safely consumed by diabetics, and it is heat-stable and therefore suitable for use in baked goods.

    In the years since then, sucralose has (like aspartame before it) become the target of false claims that it is "unnatural" and therefore unsafe — rumors that, as UC Davis professor Carolyn de la Peña noted in her history of artificial sweeteners, have been fomented in part by the sweetener industry itself despite the established safety of those products:
    The modern sweetener industry has thrived by regularly providing consumers with a new option and actively vilifying those that came before it as unnatural and very likely unsafe. The result of this approach, for consumers, is confusion. Obscured are the commonalities between these sweeteners that are, in the end, far more significant than the differences. All are chemicals. None has a closer connection to nature, in either origins or processing, than any other. And all are safe, if used in moderation. Were that not the case, certainly industry-driven scientists would have discovered their competitors' weaknesses and publicized them to consumers well before Internet activists and independent filmmakers.
    As is typical in Internet-circulated food health warnings like the example reproduced above (which was largely cribbed from a thirteen-year-old article originally published on the questionable web site), all of the information it presents is inaccurate, misleading, and/or outdated. The notion that sucralose has not been subjected to a reasonable and sufficient amount of safety testing is, in particular, woefully inaccurate. Sucralose has, across the span of many years, been subjected to extensive batteries of short-term and long-term studies in both animals and humans (more than a hundred of which were reviewed during the FDA approval process for sucralose), and none of them has demonstrated any significant risk to humans associated with the consumption of sucralose in normal amounts...

    The chapter on sucralose in the textbook Artificial Sweeteners also surveys the extensive body of safety testing that has been performed on sucralose, including those involving long-term exposure and doses far in excess of recommended amounts: "Sucralose is one of the most tested food ingredients available today. It has been found safe for its intended use by health and food safety experts from around the world. Sucralose is permitted for use in more than 100 countries. It is used in thousands of food and beverage products worldwide and is safe for use over an entire lifetime. More than 100 scientific studies conducted to describe the safety of sucralose represent a methodical, intentional, and broad-range research program, as required by prominent health and food safety authorities. Rsearch studies conducted in describing the safety of a new food ingredient must be rigorous and comprehensive. The studies conducted to assess the safety of sucralose investigated possible effects with short-term exposures and long-term, essentially lifetime, exposures, from conception to advanced adulthood. Many of the sucralose research studies utilized very high daily doses of sucralose, doses far greater that what could be expected to be consumed, to understand margins for safe use. Use of such high daily doses was particularly employed in the core sucralose research studies, in accordance with international standards for studies designed to determine potential risk."...

    The most frequently cited study supposedly documenting the harmful effects of sucralose was one (conducted with rats, not humans, and funded by the Sugar Association) published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health in 2008 that reportedly found Splenda might "contribute to obesity, destroy 'good' intestinal bacteria and prevent prescription drugs from being absorbed." However, even that study was refuted by one published the following year in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology which reported that an Expert Panel had found that the previous study was "deficient in several critical areas" and that its conclusions "are not consistent with published literature and not supported by the data presented": "A recent study in rats investigated the retail sweetener product, Granulated SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener (Splenda). The investigators reported that Splenda increased body weight, decreased beneficial intestinal bacteria, and increased the expression of certain cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzymes and the transporter protein, P-glycoprotein (P-gp), the latter of which was considered evidence that Splenda or sucralose might interfere with the absorption of nutrients and drugs. The investigators indicated that the reported changes were attributable to the sucralose present in the product tested. An Expert Panel conducted a rigorous evaluation of this study. In arriving at its conclusions, the Expert Panel considered the design and conduct of the study, its outcomes and the outcomes reported in other data available publicly. The Expert Panel found that the study was deficient in several critical areas and that its results cannot be interpreted as evidence that either Splenda, or sucralose, produced adverse effects in male rats, including effects on gastrointestinal microflora, body weight, CYP450 and P-gp activity, and nutrient and drug absorption. The study conclusions are not consistent with published literature and not supported by the data presented..."

    The reference to sucralose's being "a molecule that does not exist in nature," one that "the body does not metabolize or digest" is both inaccurate and relatively meaningless. The fact that the human body does not metabolize sucralose for energy is a positive: it's what makes sucralose non-caloric and therefore ideal as an artificial sweetener. Most sucralose is unabsorbed and therefore passes harmlessly through the body; a relatively small amount (~15%) of consumed sucralose is absorbed but is excreted via urination with no harmful effects...

    As is also typical with Internet-circulated food health warnings, the accompanying laundry list of "reported symptoms" should be taken with many grains of salt. Self-reported adverse events are simply anecdotal raw data; there is no certainty that the reported events were actually due to the product consumed, much less that they demonstrate a causal relationship between the product and the reported events (especially after consumers are influenced by reading anti-sucralose reports that list what symptoms they're "supposed" to be experiencing). Such determinations cannot be made until reports have been investigated, evaluated, and analyzed, and no studies have confirmed that the symptoms listed are a common reaction to sucralose. As Dr. Joe Schwarz observed in his work on food myths and misconceptions: "As with any substance, there can be no absolute guarantee about the safety of sucralose for everyone. Any food or additive, be it peanuts or apples, aspartame or sucralose, can cause a problem for some people. But reactions to sucralose are rare indeed."

    Now compare this pseudoscience / junk science as spewed out by the CSPI with the scientifically proven evils of something nice and truly natural, like fructose....

  15. Leroy
    Dangers of Fructose:

    This is loaded with errors, but still gets the fructose part right:

    Even this site seems to occasionally understand....

    So, that being the case, why does this site continue to post fictional information stories like supposed risks of Splenda and supposed benefits of a non existent Victorian Era Diet (which, even as fictitiously constructed, is as bad as the equally fictitious Mediterranean Diet and Okinawan Diet)?

    The old doctors who TREATED (and cured) diabetes were on the right track decades ago (cured as long as you stayed with the regimen):

    Not an "old time doctor", but uses the protocol:

    (I have that book... And a couple others from other "old" diabetes treatment doctors from the old days; they didn't always get everything right 100% of the time - with everything being pushed that was actually anti nutrition, who knew about "trans fatty acids" back then, though some did).

    From a 1917 Diabetes Cookbook:

    Prior to the development of bioidentical insulin (Biosynthetic human insulin, not until the early 1900s when first developed and used as a medication in Canada by Charles Best and Frederick Banting in January 1922), doctors who TREATED diabetes HAD to employ a very low carb dietary regimen. Those who employed an extremely low carb dietary regimen (that was consistently followed for life) CURED their patients. Diabetics who did not follow such regimens died quite early.

    And then you can jump back another 60 years for the weight loss aspects to a guy named William Banting (and, yes, ironically, one of the co-developers of biosynthetic insulin, Frederick Banting is a distant relative) and William Banting's "Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public" (which I also have; it was first printed in 1863 and it is still in print, with the latest publication in 2015.

    The Kindle versions are especially inexpensive.

    The thing that I like best about the Banting Protocol is its simplicity. No fancy meal planning, making up "fake mashed potatoes", etcetera. It clearly needs modernized / updated (drop the tiny bit of toast, allow butter and any other animal fat - and the tropical plant oils, cut way back on the alcohol, allow all kinds of meat products, like pork, etcetera) but all in all, maybe still THE best.

    But in any case, drop the strange fictitious stuff like Victorian Era diets and crap from places like CSPI!

    What's next?

    Promoting Neal Bernard's "Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs"?

    The Neal Bernard who is the president and founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a pseudoscience quackery doctor who is a LOW FAT vegan and strongly promotes NO meat and a grain - fruit - vegetable (to include starchy vegetables) lifestyle.

    Why not, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is every bit as bad, no worse, than the CSPI.

    PCRM (which membership is made up of many more laymen that doctors and many of the doctors are not physicians) and Neal Bernard also have a strong relationship with PETA. The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the foundation that manages it—the Foundation to Support Animal Protection, also known as the PETA Foundation—donated over $850,000 to PCRM between 1988 and 2000, and Neal Barnard sat on the Foundation's board until 2005. Barnard also writes a medical column for Animal Times, PETA's magazine. As reported in 2004: "Barnard has co-signed letters, on PCRM letterhead, with the leader of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, an animal-rights group the Department of Justice calls a "'domestic TERRORIST threat.' PCRM also has ties to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. An agency called the Foundation to Support Animal Protection has distributed money from PETA to PCRM in the past and, until very recently, did both groups' books. Barnard and PETA head Ingrid Newkirk are both on the foundation's board."

    But, hey, he wrote a book on diabetes cookery so he must be worth coverage by this site!

  16. Leroy
    And as a final salute to the CSPI.....

    CSPI complains about so many foods and beverages that it’s hard to think of anything that has escaped their wrath. Even so, the group has a special animus towards a few common foods. CSPI co-founder Michael Jacobson considers caffeine such a blight on civilization that he complains about people socializing over coffee... CSPI also has a bias against meat and dairy. Jacobson, himself a vegetarian, wrote in an issue of CSPI’s Nutrition Action Healthletter that proper nutrition “means eating a more plant-based diet … It means getting your fats from plants (vegetable oils and nuts) and fish, not animals (meats, milk cheese, and ice cream).” In keeping with his personal vegetarianism, Jacobson quietly sits on the advisory board of the “Great American Meatout,” an annual event operated by the animal rights zealots at the Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM).

    “People tend to eat most healthily during hard times,” Jacobson has argued. "Records of English manors in the 1600s reveal that the peasantry feasted on perhaps a pound of bread, a spud, and a couple of carrots per day.” And that, to Jacobson is “basically a wonderfully healthy diet.”


    At least you can get your fill of spuds and carrots, right? Wrong. Not only does Jacobson argue that you should avoid most foods you currently enjoy, but he insists that you should limit your consumption to just-above-starvation levels. “


    From an article by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is not a science center but, by its own admission, a public advocacy action center. Reflecting this is the fact that one of its web site awards is for being the "Political Site of the Day." Not surprisingly, it hasn't won a single science award. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is much more interested in sound bites than in sound science.

    CSPI Rejects Scientific Procedure:

    Center for Science in the Public Interest distributes its reports without peer review, contrary to the way real science operates. In peer review, an editor or other neutral person submits the report to a number of peer experts in the subject of the research. These authorities read the report to determine if it meets the minimum standards for research. By examining the adequacy of the research methods, the statistical analyses performed, the logic of the analysis, and other essential criteria, approval by peer experts reduces the chances that the findings are erroneous.

    Peer review is fundamental to science. Without it, there is absolutely no reason to have any confidence in the findings of a report. Peer review is the major mechanism science uses to maintain quality control. It's a fundamental defense against incompetence, quackery, pseudo-science, and downright dishonesty.

    Without peer review, an advocacy report full of erroneous and misleading statistics can be passed off to the public as a scientific report. That's exactly what Center for Science in the Public Interest does.

    CSPI spends some of its time chasing imagined conspiracies in strange places. It even sees them in all those swirls, squiggles, and unusual shapes in ice cubes, on bottles, in liquid being poured, and elsewhere in alcohol beverage ads. CSPI insists that "with little imagination, one can see these elements as faces, animals, breasts, penises, death masks, and other forms…”

    This assertion tells us more about Center for Science in the Public Interest than about the ads.

    CSPI's Alcohol Policy is Actually Harmful:

    CSPI's Booze News reports that it "updates advocates on alcohol prevention." Note that both CSPI and its Alcohol Policies Project are dedicated to "preventing alcohol" rather than "preventing the abuse of alcohol." They promote neo-prohibitionist rather than public health goals. That's all the difference in the world.

    There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the consumption of alcohol in moderation is associated with better health and greater longevity than is either abstinence or heavy drinking. A population that abstains will not be as healthy or live as long as a population that consumes alcohol in moderation. Any program, such as that of CSPI, that successfully promotes "alcohol prevention" in a population actually promotes poorer health and shorter lifespan.

    For example, light and moderate drinking in England and Wales has been found to save more lives than are lost through the abuse of alcohol. Scientists at the University of London discovered that if everyone abstained from alcohol, death rates would be significantly higher. In the words of the lead author, "alcohol saves more lives than it costs."

    By attempting to "prevent alcohol" instead of attempting to "prevent the abuse of alcohol," the Center for Science in the Public Interest is unintentionally an anti-public-health organization.

    CSPI Opposes Nutritional Information on Alcoholic Container Labels:

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest is an international leader in promoting nutrition labels on foods and beverages. It has persuasively argued that consumers have a right to know the nutritional and other contents of what they eat and drink. It has even gone to court repeatedly to defend consumers’ rights to have nutritional labeling.

    CSPI petitioned the US Alcohol and Tobacco and Tax Bureau (TTB) to require label information on all alcoholic beverages. It called for such things as a listing of the alcohol contents, serving size, number of calories per serving, and the ingredients (including additives) from which the beverage is made.

    That’s a good start, but consumers also want and need information on carbohydrates, protein and fat content in what they eat and drink. However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest adamantly opposes listing such nutrients as protein and fat. CSPI argues that “because alcohol is not a food and most alcoholic beverages contain little, if any, fat or protein, those nutrients should not be listed on the new label.” Unbelievably it argues that providing nutritional information on alcoholic beverages “may even do harm.”

    Instead of supporting the consumers' right to know, CSPI petitioned TTB to mandate that a special large warning label, consisting of an exclamation point within a triangle, be placed on all beer, wine and distilled spirits sold in the US. That would promote fear rather than knowledge, which is consistent with CSPI's goal of reducing alcohol consumption. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is certain that it knows better than we do what's best for us and it doesn't want us drinking alcoholic beverages, even in moderation.

    So CSPI insists that consumers have a right to know the nutritional content of what they eat and drink, except for alcoholic beverages! The real reason the group doesn’t want nutritional information on such beverages is apparently that they compare so favorably to non-alcoholic beverages.


    So why does the Diet Doctor push an article full of such fictitious "information" by such a despicable organization???

  17. James
    Why? That is easy because it fits in with his agenda, remember his n=1 article on diet drinks
    I am becoming increasingly concerned with much of the “research” promoted in articles here the site is slowly becoming like one of those fanatical vegetarian websites. Every study carried out that supports the site agenda is stated as fact, regardless of the possibly tenuous nature of both their conclusions and methodologies.
    Unless we are talking about activities such as smoking where there is an overwhelming mountain of clinical and empirical research that can prove a direct link between usage and disease. There is so much pseudo-science involved in the study of individual foods that it is near impossible to take any of it too seriously. Far too many of the anti whatever food research is done by groups with a vested interest in the outcome , the vegetarian lobby in particular have been responsible for some glaringly nonsense research sadly they are not alone .
  18. Jane McDonnell
    I've been drinking at least 2 lives of Pepsi max for a few months now. I have drunk diet drinks on and off for years now. Now then I will go on a 'detox', and avoid all fizzy drinks, I don't drink tea, coffee, or alcohol either. ( I haven't done for nearly 40 years) While on my 'detox' for a month or two at least I will drink only water (bottled or filtered) Recently I have been feeling unwell, feeling bloated easily, a LOT of indigestion and heartburn. Also for the past few days, I've had very itchy hands and feet. Sometimes my arms and legs get very itchy. (No rash however) The more I scratch the more red and very hot my skin becomes. I have been to the Doctor and I have to go for a blood test next week, to see I have any liver or kidney malfunctions. Is it possible that I might have? I still have about half a liter of Pepsi max left in the house, should I finish it off or throw it out? Then just drink my bottled water until Friday (my blood test day) and the NEXT week when I get my test results, before I make any changes to my drinking or eating habits?
  19. Guilherme Carregosa da Costa is the same organization that tells us to cut back SALT.
    Pretty trustable!

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