Sweeteners: How “FDA Approved” Food Can be Toxic

October 26, 2023 10 mins to read
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Corporations have corrupted nutrition guidelines in the USA. Many Americans are becoming aware of how toxic their food is – the same brands in other countries have less chemicals and additives – US food protection laws have been influenced by corporate lobbyists and no longer protect the people. In this article I go over the US Govt & FDAs love affair with BigFood including: that the FDA is in bed with junk food giants, WHOs aspartame sweetener trickery, Coca-Colas front groups relationship with JECFA, how the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is in bed with BigFood & BigSoda companies like Kraft and PepsiCo, and how the trade group American Beverage did a media campaign to downplay studies showing aspartame-cancer connection, through bribery of health professionals and social media influencers.


1. 🤔 Trusting Food Stamps and Logos

You might see logos and approval stamps on food products and think, “That means it’s good, right?” But be careful! Sometimes, big companies can influence decisions about what’s “good” or “safe” to eat. It’s always best to do our research.

Regulatory agencies like the Food & Drug Administration and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), established to protect your food and health are beholden to their corporate funding masters, and no longer protect Americans Health; one look at the crap in Americans food and this is clear as day.


2. 🍬 The Mystery of Aspartame

In May 2023, a big organization called the World Health Organization (WHO) said that certain sugar-free sweeteners might not help us lose weight. And, they might have some health risks. One of those sweeteners is called “aspartame.” A few months later,  July 14, 2023, WHO said aspartame might be linked to some severe health problems like cancer😟 classifying aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Some experts have been warning about this for years! Including the U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) which compiled decades of science showing that aspartame poses serious health risks. The Joint WHO and Food and Agriculture Organization’s Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), reaffirmed that aspartame could be safely consumed at an acceptable daily intake of 40 mg/kg of body weight, despite it’s possible carcinogenicity (cancer promoting) effects.

I just want to point out here that aspartame isn’t an essential nutrient that the body needs…it’s a chemical food additive that could easily be excluded from foods, and one that may cause cancer. No nutrition authority should be recommending it as a healthy alternative to sugar.


3. 🥤 Big Soda Companies: What’s Their Role?

But here’s what they don’t want you to know: Some big soda companies like Coca-Cola might have influenced some of these sweetener studies. These companies use aspartame in their drinks. So, they might want people to think it’s safe. But we should always be aware and think about what’s best for our health. Here are a snapshot of some of that corruption:

  • 6/13 JECFA panel members have ties to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a longtime Coca-Cola front group.
  • Both the chair and vice chair of the JECFA panel have ties to ILSI.
  • ILSI is a nonprofit organization founded by former Coca-Cola senior vice president Alex Malaspina.
  • Coca-Cola has also contributed funds to ILSI.
  • ILSI has been exposed as a shill for the junk food industry & internal documents revealed ILSI embedded itself in public health panels across Europe & the United Nations to profit at the expense of public health globally.

“Previous research shows that ILSI has been an important vehicle for Coca-Cola to exert influence around the world, on policy, researchers, events, policymakers and practitioners, taking a role in promoting messaging that can further commercial interests.

ILSI supported 30 of the events we identified. Sometimes, ILSI offered to act as a conduit to reimburse public health scientists through Coca-Cola by having them deliver presentations with selected topics.”

 Case study published in Public Health Nutrition

4. 🍔 Big Food and Health Guidelines

Did you know that some food companies work closely with nutrition experts? It’s like when a candy company sponsors a health event. This relationship can certainly make the advice these experts give more than a little bit biased.

  • USRTK, along with public health scholars, conducted a five-year investigation into Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), it found that AND received money from big (junk) food companies. like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills and Kraft, among others.
  •  the analysis included documents from 2014 to 2020 obtained through freedom of information requests.
  • A symbiotic relationship between AND, the AND Foundation (ANDF) and BigFood corporations was revealed, with industry giants assisting AND and its foundation with financial contributions aka Bribes.
  • AND acts as a pro-industry voice as a result – one that cannot, in this capacity, represent the best interests of Americans’ health.
  • This same group said aspartame was safe, even when others warned against it. 🤷
  • From 2011 to 2017, AND received more than $4 million in donations from junk food and ultraprocessed food companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Hershey, Kellogg’s, and Conagra.
  •  AND also invested in junk food industries, supporting the very corporations at the root of failing public health in the U.S.
  • In one example from 2015 and 2016, AND had stock in PepsiCo, Nestlé and J.M. Smucker valued at more than $1 million.
  • E-mails captured from AND leadership showed some were well aware of the potential conflict of interest – but morals and ethics bend pretty easily when money is involved – at least for them it does.

“The AND, AND Foundation (ANDF) and its key leaders have ongoing interactions with corporations. These include AND’s leaders holding key positions in multinational food, pharmaceutical or agribusiness corporations, and AND accepting corporate financial contributions.

We found the AND has invested funds in corporations such as Nestlé, PepsiCo and pharmaceutical companies, has discussed internal policies to fit industry needs and has had public positions favoring corporations.”

The corporate capture of the nutrition profession in the USA: the case of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Here’s some more evidence of corruption by AND:

  • AND received millions of dollars from companies in the food, pharmaceutical and agribusiness industries. In exchange for these gifts, AND “had policies to provide favors and benefits in return.”
  • AND leaders have acted as employees of or consultants for multinational food, pharmaceutical and agribusiness corporations.
  • AND discusses policies to “fit the needs of its food, agribusiness and pharmaceutical industry sponsors.”

5. 📱 Social Media and Health Advice

On Instagram or TikTok, you might see people talking about food and health. But I always tell people take what these influencers say with a grain of salt, and always do your own research! Some of these influencers have the moral backbone of a wet noodle, and accept payments (bribes) by companies to say certain things that even they know are wrong or potentially harmful to peoples health.

  • An investigation by Washington Post and The Examination, showed the trade group American Beverage, launched a media (propaganda) campaign utilizing social media influencers, which resulted in at least 35 social media posts from health professionals. According to The Washington Post.
  • Out of 68 dietitians who had 10,000 or more followers on social media, about half had promoted food, beverages or supplements to around 11 million+ followers over the last year wherein they encouraged the consumption of candy and ice cream while minimizing the health risks of ultra-processed foods.
  • Many influencers broke Federal Trade Commission FTC rules by not disclosing paid promotions – with many being unclear about their corporate ties and sponsorships/collabs.
  • One article published on the Food Network, written by a registered dietitian, was titled, “This Dietitian Wants You to Eat More Processed Food.” Honestly disgusting, and it gives all us nutrition professionals a bad name.

Always do your own research, double-check information and get alternate opinions. You can also follow me as your trusted source for health info…because it’ll be a cold day in hell before I push unhealthy garbage on my social media channels that could endanger peoples health, regardless of how many millions they might offer me.


6. 🥦 Let’s Prioritize Our Health!

You can’t really buy your health back, which is why it’s so important. With so much information out there, it can be tricky to know what’s best. Here are a few tips:

  • Ask Questions: Always ask questions about what you eat and drink.
  • Research: If something sounds too good to be true, it might be. Do a little digging!
    • Check out PubMed or other medical journals
    • Search reputable sources on search engines like Google. Just ensure the author is qualified.
    • Buy or rent a book on the topic and educate yourself.
  • Talk to Trusted Adults: Ask your teachers, parents, or school nurse for advice but again make sure they are qualified and unbiased. You can also get a second opinions:
    • Check out differing opinions from other health professionals.
    • Go into another Influencers Live Stream and Ask questions.
    • Attend a webinar or event by another professional on the topic.

Wrapping It Up (Conclusion)!

The fact is that there is evil in this world, and money very quickly corrupts people. Unfortunately many individuals have weak moral and ethical guidelines, that bend under the weight of any sort of bribe. I’m not that way, so it’s hard for me to understand…and even though they are probably allot richer than I am, I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I did anything that could harm anyone, for me money just isn’t worth it.

So remember to always research what you hear, and get alternative opinions or education to ensure that you are able to make an informed choice. Just because someone has Dr. or Registered next to their name or is a health professional…doesn’t mean they are unbiased, nor that they are be honest about what’s best for you; whether that be by ignorance or intentionally.

So until next time, eat well and as always, Stay Healthy 🍎🥦🥤


Disclaimer

Note: If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.


References

  1. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  2. WHO May 15, 2023
  3. WHO April 12, 2022
  4. IARC July 14, 2023
  5. Internet Archive, Wayback Machine, The Huffington Post July 8, 2010
  6. U.S. Right to Know, Aspartame Health Risks September 11, 2023
  7. WHO, IARC, Aspartame Questions and Answers June 26, 2023
  8. U.S. Right to Know July 19, 2023
  9. U.S. Right to Know July 19, 2023
  10. Public Health Nutr. 2022 Dec 1;1-18. doi: 10.1017/S1368980022002506
  11. Public Health Nutr. 2022 Dec 1;1-18. doi: 10.1017/S1368980022002506
  12. Globalization and Health 2019;15:36
  13. U.S. Right to Know July 19, 2023
  14. YouTube, Breaking Points August 18, 2023
  15. U.S. Right to Know October 24, 2022
  16. Public Health Nutrition October 24, 2022, Abstract
  17. Public Health Nutrition October 24, 2022
  18. Public Health Nutrition October 24, 2022
  19. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics July 14, 2023
  20. The Washington Post October 24, 2022
  21. The Washington Post October 24, 2022
  22. YouTube, Breaking Points August 18, 2023, 5:22
  23. YouTube, Breaking Points August 18, 2023, 5:22
  24. U.S. Right to Know October 24, 2022
  25. The Washington Post September 13, 2023
  26. The Washington Post September 13, 2023
  27. The Washington Post September 13, 2023
  28. The Washington Post September 13, 2023
  29. FTC.gov, Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers
  30. The Washington Post September 13, 2023
  31. Food Network, This Dietitian Wants You to Eat More Processed Food
  32. YouTube, Breaking Points August 18, 2023, 6:43
  33. YouTube, Breaking Points August 18, 2023, 6:58

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