By Dean L. Jones
In many cases, product ingredient changes should come with a sincere apology from its respective maker. Unfortunately, companies avoid any guilt from their former ingredient, thereby eliminating any fault for selling a bad item. Such is the case with the makers of Yoplait Light yogurt who say that they have listened to consumers and decided to remove aspartame as an artificial sweetening ingredient.
This abrupt change comes with no apology for ever using aspartame, a well-known harmful carcinogen to the body’s well-being, so much that it has been linked to causing blood cancers like non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Leukemia. Without a doubt Yoplait makers are fully aware of this, so would it not be appropriate to at least apologize for using such a harmful chemical in the past marketing of this product?
Even Yoplait executives publically admit that removing the aspartame ingredient is something they have been considering for a long time. These same mega-corporate executives have the audacity to sell the current inventory until completely depleted, so as not to look as though aspartame is actually harmful and should have been recalled as a defected product many years ago. Obviously, there is no shame in the selling game, as long as it moves off of the grocery shelves then it is all good.
The company shifted ingredients from aspartame to sucralose, but both are chemicals horrifically harmful to human health. Aspartame is better known by the brand names NutraSweet and Equal, while sucralose is the sweetener used in Splenda. Sucralose is about 320 to 1,000 times as sweet as sucrose (table sugar), three times as sweet as aspartame, and twice as sweet as saccharin.
Taking a switch between aspartame and sucralose is basically the same since they are both a synthetic additive created by chlorinating sugar. In 1976 when sucralose was first discovered as an artificial sweetener, it happened purely by accident while researching ways to use sucrose and its synthetic derivatives as an insecticide. The chlorine chemical found in sucralose is very similar to the pesticide DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, officially banned as a health hazard in 1973).
Any product that includes a harmful chemical and then swaps it out with no apology in order to boost sales is acting unethically. Speaking of ethics, the Coca-Cola company producer of sodas, bottled water, energy drinks, and juices is now going to sell cow’s milk with a brand name called Fairlife. Surely there is no apology necessary from Coca-Cola as they offer such a wide array packaged foodstuffs. Nonetheless, be SugarAlert as Fairlife is 1½ to 3-teasoons of processed sugar per serving (one cup).
For all intents and purposes, there is no shame in big business’ game of profiting from the sale of foodstuff items. Consequently, receiving an apology for producing ghastly foodstuff is considered an impossible mission, so each day strive to live SugarAlert!
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.