After more than two decades of sweetening its sodas with aspartame — a chemical sweetener that more and more consumers equate with a neurological poison — PepsiCo has announced it’s dropping the chemical and replacing it with sucralose.
The dropping of aspartame from its sodas is yet another monumental victory for the “clean food movement” — a term first coined by Gerald Celente of Trends Research. Since its launch, aspartame’s reputation has been hammered by clean food activists who point out the chemical’s association with neurological disorders, seizures, temporary blindness and other side effects. Aspartame is widely believed to be associated with the development of brain cancer tumors.
“PepsiCo says it’s dropping aspartame from Diet Pepsi in response to customer feedback and replacing it with Sucralose,” reports Candice Choi of the Associated Press:
John Sicher, publisher of industry tracker Beverage Digest, noted that attitudes about aspartame can be very negative. Using an online tool called Topsy that measures Twitter sentiment on a scale of 0 to 100, he noted “aspartame” got a 22 ranking, below a 38 ranking for “Congress.”
“Aspartame is the No. 1 reason consumers are dropping diet soda,” said Seth Kaufman, vice president of Pepsi.
So why didn’t PepsiCo just follow in the footsteps of the “Monsanto Mafia?”
It’s notable that PepsiCo has decided to listen to customers and abandon an ingredient they consider to be highly offensive. Had PepsiCo followed in the footsteps of the biotech industry, it would have instead rolled out a “Discredit Bureau” smear campaign and bribed a bunch of scientists to attack anyone opposed to aspartame, calling them “anti-science.”
This is what the biotech industry recently did in attacking Doctor Oz, trying to intimidate and silence him with a smear campaign that spectacularly backfired. Ultimately, Doctor Oz gained a wave of positive exposure while the astroturfing front group of the biotech industry — the American Council on Science and Health — was exposed as a quackpot science front group run by a doctor with a felony criminal record of defrauding the government (and doing time in federal prison).
Perhaps in seeing how miserably the attacks on Oz failed, PepsiCo decided not to do battle with public perception and just make its products less toxic instead.
Thanks to people like Doctor Oz (and websites like Natural News), informed consumers are increasingly learning how to stop poisoning themselves with aspartame, glyphosate, MSG and GMO.
PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s now in desperation mode to win back the same customers they’ve been poisoning
As consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the toxic nature of popular fast food and junk food products, they are shifting into more healthful food and beverages choices.
This is largely due to the tidal wave of online consumer education from organizations like Natural News and the Organic Consumers Association, as well as from the rising “alternative media” which is far more trusted by the public than mainstream media news outlets for the simple reason that the mainstream media gets advertising revenue from McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
In a desperate effort to combat plummeting public trust in its brand, Coca-Cola recently paid off bloggers, dieticians and some journalists to write about Coke in a positive light, hoping that the American public would be stupid enough to believe that a can of Coke was a “healthy choice” for food and nutrition. They got caught, of course, and the campaign backfired.
McDonald’s revenues are also in freefall as consumers increasingly reject its factory processed foods in favor of healthier options. The restaurant chain is desperately searching for an action plan that might restore its lost revenues. “After turning in another quarter of sliding sales and profit, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said the chain will unveil initial details on a plan to turn around its fortunes on May 4,” says the Associated Press. “Among the challenges it is facing are intensifying competition and an image for serving junk food that it just can’t seem to shake.”
To try to appeal to more health-conscious consumers, McDonald’s recently announced an intention to try to reduce the level of dual-use antibiotics in its chicken. This announcement was widely misconstrued by the public to mean that McDonald’s was phasing out all antibiotics in its chicken, but as Natural News exclusively reported, that notion was incorrect.
What PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are painfully coming to realize is that they cannot stop the truth about their toxic products being published across the web. Their only survival strategy is to abandon toxic ingredients and unethical industry practices, cleaning up their offerings in the process. This is precisely why PepsiCo finally dropped aspartame from its diet soda products.
“PepsiCo says reformulated Diet Pepsi will start hitting shelves in August,” reports the AP. “The change only applies to the U.S. market and will affect all varieties of Diet Pepsi, such as Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. It will not apply to other PepsiCo drinks, such as Diet Mountain Dew.”
Coca-Cola will no doubt soon follow suit, and pressure will be felt across the industry as other beverage manufacturers abandon aspartame in search of something less toxic.
Sucralose isn’t without its own health concerns, by the way, and the “holy grail” quest continues to a non-nutritive (zero calorie) sweetener that truly has no toxic side effects whatsoever.