NEW YORK (MorichesDaily) – The soft drink giant Coca-Cola, facing sales pressures across its line of sugary and non-sugary soft drinks, has plans over the next several days to run newspaper ads saying aspartame is safe.
Faced with falling sales of its diet soda, Coca-Cola is running ads in the United States that say its sugar-free beverages, sweetened with the chemical aspartame, are safe.
The print ads, which began appearing Wednesday in major US newspapers, show a pair of laughing women, one holding a bottle of diet Coke in hand, alongside text that reads:
“Quality products you can always feel good about.”
The copy beneath the picture says, “Time and again, these low- and no-calorie sweeteners have shown to be safe, high-quality alternatives to sugar,” the ad states. “In fact, the safety of aspartame is supported by more than 200 studies over the last 40 years.”
The ad appeared Wednesday in USA Today. The newspaper said in an accompanying news article that the Coke promotion would appear in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday and the Chicago Tribune next week.
The soda industry is facing declining US sales as some blame sugary drinks for fueling the obesity epidemic in America.
Diet Coke sales fell three percent in 2012 compared to a year earlier, and Coke was down one percent, according to Beverage Digest. Meanwhile, Pepsi slid 3.4 percent and Diet Pepsi fell 6.2 percent.
The company believes low-calorie drinks are an important part of managing weight and obesity. However, it acknowledges that people have concerns about the artificial sweeteners used to give it that famous taste.
Over 25 years ago, aspartame was first introduced into the European food supply. Today, it is an everyday component of most diet beverages, sugar-free desserts, and chewing gums in countries worldwide.
Aspartame was an accidental discovery by James Schlatter, a chemist who had tried to produce an anti-ulcer pharmaceutical drug for G.D. Searle & Company back in 1965.
Upon mixing aspartic acid and phenylalanine, two naturally-occurring amino acids, he discovered that the new compound had a sweet taste.
Despite the myriad of evidence gained over the years showing that aspartame is a dangerous toxin, it has remained on the global market with the exception of a few countries that have banned it. In fact, it continued to gain approval for use in new types of food despite evidence showing that it causes neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors, and endocrine disruption, among other things.
Advocates against the use of chemicals in food, especially in the United States say that we are under constant chemical attack.
They argue the widespread use of chemicals in the food supply ranging from Aspartame to Fluoride, GMO, Mercury-tainting, pesticides, plastic compounds, high fructose corn syrup, cloned meat, rBGH and new aggressive GM species have all entered into our diets and environments– whether we want it or not.
Today, aspartame is found in over 6,000 products and consumed by 250 million people world-wide.
There have been more reports for aspartame reactions to the FDA than all other food additives put together. In 1988, 80 percent of complaints to the FDA about food additives were aspartame related.
After more than 8,000 complaints on the side effect of NutraSweet, the FDA released a list of 92 side effects associated with aspartame consumption.
Despite complaints, the FDA has continued to ignore years of research pointing to aspartame’s negative effects and continue to declare that aspartame is safe for use.
In response to critics of aspartame use in food products, The American Heart Association, The American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics all have published position statements supporting the “moderate use of artificial sweeteners.”
For Coke, it’s a calculated business strategy to take the offensive as it battles a growing number of critics and competitors that have influenced consumers to move away from soft drinks of all kinds. The ad, under the headline “Quality Products You Can Always Feel Good About,” offers to share with consumers third-party studies on the benefits and safety of low- and no-calorie sweeteners.
Coke’s Caren Pasquale Seckler, vice president of social commitment, said the ad’s purpose “is to bring to light what is often overlooked, that low- and no-calorie sweeteners which have been tested extensively are safe and beneficial in weight management.”