The Cumulative Effect

Why the FDA doesn’t protect you from harm.

The latest artificial sweetener that is rapidly being disseminated to a myriad of food products is called Splenda. That is the branded name. The ingredient name is called sucralose. The ingredient name was chosen to convey the message that it is sugar like. Natural and without calories. The branded name Splenda was chosen because it conveys the concept that it is good and satisfying to the individual that consumes it. The marketing campaign behind Splenda is strong and powerful and is an example of the genius of an advertising agency. The product belongs to Johnson and Johnson and is being sold by the McNeil Nutritionals LLC (so named to convey the impression they sell natural products) It is a testimony to the marketing muscle of one of the most profitable giant global drug manufacturers. It is also a testament to the FDA’s inability to control the spread of chemicals into food products (including some kid’s chewable vitamins and baby foods) that are harmless in minute amounts when tested for safety in short term medical studies that are used to prove the chemical is safe. About 10 years ago, Dr. Mercola reported there were over 4500 food products that contained sucralose. Today, that number has to be in excess of 10,000 and growing.  The food manufacturer likes the product because it saves them money because it costs less than the cost of a sweetener like sugar or liquid corn syrup and it provides a marketing message that the consumer will lose weight if they buy the Splenda containing product which continues to be proven false. Only over time will the true health consequences of consuming it in multiple food and drink products be known.
Go to: to learn more. This is only the most recent example of being overdosed by chemicals in products the American public consumes.

During WWI, the Germans used mustard gas to disable their enemy. It was discovered by a chemist who combined ethylene and chlorine gas. It was spread in a yellow fog over the battle field and when inhaled or it touched the skin it caused blisters. It was a concentrated chemical combination of sulfur and chlorine gas. It is the chemical warfare agent that was banned by treaty. Chlorine is the chemical in bleach that is used to whiten clothes today. It is the concentration that determines its effect on humans or the whitening of clothes. The Chlorine atom is an oxidizing agent and when it comes into contact with human cells it destroys them. Each Splenda molecule contains 3 chlorine atoms.

A few years back, a lawsuit was settled in California between Johnson and Johnson and the Sugar industry over the advertising that Splenda was a natural product like sugar. Johnson and Johnson claimed it was derived from sugar. The sugar industry won, but the name remains and implies to the consumer the product is natural and good.

Once the FDA approves a product for marketing in the US, they are powerless to remove it from the market. Only through consent and agreement by the manufacturer can a product approved by the FDA be removed. In the case of Splenda, it will take years to determine the true effects of consuming multiple products that contains chlorine atoms and its effect on the health of the individual.

This same scenario is also true for Equal (aspartame) which was approved by the FDA under the direction of Dr. Arthur Hayes who was working as a consultant for the US Army bio weapons division who had aspartame on the potential bio warfare weapons list in the 1970’s prior to his appointment to head the FDA. Donald Rumsfeld when he was Secretary of the Army in the 1970’s knew Dr. Hayes and used his political muscle to get Dr Hayes approved as the head of the FDA when Ronald Reagan became president . Mr. Rumsfeld was president of Searle at the time and had been frustrated by the FDA for 6 years in having Searle’s Equal rejected for human consumption. A great deal of research has indicated that it had detrimental health effects when consumed. At the same time, the manufacturer has generated a like amount of positive spin over the years to confuse the consumer. Now, they have introduced Equal for home baking which is sucralose with the Equal brand name.

Another example is the impact of acetaminophen (#1 Brand name Tylenol) on the health of the American public. It has taken almost 60 years for it to be known that over 50% of all liver transplants are caused by the over consumption of acetaminophen that is found in over the counter sleep products, pain products and cold products. Thousands of people have innocently died because of over consumption and/or taking the acetaminophen with alcohol. Drug manufacturers of the 100’s of products both Rx and OTC will be required to put new warnings on the acetaminophen products they sell. Implementation is at a snail’s pace.

It has taken almost four years to have these changes become regulations.  Implementing the changes is still in progress. In the meantime many thousands more required a liver transplant over the last four years. Over 40,000 cases of acetaminophen poisoning occur each year.

Only recently, have there been public safety announcements from the government about being careful about not over dosing on acetaminophen. Too little too late for many. France and United Kingdom has limited the amount of acetaminophen that can be purchased and has drastically reduced the number of people poisoned by overdosing.

Until the FDA considers the impact of chemicals in the multiple products that are consumed by the American public and puts limitations in effect, the health of the American consumer will be subject to new health risks, each time an inventive chemist discovers a new chemical to enhance the falsely perceived food enhancement value.

Read the ingredient label on the drug or food product you buy before you make your decision to purchase.

Buyer Beware! Don’t count on the FDA to protect you!

by Thomas A. Braun RPh

Updated 11/07/2011