Tropicana OJ with Sucralose

November 28th, 2003

To the Editor,

Regarding your announcement of Tropicana’s marketing of a “Light and Healthy” juice product to contain the artificial sweetener “sucralose”, I am wondering what checks your paper pursued to check the accuracy of such claims as is inferred by the name. While any Florida paper has vested interests in the juice industry, at some point, someone has to wonder why the industry just does not urge the population to dilute its pure juices with water to reduce calories and intake of natural sugar content.

What is healthy about drinking a product containing an artificial sweetener that substitutes chlorinated molecules for hydroxyl groups? What is healthy about ingesting materials which are incompatible with human biology, increasing the excretion of partially undigested products that must have some effect upon the gastrointestinal tract of some persons. What will happen to the portion of the sucralose which is digested? As with most products, part of the formula for sucralose is considered “proprietary” so that consumers lack choice in knowing the full ingredient list of what they will be putting in their bodies. This makes it impossible to track adverse reactions to their sources with regard to dietary intake.

Is the manufacturer responsible for pursuing research to determine what long term effects the use of this sweetener has on consumers while the public experiments with it in their diet? What effect will it have on long term glucose management for diabetics and young children needing higher amounts of carbohydrates in their diets?

Why should consumers pay to eat undigestible material with an effect that can be produced by simple dilution of pure juices? That would leave little question regarding safety except for the need for data on pesticide residues derived from conventional produce.

I would like to see this newspaper offer some actual research when publishing such articles as this announcement. It is the difference between journalistic endeavors and publishing press releases.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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