Sugar Association and Qorvis Launch

The Sugar Association (SA) has signed Qorvis Communications to spearhead a new campaign combating claims made by Splenda, a sweetener made by McNeil Nutritionals. The association filed a lawsuit against Splenda in December, contending it was falsely marketing itself as a ‘natural’ product. Qorvis is now trying to organize an anti-Splenda coalition. It has also launched a website,, to disprove many of McNeil’s marketing claims.

The web site attempts to refute many of Splenda’s marketing claims, including:
– Splenda is natural sugar without calories.
– Splenda is safe to eat, even for children.
– Splenda has been thoroughly tested.
– Products made with Splenda do not need warning labels.
– Once eaten, Splenda simply passes through the body.
– The chlorine found in Splenda is similar to that found in other foods we eat.
– Consumers have every reason to believe what they see and hear in Splenda’s advertisements
Splenda is natural sugar without calories.

Perhaps the most interesting content on the site is in response to Splenda’s main marketing message, “Made from Sugar, so it Tastes Like Sugar”. The web site discusses this in the following excerpt:

“Fact: Johnson & Johnson claims that “Splenda is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar”. Johnson & Johnson wants consumers to think that it is natural sugar without calories. The truth is that Splenda is not natural and does not taste like sugar. The sweetness of Splenda derives from a chlorocarbon chemical that contains three atoms of chlorine in every one of its molecules. The manufacturer of this chlorinated compound named it sucralose. The improper use of “ose” in the name creates the illusion that sucralose is natural like sucrose which is the precise name for table sugar. Johnson & Johnson wants consumers to believe that the taste of Splenda is due solely to natural sugar, that is, due to sucrose. However, the manufacturer has patented several chemical processes for making the chlorinated chemical compound it calls sucralose. The patent literature illustrates that sucralose can be chemically manufactured from starting materials that do not require natural sugar. In one patent, for example, the manufacturer constructs sucralose from raffinose by substituting atoms of chlorine for hydroxyl groups in raffinose. Raffinose is a molecule found naturally in beans, and onions and other plants, but unlike natural sucrose, it has very little taste. In another patented process three atoms of chlorine are substituted for three hydroxyl groups in sucrose. The end product of both of these manufacturing processes is an entirely new chlorocarbon chemical called sucralose. Each molecule of sucralose contains three atoms of chlorine which makes it 600 times sweeter than a natural molecule of sugar which contains no chlorine. Splenda has it’s own artificial taste which is due to this chlorinated compound.”

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