The Sugar Industry Attacks Splenda

Lynne Kiesling

Doug Bandow wrote a nice column on the sugar industry’s attack on Splenda last week:

You can never get enough from consumers and taxpayers. That apparently is the sugar industry’s motto. Collect subsidies. Ban trade. Outlaw your competitors. Let the American people pay.

I could go on for days about the deep and broad reasons to criticize the U.S. sugar industry, and the pragmatic and moral reasons why the U.S. federal subsidies of the sugar industry are an appalling travesty that make neither economic nor environmental sense. But I won’t. Doug’s column adds another data point to the mounting evidence of the rent-seeking venality in the sugar industry. They are suing the maker of Splenda for false advertising, saying that in fact Splenda is not made from sugar.

But it is. It’s sucrose with three added chlorines (and I think some funky branch amino acid being broken) to keep the GI system from recognizing it and absorbing it. The science is pretty clear.

Doug’s column also points out the great value that many people have enjoyed from the existence of Splenda. As Courtney Knapp observed,

I already despise the Sugar Industry for its taxes, quotes, and subsidies and corresponding above world market prices and this just adds fuel to my fire. As someone who involuntarily doesnít eat sugar, Splenda has been a godsend. Itís tougher to bake with, impossible to make hot chocolate, here are recipes you canít substitute one-for-one, and it may take a few tries before your cookies turn out right. All in all, I think Splenda is a fantastic alternative for those who canít eat sugar.

I, too, am someone who involuntarily does not eat sugar. The sugar industry is behaving like a bunch of retrograde rent-seekers, and we’re supposed to pay for their bounty. I can’t say what I would like in response to that in a public forum.

4 thoughts on “The Sugar Industry Attacks Splenda

  1. Lynne,
    I’ve had lots of practice baking with alternative sweeteners and have some great sugar free recipes (especially desserts) drop me a line if you’re interested. Hope you’re great.

  2. The sugar industry attacks all competitors. Just look at their campaign against the corn refining industry — the producers of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). The sugar industry has been behind a campaign to make people think that sugar is somehow “healthier” than HFCS and that HFCS is solely responsible for the obesity “epidemic” in America. The truth is that HFCS and sugar are almost identical in makeup. An imbalance in Calories in/Calories out is what causes obesity — not any single food or food product.

  3. Be careful with sugar alternatives. Our taste buds are already ramped up to demand more and more sweet and artificial sweetners just make this worse. I can’t believe you’d prefer a chemically altered substance! Natural is best, in moderation, of course.

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