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Splenda Advertising Legislative Hearings in California

Chair of the California Assembly Committee on Health, Mervyn M. Dymally
(D-Compton), has announced he will hold legislative hearings on the use of
deceptive advertising to promote artificial sweeteners like Splenda. The
hearings will take place after the current legislative session.

Below you will find the statement from Assembly member Dymally announcing
the hearing and a statement from the Sugar Association applauding his

The Health Committee is interested in hearing from consumers who have had
negative experiences with food additives like Splenda and from food safety
or consumer watchdog groups.

For more than three years, the Truth About Splenda Campaign has worked to
correct consumer confusion due to what we believe is Splenda's misleading
marketing. We urge any consumers or organizations that would like to be
considered for the witness list to contact Francis Taylor with the
California Assembly Committee on Health at (310) 223-1201.

The Truth About Splenda Consumer Education Campaign

California Assembly Committee on Health to Hold Hearings Regarding
Deceptive Advertising and Artificial Sweeteners

LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) - Assemblymember Mervyn M.
Dymally (D-Compton), Chair of the California Assembly Committee on Health
will convene legislative hearings in Southern California upon the
adjournment of the legislative session on the use of deceptive advertising
to promote sales of potentially unhealthy food additives, particularly
artificial sweeteners.

The Committee plans on taking testimony from consumer watchdog
organizations regarding the FDA's failure properly to examine the adverse
health consequences of using false advertising to promote artificial
sweeteners. Additionally, the Committee will receive testimony from a
national food safety watchdog group on the widespread use of false and
misleading advertising of artificial sweeteners.

The Committee will hear from consumers who reported using artificial
sweeteners on the advertised assumption that they were side-effects free
and then went through substantial gastrointestinal agony until they
eliminated the sweeteners from their diets.

"Given the wide-spread interest is this issue, it is important that the
Assembly Committee on Health examine whether Proposition 65 should apply to
artificial sweeteners, since some contain chemicals like chlorine which can
be extremely toxic. It is critical that the Committee examine whether
products containing these potentially hazardous chemicals should be
identified by a label so consumers can make more informed decisions before
using these products," said Dymally.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee you may consider whether
the issues raised merit new legislation. Any consumers or organizations
that would like to be considered for the witness list should contact
Francis Taylor at (310) 223-1201.

California Assembly Committee on Health
Francis Taylor
(310) 223-1201


May 30, 2008 (Washington, DC) Mark Lanier, who was recently honored with
the Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association's 2008 Consumer Advocacy Award
and who is a trial lawyer for the Washington-based Sugar Association,
representing thousands of sugar farmers from across the nation, applauded
the decision of the California Assembly Committee on Health to hold
hearings in California concerning the use of deceptive advertising by
makers of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda.

"Document after document from Johnson & Johnson's own files show that they
knew all along that their advertising was false and that it was misleading
consumers into believing that Splenda is natural, safe, and healthy. We
look forward to telling a California jury the full truth about Splenda,
including the substantial efforts Johnson & Johnson went to in an effort to
cover up its deception," stated Mr. Lanier.

Splenda is marketed as healthy and safe for children and adults but there
have been no long-term human tests to support this claim. In fact, the
website has
received numerous consumer e-mail complaints associating Splenda with a
host of problems, including severe gastrointestinal side effects. And if
you Google "Splenda", consumers can find numerous other websites
highlighting concerns.

Although Johnson & Johnson has spent hundreds of millions on misleading
advertising to intentionally fool consumers, Splenda is not "natural." In
2004, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) conducted a
survey in which over 46% of respondents believed Splenda to be a "natural
product." CSPI has stated in court filings "that it is in the public's
interest to stop fraudulent and misleading marketing at any point."

In December 2004, The Sugar Association brought an action in United States
District Court, Central District of California alleging that Johnson &
Johnson uses false, deceptive and misleading marketing to induce customers
to purchase Splenda. In its complaint, The Sugar Association claims that
Johnson & Johnson has chosen to compete not only in the artificial
sweetener market against products like Sweet'N Low and Equal, but also in
the natural sweetener market against sugar. Johnson & Johnson
intentionally changed its advertising so that consumers no longer view
Splenda as a mere "packet" sweetener, but instead perceive it as a "pantry
staple food," in part by introducing a Splenda-branded product it claimed
"offers a true sugar baking replacement."

Over the past several years, advertising regulatory authorities in France,
Australia and New Zealand have found Johnson & Johnson to have used
misleading advertising to promote Splenda and have required Johnson &
Johnson to stop or change its advertising due to confusing and misleading
comparisons to sugar. Last year a similar case against Johnson & Johnson
alleging false, misleading, and deceptive advertising was tried by a jury
in federal court in Pennsylvania. After the jury requested a calculator
during its deliberations, Johnson & Johnson abruptly settled and insisted
upon sealing all settlement details to continue to cover up the truth about
Splenda from consumers.

Rich Masters, Qorvis Communications (202) 448-3144
Eric Rose, Englander & Associates (805) 624-0572

Posted on June 27, 2008 in Politics | Link To This Entry | Comments (0)


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