by Marion Nestle
Sep 29 2008

The latest Splenda rat study: oops

A recent study in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health suggests that rats display metabolic problems when fed the artificial sweetener, Splenda, at doses within the range commonly consumed by humans (here’s a summary).  The study was funded in part by the Sugar Association which, of course, is in competition with Splenda.  Needless to say, the maker of Splenda, McNeal Nutritionals, objects strongly to these results.  One objection is that this is a study done on rats.  But rat studies do have some validity and and are worth serious consideration.  Or as Erik Millstone and Tim Lang say in their new book, The Atlas of Food (to which I wrote the Foreword), “The food additives industry often treats the results of [animal] studies as valid when they show no adverse effects, but questions their relevance when they do suggest adverse effects.”