I grew up with a father who dropped a tiny white pellet into his coffee every morning.
That tiny pellet was saccharin, a sweetener daddy first started using in India during WWII in the 1940s. Saccharin was brought to India from China, where it was made from a plant root. Back then (like today), the amount of saccharin needed was very small because it is bitter if you use too much.
Big Corps can’t make lots of money off tiny pellets, you know.
Saccharin got a bad rap when GD Searle first discovered aspartame in the 1960s. The sweetener used in Fresca® and Tab® never made the soft drink companies much money, and the diet cola marketing needed to be revamped.
Not knowing if the ulcer drug turned diet sweetener, aspartame, was going to be successful or not, Monsanto held the “saccharin cancer warning scare” at bay until they felt comfortable with their new aspartame campaign.
For the saccharin – aspartame – GD Searle – Monsanto history of aspartame and saccharin, please read my books Sweet Poison, and Splenda: Is It Safe Or Not?.
There’s a lot to this story.
In a nutshell, saccharin never caused cancer in ANY safety studies, and the FDA lifted the cancer warning off the pink packets in 2001, one year before Splenda came onto the market.
Forget the misleading report that saccharin caused cancer – saccharin remains one of the safer artificial sweeteners in the colored packet line up today.
What was the scam?
In the corporate saccharin studies done in the 1960s, saccharin was blended with cyclamate, and the amount of both chemicals given to the lab rats was enough to warrant animal abuse. It was determined that the cancer causing agent was the cyclamate.
Needless to say, the diet sweetener studies have all been shoddy and flawed.
It’s politics. Enough said.
Although saccharin is made in the laboratory today, its original simplicity was the key to its ability to be used by the body as a safer chemical sugar substitute.
Think of saccharin as the stevia of the 1960s.
Compared to the other manmade sugars today, saccharin is not as “toxically chemically combined”, and it is one of the safer choices for diabetics who choose from the colorful group of manufactured sugar replacements sitting on restaurant tabletops.
The Government Sued Monsanto
Does it surprise anyone that Monsanto is behind saccharin’s tainted history?
In 1902, Monsanto gained its reputation manufacturing saccharin, the company’s first product. In 1903 to 1905, their entire saccharin output was shipped to the growing soft drink company in Georgia called Coca-Cola®.
In 1917, the U.S. government filed suit over the safety of saccharin. Filed at Monsanto’s request as a test case, the suit was dismissed in 1925, ending the government’s attempts to prove saccharin as harmful.
In 1981, saccharin was again questioned as a carcinogen, but no conclusive scientific proof was ever presented. In 2001, the cancer warning was removed from saccharin products as saccharin was shown, once again, to be safe for human consumption.
Actually, it never really mattered to Monsanto if you picked the pink or blue packet because Monsanto Chemical Company owned both products (saccharin and aspartame) for over twenty years. Blue or pink – they won your dollar.
In the year 2000, they sold their NutraSweet sweetener division for $440 million, just in time for the competitor’s yellow packet of Splenda to join the sweetener market.
So, Is Saccharin Safe To Use?
I don’t advocate using any of the artificial sweeteners, but based on saccharin’s history and the research – saccharin is your safest bet when choosing a colored sweetener packet placed on your dining table. Especially for diabetics.
Saccharin has never done harm to people like the blue, yellow, or white packets.
Hum, I wonder if it’s still used in those bottled Coca Colas?
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