disturbing consumer trends : Sugarless everything and Antibiotic everything

17 Apr

A couple of disturbing consumer trends I noted over the weekend that are increasingly worrying me:

1) The almost complete absence of Gum with sugar in it. It’s 99% sugarless.


Why this concerns me:

Artificial sweeteners are potentially very harmful. I for one, don’t wish to ingest a substance with warnings on every packet about cancer in rats. Sugar doesn’t cause cancer in rats. Saccharin, aspartame, sucralose… studies show that they cause disease in laboratory rats. Multiple scientific studies have shown health risks to humans:

Saccharin: Concern peaked in 1977, after the publication of a study indicating an increased rate of bladder cancer in rats fed large doses of saccharin. In that year, Canada banned saccharin. The United States Food and Drug Administration also proposed a ban. At the time, saccharin was the only artificial sweetener available in the U.S., and the proposed ban met with strong public opposition, especially among diabetics. Eventually, the U.S. Congress placed a moratorium on the ban, requiring instead that all saccharin-containing foods display a warning label indicating that saccharin may be a carcinogen. ( from wikipedia)

Aspartame: Aspartame has been the subject of a vigorous public controversy regarding its safety and the circumstances around its approval. It is well-known that aspartame contains the naturally-occurring amino acid phenylalanine, which is a health hazard to the few people born with phenylketonuria, a genetic inability to process phenylalanine. A few studies have also recommended further investigation into possible connections between aspartame and diseases such as brain tumors, brain lesions, and lymphoma. ( from wikipedia)

Sucralose (used quite a lot in the new-fangled Coke C2 and Pepsi EDGE / ONE) : Sucralose is a chlorocarbon. It has been said that the chlorine in sucralose is safe, because chlorine is normally present in nature. However, the most common form of chlorine in nature (as in table salt, sodium chloride) is as chloride ions (Cl-). On the other hand, the three chlorine atoms in sucralose are covalently bound to carbon.

Concerns have also been raised about the effect of sucralose on the thymus gland, a gland that is important to the immune system. Significant thymus shrinkage was found in several rat studies. The following, from the NICNAS (part of the Australian government), discusses the absorption of sucralose and its effect on the thymus glands of rats:

“When administered orally, between 11% and 27% of sucralose is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract in male humans. The remaining sucralose is excreted in feces. Following gastrointestinal absorption, between 20% and 30% of the sucralose is broken down into two metabolites. The remaining sucralose is excreted in urine.” ( from wikipedia)

All this to save a few calories. Hey I got an idea, why not limit your daily caloric intake? Have some sugared gum, brush your teeth, keep track of your calories. It’s not that hard. Sugar is safe. There is doubt these other substances are safe. I know when it comes to diabetics there is a different concern, but they have to worry about amputating limbs. Regular people are only concerned with trimming pounds.

Sugar is natural. It occurs naturally in anything sweet in nature. It’s an all-natural, perfectly healthy sweetener. I only wish I could buy a pack of fucking sugared gum. It’s almost impossible now a days.

2) The prevalence of Anti-Bacterial EVERYTHING. Soap, Hand crème, dish detergent


This is just plain consumer ignorance, sheer stupidity. We are basically creating super-bacteria. Any 1st year medical student knows you are not casually prescribe antibiotics, as the bacteria rapidly become immune to traditional antibiotics. There is nothing more casual than anti-biotic dish soap. It is unnecessary. Sure it kills 99%, but happens to the remaining zillion 1% bacteria? They reproduce, flourish and bam, we have a new, stronger strain. All because you wanted your dishes extra clean.

Regular soap is FINE. Bleach-based counter top cleaners are FINE. Bacteria is EVERYWHERE. It’s the most plentiful form of extant life on earth. There are more genetic differences between E. coli and Thermus aquaticus than the distance between humans and oak trees. That’s how long bacteria have had time to evolve, in comparison to the Domain Animalia, of which we are a part of. As a result, we are symbiants with bacteria. When we are born our gut is infested with (appropriately named) gut bacteria. It is essential. The consumer drive to sanitize EVERYTHING is harmful. We have been coexisting with bacteria since the beginning of time. Current theories about the extreme number of allergy sufferers in developed nations attributes it to over-sanitzation..babies are born and live in overly-sterile environments, never getting the chance to merge with essential bacteria…as a result the immune system is not trained and over-reacts to airborn contaminates, and we end up with allergy sufferers everywhere.

In about 100 years they will look back to this era when they had antibacterial hand crème and shake their head in amazement. ‘How stupendously irresponsible they were, how uneducated, how careless..the golden era of easily treatable bacterial infections is past’

Avoid anti bacterial products. Buy regular soap and detergent. Be a responsible consumer.

very well written article detailing the dangers of casual antibacterial consumer products, if you care to take the time and read some of it.

If we do not take a step back and examine our excessive use of antibiotics and now, antibacterials, we will make our homes, like our hospitals, havens of ineradicable disease producing bacteria. Consider the town where you grew up. Now imagine the neighborhood, and your house. Remember the kitchen? Picture your mom, doing dishes and wiping down countertops. Now zoom in on your mom’s hand, the sponge, and the countertop. At microscopic levels, these surfaces are not smooth, but pocked and jagged. Every nook and cranny holds hundreds of bacteria. Some are good, and some are bad. When you were growing up, this was the case. Now imagine your children, grown, in their own kitchens. The picture is exactly the same, with millions of bacteria living in your kids’ kitchens.

Only your kids notice that they get sick a lot more than they used to or they haven’t been able to treat their illnesses because the bacteria in their kitchen have been bred for superiority and supremacy. They are all resistant, ready to strike…. Now think of your own kitchen. You have the power to keep it as close to the memory of your childhood as you wish. By restricting our use of antibacterial products, we can keep our houses—and our children’s houses—safe. But by attempting to wipe out all bacteria and live germfree, we will catapult ourselves into a dark and uncertain future, where our best cure has become our worst poison.


13 Responses to “disturbing consumer trends : Sugarless everything and Antibiotic everything”

  1. son_of_ottie April 17, 2006 at 2:26 pm #

    I agree with your rant. I hang my head in shame as a consumer of Splenda. But I am not a germophobe so I don’t use those anti-bacterial soaps. If NYC hasn’t killed me with germs yet, my bodies own defenses must be fine!

    • bboyneko April 17, 2006 at 2:37 pm #

      yah Sucralose is “splenda”
      I guess coke felt “splenda” sounds better. I dunno, its obviously not 100% linked with cancers etc or it wouldnt be in the market, but I err on the side of caution in avoiding the sweetener substitutes. Also I think it just tastes horrible anyway.

      • son_of_ottie April 17, 2006 at 3:21 pm #

        Aspertame tastes like a chemical concoction to me. It numbs my mouth and gives me the squirts! But I find Splenda in small amounts is OK.

      • docwho88 April 18, 2006 at 12:10 am #

        I guess coke felt “splenda” sounds better.
        see “nutrasweet” for aspartame, “kleenex” for tissues, “tylenol” for acetaminophen, etc.
        sucralose is just a carbohydrate that’s been processed to be non-caloric.. seems like a pretty good deal next to chemical concoctions like saccharin or aspartame…

  2. maryanarchy April 17, 2006 at 3:31 pm #

    i hate when people overuse antibacterial stuff.
    you’d think that they would get sick more severely…as they basically are denying their bodies the opportunity to build an immune system to things.
    i use antibacterial soap when i’m handling raw meats. that’s about it.

    • bboyneko April 17, 2006 at 3:43 pm #

      Simple soap and water is effective in removing bacteria from raw meats from your hands.
      Bleach-based countertop cleansers are good for cleaning kitchen surfaces also.
      Once the meat is cooked at high temperatures that removes bacteria of course.
      But I agree raw meat is something you have to be especially careful with.

  3. revmeup April 17, 2006 at 6:18 pm #

    I agree with you and your point on how antibacterial excess is rediculous lately in consumer products but it seems the public tends to believe that these products are the cause of these “super bacterias” when in fact this is completely FALSE. That bacteria was always there in the first place, but when you kill off all other forms of that bacteria, the resistant strain becomes the remaining bacteria left to reproduce at exponential numbers. (my rant.)

    • bboyneko April 17, 2006 at 6:24 pm #

      Im confused..you seem to be contradicting yourself:
      it seems the public tends to believe that these products are the cause of these “super bacterias”..That bacteria was always there in the first place, but when you kill off all other forms of that bacteria, the resistant strain becomes the remaining bacteria left to reproduce at exponential numbers.
      yes that’s essentially causing the super bacteria no? By killing off 99% and leaving behind 1% to reproduce etc. This would not have happened if not for the antibacterial product. Hence it caused the super bacteria.
      If you mean ’cause’ as in abiogenesis, that was disproved in 1668, and I hope no intelligent person believes using anti bacterial products causes the abiogenesis of new bacteria out of thin air.

      • revmeup April 18, 2006 at 3:32 am #

        basically we are saying the same thing. but seriously, you would be surprised at how many people think the antibactrial soap or whatnot is the cause of the mutation that makes certain bacterias immune.

  4. docwho88 April 18, 2006 at 12:06 am #

    so a lab rat that’s fed 10 concentrated saccharin pills a day (equal to half its own body weight) for several years has a 15% higher chance of getting bladder cancer. oh shit, run for the hills!

  5. Anonymous April 18, 2006 at 3:42 am #

    Old news….*yawn*
    Personally speaking, as a scientist, the artificial sweeteners don’t cause cancer. Poor diet, lack of exercise, exposure to radiation and high levels of chemical carcinogens, and a genetic predisposition causes cancer. Three of those things also cause obesity– which can cause heart disease, which is the number one cause of death.
    Triclosan (the anti-bacteria stuff) is everywhere. If you use Colgate Total, it’s there***. If you use lotions, it’s there. Why? Because it also acts as a partial preservative. I only worry about it because it can go into breast milk, but on that note– most of the triclosan in any product out there gets absorbed through the plastic packaging and fat. And until there is a legitimate population study, it will remain on the market because all preliminary findings have shown it to be safe– at least, according to the FDA.
    As for the super-germ: population control via Mother Nature. I’m not saying people deserve to die, I’m just saying it’s inevitable.
    ***It also forms chloroform when it reacts with the chlorine in water. Another cancer causing agent, but hey– it makes your teeth feel so clean!

    • bboyneko April 18, 2006 at 4:25 am #

      Re: Old news….*yawn*
      At least seven peer-reviewed and published studies have been conducted demonstrating that triclosan is not significantly associated with bacterial resistance, including one study coauthored by Dr. Levy, published in August of 2004 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

      • Anonymous April 18, 2006 at 2:10 pm #

        Re: Old news….*yawn*
        So…. why are you complaining about anti-bacterial stuff? Triclosan is the dominant anti-bacterial agent out there. The supergerm is really more related to antibiotic drugs that you ingest to combat disease and of course, (dirty dirty) hospitals.

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