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Companies are working hard to get you addicted to milk ... and they're using aspartame to do it

Dairy industry

(NaturalNews) In the face of steadily dropping milk consumption, the dairy industry is taking a page from the Tobacco playbook, seeking to ensure future profits by getting children addicted to their product at an early age.

One such strategy involves spiking flavored dairy products with aspartame, then concealing the presence of the artificial sweetener from parents.

In 2009, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) filed a petition asking the FDA to change the food labeling rules for milk and 17 other dairy products, including yogurt, whipping cream and eggnog. The petition is still pending.

Let's feed children more aspartame!

Currently, FDA rules state that if these products have any "non-nutritive" (zero calorie) sweetener added to them, the food label must contain a term such as "reduced calories" or "low sugar" to reflect this. So, chocolate milk sweetened with aspartame, for example, must be labeled as "reduced calorie chocolate milk," or with a similar approved term.

"If we granted the petition, a carton of chocolate milk made with non-nutritive sweeteners would simply say 'chocolate milk,' the same as a carton made with nutritive sweeteners, such as sugar," said Felicia Billingslea, director of the FDA's Food Labeling and Standards division. "You would need to read the ingredient list, which is typically on the back or the side of the product, in order to tell the difference between the two."

The dairy industry openly admits that the petition is part of a scheme to disproportionately target children. According to the petition, studies have shown that school-aged children tend to consume flavored rather than non-flavored dairy products, but are turned off by claims like "reduced calorie." Removing these claims would make children more likely to consume aspartame-sweetened foods, the dairy industry said, and therefore help fight obesity.

No mention is made of evidence suggesting that consumption of artificial sweeteners can actually promote obesity.

Dedicated to deception

The petition states that there would be no dishonesty in labeling naturally and artificially sweetened dairy foods in the same way. In fact, they claim, the "consistent" labeling would actually be more honest than the current practice!

This kind of inverted logic is also characteristic of industries like Big Tobacco that seek to obfuscate the obvious health dangers of the products that they peddle.

In fact, the real reason for the petition is almost certainly an attempt to ensure the future health of the dairy industry, as consumers become increasingly wary of drinking milk and consuming highly processed dairy made with genetically modified ingredients.

"Yogurt, ice cream, cream cheese, and flavored milk have become delivery systems for genetically modified sweeteners, especially high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)," said Alexis Baden-Mayer of the Organic Consumers Association.

Evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners, including aspartame may create artificial dependency by confusing the body's ability to regulate satiety (the feeling of fullness that tells you to stop eating). By making it possible to consume large amounts of sweet foods without feeling full, these sweeteners create a craving for sweetness and an inability to stop eating.

Research also suggests that by interfering with the brain's absorption of dopamine, aspartame in particular may be addictive in a more direct sense.

The attempt to conceal the presence of addictive artificial sweeteners linked to a wide range of health effects should be no surprise, of course, from an industry that has dedicated itself to undercutting consumers' right to know what is in their food. The dairy industry is a major contributor to ongoing efforts to overturn the state of Vermont's law requiring the labeling of genetically modified ingredients.

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