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SCAM: Artificial sweeteners and their artificial 'science data' exposed


Artificial sweeteners

(NaturalNews) Most of the so-called "science" backing the safety of artificial sweeteners is little more than skewed, industry-backed propaganda, a new review out of Australia has revealed. Researchers from the University of Sydney, after poring over 31 major studies published between 1978 and 2014, concluded that the vast majority of studies suggesting that artificial sweeteners are a safe and preferable alternative to sugar are bought-and-paid-for hype sanctioned by the artificial sweetener industry.

This new research comes on the heels of other research pegging the sugar industry for the same impropriety--padding the science to make sugar seem like the bees knees when it's known to cause diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Except that for sweetening agents like aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), the fraud is even more in-your-face, with something of a 1,700 percent differential in the published findings.

Based on the analysis, studies that portray artificial sweeteners in a positive light are almost always funded by the artificial sweetener industry, while those that portray them in a negative light tend to come from independent sources that aren't trying to push their own agenda. To put that 1,700 percent differential into context, studies funded by the artificial sweetener industry are 17 times more likely to show favorable results, a clear revelation of bias that continues to be ignored by government regulators.

"It's alarming to see how much power the artificial sweetener industry has over the results of its funded research, with not only the data but also the conclusions of these studies emphasizing artificial sweeteners' positive effects while neglecting [to] mention of any drawbacks," says Professor Lisa Bero, head of the Charles Perkins Centre's bias node at the University of Sydney, and one of the authors of the study, which is published in the journal PLoS ONE.

"The results of these studies are even more important than the conclusion, as the actual results are used in the development of dietary guidelines."

Conflicts of interest often shrouded by dishonest companies pushing sweet poison

When it comes to disclosing their funding sources, many artificial sweeteners studies offer little in the way of transparency. Nearly half, 42 percent, of the studies evaluated failed to disclose their conflicts of interest, while roughly one-third offered no information whatsoever as to the sources of their funding.

Perhaps not surprisingly, those studies with clear conflicts of interest, revealed or not, were found to be seven times more likely to show positive results. On the flip side, not a single one of the nine studies where the authors had no conflict of interest showed positive results, illustrating one indisputable fact: the artificial sweetener industry essentially pays to force science on its side.

"Transparency around an author's conflicts of interest and research funding sources for this area of nutrition science is sadly lagging behind other fields," adds Professor Bero. "Our analysis shows that the claims made by artificial sweetener companies should be taken with a degree of skepticism, as many existing studies into artificial sweeteners seem to respond to sponsor demands to exaggerate positive results, even when they are conducted with standard methods."

As to who pays the ultimate price, Professor Bero says it's the consumers who trust that their favorite artificial sweetener has been fully vetted by science, when nothing could be further from the truth. Much of the alleged science supporting the artificial sweetener industry isn't science at all, and should be taken with no more than the tiniest grain of salt.

"It's important to be critical of reviews that are funded by any food or beverage-related companies, not just the sugar industry," Professor Bero warns.

Sources for this article include:

http://medicalxpress.com

http://www.scientificamerican.com

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