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Coke aspartame woes: New Coke ads to put kibosh on negative aspartame claims?

Coke with aspartame: Coke on the defensive about this sweetener that comes with controversy.
Coke with aspartame: Coke on the defensive about this sweetener that comes with controversy.
Coca-Cola Company

Coke aspartame, two words that shouldn't go together according to health critics like the Center for Science in the Public Interest. This is a group that claims that its not just about coke, “aspartame should not be in the food supply,” according to AdWeek on Aug. 14. Coke is fighting back with ads telling folks that coke with aspartame is safe.

The Coca-Cola Company is seeing declining sales in diet drinks and they are pointing a finger at the information recently saturating the media stating that aspartame is not safe as being the main culprit for driving the sales down. Coke aspartame ads will start showing up this week in some big name publications like USA Today and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

It's been since January that the Coca-Cola Company has been combating the claims that aspartame is not safe. While these are the first print ads that the company is running, they've been actively pointing out the benefits of using the artificial sweetener aspartame. The biggest benefit being having less sugar in your diet especially since combating obesity is now front and center in the news.

Studies have debunked links between aspartame and increase cancer risk. The Center for Science in the Public Interest quickly bit back once hearing about Coke's prints ads gearing up to go out.

"Aspartame has been found to cause cancer—leukemia, lymphoma, and other tumors—in laboratory animals, and it shouldn’t be in the food supply," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.

Jacobson continued: "We certainly want Coca-Cola to shift its product mix toward lower- and no-calorie drinks, but aspartame’s reputation isn’t worth rehabilitating with this propaganda campaign. The company would be better off phasing out its use of aspartame and accelerating its research into safer, natural sweeteners such as those extracted from the stevia plant."

The two sides are clearly drawn, Coca-Cola cites research that finds nothing wrong with aspartame, which is what they use in their diet beverages. Then there are the critics that cite research suggesting aspartame causes cancer in lab animals. Where does the real truth lie in all of this conflicting information?

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