After three years of legal filings, a hearing, will take place Monday November 19, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. The hearing predeceases the U.S. District Court trial (federal jury trial) scheduled to begin in January (2008).
According to Saturday's edition (November 17, 2007) of the Los Angeles Daily News, Sugar Association officials take issue with the marketing slogan "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar," and "Good for the whole family,"
McNeil-PPC, Inc. is a unit of Johnson & Johnson Inc.
In the lawsuit, the Sugar Association claims that sucralose, the sweetening ingredient in Splenda, is a man-made chlorocarbon and that a complex process is required to first convert sucrose (sugar) into a number of different intermediary chemicals before using "phosgene gas - a deadly weapon used during World War II - as the chlorinating agent to yield sucralose."
The Sugar Association also alleges that despite rulings in France, Australia and New Zealand that have found Johnson & Johnson's advertising of Splenda to be deceptive, Johnson & Johnson continued advertising causing consumers to believe that Splenda was not an artificial product.
A national internet survey, conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), found that only 57 percent of Splenda users correctly believed that Splenda was an artificial sweetener. Additionally, 47 percent incorrectly believed it was a natural product. Only 8 percent of the respondents correctly believed that Splenda was made from sugar and chlorine.
According to CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson, "the sucralose in Splenda is, in fact, a synthetic chemical that contains chlorine, something that no natural sugar contains".(4) He added, ""Made from sugar," certainly sounds better than, say, "made from chlorinated hydrocarbons," or "made in a laboratory," or "fresh from the factory." Splenda's artificiality may present a marketing challenge, but that's not an excuse to confuse consumers and lead them to believe that Splenda is natural or in any way related to sugar. I hope that McNeil starts marketing Splenda honestly.
Johnson & Johnson denies misleading anyone(1) and have filed a counter-lawsuit seeking to stop the Sugar Association from making alleged false and misleading claims about Splenda.
According to McNeil-PPC, Inc., "Sucralose is manufactured using a patented multi-step process in which 3 hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar (sucrose) molecule are selectively replaced with 3 chlorine atoms. Because it is made from sugar, sucralose (SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener) tastes like sugar".
Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar on average and has no calories. Although sucralose is made from table sugar, it adds no calories because it is not digested in the body. Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda. After reviewing more than 110 animal and human studies, the FDA approved sucralose in 1998 for use in 15 food categories, including as a tabletop sweetener and for use in products such as beverages, chewing gum, frozen desserts, fruit juices, and gelatins. In 1999, the FDA allowed sucralose as a generalpurpose sweetener in all foods. Source: FDA Consumer July/August 2006.
Facts About Phosgene
What phosgene is:
• Phosgene is a major industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides.
• At room temperature (70°F), phosgene is a poisonous gas.
• With cooling and pressure, phosgene gas can be converted into a liquid so that it can be shipped and stored. When liquid phosgene is released, it quickly turns into a gas that stays close to the ground and spreads rapidly.
• Phosgene itself is nonflammable (not easily ignited and burned).
Where phosgene is found and how it is used:
• Phosgene was used extensively during World War I as a choking (pulmonary) agent. Among the chemicals used in the war, phosgene was responsible for the large majority of deaths.
• Phosgene is not found naturally in the environment.
• Phosgene is used in industry to produce many other chemicals such as pesticides.
• Phosgene can be formed when chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds are exposed to high temperatures. Chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds are substances sometimes used or created in industry that contain the elements chlorine, hydrogen, and carbon.
• The vapors of chlorinated solvents exposed to high temperatures have been known to produce phosgene. Chlorinated solvents are chlorine-containing chemicals that are typically used in industrial processes to dissolve or clean other materials, such as in paint stripping, metal cleaning, and dry cleaning.