According to reports from Washington this week, lobbyists for the dairy industry in the United States have formally requested permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put artificial sweeteners, namely aspartame, in dairy milk. To make matters worse, they also want to be legally allowed to not label products as containing the chemical, a deception that they claim will allow consumers to “more easily identify (the product’s) overall nutritional value.”
The formal request is seeking permission to insert aspartame and other “safe and suitable” artificial sweeteners into 17 dairy products, including milk, cream, condensed milk, and yogurt. Always in a mad rush to convince the public that we should continue consuming breast milk long after our infant years – even if it comes from the breast of a non-human animal – the request cites the dairy industry’s interest in promoting “more healthful eating practices” in an effort to “reduce childhood obesity,” presumably by making milk as unhealthy as soda.
While aspartame in milk is a relatively new idea, the dangerous chemical has been used to trick people into drinking diet soda for a long time now, and studies have repeatedly shown the health risks of drinking too much diet soda. Though those studies are often inconclusive in pinning down its exact effects, aspartame is easily linked with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other deadly diseases.
Rumours have been swirling around the Canadian dairy industry of a push to sweeten milk with artificial sweeteners for years now, but no official action has yet taken place. Here’s hoping that this American development doesn’t encourage such action.