A Decade of Perfidy, Continued

As far back as 2014, concerned health professionals voiced their doubts about artificial flavor enhancers compounded from chemicals. Bruce Bradley, a reformed processed food marketer, wrote,

Let’s be honest, who knows how this additive will affect our bodies? We certainly haven’t seen any testing that should make us rest easier… [T]ime and again we’ve learned we don’t truly understand the intricacies of the metabolic pathways our body. Sweetmyx could be yet another additive that may trick our taste buds today, but wreak untold damage over our lifetimes.

This preoccupation with long-term effects is justified for many reasons. As we have seen, obesity is multifactorial, and when the industry persists in adding new factors every so often, it certainly does not help scientists to figure out how those forces interact. From the last post, a reader might have gotten the impression that the Sweetmyx flavor booster story was over. But no.

According to writer Andrea Byrnes, such grocery items as coffee creamer and soup now contain Sweetmyx and similar potions from other brands. Earlier this year, the claim began to circulate through the culture that consumers of those products, whether they know it or not, are enabling the societal problem of abortion.

A faith-based organization has taken charge of alerting the public to this possibility, and is careful to specify that while foods and beverages do not actually contain aborted fetal material, the testing process does. Byrnes writes,

The American biotech company Senomyx has developed chemical additives that can enhance flavor and smell. To do this, they had to produce an army of never-tiring taste testers — that is, flavor receptors engineered from human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293, fetal cell line popular in pharmaceutical research.).

PepsiCo of course denies this, and it is mentioned here only to illustrate the extreme measures that publicity-seeking entities will take against their innocent victims, the giant conglomerates of the soda industry.

1634 never had a chance

Last year in the state of Washington, an initiative known as 1634 was placed on the ballot through the combined efforts of Coke, Pepsi, two other beverage companies, and the Washington Food Industry Association. Together, they contributed almost 99% of the $13 million behind it. The object of the Prohibit Local Taxes on Groceries Measure was to “prohibit local government entities from imposing any new tax, fee, or other assessment.”

The other side pointed out that basic groceries were already exempt from sales taxes, and the only food group to be seriously affected was soda pop. Two opponents of the measure, Mary Ann Bauman, a doctor who volunteers with the American Heart Association, and Estela Ortega, leader of El Centro de la Raza, wrote,

Essentially, what the soda companies want to do is deny every other community the freedom to raise money for public health by taxing sugary beverages, and prevent Seattle from ever raising its tax.

Seattle is of course in Washington, and its soda tax has brought in about $20 million earmarked for community-supported summer school programs, better access to healthy foods for the economically challenged, and community college scholarships. Corporations, on the other hand, hold staunchly libertarian views such as “taxation is theft.”

Not surprisingly, with all that corporate muscle behind it, 1634 passed, encouraging Big Soda to make the same move, state by state, despite the fact that their arguments are fallacious.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Sweetmyx: A New Sweetener That’s Sneaking Into Our Food,” BruceBradley.com, 04/23/14
Source: “Products That Use Aborted Fetuses,” HLI.org, 04/23/19
Source: “‘Big Soda’ wants to take away our control,” SeattleTimes.com, 09/28/18
Image by haddensavix/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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