Saturday, July 24, 2010


I was poking around the Interwebs and stumbled on some anti-aspartame blog entries where commenters wondered what motivation another commenter had for arguing against the anti-aspartame diatribe. There was an assumption that only somebody with financial interest would argue against anti-aspartame "science". There was additionally the "why do you care? what's the harm?" question.

This fascinates me. To me it is self-evident why you would argue against incorrect information: it's incorrect. Bad information should be corrected. Why is that confusing? It is truly amazing to me that it is common for people to not see any harm in spreading misinformation, or at least, no reason to correct misinformation.

In addition to that is, for me, the fear that once a person does not trust common products approved by the FDA, they turn to those items outside of the purview of the FDA (or whatever regulatory body). This frightens me. It is this path that leads to homeopathy. It is this path that leads to chelation therapy. It is this path that leads to chiropractric. "What's the harm?" you ask. The harm is that if somebody is spending their hard earned money on untested, quack treatments they may not have any left for treatments backed by science that actually work. The harm is that if they are so far over that they no longer trust "Western" medicine, they refuse to get real treatment and can become even more ill. The harm, the most terrible of all, is that they don't provide their children with proper medical treatment.

You may think, "sure, but all we're saying is that aspartame is bad." Perhaps... but it's just one brick in the wall. If it's the only brick, so be it. And more power to you if you're only drinking water, and not artificially sweetened soft drinks. Probably healthier any how.

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