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Pepsi Ditch Poisonous Aspartame From Their Drinks

Pepsico have decided to ditch the controversial sweetener aspartame in their Diet Pepsi drink. 

The removal of the poisonous chemical is in response to customer feedback, and Pepsi say they hope the move will encourage more people to buy the soda again, as sales worldwide have declined.

Nbcnews.com reports:

The rollout will test the theory that the sweetener is to blame for fleeing customers, or if other issues might be at play. Other diet sodas that still have aspartame include Diet Coke, Diet Dr Pepper and Fanta Zero.

A revamped Diet Pepsi without aspartame is popping up on store shelves. So will people start flocking back to the soda?

PepsiCo says its new Diet Pepsi should be available nationally this week. In response to customer feedback, the company said earlier this year that it would replace the aspartame in the drink with another artificial sweetener that has less baggage.

The rollout will test the theory that the sweetener is to blame for fleeing customers, or if other issues might be at play. Other diet sodas that still have aspartame include Diet Coke, Diet Dr Pepper and Fanta Zero.

Sales of traditional diet sodas have been falling. Industry executives blaming the freefall on unfounded concerns people have about aspartame. Two years ago, Coca-Cola even tested ads in select newspapers defending the safety of the sweetener.

“It’s the No. 1 thing that our customers have been calling about,” said Seth Kaufman, a senior vice president at PepsiCo.

At least in the short term, Diet Pepsi sales are likely to see bump from the marketing push around the new formula, which will include in-store sampling and discounting in coming weeks.

In terms of taste, Kaufman said it’s not identical but that the drink should still be familiar to fans of Diet Pepsi.

It’s not the first attempt by PepsiCo Inc. to lift flagging sales of Diet Pepsi. In 2012, the company tried improving the drink by combining aspartame with acesulfame potassium, often called ace-K, another artificial sweetener that helps prevent the taste from degrading over time. The latest version of Diet Pepsi will also have ace-K in addition to sucralose, best known by the brand name Splenda.

Cans and bottles of the new Diet Pepsi have been making their way through the distribution in recent weeks. Stores that don’t do a lot of business may still have the old versions stocked. This weekend, for instance, a store in New York City had the old and new versions side by side.

The new cans will be marked with the words “Now Aspartame Free” above the Pepsi circle logo.

  • Hughspeaks

    Aspartame isn’t poisonous, except to the sugar industry. Right from day 1, they’ve seen it as a massive threat to their continued profitability, and they’ve been using every dirty trick in the book to keep it out of the US market (including phoney research purporting to show it causes cancer, and having marketing agencies flood the media and the internet with all sorts of ridiculous propaganda).

    Aspartame has been more thoroughly safety tested than any other manmade substance in existence, and the research has found no evidence of cancer or anything else. This is exactly what you’d expect, since aspartame is completely broken down in your gut into substances that are normally found in far larger quantities in other foods. It’s a dipeptide, meaning that it’s made from two amino acids (the same substances protein is made out of) joined together. Whenever you eat a protein meal, some of the same dipeptide sequence is going to be produced as the protein is digested, so from a common sense point of view there’s no way it can be toxic.

    Too bad pepsi caved in to the sugar industry. Sucralose is probably fine, but it doesn’t get broken down in your gut, and there’s always the possibility, however remote, that it has untoward effects that weren’t picked up in the safety testing.