The Empire Strikes Back: Poison is “Natural”

By James F. Tracy

The processed food industry is seeking to turn back the global movement toward organic and non-GMO food by promoting its often unwholesome products as healthful and nutritious. In mid-March the Associated Press released cranberrya detailed report on how Coca-Cola commissioned fitness and nutrition “experts” to promote its high-fructose corn syrup-laden soft drinks as part of a healthy diet.

Through the month of February blogs and newspapers published pieces from the writers in observance of “Healthy Heart & Black History Month.”

“We have a network of dietitians we work with,” a Coke representative told the AP, who would not say how much the company pays such spokespersons. “Every big brand works with bloggers or has paid talent.”

Pepsico has likewise embarked on similar public relations campaigns to push its FritoLay and Tostitos-branded snacks in local television programming as part of healthy eating, AP observes.

The most recent development in the food giants’ undeclared campaign to be perceived as wholesome involves the use of the purportedly “natural” sweetener Truvia into products in lieu of the more notorious aspartame or sucralose additives.

For example, Old Orchard fruit juice is celebrating “National Nutrition month” by announcing its Truvia-infused “Cranberry Cherry reduced-calorie juice drink as part of its expanding Cran Naturals line of naturally sweetened [sic] juice cocktails. At just 55 calories per serving,” the company’s press release gushes

Old Orchard Cran Naturals features 50% less sugar than traditional 100% cranberry juice blends, while still offering the great taste and benefits of cranberry juice.

Such a promotional campaign rests largely on the Truvia brand’s heavily promoted yet dubious association with stevia and an overarching ignorance of how the sweetener is produced, let alone its potential effects upon ingestion.

Like aspertame (Nutrasweet, Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), both of which are neurotoxins (e.g. here, here, and here), Truvia is approved as safe for human consumption by the Food and Drug Administration, which might be immediate cause for concern. The sweetener is also made by Cargill, the major fertilizer manufacturer. As Natural News observes, “a study published in the journal PLOS ONE (1) found that Truvia acts as a potent insecticide that kills fruit flies which consume it.”

In 2014 the New York Times published a detailed (and largely sympathetic) examination of the sweetener research and development industry. In that report the paper of record noted that “Truvia contains very little stevia, by weight, and briefly acknowledges “its main ingredient” as being “erythritol,” a sugar alcohol.

Cargill makes the erythritol that comprises Truvia from GMO corn, or, more specifically, “yeast that may be fed with genetically modified corn sugar,” the Times notes.

In fact, the sweetener contains almost no stevia. It is made from about 99.5% erythritol, and 0.5% rebiana, an extract from the stevia plant. Thus, fruit drinks are now being sweetened with a GMO-based substance that can kill bugs and cleverly promoted as “natural” by including stevia as a trace element. Moreover, since the adoption of a given sweetener for us in a host of beverages is a key objective of its manufacturer, Old Orchard’s use of Truvia might be better seen as a prelude for its use in a much wider array of other juices and soft drinks.

In 2013 Cartill resolved a deceptive marketing lawsuit for presenting Truvia as a “natural” sweetener. As part of the settlement the company agreed to set up a fund of $5 million to refund purchasers and change its labeling to more accurately describe how Truvia is produced.

As the consumer departure from unnatural nourishment picks up steam, the transnational food cartel will be seeking to head off the move in increasingly deceptive ways–some of which could actually endanger one’s health. This is a battle that pits the food manufacturers’ spinmeisters and advert execs against the broader public. Coca-Cola’s attempt to pass its beverages off as healthy and Cargill’s promotion of a pesticide as safe and natural are early examples of exactly how low this sector will go to maintain market share and the bottom line. Caveat emptor.

23 thoughts on “The Empire Strikes Back: Poison is “Natural””

  1. The upside-downness of information is truly getting formidable. Unfortunately, most people are too lazy and already conditioned not to question; plenty of “facts” have been peddled to us in sound bites that are now almost like popular-knowledge mantras. Also, the branding of products: e.g., “true” and “stevia” mixed to form “Truvia,” suggesting that this is truly stevia. Madison Avenue is wickedly clever, and the sheeple are pathetically not so. What to do … supermarkets are full of people who fall for this. And then the staging of products on shelves (food companies pay for the best shelf space), package design and colors (buy me! buy me!), product recognition (oh, I saw that on TV, it was a cute ad) … so many factors and so little time to hunt out the reality.

    1. That makes me even madder – ruining something natural and good and making it utterly UNnatural and detrimental to everyone, just to maintain their fragile hold on revenue.

      If your product isn’t of any benefit, you shouldn’t be making money from it. PERIOD.

      1. There has never been a sense of morality in corporate business. In the days of “family owned” businesses, one’s name was more or less on the line. Corporations are “legal fictions” (contrary to the recent SCOTUS decision), and only exist to enlarge their profits.

        We trusting souls go through life with the unsupported belief that the food they sell us in stores is healthy and safe. Why, we have agencies to oversee all of that. Some of us know that those agencies are managed by the very people they regulate.

        All of the various additives and preservatives introduced into processed foods are designed for maximization of corporate profit, not health. Europe had much higher standards for food production than the U.S. for years. I believe that is coming to an end, however.

        Arsenic is “natural”. Buzzwords and catch phrases don’t mean much. It is like the use of the term “organic”. Perhaps, “unadulterated” would be a more meaningful standard.

        Even “natural” things can become poisonous. Poisons are usually rated by testing a target group and determining the “Lethal Dose” for 50% of the sample population. Depending on their method of action some things can be cumulative. In such cases the matter of time is added to the equation.

        Wholesome foods in moderation should not be a problem unless an individual is allergic. When ingredients are chemically or genetically manipulated all bets are off. If you think about it, when someone sets out to create a poison, what do they use? It is the treatment and formulation that transforms otherwise innocuous items into something deadly.

        So, with these products, they are effectively saying “here you go, we fixed it to be profitable for us. If it kills you that’s not our problem”. So, instead of having a grinning skull on the label, you get fluffy clouds and pictures of smiling kids. All brought to you by “Kraft” (craft?).

  2. When you have small children, juices are ubiquitous in public settings. Now that mine are grown (and went through a phase of artificially sweetened soft drinks – which I protested and which they are now catching on to), I would review the whole sweet drinks category, no matter what the stuff is made of. Who needs it? You can drink water.

    I do eat my cranberries, like a good New Englander. I believe they were a vitamin-filled ingredient in Native American pemmican, of animal fat, dried meat and berries, looking like a kind of bird food you might hang on your porch in the winter. I have not tried pemmican, however. But I find dried cranberries to be just as sweet as I need them to be for palatability. Also, they can be processed raw along with oranges to make a kind of salsa. Martha Stewart has a recipe I use at Thanksgiving. The oranges offset the bitterness.

    So what we are seeing is an industry that takes minimal amounts of expensive ingredients like fruit and a lot of sweetened and colored water to make a money-generating beverage which is used in some social settings. I think we should give red wine to the little kiddies instead – watered down of course.

  3. Manufacturers sell a feeling, an image, they don’t sell keto-hexoses called sugars. When you sell the sizzle and not the steak, you get people transfixed onto the feeling of experiencing taste, not some concern as to what the active ingredients actually are. We can thank our regulatory agencies for this slothful lack of concern for our welfare.In the end, it appears everything is for sale in the USA, including the lack of truthfulness. Just about everybody is aware of the Nutrasweet scandal and how Donald Rumsfeld called in a marker and actually made a “deal” to license this dubious compound for human consumption as a sweetening agent.

    1. Yes, and the appeal of color and perfume is also there. Anyone remember the appeal of those plastic-covered popsicles which could turn your tongue blue or orange? Of course that involved a whole street culture of kids outside playing, so maybe it wasn’t so bad. And what could be less appetizing than Jello – even though it is relatively less caloric than today’s stuff. When I was a child, the one obese child in the neighborhood was a latch-key boy whose mother I did not even know existed (all the others I did), and when I looked him up recently, I saw (very sadly) that he was dead at 50. Of course he did become a jazz musician…anyway, he had access to the kind of snacks other kids were guarded from eating a bit more effectively (“It will ruin your dinner!”)

    2. “Just about everybody is aware of the Nutrasweet scandal and how Donald Rumsfeld called in a marker and actually made a “deal” to license this dubious compound for human consumption as a sweetening agent.”

      Uh, no. Not one person in a million would have any idea what you are talking about. Even people who find MHB congenial.

      Of course, the thing you are referring to, Gil, is true–and everyone SHOULD be aware of it. But if you were to explain it to them they would be astounded to hear it.

      1. In the final analysis, it’s absolutely amazing how tuned off and never turned on Americans really are. People are attracted like a moth to a fly when the media is talking about the latest Hollyweird divorce. Teaching Americans is probably the most difficult of all tasks for those of us who have a deep interest in rectitude, truth, and verity.

        We are drowned out with the gray noise of the media colossus and besides, fantasy trumps reality on most exit polls. I’d wager we all have a few pet interests that we try to sell to our friends and acquaintances on occasion and I’d also wager we are most disappointed when we can’t get the ball over the goal line. I’ve prompted perjorative comments from my audiences only too often and, silly me, I can’t find the rational way to bring home the bacon to these who would prefer to knock me down, step on my face, and slander my name all over the place. They do everything including stepping on my blue suede shoes. I take all the blame, I should have figured out these cretinoids long ago.

    3. This piece is also very informative concerning various poisons about.

      “Why does our government allow Japan to export seafood to us when we bloody well know the stuff is so ‘hot’ with radioactive contamination it probably glows blue in the dark? An even better question is, why in the name of all that is sacred are we buying it and eating it? I just don’t understand. GMO foods are banned in over 50 countries around the globe, but here in the Pachyderm Ballroom we can’t even get the poisonous crap labeled!! Only those in comas or the functionally brain dead haven’t heard how deadly GMO’s are by now…and yet, to my utter amazement we eat the crap then ask for seconds. Our fresh water is being ‘privatized’ which means they own it, and it ain’t about price gouging, it’s all about control…as in no water for you today.

      Those of us who can see that, and have been seeing it building to these insane levels are now completely baffled at the silent majority who just keep on as if this place is heaven on earth with angels running the show.

      We are the ones you’ve been waiting for, and you turn away as if we just shot your dog. That turning away is the knee-jerk reaction of cognitive dissonance, where the mind is so challenged by new information contradicting long held belief’s, that it begins to melt down under the weight of those contradictions with ‘reality’.

    1. Mick, took the time to read your entire information packager regard the English clalim to world ownership past and hegemony present. Startling and frigtening to behold.

      Alex Jones laid out the coming plan for martial law being implemented without any noticeable defensive moves from the public or from our reps on capitol Hill.

      Love him or hate Jones, he has the gov’t’s own documents to prove his thesis and it does not bode well for We The People. what will it take to awaken the sleeping US giant and fill it with a will to survice a true enemy–an enemy within. I am personally at a loss to find words to express my disgust–and that is unusual for me.

    2. Mick, it’s refreshing to read this. I’ve talked about this for years. I’m always amused when someone says “the Queen is only a figurehead”. In a sense, that may be true, but not in the sense intended.

      At the time of the Revolutionary War the royals simply outsmarted their unwitting opponents. What difference does it make if they want to declare themselves independent if, in point of fact, they aren’t?

      The European nobles placed themselves in servitude to the banksters. It is the primary mechanism of control up to the present. It really matters not what “country” one is affiliated with when the same money lenders are the only source of revenue.

      Whether it is the EU, UK, US, or any other designator designed to lull the masses, it is all a ruse to control. It is all based upon creating a need for something only they control. In a real sense, the royals’ job is to implement what the Rothschild’s desire. In exchange they are allowed their lavish lifestyles and authority. By my lights it doesn’t appear that much has changed since the Eighteenth Century.

      They still get together from time to time to rattle their jewelry and laugh at us.

  4. I’ve been putting Agave sweetner in coffee lately. You need very little if you stir it good. It is reported to be made from cactus and is said to be a low glyclamic sugar, although I don’t know what ‘clyclamic’ means, or how to spell it. I don’t have the patience to investigate biological or physical stuff, so I have no idea whether it is better than the other sweetners.

    1. It is poison. High Fructose Corn Syrup, you could say, is “made from corn,” and feel warm and fuzzy–all the way to the grave. Same with this “cactus” based frankenfood.

      Honey is good for you (raw, local, honey).

      Stevia has its admirers, and if you’re careful about the specific product you won’t be poisoning yourself with it.

      1. Oh. I forgot to mention Just Like Sugar (

        “Just Like Sugar® is a 100% natural FDA GRAS approved sweetener made from only the purest of ingredients. Just Like Sugar® mimics the attributes of regular cane or beet sugar in every way without any of the negatives from sugars on the market today. Just Like Sugar® contains no sugar alcohols and does not cause the laxative effect of some of the other sweeteners.

        Just Like Sugar® comprises a perfect blend of:

        Chicory Root
        Dietary Fiber
        Vitamin C
        Natural Flavors from the peel of the Orange.
        Nutrition Facts per one hundred (100) gram serving Size are:

        0 Calories
        0 Sugar
        0 Fat
        0 Cholesterol
        0 Sodium
        0 Carbohydrates
        0 Protein
        It does not contain any soy, yeast, animal derivatives, No “MSG”, No L-Glutamic Acid, No D-Glutamic Acid, No Aspartic Acid or preservatives; it is not fermentable and will not promote tooth decay.”

  5. Most know Aspartame is deadly and after 8 years with Congress and the FDA it took Donald Rumsfield to get it passed to poison us. He also got the technology for North Korea to build Nukes passed in 1999.

  6. Plugging into this topic, the sweetener called stevia (aka as Truvia for commecial purposes) comes from a native South American plant discovered in the jungles of Paraguay. Iea made from the stevia plant is a favorite among the natives, some descendants of the Elizabth Forster Niezsche German colony, Nueva Germania. She was the sister to philosopher, Frednich Niezsche–who considered
    himself to be a Polish native, not a German vassal.

    Niezsche and her husband, Bernhard Forster, lured German families to follow them into the jungle to establish a pure aryan settlelment. She and husband were vocally anti-Semitic. The colony was a dismal falure; Bernhard committed suicide and Elizabeth ran back to Germany leaving settlers to fend for themselves in a hostile environment; German agriculture did not translate to a hot, jungle atmosphere.

    Returning, Elizabeth found her brother terminally ill, with what was diagnosed as venereal disease. Upon his death, she set about rehabilatating his reputation publishing his most famous works. She founded an organization to promote the family image. Hitler seized on Elizabeth’s fanatic embrace of Aryan superiority though Frederich Niezsche was opposed to all the NAZIs came to represent. He avowedly hated composer Richard Wagner’s war against the Jews. But ironically, Hiterarians used Niezsche, promoted by Elizabeth’s philosophy, for propaganda purposes. This is a fascinating bit of world history left in the jungles of far-off Paraguay.

    One point to make: stevia gets a resounding thumbs up for human consumption among so many unhealthy artificial sweeteners.

    1. Gary Null-host on WBAI. Pacifica News affiliate in NYC likes stevia, too. NUll takes no prisoners when he discusses nutirition and bad suppliers of harmful foods, which are legion. I tend to listen if he endorses a product or recommends a specific produce.

  7. Pretty soon, they’ll have to acknowledge then, the foundational premise of homeopathy, where the cure is in the poison.

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