Claims regarding artificial sweeteners false

I am writing in response to Sue Pesznecker’s column on artificial sweeteners [“Health risks of artificial sweeteners undetermined,” Oct. 12]. Regrettably, the article contained misleading and damaging claims about the safety of Splenda.


A quick check of the opponents and claims referenced in the article would have proven them untrustworthy and without scientific merit. The author wrote: "the body of current medical and scientific literature has yet to support any of these claims." Unfortunately, the false claims and misinformation gain legitimacy when repeated and referenced by the media.


This is misleading and unfair to consumers, who deserve to receive only factual information from the media. The truth is, Splenda products provide safe options for consumers who want to manage, and lower, their sugar intake.


We stand confidently behind our product and its exemplary safety record and recommend that your readers look to qualified sources of information about our brand, starting with www.splenda.com and www.splendatruth.com.

Monica Neufang

Director of Communications, McNeil Nutritionals, LLC


Studies find artificial sweeteners safe


The article [“Health risks of artificial sweeteners undetermined,” Oct. 12] quotes a college student without any noted medical or science background as saying, “Equal gives you cancer.” This is very misleading to consumers considering the American Cancer Society has stated, “Evidence does not show any link between aspartame ingestion and increased cancer risk.”

In addition, the article mentions a highly questionable study of laboratory rats by the European Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences, aka the Ramazzini Institute, in Italy. This study has not been validated by the internationally recognized standardized review process and the scientific community at large. It failed to follow established protocols for animal carcinogenicity studies recommended by U.S. and European regulatory agencies.


Aspartame is the most widely tested food ingredient, and is considered safe by all major regulatory agencies. It is in more than 6,000 food products because of its great taste and zero-calorie content. People who enjoy Equal and other aspartame-sweetened products should continue to do so, and not be dissuaded by erroneous statements from uninformed parties or scientifically flawed findings. For more credible information about aspartame, I encourage consumers to visit www.aspartame.org.

Paul Block

Chief Executive Officer, Merisant Company


Lower prices will help alleviate digital divide

It should be interesting to note that the Oregon PUC did a 2005 survey of households across the state and found that for Portland region households earning less than $25,000 that nearly 43 percent had computers and internet access in their homes; and that 22 percent had high-speed internet at an average cost of $40 per month [“Portland could take WiFi to the masses,” Sept. 30].


Low-income families, like all families, value the same things and they realize that internet access can help them accomplish many good things to improve their lives.

The library or the coffee shop are not the answers to helping families cross the digital divide. Both are helpful but simplistic and a precursor to more significant access that low-income families are willing to get from the marketplace, when a quality price and service is offered.

Robert Bole


Where’s the love for the Vikings?

Wow, I can’t believe that PSU’s own newspaper won’t even give the Viking Football team some love [“Vikings lose heartbreaker 21-14,” Oct. 11]. I’ve been a student at PSU and avid football fan for the past 4 years but have been greatly disappointed and at times angered by the lack of support and sometimes complete bashing of the football team. I don’t know if the people who write these articles even go to the games or watch them on TV, because they always seem to miss what is really going on. I find it atrocious that Brian Smith was unable to inform the readers of what actually took place down in Boise. The Vikings faced a team that was ranked 18th in the nation at the beginning of the season and held the longest home winning streak in all of Division 1-A. Not only did the Vikings put up a fight, they led for the vast majority of the game. In the end, things didn’t come up as the Vikings would have hoped but it was definitely encouraging to see the way they played. I do commend Brian Smith for spinning the story in great favor of Boise State, and I think he’d do much better writing for their school newspaper.

Brian, PSU student


Freedom comes with responsibility

The heart of the problem is efficiency [“Reclaiming a country,” Sept. 30]. Sure there are numerous painful issues that get involved that we all know of. The straight answer is that the black people should become the owners but on condition that they will accept the responsibility to reasonably maintain the productivity of the land and not let it become a liability on the state. That may require re-employing the previous white owners as managers at incomes not too far from previous averages and on a profit sharing basis clearly on the understanding that all will accommodate each other’s expectations at a reasonable level. For example the manager is free to purchase the house provided for his accommodation even at concessionary prices and with enough land surrounding it that would at least allow for the accommodation of the new owners. Of course several will still leave. That is the price of freedom.

Richard Nunez, Barbados

[Ed. Note: the column reference is an opinion column and does not reflect the views of The Vanguard editorial staff.]