Soft Drink Horror
Introduction to Hospitality Management
The typical CSPI report takes one or two plausible concerns, blows them way out of proportion, and throws in several dangers that are trivial, unlikely, or highly speculative, all in an effort to scare people into the one course of action CSPI knows to be right. In the case of soft drinks, Jacobson is plainly alarmed and disgusted by the fact that in 1997 Americans consumed "1.6 12-ounce cans [of soda] per day for every man, woman, and child" -- "more than twice the amount produced in 1974." He concludes that "parents and health officials need to recognize soft drinks for what they are -- liquid candy -- and do everything possible to return those beverages to their former, reasonable role as an occasional treat."
But the CSPI mind-set rebels at the idea that people might enjoy themselves without paying a price. Jacobson warns that "artificial sweeteners may raise concerns" and asserts that "aspartame should be better tested." A CSPI list of "Food Additives to Avoid". Questions have been raised about the safety of aspartame....Some people believe that it causes dizziness, hallucinations, or headaches, but controlled studies have not confirmed those problems. In addition, aspartame needs to be tested better to confirm that it does not cause cancer."
In other words, there is no evidence that aspartame is harmful, but they want to make you vaguely uneasy about drinking diet soda anyway. "Some people believe" that the moon landings were faked and that Elvis is still alive, but that doesn't make it so. And while it is always possible to call for more tests, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- which if anything has an incentive to err on the side of keeping products off the market -- is satisfied with the studies that have already been done. The...