FTC Declines to Probe Whether Ads for ‘Diet’ Products are Deceptive
U.S. Right to Know’s citizen petition shot down by agency officials
FTC officials cite ‘enforcement priorities,’ limited resources among factors
Pepsico abandoned aspartame last spring in response to consumer complaints
NutraSweet, an artificial sugar substitute also known by the generic name aspartame, has been used for decades to sweeten products such as Diet Coke. Federal Trade Commission officials have rejected a consumer group’s call for an investigation into whether manufacturers have falsely advertised that artificially sweetened soft drinks and food products help people lose weight. ...
The California-based group, U.S. Right to Know, filed citizen petitions in April asking the agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop companies from branding products with the word “diet” if they contain an artificial sugar substitute, including those containing aspartame, the most widely used sweetener.
In a Sept. 18 letter to Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right to Know, a senior Federal Trade Commission official said the petition was “carefully considered,” including scientific studies and literature reviews it cited as demonstrating low-calorie drinks actually can contribute to weight gain. ...
I BELIEVE THAT ‘DIET’ SODA WILL GO DOWN IN U.S. HISTORY AS ONE OF THE GREATEST CONSUMER FRAUDS EVER. - Gary Ruskin, head of U.S. Right to Know