By Barbara H. Peterson

I’m as forgiving as the next gal, but really! There is a limit to my endurance. Hubby went shopping the other day and brought home HoneyTree’s Sugar Free Imitation Honey. This product is “a proud sponsor of the Diabetes Research Institute” according to the label on the container. Yes, it was in the honey department, and yes, the container looked and felt like a honey container, and yes, hubby was trying to be helpful, and yes, he is half-blind, and yes, it was the cheapest on the shelf. However, it was only after looking at the ingredients on the label that I was truly repulsed:

Maltitol syrup, natural and artificial flavor, Acesulfame K, Malic acid

I was especially attracted to the ingredient labeled Acesulfame K, so I looked it up. The following comes from

Acesulfame K

Acesulfame Potassium (K) was approved for use by the FDA as a safe artificial sweetener in July, l988. It is a derivative of acetoacetic acid. Unfortunately, several potential problems associated with the use of acesulfame have been raised. They are based largely on animal studies since testing on humans remains limited. The findings showed the following:

Acesulfame K stimulates insulin secretion in a dose dependent fashion thereby possibly aggravating reactive hypoglycemia (“low blood sugar attacks”).

Acesulfame K apparently produced lung tumors, breast tumors, rare types of tumors of other organs (such as the thymus gland), several forms of leukemia and chronic respiratory disease in several rodent studies, even when less than maximum doses were given. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, it was petitioned on August 29, l988 for a stay of approval by the FDA because of “significant doubt” about its safety.

Dr. H.J. Roberts, Aspartame (NutraSweet) Is It Safe?, Charles Press, page 283/84.

Now I may not be the brightest light bulb in the room in certain areas, I mean, who is? But SUGAR FREE ARTIFICIAL HONEY? Will someone please explain the usefulness of this product to me? Because I cannot for the life of me understand why I would want to use this for anything other than greasing tractor axles. And even then, I wouldn’t want it entering the groundwater. It has 0 nutritive value, and apparently contains an ingredient that can actually cause hypoglycemia – low blood sugar attacks.

Okay HoneyTree corporate guys, let me get this straight. Correct me if I am wrong. You sell a product containing a carcinogen that causes hypoglycemia – low blood sugar attacks, and support the research into diabetes, which is marked by high blood sugar levels. Sounds a bit twisted to me. Not such an altruistic thing to do, eh? Induce one disease while researching another? Or are you actually trying to regulate the disease you are researching by inducing another in unsuspecting guinea pigs?

All it takes is a bit of corporate greed, mixed with a huge helping of callousness; oh, and toss the conscience to make room for a bit more ego, and you have the perfect corporate pirate. No conscience whatsoever, and hiding behind a mask of benevolent altruism. Business as usual.

Well, onwards and upwards. When hubby came home with this “axle grease,” I immediately grabbed it and read the ingredients. He is fully aware of this article, and I am planning to read it to him just as soon as he comes in from the doghouse. In the meantime, I am wondering just how to get him to remember his glasses when he goes shopping the next time.

©2010 Barbara H. Peterson