Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will soon be carrying a store-brand version of the artificial sweetener Splenda, under the name "Altern."
This could put Wal-Mart into serious competition with Tate & Lyle, the manufacturers of Splenda. Tate & Lyle is attempting to determine whether or not Altern infringes on the Splenda patent.
Wal-Mart claims that Altern is manufactured using a different process that is not covered by the patent.Wal-Mart will sell the product in its supercenters, which are its largest stores. Wal-Mart has over 2,000 such stores in the United States alone. Altern is therefore likely to put a dent in Splenda sales, which could mean trouble for Tate & Lyle, as Splenda accounts for a significant portion of their annual profit.
If you are reading this you are not in the <st1:country-region>UK</st1:country-region>. Tate & Lyle, the manufacturer of Splenda, has assured me they will sue me if I reveal any truths about Splenda in that part of the world, where libel laws effectively restrict freedom of speech.
(Some of you may remember McDonald's suing a UK advocacy group a number of years back for daring to state that fast food was unhealthy.) So I am forced to block my comments there.
But in spite of all their strong-arm tactics, competition is really beginning to breathe down the backs of Tate & Lyle, the manufacturers of that anything-but-sugar substitute Splenda.
The news certainly hasn't helped Tate & Lyle stock prices. Wal-Mart's invasion into the sucralose market will end Splenda's monopoly on the market, quite a big deal considering that almost half of the more than 900 food and drink product launches for the first six months of 2005 contained only sucralose.
Folks, it doesn't matter if the label says Altern or Splenda. This product is by no means a natural one. Not even close.
Many have been fooled by Splenda's deceptive advertising practices. But the truth of the matter is, saying Splenda is 'made from sugar so it tastes like sugar' is like saying crude oil is 'made from dead plants and animals so it tastes like steak and potatoes.'
By the time sugar has gone through the elaborate chemical processing, treatment, and alteration required to turn it into sucralose, it has become a far, far different substance.
Make no mistake -- Splenda and the Splenda knock-off Altern are not natural. They are not healthy. They are not good for you. They are dangerous. If you have any doubts about this, I urge you to read my page of testimonials about the effects of Splenda.