Save Our Bones Bulletin: PepsiCo Ditches Aspartame In Drinks, USDA To Implement GMO-Free Label, Fluoride Levels In Tap Water Lowered, And More! - Save Our Bones

I can’t wait to bring you this month’s Bulletin – it’s all about the power of the informed consumer, which makes for all-around good news!

First, Diet Pepsi is ditching aspartame as a sugar substitute, even though the FDA has deemed aspartame “safe” for decades. The trend toward awareness in food continues, as evidenced by the public’s insistence on GMO-free foods and appropriate labeling.

And the federal government is taking a step in the right direction by lowering fluoride level guidelines in tap water.

Let’s get to the good news!

1. No More Aspartame In Diet Pepsi: Manufacturer Listens To Consumers And Ignores FDA

Since 1983, when the first aspartame-containing carbonated beverages were made available for public consumption, the chemical has been used in a variety of diet soft drinks.

Relevant Excerpt:

“PepsiCo says it’s dropping aspartame from Diet Pepsi in response to customer feedback and replacing it with sucralose, another artificial sweetener commonly known as Splenda.

The decision to swap sweeteners comes as Americans keep turning away from popular diet sodas. Competitor Coca-Cola said this week that sales volume for Diet Coke, which also uses aspartame, fell 5 percent in North America in the first three months of the year.

Executives at Coke and Pepsi blame the declines on perceptions that aspartame isn’t safe. That’s even though the Food and Drug Administration says aspartame, best known by the brand names Equal and NutraSweet, is ‘one of the most exhaustively studied substances in the human food supply, with more than 100 studies supporting its safety.’”1

What the FDA doesn’t mention is that the “100 studies supporting [aspartame’s] safety” were submitted to the FDA by the G.D. Searle Company, where aspartame was first “discovered” in 1965 by a chemist at the very same company.

Pepsi Is Not The Only One Who’s Listening To Consumers

Recently, the popular restaurant chain Panera Bread has heard its customers’ concerns over artificial ingredients in their products. In fact, Panera has published a list of all 150 artificial ingredients – including preservatives with scary names like Tert-Butyl-Hydroquinone – that they will be removing from their foods by 2016.2

Other restaurant chains are getting the message, too – McDonald’s says it will no longer use chickens that have been given certain antibiotics; Chipotle Mexican Grill has removed all genetically-modified ingredients;3 and Dunkin Donuts is going to stop using titanium dioxide (a common sunscreen additive) in its powdered doughnuts.2

Unfortunately, the sweetener that will replace aspartame in Diet Pepsi is acesulfame potassium, known by the brand name Splenda. This is not a “healthy” option either, but Pepsi’s decision to ditch aspartame does at least show that the company is paying attention to consumers’ concerns. Additionally, it shows that the public is concerned about (and aware of) what’s in their food and beverages, and food businesses are listening.

Regardless Of the Sweetener, Colas Are Bad For Your Bones

No matter what sweetener is used, there is no way to make colas healthy for your bones. “Clear” carbonated beverages contain either artificial sweetener or a vast amount of bone-damaging sugar, and the dark-colored colas are full of both sweetener and phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid literally dissolves bone – in fact, cola will dissolve the calcium-rich shell from an egg.

This is not, by far, the first time a harmful chemical substance has been approved for human consumption. Many readers are undoubtedly familiar with Bisphenol A, or BPA, the federally-regulated, FDA-approved substance that was once used in the manufacture of plastic baby bottles but has since been banned due to its toxic effects.

Savers Know Not To Trust Government Agency “Approvals”

The Save Our Bones community has grown exponentially in recent years. This clearly shows that more and more people are becoming aware of what’s really going on in the food and drug industries. Savers have learned that government agencies are not infallible, and that FDA approvals can’t be trusted.

As chronic diseases continue to plague the world, people are becoming more and more savvy about what they put into their bodies, and the role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease. Hence the next segment of the bulletin, which involves GMOs…

2. US Department Of Agriculture To Implement New GMO-Free Label

The USDA has developed the first “official” government label certifying that foods are GMO-free.

Relevant Excerpt:

“The Agriculture Department has developed the first government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients.

USDA’s move comes as some consumer groups push for mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Certification would be voluntary — and companies would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods would be able to carry a “USDA Process Verified” label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs. …

Genetically modified seeds are engineered in laboratories to have certain traits, like resistance to herbicides. The majority of the country's corn and soybean crop is now genetically modified, with much of that going to animal feed. GMO corn and soybeans are also made into popular processed food ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and soybean oil.

The FDA says GMOs on the market now are safe. Consumer advocates pushing for the labeling say shoppers still have a right to know what is in their food, arguing that not enough is known about the effects of the technology.”4

Once again, it’s the voice of the consumer that is bringing about change! This is encouraging news indeed – informed consumers can make a difference. More and more people are aware of the potential health problems – including damage to your bones – that can be caused by GMO foods, and they are (rightly) demanding the full disclosure of which foods have been genetically modified.

And here’s another factor that most likely also plays a significant role in this surprising move: competition. Private organizations that issue GMO-free labels to companies that voluntarily submit their products, such as the Non-GMO Project, are thriving in recent years.

Isn’t it shameful that the FDA declares GMOs “safe”? But it’s not surprising, considering the FDA’s record of announcing a substance’s safety only to retract that later in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Here’s some more encouraging news that government agencies are getting the picture about informed consumers.

3. U.S. Lowers Guidelines For Fluoride Levels In Tap Water

If you have the Osteoporosis Hydration Protocol, the free report on water that is included with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, then you are well aware of how and why fluoride is added to tap water, as well as the dangers of fluoride ingestion. While the right thing to do would be to completely eliminate fluoridation, this is a (small) step in the right direction.

Relevant Excerpt:

“The government is lowering the recommended amount of fluoride added to drinking water for the first time in more than 50 years. …

Too much fluoride has become a common cause of white splotches on teeth in children. One study found about two out of five adolescents had tooth streaking or spottiness. …

Since 1962, the government has been advising water systems to add fluoride to a level of 0.7 parts per million for warmer climates, where people drink more water, to 1.2 parts per million in cooler areas. The new standard is 0.7 everywhere. …
The change announced Monday finalizes a proposal first made four years ago. The government spent years sorting through and responding to 19,000 public comments.”5

Amazing – 19,000 public comments! Obviously, the majority of those comments were from individuals who wanted to see the fluoride levels come down, because they were aware of the dangers of ingesting fluoride. This is an excellent illustration of how knowledge is power – especially power to enact positive change.

Fluoride Is Toxic To Your Bones And Overall Health

Although the above article only mentions dental fluorosis, there are many other detrimental health effects of fluoride ingestion, including harm to your bones. Plus fluoride can cause liver and kidney damage as well as skeletal fluorosis, with symptoms similar to arthritis. And because fluoride interferes with the metabolism of iodine, its ingestion is strongly implicated in the development of hypothyroidism.

This topic is explored in depth in the Osteoporosis Hydration Protocol, the report on water that I referred to earlier. Fluoride-free water is paramount to cleansing your system and reversing osteoporosis, yet it’s just about never mentioned by doctors in connection with bone health.

Luckily, Savers know better!

Till next time,


1 Choi, Candace. “Diet Pepsi dropping aspartame on customer concerns.” My Way. April 24, 2015. Web.–diet_pepsi-new_sweetener-8c1b78529f.html

2 Rooney, Ben. “Panera eliminates additives, joins healthy food trend.” May 5, 2015. Web.

3 Zimmer, Carole. “Chipolte Says Adios To GMOs, As Food Industry Strips Away Ingredients.” The Salt. April 27, 2015. Web.

4 Jalonick, Mary Clare. “USDA develops first government label for GMO-free products.” AP News. My Way. May 14, 2015. Web.–genetically_modified_foods-labeling-fa04376f7e.html

5 “US lowers fluoride levels in drinking water for first time in over 50 years.” The Guardian. April 27, 2015. Web.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Maria

    Hi Vivian, I love your very informative articles!! What do you think about the carbonated mineral waters so common lately with fruit flavors? Like the Trader Joe’s Sparkling mineral water and Crystal Geiser now sold in 99 stores? Are these OK for our bones and general health? Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Maria,

      Pure, distilled water is more beneficial than mineralized water with inorganic minerals. We have ample opportunities to get plenty of organic minerals from the foods we eat and from organic supplements.

      It’s not a bad idea to drink more than one kind of water. You can alternate between the carbonated mineral water, distilled water, and reverse osmosis water. 🙂

  2. Kathleen Riley

    Isn’t Splenda more of the same? How about Stevia? That would be infinitely better.

  3. june

    A dentist gave my son a perception for flouride toothpaste , to help with receding gums , i feel concerned, coments please !

  4. Patricia Tally-Purce

    Hi Vivian,
    Thank you for sharing all the good things we can do for our bones; I have osteoporosis and have refused to take the prescription meds for it. My problem is, that I also have to watch my blood sugar levels, as I was diagnosed as prediabetic several years ago; I was able to conquer that issue with diet, but if I cannot use artificial sweeteners either, that leaves me out of choices in my diet. My husband and children do not have sugar level issues, and I don’t think it is fair to them to not fix desserts because of my sugar problem. I use Splenda in my recipes as an alternative, and would like to think that I can continue to do so. I appreciate your advice, but there has to be a limit as to what we cannot have in our diets so that we can live our lives without being afraid of everything out there that can harm us. I will stick to the “happy medium”, and hope that God will bless me with a pleasant life.

  5. Dan Germouse

    I have asked many forced-fluoridation fanatics to tell me how much accumulated fluoride in the body they think is safe. So far not a single one of them has been able to answer the question.

  6. Shirley Krampen

    Hi Vivian,
    I really enjoy your articles. I have been putting carbonated water into orange and grape juice concentrate without any sweetener. It tastes great!
    What do you think about that?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That is much healthier than a commercial cola, Shirley! Be aware, though, that fruit juice concentrates are a processed form of juice that may have additives. So once again, moderation is key!

  7. Dorothyclick

    ican you tell me if Zevia is safe

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Dorothy,
      My advice is to check ingredients. Stevia is a bone-healthy sweetener, and carbonation is not a problem; but stevia-sweetened colas might still contain vague “natural flavors” or caramel color, for instance. They may even contain phosphoric acid. Just read before you drink!

  8. Jean

    I use only Stevia as a non-sugar sweetener, and have been pleased that at least one manufacturer of cranberry juice has begun using it in their product, reducing the sugar content. At least so far I have not read any negatives about Stevia, but I limit use of it as well as of sugar, and simply hope for the best. It’s a complicated day we live in, even when we try to do what’s best.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I like to use stevia, too, Jean. I use it in beverages and cooking.

      • Kathleen Riley

        Cranberry juice is acidifying. Be careful here.

  9. linda

    I would like to know 2 things. Is carbonated lemon water okay to drink?
    (Arrowhead sparkling lemon water)
    What about 100% organic matcha powder?

  10. Kathy Langley

    I had an injection for my ever so low bone scan number. Now I am reading all this news about how bad these drugs are. What do I do now. I feel so hopeless. This terrible bone loss runs in my family and destroys bones.
    Thanks for any advice.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Kathy, don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place – the Save Our Bones community is very encouraging and supportive. It’s never too late to take charge of your bone health and say “no” to osteoporosis drugs.

      Feel free to begin your bone health research with all the free information on this site, and don’t forget to check out the Testimonials page. Talk about positive encouragement! 🙂

  11. Kimberly Heimerl

    What a great article to wake up to! I swore off diet drinks when my mother had a large brain mass. The surgery and recovery were extremely difficult for all of us. The cause is anyone´s guess, but from my study/observation. all roads point to the aspartame sweetened products and excessive Diet Cokes she consumed.
    Hooray for the decreased flouride! I live in Brazil, and information and alternatives regarding flouride are very sparce. I can only hope my purifier lowers the flouride level. BUT! At least my family and U.S. friends will benefit from it. That is a great plus. Thanks for all your hard work, studying, and the encouragement, Vivian!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Kimberly,
      Studies have shown a connection between cancerous brain tumors and asparatame consumption. Back in 1996, researchers were already sounding the alarm:

      “Evidence potentially implicating aspartame includes an early animal study revealing an exceedingly high incidence of brain tumors in aspartame-fed rats compared to no brain tumors in concurrent controls. … We conclude that there is need for reassessing the carcinogenic potential of aspartame.”

      Here is a link to the study abstract:

      And I agree that it’s wonderful news about the fluoride! And I am glad you enjoy the posts. 🙂

  12. maureen B

    dear vivien, I have a lot of food intolerances and cannot eat the items you mentioned that have resveratrol in. is there a resveratrol tablet I could take? I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 6 years ago, and scared to take the biphosphanets. my dexa scan showed a very low bone density. I take calcium and vit d tablets, unable to tolerate dairy products eggs, and many other foods that contain calcium. I eat vegtables and fruits., meats,chicken , fish, bread . 5 years ago had a fall and broke upper arm, also 6 years ago a scan showed a broken veertabrae, but suspect I have had more as I HAVE LOST quite a bit of height.
    I am going to ask for another dexa scan soon, but doctors and friends who have osteoporosis all have urged me to take the bone medication. thank you in anticipation
    Maureen B

  13. Laura

    Is drinking kombucha unhealthy because of its phosphorescence? It is a fermented beverage, so that is healthy, but I am wondering about the fizziness, the sparkle; does that mean it should not be consumed daily if we don’t want our bones dissolving like egg shells?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Laura,
      Carbonation is not the problem. Healthful carbonated drinks are just fine. The problem with carbonated drinks such as colas is that they contain phosphoric acid and sweeteners, as explained above 🙂

    • mw

      You will want to limit kombucha because it is made with tea leaves.

      • Kathy Langley

        What is a good source To drink other than almond milk?

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