10 Sep, 2015

Food giant withdraws misleading ad for sugar substitute

The Guardian | Haroon Siddique | 9 September 2015 

Food giant British Sugar has withdrawn an advertisement extolling the natural virtues of its sugar substitute after a member of the public complained that it was misleading.

The controversy is the latest to surround Truvia, which was developed by Coca-Cola and Cargill and contains extract from the stevia leaf – although this accounts for less than 1% of the finished product.

Cargill, which brought Truvia to the UK through a partnership with British Sugar’s retail brand Silver Spoon, has already paid out over $6m (£3.9m) in the US to settle lawsuits alleging it misled shoppers by describing the product as “natural”, although it did not admit liability.


The claims relating to the naturalness or otherwise of Truvia are particularly sensitive as the product’s emergence was partly to do with the high chemical content of existing artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and sucralose, and in particular consumer concerns surrounding aspartame.