"Is Splenda Safe" is an unforgettable example of a paper on food and nutrition. When I utilized the Google search engine to search for the “ dangers of Splenda” , I came up with over 1.77 million results. However, interestingly, both an article that advocated the safety of and advocated the dangers of Splenda was in the first page results returned by the search engine. Of the sites selected for this brief analysis to represent both the positive and negative view of the topic, this author has chosen the websites www. aces. edu and www. foxnews. com. With respect to the view that Splenda is harmless and the hype should be disregarded, it is the www. aces. edu website (Alabama Cooperative Extension) that provides an opinion editorial from one of its food safety and health researchers – Dr Jean Weese. The piece itself is well reasoned and provides a scientific background for the main reasons why Splenda itself should be accepted and the critics ignored. An emotional appeal is made to the audience near the end of the piece where the author states the following: “ The recent controversy surrounding Splenda, she believes, reflects a pattern than is repeated virtually every time a new sweetening substitute is released --- one associated with saccharine and, more recently, with aspartame, until subsequent investigations confirmed the safety of both products” (Weese 1) In this way, the reader can easily see that an appeal to frustration on the part of reactionary consumers adequately explains any and all negative sentiment towards the sweetener. Similarly, with respect to the Fox News article, this piece represents the contrary point of view; i.e.
that Splenda is, in fact, bad for one’ s health. With respect to the particular angle that Fox News may be attempting to develop, it would be in the reader’ s best interest to keep in mind that Fox News is not known for professional journalism and even if it were, it is merely another news outlet whose main focus is to sell stories to the public. As such, a story on the fact that Splenda was, in fact, good for one’ s health, after all, would have a very low interest/click ratio. As such, the article employs an emotional appeal based upon the quote of a little-known nutritionist. Says the nutritionist, "Splenda is not sugar — and to piggyback it on to the reputation of the centuries’ old profile of sugar is more than misleading, it could come back to haunt us, perhaps sooner than we think, " says Restuccia, a nutritionist at the Center for Obesity Surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City” (Finkler 1). In this way, the article is able to provide a powerful emotional appeal via a seed of doubt comparing Splenda to the tried and proven “ harmless” nature of natural sugar. Although this may well be the fact, this is, of course, unsubstantiated information and is merely related on supposition with the intended effect of providing a level of fear within the mind of the potential user.
Finkler, Manny. "Sweetener in the Spotlight: Is Splenda Safe?" Fox News. N.p., 16 Feb. 2005. Web. 26 Nov. 2012.
Weese, Jeane. "Splenda Is Safe Despite Hype, Expert Says." Alabama Cooperative Extension System. N.p., 22 Feb. 2005. Web. 26 Nov. 2012.