What The Papers Say: Nutrasweet battles back against the tabloids

After eggs beef, GM foods and Coca-Cola, last week it was the turn of diet sweeteners to cause a food scare.

After eggs beef, GM foods and Coca-Cola, last week it was the turn

of diet sweeteners to cause a food scare.



The announcement that further research was to be conducted into a

possible link between aspartame (Nutrasweet) and brain cancer was picked

up by the tabloids and turned into ’shock’ headlines - ’Scientists probe

cancer link to diet sweeteners’ (the Mirror, 4/8/99) - while the Daily

Record warned Nutrasweet lurks in ’every cupboard, fridge and medicine

cabinet’ (4/8/99).



Tabloid reporting was laden with sensationalism, as journalists pointed

out that NutraSweet was owned by Monsanto. Nutrasweet launched a

powerful counter-offensive, downplaying the need for further research,

and highlighting ’aspartame’s safety in more than 200 objective

scientific studies’ (London freesheet Metro, 4/8/99).



Rapid rebuttal from Nutrasweet ensured positive messages appeared in

almost every article, and enabled it to emerge embattled, but not

defeated, by the media flurry, which lasted just two days.



Evaluation supplied by Echo Research. Cuttings supplied by Broadcast

Monitoring Company. This article can also be found at

www.echoResearch.com.



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