Is Splenda Vegan?

Two weeks ago we received an email from one of you, our readers, asking if we knew if Splenda was made with vegan sugar. We don't, so we emailed Splenda to see if they could help us.  We still haven't heard back, so we don't have an official answer yet. (If/when we do hear from them we'll update this post.)  However, if you are concerned about animal welfare and cruelty, Splenda has been tested on animals, and that's reason enough for many vegans to avoid the product.

So what's the deal with sugar you might ask?  Strict vegans will eschew some sugars as cane sugar needs to be refined, and is often refined over bone char, an animal product.  Beet sugar does not need this step, so all beet sugar is vegan.  But have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a bag of sugar?  You're not likely to be able to discern if you're buying cane or beet sugar, and you'd be hard pressed to be able to determine the refining methodology used.

So how do we handle the sugar issue?  We don't really worry about it that much.  Jane and I both feel that it is much more important to focus on animal products rather than animal byproducts. Sugar itself is not an animal product, it is refined over bone char (a by product of meat processing).  Having said that, when we share food we've prepared with other vegans we always alert them to any questionable ingredients.  We do know some people who are pretty strict when in comes to what they'll eat, and we respect that.

As for Splenda... there is enough controversy concerning Splenda for us to limit our intake of the product. Sure it's been FDA approved, but then again, so was Aspartame. Stevia is the suggested sugar alternative for diabetics, although many people (Jane included) find it to have a noticeable negative aftertaste.  Having said all that, we're not doctors nor are we nutritionists/dieticians, so it might be worth seeking advice from a licensed professional.

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Comments

  1. I actually stopped using sugar for a long time because I wasn’t sure what was acceptable and what wasn’t. Whole Foods actually sells sugar labeled ‘Vegan Sugar’ so that’s what I buy now. Thanks to my wonderful husband who found it. I’m not really sure if it’s actually vegan like it claims, but I feel safer using it than the regular stuff sold in stores.

    I stopped using Splenda after reading about it somewhere. Scary stuff.

  2. Allah E Truth says:

    I been doing the same since I found it as well. I’ve only been a vegan for 5 months. Hopefully I’ll get the energy to find out for sure.

  3. I know you mentioned that Splenda has been tested on animals, but just to add some further weight to that statement, I think it’s important to note the extent of what that animal testing involved. Splenda used the firm Huntingdon Life Science (HLS) for it’s animal testing, one of worst offenders and abusers in the animal testing industry. “An estimated 12,800 animals died in the process of testing the artificial sweetener Splenda, according to a published report in a recent scientific journal.” … and this includes their well known practice of torturing and killing baby beagle puppies.

    For more info see:
    http://www.shac.net/HLS/research_papers/sweetner_slaughter.html
    and
    http://www.shac.net/HLS/what_tests.html
    (as a side note members of SHAC who famously protested against HLS have just been sentenced to many years in prison for trying to bring this company down)

    From what I understand Splenda no longer uses HLS due to all the controversy but they still do animal testing elsewhere, and their parent company, Johnson & Johnson (also famous for it’s heinous abuse of animals) still contracts with HLS.

  4. Hi Lisa Marie,

    They also carry Vegan Chocolate Chips as well! I may be a bit naive, but I’d like to believe that if a product says vegan, then it actually is. Anyway, the bottom line for us is that we do the best we can without making ourselves totally insane.

    Hi Allah E Truth,

    Good luck with your vegan endeavors. We’ve been at it for almost two years. It gets MUCH easier after a while.

    Hi FoodEater,

    Thanks for providing the specifics. I had no idea it was so bad!

  5. I have been struggling with this whole sugar deal and I just want to say thank you for posting so others can read we’re not alone.

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