Is Coke rushing to get rid of aspartame?

If you start noticing green cans of Coke in the stores, it's not some new Christmas packaging.

No, it's a new low-calorie soda called Coke Life that the company hopes to sell all year 'round, sweetened with a mix of sugar and stevia instead of aspartame.

But the taste I'm picking up on here isn't sweet at all. In fact, I'm detecting something downright fishy.

For years, Coke and Pepsi have sworn up and down that the sweetener aspartame... a proven rat poison and insecticide... is safe despite mountains of evidence proving otherwise.

Now, suddenly, both companies are falling all over themselves in a rush to get aspartame-free diet and lower-calorie cola products to market. They've tried it with sucralose, (aka Splenda), sucralose mixed with sugar, stevia and now a stevia-sugar mix.

But if aspartame was so darned good for you, why in the heck would the cola company mad scientists be working overtime to cook up a replacement?

Only they can answer that, but I can take a guess.

I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say they know the truth about aspartame. They know the FDA is sitting on top of a pile of more than 10,000 complaints that link aspartame to more than 92 side effects, including everything from migraines to death.

The soda companies know this. And they know this isn't going to stay under wraps forever. Who knows, maybe someone tipped them off that the aspartame situation is going to explode very soon (remember, industry bigwigs often have a peek at in-progress studies ... especially when they're footing the bill).

So my guess is they're coming out with this stuff now so they'll be aspartame-free by the time the big news breaks.

Do yourself a favor and don't wait -- go aspartame-free today. Avoid sucralose. Avoid stevia, too, because while it's the darling of some folks in natural foods at the moment, most of the stevia crop is grown in Red China.

And you're rolling the dice anytime you put anything in your mouth from the Land of Mao.

Ditch it all -- sugar and all its supposed replacements -- because you just don't need soda in the first place. Replace your cola with an ice-cold beer at the end of the day and I promise you, you won't even miss it.

Keeping it short and sweet,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.