Warning -Aspartame now in J20 Apple and Mango

(82 Posts)
Nansrus Tue 13-Dec-11 15:23:39

I have a couple of family members who have an allergic reaction to aspartame. It is real, as when unknowingly given some when dining out the reaction has been immediate. So I always search for drinks for them without aspartame for when they come round. J20 has always been a firm favourite and imagine my horror when I went to serve some the other day and just checking casually found it had aspartame in! I e mailed the company and the response
" I can confirm that we have added Aspartame to only the J2O Apple and Mango flavour.

As we are sure you will appreciate, we carry out extensive consumer research before putting any products in to the market place and we have found this product to be popular with our consumers. It is, however, extremely difficult to formulate a product to suit every palate. "

Why it was fine with sugar,why add aspartame as well you don't need both!

Leave the b*** drink alone.

iambach Wed 14-Dec-11 22:11:47

We dont have anything with aspartame in it in our house, nasty stuff!

droves Wed 14-Dec-11 22:18:25

why do they keep putting this shite in our food and drinks ?

Not only does it taste vile , it makes you gain weight and over eat .

think it gave cancer to the lab rats too .

in the 1950`s people ate more calories but there was less obesity , people had more active lives , but they didnt have half the crap put in their food that we do .

sad its bad bad stuff which rots the protective layer around childrens brains.

should be banned imo.

Cassidee Wed 14-Dec-11 22:18:44


Thank you so much for this.

"Popular" hmm

Nansrus Sat 17-Dec-11 09:11:17

I have sent 3 e mails to Britvic ,makers of J20 and within seconds I received a phone call from head of customer service! I know quite a bit about aspartame obviously more than the customer service underlings. Anyway the boss was trying to placate me and said can I send you details of our products that don't contain aspartame. I asked for assurance that they wouldn't add it to anything else in the future. And the response was what you would expect from a politician, I am not at liberty to divulge that.
She admitted it was about money and profit, but the irony was that she had a health issue with aspartame herself!!!
I told her I have informed Waitrose and Sainsburys about the change of ingredients as they still have it without on their website. She said they would still be selling some of the older bottles , so that's ok then.
More importantly I have informed the PKU society as people with that have awful problems with the Phenylalanine it produces.

BertieBotts Germany Sat 17-Dec-11 09:16:38

Argh, how annoying, I liked Apple & Mango J20. Can't stand the taste of aspartame. sad

Although, erm, it rots the protective layer around children's brains?? What? confused

Nansrus Sat 17-Dec-11 09:49:30

This process of molding the brain continues throughout life, but the majority of growth takes place within 0-7 years of life. During these critical years, if unborn and young children are fed drinks or food containing aspartame, over-stimulation can occur.

Sparklingbaubles Sat 17-Dec-11 09:51:39

It's on buy one get two free at Morrisons too!

Luminescence Sat 17-Dec-11 09:52:00

Ffs. Bastards.

bruffin England Sat 17-Dec-11 09:57:23

The cost of aspartame is 1/70th of the price of sugar.
I hate the taste so won't be buying j20 anymore

Nansrus Sat 17-Dec-11 09:59:20

Obviously britvic and co are pushing it to get people on board and addicted.

Nansrus Sat 17-Dec-11 10:01:07

Well done Bruffin.That's what I told the Britivic lady, I hope sales plummet.

Sparklingbaubles Sat 17-Dec-11 10:15:29

I have just had a look at my 3 lots of Orange and Passion Fruit and they don't have any in thankfully.

Nansrus Sun 18-Dec-11 10:24:13

Enjoy them while you can.

Sparklingbaubles Sun 18-Dec-11 10:29:06


startail Sun 18-Dec-11 10:44:55

I'm not allergic to the stuff, I don't even have any particular axe to grind. The DDs and DH live on sugar free squash.
I just hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, why, why, why can't they use sugar in the non diet versions!
So many soft drinks makers have done this, I'm pretty much stuck with coke or coke. Asda didn't even have that with the sandwiches on Wed. Just cherry and Zeroangry

Nansrus Sun 18-Dec-11 12:53:57

Yes they all seem to have converted over to using aspartame in all drinks. But probably the worse thing is that fact that Capol has it in it and has for a long time now! And try getting the sugar calpol, it is like finding a needle in a haystack.

FrothingBeserker Sun 18-Dec-11 12:59:34

even the sugar calpol has sweeteners in, though - I drove the staff in boots mad asking questions a couple of years ago when trying to find some non-sweetenered calpol (or other) for my dd. couldn't be found, unfortunately, and she has a 'proper' issue with sweeteners, which leaves us with precisely no over the counter option for painkillers for her.

FrothingBeserker Sun 18-Dec-11 13:00:54

on the soft drink front, I believe Dr Pepper and Sprite (and maybe 7Up) are still sweetener free. but poor show from britvic, imo.

baubleybobbityhat Sun 18-Dec-11 13:05:29

Thanks for the heads-up Nansrus. I am just about to do my pre-Christmas Ocado shop and Apple & Mango is my children's favourite "treat" drink for special occasions. Not this year it won't be angry angry angry.

Civilon Sun 18-Dec-11 14:28:28

Best not to give Calpol at all.

Nansrus Sun 18-Dec-11 15:08:36

Anyone any objection seeing as I have the ear of head of customer services at Britvic ( that sounds weird, but you know what I mean) to me copying and pasting some of your comments (names not included) in an e-mail?

FrothingBeserker. My next chore is to contact the Calpol makers. No doubt it is Glaxo Smith Kleine! But need to do a bit more research so I can always sound as though I know more, than they think I do!

baubleybobbityhat Sun 18-Dec-11 22:05:17

Nans - you can quote me wherever you like re. aspartame.



bruffin England Sun 18-Dec-11 22:12:28

No problem with me.

Well ok, but its crap for other people

Civilon Mon 19-Dec-11 01:33:26

Yes, please do quote me. Get the bastards to take some responsibility.

I hate all the blardy cover-up about health issues.

jasper Mon 19-Dec-11 01:38:30

Allergic is one thing.
Not much evidence for the other scaremongering stuff

I know it makes me feel like shite..

No peer-reviewed meta-analysis to back that, but what ever wink

Civilon Mon 19-Dec-11 01:47:17

Yeah, time for the old cliche to come out: the plural of anecdotes is not data, blah blah blah.

Civilon Mon 19-Dec-11 01:48:19

Anyway cancer in rats is pretty strong evidence.

I do know we're not rats, though.

Oh.. of all people I'm the one to say that the pleural of anecdote isn't data grin

(because I understand these things, innit wink )

Civilon - rats are used for a ver ver good reason. They wouldn't waste a million rat/mouse lives for shits and giggles.

oooh, aren't I arsery tonight.


Civilon Mon 19-Dec-11 01:55:30

And the people who come out with that cliche can never spell.

I understand both medicine and the English language.

<< hoists bosom>>

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

bruffin England Mon 19-Dec-11 07:20:11

The point to me is that it is used unnecessarily by the drinks industry to save money.
It tastes vile and ruins the taste of anything it is put in.
If people want to buy diet drinks with artificial sweeteners it is up to them, but artificial sweeteners should be banned from any thing else.

Civilon Mon 19-Dec-11 09:25:32

And the people who keep coming out with the cliche "The plural of anecdotes is not data" are also rude and abusive. I wonder if there's a correlation.

Worraloadofoldshit Mon 19-Dec-11 22:32:35

We avoid anything which has artificial sweeteners listed in the ingredients.
Its nasty, harmful, vile rubbish, and tastes as it costs: CHEAP!
We'd rather have the sugar. (and no, we are not an overweight bunch here! wink )

Aspartame. Worraloadofoldshit.

Civilon Tue 20-Dec-11 00:43:20

Sugar is less harmful than aspartame, which should be banned.

I didn't know it was in Calpol - that's scandalous.

FrothingBeserker Tue 20-Dec-11 10:42:34

It's not aspartame in Calpol (or at least it wasn't in the sugared version about 3 years ago when I last read the ingredients). But the sugared version is not jsut sugar, it also has sweeteners. which kind of defeats the object, surely?

Nansrus Tue 20-Dec-11 17:03:21

I am having difficulty in finding all the ingredients for all Calpols on- line, just have to go in Boots pick them all up and write down the ingredients!

But,Calpol Six Plus Fastmelts contain aspartame, which is a source of phenylalanine equivalent to 0.04 mg/250 mg tablet. The phenylalanine in the tablets may be harmful to people with phenylketonuria.(PKU)
Also on the sugar free Calpol it contains E214, E216, E218 which are not allowed to be used in France and Australia and not recommended to be consumed by children! So what the hell are they doing in Calpol.

Nansrus Thu 22-Dec-11 11:59:23

Still searching.

PreHeatedOven Sat 24-Dec-11 00:21:20

Sorry to just jump in here.
I avoid aspartame always but are there others I should be avoiding to?
I give my dc Calpol normally Boots own. Worrying about their little brains now.
I was drinking Sainsburys own soft drinks as they don't use aspartame, well cola zero doesn't.
Does anyone actually know how long aspartame stays in the body?

I'm so sorry for so many questions but goggle is a minefield and people in RL when I've mentioned aspartame and it's effects have looked at me as if I am mad or lying. hmm

PreHeatedOven Sat 24-Dec-11 00:22:02

OP I am shocked by the sugar free cal

PreHeatedOven Sat 24-Dec-11 00:22:19

Calpol* Info

JollySantaJackrum Sat 24-Dec-11 00:29:20

I got little ones Calpol for my DS the other day and read the ingredients of both the sugar and sugar free versions. Neither said aspartame or that they contained a source of phenylalanine.

I check labels obsessively for aspartame. I'm disappointed by this change to j2o.

PreHeatedOven Sat 24-Dec-11 08:58:50

Thanks Jolly

droves Sat 24-Dec-11 18:46:41

Its really thoughtless that manufactures use this in food drink and medicines ....do they not care about people with pku ?

ParkerRocks Sat 24-Dec-11 19:06:16

My DD has PKU, the sugared Calpol does not contain aspartame. It contains sucrose, E420, E214, E216, E218 and E122. I have checked and checked again and checked again! Aspartame is E951. As far as i understand they are not allowed to use it in infant medicines but I do still check everything every time and i think its out of order it is in the six plus calpol.

TBH droves I don't think the manufacturers care about PKU sufferers at all, just their profit margins. angry

Nansrus Sat 24-Dec-11 19:14:45

Sorry for delay in answering.
JollySantaJackrum, unfortunately they don't always put all ingredients on the packaging I think there is some loop hole that if an ingredient is contained within an ingredient they don't have to list it. Also Aspartame has several different names and numbers.There are quite a few different Calpol products now all with different ingredients ,I maybe cynical but I think this is done to confuse.
The 6+ fastmelts do have it in.

I gleaned this from the Ecologist
Calpol of course doesn't just contain paracetamol. It is a veritable cocktail of sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives and colourants to make the product appealing and palatable to infants. These additives include strawberry 'flavouring' and carmoisine (E122- , banned in Austria, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the US) to produce its pink colour.

I wil continue to do some more research before I attack the company concerned. I think it is Johnson and Johnson.

I am still composing an e-mail full of quotes on here about Aspartame and J20 to send to Britvic, if anyone wants to add please do. People power does sometimes work!

JollySantaJackrum Tue 27-Dec-11 00:06:18

Nansrus, would they not have to put on 'contains a source of phenylalanine' if it did contain aspartame? Good luck.

JollySantaJackrum Tue 27-Dec-11 00:09:02

In the UK, foods that contain aspartame are legally required by the country's Food Standards Agency to list the chemical among the product's ingredients and carry the warning "Contains a source of phenylalanine" – this is usually at the foot of the list of ingredients.

From en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame

MadameOvary Tue 27-Dec-11 00:45:46

I fucking hate sweeteners, they taste vile. I also avoid sugar as it can send my mood soaring and crashing.
May I recommend Whole Earth fizzy drinks? They are sweetened with agave and the cola in particular is lush. No I dont work for the company! grin Also Pret does nice drinks too. Yoga Bunny Detox being my fave.

SucksToBeMe Tue 27-Dec-11 00:58:48

What are some safe calpol alternatives?

thefroggy Tue 27-Dec-11 01:02:03

Wonderful, one more to add to my list of Things I Cant Have. Anything containing aspartame (sorry tmi) sends me running for the loo. Sweeteners and ibs are really not a good combination.

ppeatfruit Tue 27-Dec-11 11:11:26

Aspartame is total SHXX it gives me allergic eczema reactions (they put in things that pretend to be healthy like sugar free herbal sweets). It's a problem 'cos you either have the 9 tspoons of sugar in each can of COXX or the disgusting sweeteners!

Not a decision I make any more; I buy (or make when I've the time) pure fruit juice and dilute with filtered water depending on the D.C's tastes or ours.

Nansrus Wed 28-Dec-11 09:25:34

I have just been in Boots and tried to look at ingredients but they don't have them on the box, you have to buy the b****y stuff to find out.
Which reminds me took one of my grandsons out in the summer bought him a lolly and he went all funny. Yes it had aspartame in, how do you know until you have bought the thing! I am trying to remember which one it was as it looked a healthy one!
I have got to the stage I don't trust anyone and am always asking questions.

Nansrus Wed 28-Dec-11 09:35:33

Just had another thought if we didn't have PKU sufferers and the problems they have with phenylaline would the companies bother to put that on their packaging if they didn't have to. I know they have to put it contains aspartame, or one of the e numbers, as they also have other aspartame compounds. But with so many e numbers, unless you have a fantastic memory how many can you remember them?
It is in really small writing on the J20, which I questioned and the response was there will be a ruling out in 2014 where the writing will have to be bigger.
My response was why not do it now!

ppeatfruit Wed 28-Dec-11 11:18:25

No the companies would not put anything on their boxes if they didn't have to.

What amazes me is the power of advertising ; sooo many people TRUST the T.V. adverts why I wonder???

I always think if they're spending milions on the adverts they sure as hell aren't spending on their products e.g. the L'oreal products that cost a fortune and are as full of SLS (sodium laureth sulfate used to clean garage floors; I kid you not) as any cheapo stuff you can buy.

bruffin England Wed 28-Dec-11 11:56:38

It does say on the bottom of the carboard wrapper of the apple and mango contains sweeteners in big writing. I looked in tesco on christmas eve.

Nansrus Thu 29-Dec-11 13:25:13

Strange it didn't on my one, unless my eyes are getting worse!

ppeatfruit, you say about SLS ,did you know the some of Ecover's ( the so called green company) has SLS in its products. Not on the packaging but through research on- line. They are claiming it is ok.

bruffin England Thu 29-Dec-11 13:44:51

It's on the underneath of the box. you have to turn it upside down to see it.

Nansrus Thu 29-Dec-11 18:35:15

And drop all the bottles out!! grin

ppeatfruit Fri 30-Dec-11 09:02:07

Nansrus I suppose it's better in kitchen cleaners than shampoo!! I didn't know though; that's a nerve considering how much it costs shock Even worse considering it's not on the product.angry

DilysPrice Fri 30-Dec-11 09:14:22

My over 6 sugar free calpol is sweetened with sorbitol, maltitol and saccharin - there's no aspartame in there. It is quite an old bottle though, because I give the DCs it at a rate of two teaspoons a month or so, unless your DC have PKU or another acute reaction there are better things to worry about. (if acute reactions were a problem then a double dose of the infant formulation would be a solution).

Nansrus Sun 01-Jan-12 16:26:21

Yes that seems to be the problem, every bottle you pick up says something different depending how old or new it is?
Dilysprice. I cannot blindly trust anyone to be honest as I was prescribed thalidomide when pregnant with my eldest many moons ago (that will tell you how old I am!) I fortunately did not take it.
As you hardly give you children any Calpol you quite rightly point out not a problem, but others are not as fortunate as you.
Saccharin is another dodgy one ,just because it has been round for a long time doesn't mean it is ok.
These companies rely on Joe public not to question their ingredients until something goes wrong. On a different tangent but similar,the making breast implant company, for example.

ppeatfruit Mon 02-Jan-12 10:03:15

Nansrus It seems sadly that blind greed is what (mostly) business is about everywhere doesn't it?

Nansrus Mon 02-Jan-12 19:07:18

Yes ppeatfruit ,and it doesn't matter which government is in, they do not want to rock the boat where big business is concerned. Or upset the shareholders!

I have just read an article about Michael J Fox, who sadly has had Parkinson's disease since he was about 30. He apparently was and is addicted to the diet pepsi he was promoting which contains aspartame. They think it is a major contribution to his illness.
Another interesting report says how Aspartame was invented by Monsanto specifically as ant killer!

ppeatfruit Tue 03-Jan-12 13:12:20

Yes I soo agree about the govts. funny how you hear the green pronouncements BEFORE they get into power and they all cowtow to big business once in(I'm so angry about Cameron's attitude to the banks now notice how THAT has changed!!) and the environment doesn't seem to matter any more.

I didn't know that about aspartame and Micheal J. Fox; incredible that it's allowed in ANYTHING. I wonder who at Monsanto tasted it and said 'OOh goody it's sweet lets market it as a sweetener"

bakingaddict Tue 03-Jan-12 13:39:19

Fair enough if you dont like the taste of sweetners, but when there is health scares in the newspapers of certain food stuffs it is all about perspective.

Regards the aspartame cancer scare in rats, the quantities given to the rats are far, far in excess of what a normal person would ever ingest, even over a lifetime. They call them LD50 studies, it's a scientific way of establishing how potent (or not) certain chemical compounds are.

In response to the Michael J fox and Parkinson's link. How many people over the years have drunken and continued to drink Diet based drinks. If there was a real causal link between Aspartame and Parkinson's, surely we would have seen an explosion in the cases of Parkinson's from what is normally seen in a given population. It's human nature to try and find a reason for an illness and we have problems accepting 'it's just happened to us' but it's bad science to publicly suggest as a lot of celebrities do that they have a particular illness due to x,y,z or they cured this by using bat droppings or whatever quackery they are inclined to use without having any proven scientific rationale to back it up

As for not giving your children Calpol, hey sure i'll let their temperature reach 41oC when they have a fever and witness them having a febrile seizure. It's what they give kids in hospital to bring down a fever FGS, I know it happened to my DS.

Civilon Tue 03-Jan-12 16:39:51

Ah, the wonderful voice of bad science.

The plural of anecdotes is not data.

There are plenty of other ways to bring down a temperature, but they have not been proven effective by any drug company, so they can't possibly work.

Nansrus Tue 03-Jan-12 18:34:39

Have you ever been on a site that has all different health problems caused by aspartame? Normal people with no free publicy to gain and whose problems have been solved by just not eating or drinking these products. No quakery involved.
Ever wondered why people in their 80's and 90's go on forever. They were bought up on food that contained no chemicals. Granted they didn't have the variety we have today but I would rather have that than having to check every label everytime I buy something.

bakingaddict Wed 04-Jan-12 11:47:29

No....because I prefer to get information that has been properly peer reviewed, undergone scientific scrutiny and published in respected journals pertinent to the science in question not websites where anybody can say whatever the hell they like. That's how real scientists do science!

A lot of people live till their 80's and 90's probably due to a multifactorial combination of good genes, diet and lifestyle choices. We still dont know all the components of senescence...that's the study of ageing but nothing goes on forever, not even the universe itself. Crusaders and conspiracy theorists like yourself and Civilon will never listen to rational science so i'll bow out now

ppeatfruit Wed 04-Jan-12 12:10:35

Just because something has been tested 'scientifically' doesn't mean its safe though does it baking addict?

There are loads of 'tested' drugs that have been withdrawn from the market. I much prefer to take herbals that have been used reliably for 1000s of years than get the side effects that you get from big pharma's offerrings.

You 're forgetting the enormous drug companies' interests and their influence over the G.P.s in your 'scientifically tested' drugs.

bakingaddict Thu 05-Jan-12 10:20:05

Obviously there are numerous cases of drugs that have later been withdrawn, Vioxx quite recently...i've been a medical scientist for 10 years

i'm not some advocate for big pharma companies and I think that the public should have the choice regarding what medicines/compounds they want to use and any safety issues addressed through the proper channels. The point I was trying to make is that there should always be perspective taken when making that choice and that sometimes things get hijacked by people from both sides of the fence.

I'm not anti-traditional remedies or pro-pharma drugs, I think that as long as they have all been properly tested and licensed then they can both exist in modern medicine but for me lots of traditional medicines haven't had any rigourous testing and can be sold without the person having any medical background so cant offer informed advice to the consumer. If I go and purchase that herbal remedy can the person behind the counter or wherever reliably tell me the contra-indications if i'm taking other herbal remedies/drugs/medicines drugs? i.e the point i'm making is a lot of it is unregulated and operates outside of MHRA and I dont want to take that chance with my health or that of my family

There was an arsenic scare in chinese herbal medicines not so long ago and if you think of how people can nowadays manage once debilitating illnesses such as depression, HIV, Crohns disease to name a few as well as the chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure/cholestrol, agina. As new drugs come onto the market the survival rates for cancer increase, depending on whether NICE approves them but that's a whole different arguement. You cant tell me that increased cancer survival rates are down to herbal remedies alone and for those reasons i'll always hedge my bets with 'scientifically tested' drugs

ppeatfruit Thu 05-Jan-12 11:37:58

I'm glad you can see both sides baking. I follow a healthy diet for my own blood type and watch other people eating and drinking a load of shxx and expecting to be cured by G.Ps of their many ailments which are directly attributable to their terrible diets. It's weird that there are so many people changing what they eat to loose weight but not to get healthy.

You don't need to "manage'' yr diabetes if you haven't got it in the first place.

Nansrus Fri 13-Jan-12 20:11:11

Back to the aspartame problem.
I have had another phone call from Britvic head of customer service. She said they will not be adding aspartame to any other variety of J2O. And probably by the end of the year will have taken it out of the the Apple and Mango!
I would still check the ingredients though!
Was very keen to tell me about their products that do not contain aspartame, what does that tell you.

Rhyslop Mon 23-Jan-12 20:38:37

Aspartame is a poison to be avoided at all costs! For articles and videos on aspartame and it's effects see link below. Please copy and paste this link to everyone you know!!


caz2go Fri 13-Sep-13 12:06:48

Just seen the tv advert for Ribena immunity support drink .
I was just putting on my coat to rush down to the shop to buy a bottle when I just thought I,d check what it contains ,surely a drink aimed at children and promoted as "healthy" and especially coming from a trusted brand like Ribena would,nt contain the dreaded ingredient would it ?.
From what I could find out it certainly could ,so to be sure I have contacted Ribena on their live chat facility .
I asked the question ,does this product contain aspartame ? and low and behold my call was disconnected ...thankyou for contacting ribena !.
It seems this is a sensitive question they dont want to answer .
Sorry for posting on an old thread but this seemed the best place to have my rant !.

adagio Fri 13-Sep-13 12:18:10

Thanks for reanimating this old thread Caz I am now off to read a calpol bottle and rethink how to deal with teething - I hope I haven't caused any damage, she already had a few doses.

I naively assumed that as it didn't say 'sugar free' it would therefore be sugar syrup with paracetamol in.

gabbyevs Sun 09-Mar-14 11:18:39

ivejust looked up the ingredients of j20 and none of them say aspartame i thought it legally had to

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