Adan Salazar
March 1, 2013

Following up Taylor Swift’s recent endorsement of “the love of her life” Diet Coke, Olympic star McKayla Maroney has signed a deal to endorse 7Up Ten, a new low-calorie beverage chock full of high fructose corn syrup and the artificial sweetener aspartame.

Maroney won several gold medals in the 2012 Summer Olympics, but she is most famous for the disappointed or “not impressed” face she made when receiving a silver medal in the vault competition, an expression that instantly launched her into Internet meme stardom.

Now the 17-year-old gymnast’s fame is being used to promote a beverage that not only – in all likelihood – uses genetically-modified corn in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), but also contains the dangerous artificial sweetener aspartame, a “chemical with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity” according to the EPA’s own database of developmental neurotoxicants.

High fructose corn syrup and aspartame – a match made in hell

Most people are already aware of a few of the dangers surrounding HFCS, a highly-processed sweetener found in thousands of foods and beverages, but most are unaware that the unnatural sugar substitute has been linked to metabolic damage and cancer, as well as impairment of learning abilities and memory.

A study in 2009 also found that almost half of tested samples of commercial HFCS contained mercury, while another study conducted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a non-profit watchdog group, found that four refinery plants, located in Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia respectively, “still use ‘mercury-cell’ technology that can lead to contamination.”

A more recent study published in the journal Global Health, found that “countries that mix high-fructose corn syrup into processed foods and soft drinks have higher rates of diabetes than countries that don’t use the sweetener.”

Aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in dozens of “diet” soft drinks and, absurdly, in almost every chewing gum available, is also equally disgusting.

Related: The Dangers of Aspartame

Despite various hurdles standing in the way of its FDA approval (“aspartame’s approval was one of the most contested in FDA history“), aspartame was ultimately approved as a food additive and began appearing in dry goods as early as 1981 and in carbonated beverages in 1983.

According to a recent study, consuming even just one diet soda a day increases one’s chances of contracting leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

We’ve already mentioned that aspartame appears on the EPA’s list of developmental neurotoxins, but aspartame intake also carries a mind-numbing list of adverse side effects, including:

“Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.”

At any rate, there is clear evidence that both ingredients have been tremendously probed by food safety experts, and that the risks of ingesting these man-made ingredients far outweigh the benefits.

7Up: The “Natural” Drink?

In 2006, 7Up began marketing its beverage using the words “100% natural,” leading many to believe it was actually made with “natural” ingredients, which by any stretch of the word it definitely was not. (By definition, “natural” means: Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.)

But in 2007, 7Up was forced to change its wording after being threatened with a lawsuit filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer watchdog advocacy group. Now they advertise their drink as having “100% natural flavors.”

That 7Up would create a version of their beverage with “real sugar” (7Up Retro) shows the company is obviously aware of the negative connotations attached to its artificial sweetener use and the public’s growing awareness of them.

Help McKayla understand the utter devastation her endorsement will wreak

The Olympic medalist’s ad campaign is being lauded as “something she’s finally impressed with,” but it’s clear the industry is only exploiting her fame to push harmful junk food onto her young fans and the dumbed-down masses.

Send her a Tweet about how her popularity and her time would better be utilized advocating for GMO labeling or exposing harmful food additives like HFCS and aspartame, instead of promoting them.

Last month, Infowars reached out to Taylor Swift pleading for her not to sell herself and her fans out to the New World Order:

By the way, people who know what's coming are taking advantage of our healthy & delicious storable food!

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