Aspartame – As Ant Poison
Q: Do you know anything about the Internet rumor that says aspartame artificial sweetner kills ants?
A: Yes I do….and I consider it false.
It’s funny that the email right before yours was from a guy advising me that chewing gum kills armadillos and moles, a rumor that’s been rebutted thousands of times.
I’m not an entomologist, but I trusted them to advise me on the false rumor that Formosan termites were being distributed by Home Depot.
I’m not a toxicologist but I trust scientists to test pesticides and to make informed decisions on where, why and how they can be used.
I’m not a doctor but I trust medical professionals to make similar judgements on foodstuffs.
According to one source, the aspartame rumor (with various references to ants and ant poisons) has been around since 1998.
Urban legends like “the prosthetic hook on the car door of the teenagers making out at the quarry” are easier to spread through the Internet than they were to be spread through the halls of my high school.
Fortunately, reputable Internet sites exist that debunk Internet rumors.
Snopes.com has a review of the aspartame rumor, with lots of links to scientific rebuttal.
I trust science rather than unsubstantiated anecdotes.