It is routinely claimed by trial lawyers and their allied epidemiologists that diet soda has lots of nasty effects on humans. Science has never found that but that is why epidemiology is invoked. If an epidemiologist with an agenda looks at enough rows of diseases and enough columns of foods people claim they ate, it is easy to claim meat causes cancer. Or prevents cancer. Just like organic food causes autism and DDT improves male fertility.

That is why epidemiology is lumped over in the EXPLORATORY pile and if a scientist thinks there may be something interesting, it will get examined using first principles. With 9,000 epidemiological claims about Scary Chemicals and Miracle Foods per month most papers are just dismissed but the anti-science activism community has a process to get their efforts noticed. 

First, they recruit a high-profile ally to be the lead author on the paper they want to generate - that improves their chances of getting in a real journal. Then they recruit other allies to write supporting papers and pay the fees to get those in open access journals citing the first paper. Then they send the press releases to allied journalists.(1)

Because of a new paper showing science they hate has no ill effects, despite 50 years of public relations hammering that it must, they will instead mobilize flaktivists at Mother Jones or Environmental Earth News or Democracy Now! to undermine the work showing even that after basically 23 mouse-years (20 weeks as humans make clocks) on a diet soda of products like aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and stevia there was ... nothing.

CLICK TO ENLARGE. Credit: 10.1016/j.molmet.2024.101985

No difference between those Evil Chemicals and water in the microbiome, body weight, fat mass, or glucose metabolism. Aspartame instead improved glucose levels. Even with mice they made obese, no-calorie sweeteners did not increase body weight or change food intake. 

Activists who love to invoke mouse studies when they are claiming soda causes diabetes will dismiss this as just exploratory - mice are not little people.

They're right, but they will also forget that the next time they want to sue in California because in their exploratory findings pickles cause cancer.


(1) Basically, in any city where anti-Semitic progressives are allowed to smear Jews while College deans say they are going to vomit at the "privilege" of Holocaust survivors expressing concern. Boston Globe, New York Times, etc. Washington Post has yet to join in but you can be certain progressives in their newsroom will take a break from going on strike to lament that New York and Boston are showing 'leadership' in the war against Israel while D.C. is not.