back to article Which zoo animals like artificial sweeteners: Facts at last

Almost everybody has, no doubt, at one time or another asked themselves one of the most urgent questions facing the human race today. That is, of course: Just which kinds of Swiss zoo animals like the taste of artificial sweeteners? Wonder no more, because an international team of scientists has at last carried out a thorough …


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  1. slim mcslim
    Thumb Up

    colour me racist but....

    I know "where is the IT angle questions are frowned upon" however this sticky sweet story followed by that of grumpy joes flooring yesterday, I can't wait until next week's serialisation of the story of the invention of the coloured biro, which is shaping up to be a fascinating film.

    This is a brilliant story, and long may you keep writing similar pieces, if you could prehaps come up with something more involving meerkats and bic biro's then I can smell a pullitzer...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    So why does my cat like strawberry jam ? - cos its red ?

    Paris -

    Prone to dumb experiments, but not as dumb as this one.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I wouldn't consume aspartame if I were you.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "the researchers predicted that none of the Carnivore species tested would show a preference for the artificial sweeteners."

    Hell I'm a standard eat anything kinda human, and I can't stand the stuff either!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Simples! <squeak>

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Coming soon - cancer and migraine studies in Pandas...

    With the links - some vague but none the less well publicised - with cancer and migraines to Aspartame, I predict a study in these conditions that have suddenly started to affect the poor panda in the not too distant future. No doubt the manufacturers of the chemical substitute will dispute any such study claiming millions of pandas use it around the world every day without any problems whatsoever...

    I need a lie down, I feel a headache coming on.

  7. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Down


    It should be banned as should it's Monsanto owner.

  8. TeeCee Gold badge
    IT Angle


    "could eventually lead to the development of more acceptable sugar substitutes, potentially benefiting diabetics and other individuals on sugar-restricted diets."


    I'd like a large grant to conduct the "Pepsi taste challenge" with a wide variety of zoo animals on the grounds that it could lead to the production of a faster-than-light drive, a unified field theory, peace in the Middle East and a mechanism for avoiding the loss of small change down the back of the sofa.

    I suppose I shouldn't mock. I'm sure that diabetic Lions are entitled to the best artificial sweetners that the human race can offer.....

  9. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    "the land of cuckoo-clocks"

    Brilliant article - isn't it Friday already? Anyhow, Lewis, let me explain some common misconception: Switzerland is not the land of cuckoo-clocks. These unsightly products originate from Black Forest, Germany. But, unfortunately, you are not all wrong since these low commodities made their way across the border and are being distributed all over the world to the scandal of sensible men.


  10. AreBelongToUs
    IT Angle

    @ slim mcslim

    IT Angle? As any fule kno, the Red Panda is also called the Firefox!

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    IT Angle

    The red panda is also called "firefox", apparently.

    So we have our IT angle,

    Moreover, I misread

    "Needless to say, the allied scientists plan more detailed research."


    "Needless to say, the alien scientists plan more detailed research."

    The scientific question of what's wrong with me is evident.

  12. James Pickett


    I always thought Pandas were stupid, but I hadn't realised quite how stupid!

    Will Lynn Truss now have to re-title her seminal work: 'Eats, shoots and leaves real sugar'?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    maybe the pandas can't taste artificial sweeteners

    but just prefer the absence of real sugars?

  14. JP Strauss

    Pandas aren't all that intelligent...

    ... just last week I saw one investing a large sum of money in General Motors stock.

  15. alan

    my cat likes

    Anything that I am eating, especially fond of cheese and onion crisps and the inside of cream eggs.

    She is no where near almost exclusively meat eating.

  16. Rich


    Aspartame is dreadful stuff. You should avoid it like the plague that it is. It has been linked to neurological damage and all sorts of other stuff. It should be banned. Indeed it should never have been passed as fit for human (or animal) consumption in the first place.

    I can't remember the exact figures, but it was presented to the US food & drug administration dozens of times (and rejected each time) to try and get it passed for use as a food additive. When it was finally passed, the guy at the FDA that passed it then resigned and went to work for the company that make the stuff. And goodness knows why the rest of the world allow it. The whole business is a scandal.

    Don't touch it with a barge pole - if you want something sweet then use sugar!

  17. Peyton

    "another conundrum to solve"

    Indeed. I now want to know if "lions, like other cats" enjoy eating my houseplants.

    *shudders* at the thought of cleaning up a pile of lion vomit.

  18. Shakje

    Domestic cats

    It looks like people saying that their domestic cats have misread, the article clearly says "like other cats" not "like all cats".

  19. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Aspartame

    I'm sure it's not especially healthy but I don't believe it gives you the cancers, personally.

  20. b166er

    Red Panda needs an attourney lol.

  21. Mike Richards

    Good news...

    ...for diabetic pandas.

    And was there an obesity timebomb ticking in the Alpine meerkat population?

    Next up - what flavour crisps do blue whales prefer?

  22. Dick Emery


    I used to suffer from a lot of migraines. Since cutting any Aspartame out of my diet they ceased. Go figure.

  23. Dave

    Cats and Sugar

    I think I remember a study that said that cats have a genetic aberration that prevents them from being able to taste sugar. Unfortunately, I don't have time at the moment to find where I read that. But, it might be interesting for someone to do some research along those lines.


  24. Anonymous Coward

    @slim mcslim - I can smell a pullitzer

    And here I was thinking you were going to end with "I can smell a puller..."

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Aspartame

    Long ago I used to work for the company that originated Aspartame (in the south of the Netherlands) - I heard enough stories from "inside" to be at least a bit worried.

    But I have a much easier reason why I rarely touch the stuff: I intensely dislike the taste of it. I don't like the taste when I'm drinking it, and I don't like it lingering in my mouth for up to an hour afterwards. I have "gourmet" friends who can't taste it, but I can tell its presence immediately in anything I drink or eat and it puts me off (ditto with the traditional Oriental additive monosodium glutamate, aka MSG - that I can taste too) . I also dislike the idea of "fake" sweetness - I think I'll be in better control of my weight if I actually taste for real what I eat. The good news is that that has permanently put me off chewing gum - you cannot get a chewing gum without Aspartame now.

    Incidentally, there are new reports showing up that suggest Aspartame may make a mess of our blood sugar levels. That's a far more direct danger IMHO.

  26. O

    It does massively increase the likelihood of brain tumours

    Also .....

    @ Rich, the guy who hooked the company up with the right people at the FDA (i.e. ones who were willing to be bribed) was none other than the esteemed Donald Rumsfeld. The guy made an absolute fortune out of it .. in fact, he still receives royalties from sales of Aspartame.

    One more reason to hate Aspartame (or Rumsfeld).

  27. Stuart Halliday
    Thumb Up

    Odd isn't it?

    In the USA Aspartame is a banned substance in food as it may lead to cancer.

    In the UK we drink/eat it by the tonne!

    Good old Brits...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Try not to fall prey to a bunch of crap circulated on the net by loons. The FDA isn't the only licensing body on Earth. It just makes decisions which affect the most vocally paranoid people on Earth.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    zoo animals

    I am addicted to aspartame.

    I resent anyone who says it's bad.

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