In Brief

Noni lands in Europe
After four years, noni juice will finally be available in European stores as a novel food. However, the EU?s Scientific Committee on Food is not likely to allow any particular health claim for the Pacific islands fruit juice. Derived from Morinda citrifolia, the antioxidant-heavy juice has laid claim to immune and digestive support, and athletic and cognitive improvement.

Metabolife wins appeal
A US Court of Appeals ruled that the scientific evidence against ephedra was insufficient to warrant a $4.1 million jury award against manufacturer Metabolife. The judge ruled that experts speaking against the Metabolife product jumped to conclusions when they claimed ephedra plus caffeine poses ?imminent risk of death,? among other charges. The ruling will do nothing to reverse the ban of the weight-loss herb in the US. Nor does it affect charges against former CEO Michael Ellis, who was alleged of making false claims about the product?s safety. Also, a multimillion dollar class-action lawsuit against Metabolife is continuing.

Pepsi takes up Splenda
Seven years after its launch, Pepsi ONE diet soda is dropping aspartame and ace-K in favour of sucralose as its sweetener source. Pepsi joins rival Coca-Cola, which just weeks before announced it would launch a new Diet Coke using Splenda brand sucralose. Splenda is manufactured in the UK by Tate & Lyle. Coca-Cola said it is also planning a summer launch in the US of a no-calorie cola, Coca-Cola Zero, sweetened with aspartame and ace-K.

To help meet demand, Tate & Lyle is planning a US plant extension in 2006 and a new plant in Singapore in 2007.

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