Numerous false and/or misleading statements about birch derived xylitol have been published on the internet in the past couple of years. The publishers of these falsehoods are, for the most part, people who know the truth but don’t want you, the consumer, to be able to make an informed decision based upon actual facts. We’ve decided that we can no longer allow these pernicious misrepresentations to stand unchallenged. The purpose of this Q&A is to set the record straight once and for all. If you have questions of your own, please feel free to contact us at info@BodySongSpa.com or call 1-800-601- 0688.
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Q. One of your competitors told me that producing xylitol from hardwood destroys precious trees and contributes to global deforestation. They also said that trees used for xylitol production are not a renewable resource. Is this true?
A. NO, IT IS FALSE
FACT: Trees are a renewable resource just like any other cash crop. The trees used to make Smart Sweet ® xylitol are harvested by a commercial logging cooperative for various purposes, with a portion of the wood being used for xylitol production.
The co-operative subscribes to an internationally accepted initiative (SFI) for sustainable forestry management (http://www.sfiprogram.org).
The objectives of SFI include ensuring prompt reforestation, protecting water quality, enhancing wildlife habitat, minimizing the visual impact of harvesting, continuing improvements in wood utilization, etc. Participants are called upon to foster sustainable forestry practices on all forestlands and they are held accountable to measure and publicly report their progress.
Q. I was led to believe that producing xylitol from hardwood pollutes the environment?
A. YOU WERE MISINFORMED
FACT: Smart Sweet® xylitol is produced in a state-of-the-art facility in the USA and is, therefore, subject to stringent air and water quality standards. When it leaves the plant, the effluent stream is so clean that it is injected directly into the groundwater aquifer.
Q. Does it cost more to produce xylitol from hardwood than from corn cobs?
A. YES, BUT FOR REASONS OTHER THAN YOU MIGHT EXPECT
FACT: The major factor contributing to the cost difference between ours and theirs is not that we use hardwood and they use corn cobs, but that Smart Sweet ® is made in America with American labor, and theirs is made in China with cheap Chinese labor. It is a well known fact that the majority of China’s nearly 800 million farmers subsist on wages that are near or below poverty level even by Chinese standards. The farms that grow the corn cobs used for xylitol production are located in some of the poorest provinces in China.
For example, a 1996 report issued by the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University found average annual per capita income for Heben province at 1019 yuan (approx. $122), which falls in the bottom 1/3 for all Chinese wage earners. Only one person in every twenty living there even has a telephone.
An article in the March 13, 2006 issue of Time Magazine, Inside the Pitchfork Rebellion, (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1169902,00.html) chronicles the plight of China’s poor rural class, examining the political and economic realities of a nation with an enormous income disparity between urban manufacturing and rural farm workers.
It is impossible to compete with the Chinese on price when their labor costs are only a tiny fraction of ours in America.
FACT: Another significant factor contributing to the higher cost of birch xylitol is the fact that American manufacturers are subjected to a more stringent, much costlier burden of regulatory compliance in the areas of air and water quality, occupational safety, and state and federal food safety standards.
Chinese standards and enforcement lag far behind the US in all these areas. Recent headlines underscore the reality that Chinese food safety standards and/or enforcement thereof is not on par with those of the USA.
Q. I spoke to another xylitol company on the phone, and I was told that all xylitol comes from corn cobs, and that nobody produces xylitol from birch anymore. Were they telling me the truth?
A. NO, THEY WERE TELLING YOU A LIE
FACT: Smart Sweet® xylitol is a derivative of hardwood. It contains no nut products, dairy products, cereals, corn or other grains, or any of their derivatives.
Q. Where does the source material for Smart Sweet® xylitol really come from?
A. IT COMES FROM ORGANIC HARDWOOD
FACT: Almost all the source material for Smart Sweet® xylitol is American grown birch wood. Rarely, if and when demand exceeds the available supply, the raw material is supplemented by hardwood trees grown in renewable managed forests in Austria, comprised of birch and occasionally some beech trees.
Q. Some other companies boast about selling pharmaceutical grade xylitol. What grade is Smart Sweet®?
A. SMART SWEET® IS PHARMACEUTICAL GRADE XYLITOL
FACT: Smart Sweet® is made in the USA. All xylitol being produced in the USA is pharmaceutical grade. Xylitol imported from China can either be food grade or pharmaceutical grade.
Q. Why should I buy Smart Sweet® xylitol when it costs more than the Chinese corn cob brands?
A. SMART SWEET® COMES FROM A SOURCE YOU CAN TRUST
Smart Sweet® is made in America with American labor, produced to American standards of quality and safety.
It’s made from organic hardwood, so you can be 100% certain that it’s GMO free.
We think Smart Sweet® tastes better. You can always count on a cool, clean sweetness with no funny aftertaste.
Q. Where can I buy some Smart Sweet® xylitol.
A. SMART SWEET® PRODUCTS CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AT THIS LINK BodySong Spa.
Please note that there is a global shortage of xylitol so call us at 800-601-0688 to get your order in now for Smart Sweet® xylitol.
If your favorite health food store doesn’t carry Smart Sweet® products, ask the management why not. Or else tell us the name of the store and we’ll ask them for you.
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