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CSPI’s Aloe Warning: “Save It for Sunburns”

by Sandy Todd Webster on Oct 21, 2013

Food for Thought

If you are ingesting aloe vera as part of a supplemental regimen to detoxify your body, to balance stomach acidity or to promote overall well-being, the Centers for Science in the Public Interest urges you to think twice.

In August, the CSPI gave aloe vera an “avoid” rating in its “Chemical Cuisine” guide to food additives (www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm), citing studies by the U.S. government showing that aloe vera extracts caused intestinal cancers in male and female lab rats. "Save it for sunburns," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “Used topically, aloe vera is safe. But the fanciful health claims manufacturers are slapping on various drinks and pills are unfounded, so people simply shouldn't expose themselves to the risks.”

Meanwhile, the International Aloe Science Council has refuted the CSPI warning with a statement of its own (www.iasc.org/pdfs/IASC_Update_August%2023_ResponsetoCSPI.pdf). The statement cites research supporting the safety of “decolorized” (purified) aloe vera products made to IASC standards.

“Decolorized whole leaf aloe vera juice is devoid of the toxic chemicals that have caused so much concern, yet CSPI seems willing to make uninformed and sensational comments that will only serve to confuse and frighten consumers despite the facts,” said IASC executive director Devon Powell in a prepared statement.

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.