THE BITTER TRUTH ABOUT
Aspartame sugar substitutes cause worrying
symptoms from memory loss to brain tumours. But despite US FDA
approval as a 'safe' food additive, aspartame is one of the most
dangerous substances ever to be foisted upon an unsuspecting
Extracted from Nexus Magazine,Volume 2, #28 (Oct-Nov '95) and Volume 3, #1 (Dec '95-Jan '96).
PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia. email@example.com
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From our web page at: www.nexusmagazine.com
© 1995 by Mark D. Gold, 35 Inman St,
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Phone: (617) 497 7843,
Web page: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/
Originally published in Blazing Tattles, Vol. 4, Nos. 4,
5, 6, April-June 1995
PO Box 1073, Half Moon Bay,
CA 94019 USA.
Aspartame is the technical
name for the brand names, NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and
Equal-Measure. Aspartame was discovered by accident in 1965, when
James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company was testing an
anti-ulcer drug. Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for
carbonated beverages in 1983. It was originally approved for dry
goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience
researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in
August 1974 as well as investigations of G.D. Searle's research
practices caused the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put
approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). In 1985, Monsanto
purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The
NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries.
Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance
on the market that is added to foods. Aspartame accounts for over 75
percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the US
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many of these reactions are very
serious including seizures and death as recently disclosed in a
February 1994 Department of Health and Human Services
report.(1) A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in
the report as being caused by aspartame include:
Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle
spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability,
tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart
palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred
speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint
According to researchers and physicians studying
the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can
be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:(2)
Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome,
parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth
defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.
Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: Aspartic
acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by James and Phyllis Balch, lists aspartame under the
category of "chemical poison." As you shall see, that is exactly what
ASPARTIC ACID (40% OF ASPARTAME)
Dr Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of
Neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, recently
published a book thoroughly detailing the damage that is caused by
the ingestion of excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. [Ninety nine
percent of monosodium glutamate 9MSG) is glutamic acid. The damage it
causes is also documented in Blaylock's book.] Blaylock makes use of
almost 500 scientific references to show how excess free excitatory
amino acids such as aspartic acid and glutamic acid in our food
supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a
myriad of other acute symptoms.(3)
SUMMARY OF HOW ASPARTATE (AND GLUTAMATE) CAUSE
Aspartate and glutamate act as
neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmittion of
information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in
the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much
calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of
free radicals which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can
be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are
referred to as "excitotoxins." They "excite" or stimulate the neural
cells to death.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free
form (unbound to proteins) it significantly raises the blood plasma
level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate
in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products
with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level
of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.
The blood brain barrier (BBB) which normally
protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as
toxins 1) is not fully developed during childhood, 2) does not fully
protect all areas of the brain, 3) is damaged by numerous chronic and
acute conditions, and 4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and
aspartate into the brain even when intact.
The excess glutamate and aspartate slowly begin to
destroy neurons. The large majority (75%+) of neural cells in a
particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms
of a chronic illness are noticed. A few of the many chronic illnesses
that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure
excitatory amino acid damage include:
Multiple sclerosis (MS), ALS, memory loss,
hormonal problems, hearing loss, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease,
Parkinson's disease, hypoglycemia, AIDS dementia, brain lessions, and
The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the
elderly, and persons with certain chronic health problems from
excitotoxins are great. Even the Federation of American Societies For
Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and
mimmicks the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that "it is
prudent to avoid the use of dietary supplements of L-glutamic acid by
pregnant women, infants, and children. The Existence of evidence of
potential endocrine responses, i.e., elevated cortisol and prolactin,
and differential responses between males and females, would also
suggest a neuroendocrine link and that supplemental L-glutamic acid
should be avoided by women of childbearing age and individuals with
affective disorders."(4) Aspartic acid
from aspartame has the same deleterious effects on the body as
The exact mechanism of acute reactions to excess
free glutamate and aspartate is currently being debated. As reported
to the FDA, those reactions include:(5)
Headaches/migraines, nausea, abdominal pains, fatigue (blocks
sufficient glucose entry into brain), sleep problems, vision
problems, anxiety attacks, depression, and asthma/chest
One common complaint of persons suffering from the
effect of aspartame is memory loss. Ironically, in 1987, G.D. Searle,
the manufacturer of aspartame, undertook a search for a drug to
combat memory loss caused by excititory amino acid damage. Blaylock
is one of many scientists and physicians who are concerned about
excititory amino acid damage caused by ingestion of aspartame and
MSG. A few of the many experts who have spoken out against the damage
being caused by aspartate and glutamate include Adrienne Samuels,
Ph.D., an experimental psychologist specializing in research design.
Another is Olney, a professor in the department of psychiatry, School
of Medicine, Washington University, a neuroscientist and researcher,
and one of the world's foremost authorities on excitotoxins. (He
informed Searle in 1971 that aspartic acid caused holes in the brain
of mice.) Also included is Francis J. Waickman, M.D., a recipient of
the Rinkel and Forman Awards, and Board certified in Pediatrics,
Allergy, and Immunology.
Other concerned scientists include: John R. Hain,
M.D., Board Certified Forensic Pathologist, and H.J. Roberts, M.D.,
FACP, FCCP, Diabetic Specialist, and selected by a national medical
publication as "The Best Doctor in the US"
John Samuels is concerned, also. He compiled a
list of scientific research sufficient to show the dangers of
ingesting excess free glutamic and aspartic acid.
And there are many more who can be added to this
PHENYLALANINE (50% OF ASPARTAME)
Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally
found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder,
phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. This leads to
dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in the brain (sometimes
lethal). It has been shown that ingesting aspartame, especially along
with carbohydrates can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the
brain even in persons who do not have PKU. This is not just a theory,
as many people who have eaten large amounts of aspartame over a long
period of time and do not have PKU have been shown to have excessive
levels of phenylalanine in the blood. Excessive levels of
phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of seratonin in the
brain to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression.
It was shown in human testing that phenylalanine levels of the blood
were increased significantly in human subjects who chronically used
aspartame.(6) Even a single use of aspartame raised the blood
phenylalanine levels. In his testimony before the US Congress, Dr
Louis J. Elsas showed that high blood phenylalanine can be
concentrated in parts of the brain, and is especially dangerous for
infants and fetuses. He also showed that phenylalanine is metabolised
much more effeciently by rodents than by humans.(7)
One account of a case of extremely high
phenylalanine levels caused by aspartame was recently published the
the "Wednesday Journal" in an article entitled "An Aspartame
Nightmare." John Cook began drinking 6 to 8 diet drinks every day.
His symptoms started out as memory loss and frequent headaches. He
began to crave more aspartame-sweetened drinks. His condition
deteriorated so much that he experienced wide mood swings and violent
rages. Even though he did not suffer from PKU, a blood test revealed
a phenylalanine level of 80 mg/dl. He also showed abnormal brain
function and brain damage. After he kicked his aspartame habit, his
symptoms improved dramatically.(8)
As Blaylock points out in his book, early studies
measuring phenylalanine buildup in the brain were flawed.
Investigators who measured specific brain regions and not the average
throughout the brain notice significant rises in phenylalanine
levels. Specifically the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and corpus
striatum areas of the brain had the largest increases in
phenylalanine. Blaylock goes on to point out that excessive buildup
of phenylalanine in the brain can cause schizophrenia or make one
more susceptible to seizures.
Therefore, long-term, excessive use of aspartame
may provided a boost to sales of seratonin reuptake inhibitors such
as Prozac and drugs to control schizophrenia and seizures.
METHANOL (AKA WOOD ALCOHOL/POISON) (10% OF
Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison.
Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some
"skid row" alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually
released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame
encounter the enzyme chymotrypsin.
The absorption of methanol into the body is sped
up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is
created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30
Centigrade). This would occur when aspartame-containing product is
improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g., as part of a "food"
product such as Jello).
Methanol breaks down into formic acid and
formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA
assessment of methanol states that methanol "is considered a
cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is
absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and
formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic." The recommend a
limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day. A one-liter (approx. 1 quart)
aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy
users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of
methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.(9)
Symptoms from methanol poisoning include
headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal
disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and
shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and
neuritis. The most well knowm problems from methanol poisoning are
vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of
visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal
damage, and blindness. Formaldehye is a known carcinogen, causes
retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, causes birth
defects.(10) Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are
many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than
animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not
accurately reflect the danger for humans. As pointed out by Dr
Woodrow C. Monte, Director of the Food Science and Nutrition
Laboratory at Arizona State University, "There are no human or
mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic, or
carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl
He was so concerned about the unresolved safety
issues that he filed suit with the FDA requesting a hearing to
address these issues. He asked the FDA to "slow down on this soft
drink issue long enough to answer some of the important questions.
It's not fair that you are leaving the full burden of proof on the
few of us who are concerned and have such limited resources. You must
remember that you are the American public's last defense. Once you
allow usage (of aspartame) there is literally nothing I or my
colleagues can do to reverse the course. Aspartame will then join
saccharin, the sulfiting agents, and God knows how many other
questionable compounds enjoined to insult the human constitution with
governmental approval."(10) Shortly thereafter, the Commissioner of
the FDA, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in
carbonated beverages, he then left for a position with G.D. Searle's
Public Relations firm.(11)
It has been pointed out that some fruit juices and
alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol. It is
important to remember, however, that methanol never appears alone. In
every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts.
Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.(9) The troops of
Desert Storm were "treated" to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened
beverages which had been heated to over 86 degrees F. in the Saudi
Arabian sun. Many of them returned home with numerous disorders
similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically
poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have
been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown
products of aspartame such as DKP (discussed below) may also have
been a factor.
In a 1993 act that can only be described as
"unconscionable," the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in
numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86 degrees F
(30 degrees C).
DKP is a by-product of aspartame
metabolism. DKP has been implicated in the occurance of brain tumors.
Olney noticed that DKP, when nitrosated in the gut, produced a
compound which was similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor
causing chemical. Some authors have said that DKP is produced after
aspartame ingestion. I am not sure if that is correct. It is
definately true that DKP is formed in liquid aspartame-containing
products during prolonged storage.
G.D. Searle conducted animal experiments on the
safety of DKP. The FDA found numerous experimental errors occured,
including "clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting
drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because
of improper handling," and many other errors.(12) These sloppy
laboratory procedures may explain why both the test and control
animals had sixteen times more brain tumors than would be expected in
experiments of this length. In an ironic twist, shortly after these
experimental errors were discovered, the FDA used guidelines
recommened by G.D. Searle to devlop the Industry-wide FDA standards
for Good Laboratory Practies.(11) DKP has also
been implicated as a cause of uterine polyps and changes in blood
cholesterol by FDA Toxicologist Dr Jacqueline Verrett in her
testimony before the US Senate.(13)
AILMENTS RESULTING FROM ASPARTAME
The components of aspartame can lead to a
wide variety of ailments. Some of these problems occur gradually,
others are immediate, acute reactions. There is an enormous
population of people who are suffering from symtpoms contributed to
by aspartame, yet they have no idea why herbs or drugs are not
helping relieve their problems. There are other users of aspartame
who appear not to be suffering immediate reactions to aspartame. But
even these individuals are susceptible to the long-term damage caused
by excitatory amino acids, phenylalanine, methanol, and DKP. A few of
the many disorders that are of particular concern to me include the
Dr Diana Dow Edwards, a researcher was
funded by Monsanto to study possible birth defects caused by the
ingestion of aspartame. After preliminary data showed damaging
information about aspartame, funding for the study was cut off. A
Gentetic Pediatrician at Emory University has testified that
aspartame is causing birth defects.7360-367.
In the book, While
Waiting: A Prenatal Guidebook by George R.
Verrilli, M.D. and Anne Marie Mueser, it is stated that aspartame is
suspected of causing brain damage in sensitive individuals. A fetus
may be at risk for these effects. Some researchers have suggested
that high doses of aspartame may be associated with problems ranging
from dizziness and subtle brain changes to mental retardation.
Cancer (Brain Cancer).
In 1981, Satya Dubey, an FDA statistician,
stated that the brain tumor data on aspartame was so "worrisome" that
he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet.(14) In a
two-year study conducted by the manufacturer of aspartame, twelve of
the 320 rats fed a normal diet and aspartame developed brain tumors
while none of the control rats had tumors. Five of the twelve tumors
were in rats given a low dose of aspartame.(15) The approval
of aspartame was a violation of the Delaney Amendment which was
supposed to prevent cancer-causing substances such as methanol
(formaldehye) and DKP from entering our food supply. The late Dr
Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, testified before the US Congress
that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors. This made it
illegal for the FDA to set an allowable daily intake at any level. He
stated in his testimony that Searle's studies were "to a large extent
unreliable" and that "at least one of those studies has established
beyond any reasonable doubt that aspartame is capable of inducing
brain tumors in experimental animals...." He concluded his testimony
by asking, "What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the FDA to
invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment to the
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? .... And if the FDA itself elects to
violate the law, who is left to protect the health of the
In the mid-1970s it was discovered that the
manufacturer of aspartame falsified studies in several ways. One of
the techniques used was to cut tumors out of test animals and put
them back in the study. Another technique used to falsify the studies
was to list animals that had actually died as surviving the study.
Thus, the data on brain tumors was likely worse than discussed above.
In addition, a former employee of the manufacturer of aspartame,
Raymond Schroeder told the FDA on July 13, 1977 that the particles of
DKP were so large that the rats could dicriminate between the DKP and
their normal diet.(12)
It is interesting to note that the incidence of
brain tumors in persons over 65 years of age has increase 67% between
the years 1973 and 1990. Brain tumors in all age groups has jumped
10%. The greatest increase has come during the years
In his book, Aspartame (NutraSweet). Is it
Safe?, Roberts gives evidence that
aspartame can cause a particularly dangerous form of cancer - primary
lymphoma of the brain.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is
actually recommending this chemical poison to persons with diabetes.
According to research conducted by H.J. Roberts, a diabetes
specialist, a member of the ADA, and an authority on artificial
1) Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes.
2) Causes poorer diabetic control in diebetics on insulin or oral
3) Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as
retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis.
4) Causes convulsions.
In a statement concerning the use of products
containing aspartain by persons with diabetes and hypoglycemia,
Roberts says: "Unfortunately, many patients in my practice, and
others seen in consultation, developed serious metabolic, neurologic
and other complications that could be specifically attributed to
using aspartame products. This was evidenced by:
"The loss of diabetic control, the intensification of hypoglycemia,
the occurrence of presumed 'insulin reactions' (including
convulsions) that proved to be aspartame reactions, and the
precipitation, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications
(especially impaired vision and neuropathy) while using these
"Dramatic improvement of such features after
avoiding aspartame, and the prompt predictable recurrence of these
problems when the patient resumed aspartame products, knowingly or
Roberts goes on to say:
"I regret the failure of other physicians and the American Diabetes
Association (ADA) to sound appropriate warnings to patients and
consumers based on these repeated findings which have been described
in my corporate-neutral studies and publications."
Blaylock stated that excitotoxins such as that
found in aspartame can precipitate diabetes in persons who are
genetically susceptible to the disease.(5)
A double blind study of the effects of
aspartame on persons with mood disorders was recently conducted by Dr
Ralph G. Walton. Since the study wasn't funded/controlled by the
makers of aspartame, The NutraSweet Company refused to sell him the
aspartame. Walton was forced to obtain and certify it from an outside
The study showed a large increase in serious
symptoms for persons taking aspartame. Since some of the symptoms
were so serious, the Institutional Review Board had to stop the
study. Three of the participants had said that they had been
"poisoned" by aspartame. Walton concludes that "individuals with mood
disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener;
its use in this population should be discouraged."(18) Aware that
the experiment could not be repeated because of the danger to the
test subjects, Walton was recently quoted as saying, "I know it
causes seizures. I'm convinced also that it definitely causes
behavioral changes. I'm very angry that this substance is on the
market. I personally question the reliability and validity of any
studies funded by the NutraSweet Company."(19)
There are numerous reported cases of low brain
serotonin levels, depression and other emotional disorders that have
been linked to aspartame and often are relieved by stopping the
intake of aspartame. Researchers have pointed out that increasing in
phenylalanine levels in the brain, which can and does occur in
persons without PKU, leads to a decreased level of the
neurotransmitter, serotonin, which leads to a variety of emotional
disorders. Dr William M. Pardridge of UCLA testified before the US
Senate that a youth drinking four 16-ounce bottles of diet soda per
day leads to an enormous increase in the phenylalanine level.
With the large and growing number of
seizures caused by aspartame, it is sad to see that the Epilepsy
Foundation is promoting the "safety" of aspartame. At Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, 80 people who had suffered seizures after
ingesting aspartame were surveyed. Community Nutrition Institute
concluded the following about the survey:
"These 80 cases meet the FDA's own definition of
an imminent hazard to the public health, which requires the FDA to
expeditiously remove a product from the market."
Both the Air Force's magazine Flying Safety and the Navy's
magazine, Navy Physiology published articles warning about the many dangers of
aspartame including the cumlative deliterious effects of methanol and
the greater likelihood of birth defects. The articles note that the
ingestion of aspartame can make pilots more susceptible to seizures
and vertigo. Twenty articles sounding warnings about ingesting
aspartame while flying have also appeared in the National Business Aircraft Association Digest
(NBAA Digest 1993), Aviation Medical Bulletin
(1988), The Aviation
Consumer (1988), Canadian General Aviation News (1990), Pacific
Flyer (1988), General Aviation News (1989),
Aviation Safety Digest (1989), and Plane and
Pilot (1990) and a paper warning about
aspartame was presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Aerospace
Medical Association (Gaffney 1986).
Recently, a hotline was set up for pilots
suffering from acute reactions to aspartame ingestion. Over 600
pilots have reported symptoms including some who have reported
suffering grand mal seizures in the cockpit due to
One of the original studies on aspartame was
performed in 1969 by an independent scientist, Dr Harry Waisman. He
studied the effects of aspartame on infant primates. Out of the seven
infant monkeys, one died after 300 days and five others had grand mal
seizures. Of course, these negative findings were not submitted to
the FDA during the approval process.(22)
Why don't we hear about these things?
The reason many people do not hear about serious
reactions to aspartame is twofold:
1) Lack of awareness by the general population. Aspartame-caused
diseases are not reported in the newspapers like plane crashes. This
is because these incidents occur one at a time in thousands of
different locations across the US.
2) Most people do not associate their symptoms with the long-term use
of aspartame. For the people who have killed a significant percentage
of the brain cells and thereby caused a chronic illness, there is no
way that they would normally associate such an illness with aspartame
consumption. How aspartame was approved is a lesson in how chemical
and pharmaceutical companies can manipulate government agencies such
as the FDA, "bribe" organizations such as the American Dietetic
Association, and flood the scientific community with flawed and
fraudulent industry-sponsored studies funded by the makers of
Erik Millstone, a researcher at the Science Policy
Research Unit of Sussex University has compiled thousands of pages of
evidence, some of which have been obtained using the freedom of
information act 23, showing:
1. Laboratory tests were faked and dangers were concealed.
2. Tumors were removed from animals and animals that had died were
"restored to life" in laboratory records.
3. False and misleading statements were made to the FDA.
4. The two US Attorneys given the task of bringing fraud charges
against the aspartame manufacturer took positions with the
manufacturer's law firm, letting the statute of limitations run
5. The Commissioner of the FDA overruled the objections of the FDA's
own scientific board of inquiry. Shortly after that decision, he took
a position with Burson-Marsteller, the firm in charge of public
relations for G.D. Searle.
A Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) was conducted in
1980. There were three scientists who reviewed the objections of
Olney and Turner to the approval of aspartame. They voted unanimously
against aspartame's approval. The FDA Commissioner, Dr Arthur Hull
Hayes, Jr. then created a 5-person Scientific Commission to review
the PBOI findings. After it became clear that the Commission would
uphold the PBOI's decision by a vote of 3 to 2, another person was
added to the Commission, creating a deadlocked vote. This allowed the
FDA Commissioner to break the deadlock and approve aspartame for dry
goods in 1981. Dr Jacqueline Verrett, the Senior Scientist in an FDA
Bureau of Foods review team created in August 1977 to review the
Bressler Report (a report that detailed G.D. Searle's abuses during
the pre-approval testing) said:
"It was pretty obvious that somewhere along the line, the bureau
officials were working up to a whitewash." In 1987, Verrett testified
before the US Senate stating that the experiments conducted by Searle
were a "disaster." She stated that her team was instructed not to
comment on or be concerned with the overall validity of the studies.
She stated that questions about birth defects have not been answered.
She continued her testimony by discussing the fact that DKP has been
shown to increase uterine polyps and change blood cholesterol and
that increasing the temperature of the product leads to an increase
in production of DKP.(13)
The FDA and the manufacturers of aspartame
have had a rovolving door of employment for many years. In addition
to the FDA Commissioner and two US Attorneys leaving to take
positions with companies connected with G.D. Searle, four other FDA
officials connected with the approval of aspartame took positions
connected with the NutraSweet industry between 1979 and 1982
including the Deputy FDA Commissioner, the Special Assistant to the
FDA Commissioner, the Associate Director of the Bureau of Foods and
Toxicology and the Attorney involved with the Public Board of
It is important to realize that this type of
revolving-door activity has been going on for decades.
The Townsend Letter for
Doctors (11/92) reported on a study
revealing that 37 of 49 top FDA officials who left the FDA took
positions with companies they had regulated. They also reported that
over 150 FDA officials owned stock in drug companies they were
assigned to manage. Many organizations and universities receive large
sums of money from companies connected to the NutraSweet Association,
a group of companies promoting the use of aspartame. In January 1993,
the American Dietetic Association received a US$75,000 grant from the
NutraSweet Company. The American Dietetic Association has stated that
the NutraSweet Company writes their "Facts" sheets.(25)
Many other "independent" organizations and
researchers receive large sums of money from the manufacturers of
aspartame. The American Diabetes Association has received a large
amount of money from Nutrasweet, including money to run a cooking
school in Chicago (presumably to teach diabetes how to use Nutrasweet
in their cooking).
A researcher in New England who has pointed out
the dangers of aspartame in the past is now a Monsanto consultant.
Another researcher in the Southeastern US had testified about the
dangers of aspartame on fetuses. An investigative reporter has
discovered that he was told to keep his mouth shut to avoid causing
the loss of a large grant from a diet cola manufacturer in the
What is the FDA doing to protect the consumer from
the dangers of aspartame? Less than nothing.
In 1992, the FDA approved aspartame for use in
malt beverages, breakfast cereals, and refrigerated puddings and
fillings. In 1993 the FDA approved aspartame for use in hard and soft
candies, non-alcoholic favored beverages, tea beverages, fruit juices
and concentrates, baked goods and baking mixes, and frostings,
toppings and fillings for baked goods.
In 1991, the FDA banned the importation of stevia.
The powder of the leaf has been used for hundreds of years as an
alternative sweetner. It is used widely in Japan with no adverse
effects. Scientists involved in reviewing stevia have declared it to
be safe for human consumption - something which has been well known
in many parts of the world where it is not banned. Everyone that I
have spoken with in regards to this issue believes that stevia was
banned to keep the product from taking hold in the US and cutting
into sales of aspartame.(26)
What is the US Congress doing to protect the
consumer from the dangers of aspartame? Nothing.
What is the US Administration (President) doing to
protect the consumer from the dangers of aspartame? Nothing.
Aspartame consumption is not only a problem in the
US. It is being sold in over 70 countries throughout the
ASPARTAME CAN BE FOUND IN:
- instant breakfasts
- breath mints
- sugar-free chewing gum
- cocoa mixes
- coffee beverages
- frozen desserts
- gelatin desserts
- juice beverages
- milk drinks
- pharmaceuticals and supplements
- shake mixes
- soft drinks
- tabletop sweeteners
- tea beverages
- instant teas and coffees
- topping mixes
- wine coolers
I have been told that aspartame has been found in
products where it is not listed on the label. One must be particular
careful of pharmaceuticals and supplements. I have been informed that
even some supplements made by well-known supplement manufacturers
such as Twinlabs contain aspartame.
The information I have related above is just the
tip of the iceberg as far as damaging information about aspartame. In
order for the reader to find out more, I have included some resources
- Blaylock, Russell L., Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills (Health Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, c1994). One of the
best books available on excitotoxins. Well worth reading!
- H. J. Roberts, M.D., Aspartame (NutraSweet), Is it Safe? Available from the Aspartame Consumer Safety
- Sweet'ner Dearest, Available from the Aspartame Consumer Safety
- Mary Nash Stoddard, The Deadly Deception,
Available from the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network.
- Barbara Mullarkey, Editor, Bittersweet Aspartame - A Diet Delusion,
- Available from the Aspartame Consumer Safety
- The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network,
The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network
- Dennis Remington, M.D. and Barbara Higa, R.D.,
The Bitter Truth About Artificial
Sweetners, Available from the Aspartame
Consumer Safety Network
ASPARTAME CONSUMER SAFETY
PO Box 780634
Dallas, Texas 75378, USA.
Phone: (214) 352-4268
(1) Department of Health and Human Services,
Report on All Adverse Reactions in the
Adverse Reaction Monitoring System,
(February 25 and 28, 1994).
(2) Compiled by researchers, physicians, and
artificial sweetner experts for Mission Possible, a group dedicated
to warning consumers about aspartame.
(3) Excitotoxins: The
Taste That Kills, by Russell L. Blaylock,
(4) Safety of Amino Acids, Life Sciences Research
Office, FASEB, FDA Contract No. 223-88-2124, Task Order No. 8.
(5) FDA Adverse Reaction Monitoring System.
(6) Wurtman and Walker, "Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function," Proceedings of the First International Meeting on Dietary
Phenylalanine and Brain Function., Washington, D.C., May 8, 1987.
(7) Hearing Before the Committee On Labor and Human
Resources United States Senate, First Session on Examing the Health
and Safety Concerns of Nutrasweet (Aspartame).
(8) Account of John Cook as published in Informed
Consent Magazine. "How Safe Is Your
Artificial Sweetner" by Barbara Mullarkey,
(9) Woodrow C. Monte, Ph.D., R.D., "Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health," Journal of Applied Nutrition, 36 (1): 42-53.
(10) US Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit, No. 84-1153 Community Nutrition Institute and Dr
Woodrow Monte v. Dr Mark Novitch, Acting Commissioner, US FDA
(11) Aspartame Time
Line by Barbara Mullarkey as published in
Informed Consent Magazine, May/June 1994.
(12) FDA Searle Investigation Task Force. "Final
Report of Investigation of G.D. Searle Company." (March 24, 1976)
(13) Testimony of Dr Jacqueline Verrett, FDA
Toxicologist before the US Senate Committee on Labor and Human
Resources, (November 3, 1987).
(14) Internal FDA memorandum.
(15) Analysis prepared by Dr John Olney as a
statement before the Aspartame Board of Inquire of the FDA. Also
Excitotoxins by Russell Blaylock, M.D.
(16) Congressional Record SID835: 131 (August 1,
(17) National Cancer Institute SEER Program
(18) Walton, Ralph G., Robert Hudak, Ruth
Green-Waite "Adverse Reactions to
Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable
Population," Biological Psychiatry,
(19) Barbara Mullarkey, "How Safe Is Your Artificial Sweetner," September/October 1994 issue of Informed Consent Magazine.
(20) US Air Force. "Aspartame Alert." Flying
Safety, 48 (5): 20-21 (May 1992).
(21) Reported by the Aspartame Consumer Safety
(22) Barbara Mullarkey, Bittersweet Aspartame, A
(23) Millstone, Eric "Sweet and Sour."
25 (March/April 1994).
(24) Mary Nash Stoddard, Editor, "The Deadly
Deception," Aspartame Consumer Safety Network.
(25) ADA Courier, January 1993, Volume 32, Number
1. (26) "FDA Rejects AHPA Stevia Petition" by Mark Blumenthal, Whole
Foods, April 1994.
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