The Aspartame Epidemic

Photo: Bukowsky18 (CC)

[disinfo ed.’s note: this original essay was first published by disinformation on May 14, 2001. Some links and contact information may have changed.]

A worldwide epidemic is raging. The cause is a poisonous chemical sweetener, aspartame (marketed as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful), the most controversial food additive ever approved. In reality it is a drug which interacts with other drugs and changes brain chemistry.

H.J. Roberts, M.D., describes interactions with drugs such as Coumadin, Dilantin, Inderal, methyldopa or Aldomet, insulin, and lidocaine in Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is It Safe? [1]

From the paper Effects of Aspartame on the Brain: Neurologic Effects of Aspartame? by Richard J. Wurtman and Timothy J. Maher: “Compounds that do affect physiological systems are classified as drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are subject to considerably more demanding regulatory procedures than food constituents. However, and perhaps paradoxically because food additives must be shown to be physiologically inert in order to win initial FDA approval, once they have obtained this approval they are thereafter exempted from the requirement (imposed on all drugs) that their safety continue to be monitored. The companies that manufacture and use them are not obligated to monitor adverse reactions associated with their product, nor to submit to the FDA reports of such adverse reactions; they also are not required to carry out additional government-mandated research programs to affirm their product’s safety.”[2]

So the question is, should aspartame be considered inert? The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) reported in l983: “Aspartame is inherently, markedly and uniquely unstable in aqueous media. In a liquid, such as a soft drink, aspartame will degrade as a function of temperature and pH. Higher temperatures and more acidic liquids increase the rate of degradation.” The NSDA also knew the use of such an unstable chemical sweetener is illegal and said under Section 402 of the FDC Act 21 U.S.C. 342: “a food is adulterated if it contains in whole or in part . . . a decomposed substance or if it is otherwise unfit for food.” [3] This report became part of the Congressional Record in l985.

The reason aspartame is so dangerous is that it is a molecule composed of three components, all of which are neurotoxic: aspartic acid (40 percent), methanol (10 percent), and phenylalanine (50 percent). Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are neurotoxic as isolates, unaccompanied by other amino acids in food to block them from going directly into the brain. Methanol or wood alcohol is a severe metabolic poison. Sax’s Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials states that methanol is “a human poison by ingestion.” It’s also classified as a narcotic. [4] Aspartame breaks down to diketopiperazine, a brain-tumor agent. A confidential internal memo at Searle (the company that developed aspartame) indicated concern over lack of complete toxicological data on DKP. [5]

FDA Commissioner Alexander Schmidt, M.D., approved aspartame only for dry foods on July 26, l974,[6] and the following month consumer attorney James Turner and Washington University researcher Dr. John Olney filed objections to the FDA’s approval, citing evidence of brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders in animal studies and concerns the substance may cause brain damage and mental retardation in humans. They also requested a hearing on the safety of aspartame. [7] In December l975 Turner and Olney waived their right to a public hearing and agreed to a Public Board of Inquiry. On March 24, l976, the FDA’s task force reported: “At the heart of the FDA’s regulatory process is its ability to rely upon the integrity of the basic safety data submitted by sponsors of regulated products. Our investigation clearly demonstrates that, in the G.D. Searle Co., we have no basis for such reliance now . . . Some of our findings suggest an attitude of disregard for FDA’s mission of protection of the public health by selectively reporting the results of studies in a manner which allays the concerns of questions of an FDA reviewer.”[8]

On January 10, l977, in a 33-page letter, FDA Chief Counsel Richard Merrill recommended to US Attorney Sam Skinner that a grand jury investigate Searle for “apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 331 (e), and the False Reports to the Government Act, l8 U.S.C. 355 (i) and for concealing material facts and making false statements in reports of animal studies conducted to establish the safety of aspartame.” The FDA called special attention to studies investigating the effect of NutraSweet on monkeys and hamsters. [9] Searle was never indicted because the statute of limitations expired.

In l981 President Ronald Reagan appointed Arthur Hull Hayes “who overruled a Public Board of Inquiry in order to approve aspartame” as FDA Commissioner. On July 1, l983, the National Soft Drink Association urged the FDA to delay approval of aspartame for carbonated beverages pending further testing, but on July 8, l983, it was approved anyway.

Disregarding the protests and outcry by physicians and scientists, a chemical poison was blessed for human consumption. Poisoned consumers were outraged, and three congressional hearings were held. Senator Howard Metzenbaum sponsored bill S. 1557 (99th Congress), requiring independent studies on five of aspartame reported toxic effects: on brain chemistry, on pregnant women and fetuses, on increased probability of seizures, its behavioral and neurological effects (especially in children), and its interactions with drugs, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

The bill called for a moratorium on aspartame, but because of heavy lobbying by Monsanto (the corporation that acquired Searle in l985), it never got out of committee. Senator Orrin Hatch protected Monsanto as we see in a press release (February 11, 1986) from Labor and Human Resources titled Hatch Says No to Committee Hearings on Aspartame. He said: “[I]t would serve no useful purpose to commit Committee resources to this issue at this time.”

Consumers were going blind due to the wood alcohol from aspartame. Many were diagnosed by Morgan Raiford, M.D., a methanol toxicity specialist. The Chicago Sun Times (October 17, 1986) announced Consumer Group Links NutraSweet to Blindness. “Charging that aspartame, the widely used artificial sweetener marketed as NutraSweetcauses blindness, a consumer group yesterday petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban it. The petition was another step in a long and so far fruitless campaign by the Washington based Community Nutrition Institute against aspartame.

Consumer anti-aspartame organizations sprang up. Shannon Roth, blinded in one eye by aspartame, started Aspartame Victims and Their Friends of Ocala, Florida. Totally blinded, Joyce Wilson began Aspartame Victims and Their Friends of Georgia. Jeanette Soto, who wrote the brochure Blinded Sight when aspartame took her husband’s vision, today is running Mission Possible of Brooksville, Florida.

As aspartame destroyed their central nervous systems, patients began being misdiagnosed as having multiple sclerosis. Victims lost memory, and memory loss is number eleven on a secret FDA list of 92 aspartame reactions. H.J. Roberts, M.D., wrote Defense Against Alzheimer’s Disease in l995, connecting aspartame with this exploding twentieth-century disease.

Another congressional hearing in l987 exposed NutraSweet, but again ended with no legislation to protect consumers. That year, Gregory Gordon of United Press International conducted an eight-month investigation of NutraSweet and the FDA’s handling of the product. Gordon reported that NutraSweet was at the center of intense controversy since the day Hayes approved its use on July 18, l981, and that Hayes overrode six of the nine scientists on two agency review panels who felt links to brain tumors in rats had been ignored. Dr. Richard Wurtman, one-time Searle consultant, resigned to become a critic of NutraSweet. He told Gordon he had been contacted by more than 200 people who suspected their seizures resulted from the toxin.

Barbara Alexander Mullarkey, a columnist for the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park, Illinois, and author of Bittersweet Aspartame: A Diet Delusion, wrote the FDA for a list of the pivotal studies that approved aspartame. A letter from Dr. Rudolph Harris of the FDA [10] included SC 18862, a 52 Week Oral Toxicity Study in the Infant Monkey. Seven were fed aspartame, five had grand mal seizures, and one died. The FDA report of 92 symptoms lists four types of seizures. (The phenylalanine in aspartame lowers the seizure threshold.)

Gordon’s UPI story reported that Dr. Wurtman said: “Dr. Gerald Gaull, a Searle vice president, visited his laboratory in l985 and threatened to veto funding by ILSI, the Washington-based tax-exempt foundation, for his planned study into whether NutraSweet changes brain chemistry, lowering some humans seizure thresholds.” Gaull didn’t deny making the threat. Dr. William Partridge told Gordon that after he raised questions about the sweetener’s effects on children, ILSI rejected his two grant proposals in l985.

Additional revelations from the UPI investigation put the aspartame picture in perspective:

“Drs. Louis Elsas of Emory University and William Pardridge of the UCLA Medical School charged that the diet food and drink industry has engaged in a whitewash’ by rejecting health concerns, manipulating research studies and wining and dining scientific critics.

“These and other researchers describe a world of subtle, high-stakes strategy in which the availability of corporate funds and the design of research protocols may have influenced the course of a multibillion-dollar industry and potentially affected the safety of millions of people.

“Elsas, who publicly assailed NutraSweet in l985, said he was put off for a year before ILSI rejected his proposal without stating a reason.

“While denying funding for these aspartame skeptics, the company (G. D. Searle/NutraSweet Co.) and ILSI have financed researchers with whom they have long-running relationships. A number of industry-funded scientists acknowledge that company and ILSI officials originated ideas for their studies or participated in the research design. These studies generally have reported the sweetener is safe.

“In the summer of l985 the firm flew Wurtman, Elsas, Matalon, Pardridge, several of their wives and other NutraSweet critics to a two-day meeting at a luxurious home in Northeast harbor, Maine. An afternoon was spent on a yacht, participants said. ‘This was industry wooing the concerned to shut up,’ Elsas said.

“Dr. Richard Wurtman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist, says heavy NutraSweet consumption may so flood the bloodstream with phenylalanine that other essential amino acids are blocked from reaching the brain, causing chemical changes that can affect behavior and lower the threshold at which many suffer epileptic seizures.

“Dr. Sidney Wolfe, executive director of the Washington-based Health Research Group said, ‘The thing that’s really worrisome is that it clearly affects brain metabolism in animals, and anyone who disputes that is irresponsible.’

“Dr. Richard Matalon of the University of Illinois has reported that heavy consumption of NutraSweet’s main componentthe amino acid phenylalaninemay cause neurological problems such as loss of memory and concentration.”

“Consumer lawyer Jim Turner said, ‘The notion that an industrial company would take large sums of money and parcel it out to scientific consulting firms and university departments, who they consider to be personal and commercial allies, is an unconscionable way to ensure the safety of the American food supply.’ He said the NutraSweet experience shows that ‘the entire system of the way scientific research is done needs to be carefully investigated, evaluated and revamped.’

“Matalon said, ‘Let us say cigarettes were invented today and you give 20 people two packs a day and after six weeks, no one has cancer, would you say that it was safe? That’s what they did with NutraSweet.'” [11]

Though the FDA originally wanted the manufacturer indicted, eventually their loyalty transferred to the manufacturer. They distributed Monsanto’s propaganda with a paper from the International Food Information Council Foundation which is rebutted by Mark Gold of the Aspartame Toxicity Center on the Dorway Web site. This disinformation is also distributed by trade organizations funded by the industry. The American Dietetics Association is often called Monsanto’s media flack, and in the January l993 issue of the ADA Courier is a picture of smiling dietitians receiving a check for $75,000 from NutraSweet, admitting they write ADA’s material.

James Bowen, M.D., writes of NutraSweet:

Toxic Mechanisms:

Abortifacient: Abortion causation

Terotogen: Birth defect production

Adjuvant: Forms antigenic tissue, triggering immunologic attack, fetal wastage

Chelation: Chelates metals, promoting heavy metal poisoning [12]

Diabetic specialist H.J. Roberts, M.D., has a position paper on aspartame and diabetes on Dorway in which explains how aspartame can precipitate diabetes, keep blood sugar out of control, destroy the optic nerve, and even cause diabetic convulsions.[13] Yet the American Diabetes Association, funded by NutraSweet, distributes NutraSweet propaganda recommending the poison.

When Dr. H. J. Roberts wrote Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is It Safe?, he added an epilogue quoting comments at his first press conference: “I think it would be a tragedy if this issue is ignored since we could be inviting disastrous medical, psychological and neurological problems. I hope I’m wrong. But lets look at the problem NOW instead of in five or ten years when we might be having a medical plague on our hands.”

In l996, FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler granted blanket approval of this neurotoxin to be used like sugar. I had asked then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for help. On August 26, l996 (p 20-21) the Food Chemical News reported, “Gingrich told FDA in a July 26 letter that he would appreciate any information the agency could provide him on aspartame. Aspartamecommercially known as ‘NutraSweet’was recently approved for all food and beverages uses by the FDA.” I had provided 26 questions for the FDA to answer that could remove aspartame from the market if FDA would answer them honestly. To this day (August 4, 2000) the FDA has refused to answer them, even though given to them by a man who at that time was considered one of the most important men in the world.

In December l996 John Olney, M.D., the famed neuroscientist who founded the branch of neuroscience known as excitotoxicity, made world news when he published Increasing Brain Tumor Rates: Is There a Link to Aspartame? in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. [14] He was accompanied on 60 Minutes by Dr. Ralph Walton, who provided peer-reviewed research on aspartame showing that 83 of 90 independent studies (i.e. not funded by the industry) revealed problems. Six studies from the FDA had to be disqualified because of their controversial role regarding aspartame. One literature review almost exclusively reflected the industry-sponsored research. With these studies excluded, 100 percent of the truly independently-funded research demonstrated some type of adverse reaction to NutraSweet.

Dr. Ralph Waltonchairman of the Center for Behavioral Medicine in Youngstown, Ohiodid a study on these effects [15], but NutraSweet, knowing they had no control over the study, had refused to sell him the aspartame he needed. When he obtained it elsewhere, the institution had to stop the study as some subjects complained of being poisoned, one sustained a retinal detachment, and one suffered conjunctival bleeding.

Dr. Michael Friedman, acting Commissioner of the FDA, defended Monsanto on 60 Minutes. Yet, it was the FDA themselves who refused to approve aspartame for sixteen years because of the brain tumor issue. Their own toxicologist, the late Dr. Adrian Gross, had told Congress that aspartamebecause it triggers brain tumorsviolates the Delaney Amendment that makes it illegal to allow any residues of cancer-causing chemicals in foods. In concluding testimony Gross asked, “Given the [cancer-causing potential of aspartame] how would the FDA justify its position that it views a certain amount of aspartame as constituting an allowable daily intake or ‘safe’ level of it? Is that position in effect not equivalent to setting a ‘tolerance’ for this food additive and thus a violation of that law? And if the FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left to protect the health of the public?” [16]

We were flooding Dr. Friedman with case histories, but they were never reported in the FDA report of complaints. And even in congressional hearings, it was admitted the FDA was referring aspartame complaints to the AIDS Hotline to get rid of them. When he defended Monsanto, I couldn’t help but think one day they would reward him. His reward came in June 1999 when they hired him.

In Atlanta, Georgia, in l998 I attended an International Conference on Unexplained Emerging Epidemics, attended by the Communicable Disease Center, physicians and scientists from 91 countries, and the global press. I couldn’t help but remember the prophecy in Dr. Robert’s book as I distributed his information declaring aspartame disease a world plague. I also distributed a paper exposing the CDC for their part in the cover-up. In l984 they investigated complaints and reported such symptoms as aggressive behavior, disorientation, hyperactivity, extreme numbness, excitability, memory loss, loss of depth-perception, liver impairment, cardiac arrest, seizures, suicidal tendencies, severe mood swings, and death! They recommended further investigations of the neurological and behavioral problems. Perhaps aspartame would not be on the market today if Frederick L. Trowbridge had not added an executive summary to the report which conflicted with the information in the report, stating: “Currently available information, based on data with limitations as described in the report, indicated a wide variety of complaints that are generally of a mild nature.” As usual, only the summary was widely circulated. I told Dr. Satcher, who headed the CDC before he became Surgeon General, if he didn’t remove the summary, I would put the entire document on the Web for the whole world to read. He didn’t and I did, and it can now be read on Dorway.

It’s hard to believe anyone associated with the approval of aspartame didn’t know the gun was loaded. Glutamate researchers used aspartame as a placebo in studies so they could say MSG wouldn’t react anymore than the placebo. MSG is also an excitotoxin, as discussed in Dr. Blaylock’s book Excitotoxins. In l993 Jack Samuels, President of the Truth in Labeling Campaign, was reviewing FDA docket files relating to an FDA study on the safety of amino acids in supplements. In the files, he found a letter dated March 22, l991, from Andrew G. Ebert, PhD, Chairman, International Glutamate Technical Committeea glutamate industry organizationin which Ebert admitted that aspartame had been used since at least l978 in test and placebo materials that his organization provided to scientists who study the safety of MSG.

A review of studies conducted with the above-referenced test material clearly indicates that some subjects reacted to both MSG test material and placebo material. Scientists conducting such studies concluded that since subjects reacted to both MSG and placebos, their reactions were not from MSG. Even though such logic is highly questionable, we now know that subjects reacted to placebos because of the presence of aspartame, an additive that causes MSG-type responses in MSG-sensitive people. Because of the disclosure of the use of aspartame in placebo material by Jack Samuels, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, in its July l995 report on the safety of MSG in food, concluded that the use of aspartame in placebo materials was inappropriate.

All the articles, all the TV shows, and all the organizations warning the public could not bring Monsanto Chemical Company to its knees, although I believe getting out the warning has saved the lives of thousands of people. But at the end of l998 something happened that even Monsanto and the FDA could not containthe email that made world news.

In l995 I had lectured for the World Environmental Conference sponsored by the Department of Environmental Justice of the EPA through a grant. Dr. Clarice Gaylord gave the keynote address and said: “We have an epidemic of MS and lupus and cannot identify the toxin.” I answered: “I’m Betty Martini of Mission Possible International, and I’m here to lecture on MS and lupus and identify the toxin as NutraSweet.” When I returned to Atlanta I wrote about this conference and the epidemic on a neurological list headed by a Dr. Rivner. I put on the list a position paper by Dr. Roberts titled Multiple Sclerosis or Aspartame Disease? and material on the subject by neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, explaining that aspartame disease mimics multiple sclerosis. I also discussed many of the other problems it triggers. The post was put on the Web at Dorway, where it still remains today.

A person calling herself Nancy Markle published the article under her name, changing the title and some of the wording. John Smith saw it in the UK and sent it to a global networker in Clarkston, GeorgiaShoshanna Allison. Shoshanna’s marriage had been shattered when her husband developed lupus and the usual mood swings from aspartame. She didn’t want it to happen to anyone else, so with the help of Jean Hudon in Canada, she put the post in cyberspace, and it made world news. Today Shoshanna is dubbed Paula Revere for firing the shot heard around the world.

Who could have predicted what would happen as this post was sent to hospitals, clinics, doctors, media, corporations, and victims? It didn’t take long for people to realize I was the author, as all you had to do was search the Web for “aspartame” to find Dorway and read the original article. My phone wouldn’t stop ringing, and finally I had to remove call waiting because it was impossible to talk to two people at once all day long and do radio shows. Over a year and a half later, the phone still has not stopped ringing. Articles continue to be written, some exposing the truth, while others simply repeat industry-influenced lies. I believe thousands have been yanked from the jaws of death.

Two support groups were set up online to help the victims calling from all over the world: the Aspartame Support Group and Aspartame Survivors International. The Aspartame Toxicity Center in Concord, New Hampshire, continues to report the case histories of the victims, some of whom have now passed on.

When this post began its world tour, the propaganda mills geared up. First came Lauren Neergard’s Associated Press article on January 29, l999, titled Internet Health Scares. She wrote: “An email campaign attacking an artificial sweetener was spreading fear facts. ‘Could I have been misdiagnosed? Will eliminating the aspartame in my diet eliminate the MS symptoms?’ a panicked patient asked the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.” She quoted Jeff Stier of the American Council on Science and Health, who said: “I call them toxic terrorists.”

I called Lauren Neergard and told her I was the one who lectured for the World Environmental Conference, and there was no hoax. She said: “But Mrs. Martini, I didn’t use your name.” Does that mean she knew there was no hoax but published the article anyway? Why didn’t she use my name? She finally said, “If you can prove that the FDA doesn’t report all the complaints, I’ll consider doing the story.” I explained that we had the copies, but Ms. Neergard has never done the story and never retracted the misinformation she published.

On February 8, l999, Time magazine contained Web of Deceit, an article that read like a Monsanto commercial down to, “Aspartame sweetens your life without shortening it.” I guess that’s a little reverse psychology! The article contained the usual propaganda about there being four times as much methanol in a glass of tomato juice as in a can of aspartame-sweetened soda. The truth is written in a paper by Dr. Woodrow Monte titled Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health“Ethanol, the classic antidote for methanol toxicity, is found in natural food sources of methanol at concentrations 5 to 500,000 times that of the toxin. Ethanol inhibits metabolism of methanol and allows the body time for clearance of the toxin through the lungs and kidneys.” [17] There’s no ethanol in aspartamethus, no counteracting effect on the methanolbut the propaganda put out by NutraSweet finds itself rubberstamped in newspapers, articles, and Web sites geared at protecting industry.

The interesting thing about Christine Gorman’s article in Time is that she was on the Dorway Website and knew the truth. She says: “When I searched Altavista for aspartame and brain and seizure and sclerosis, I learned that Markle’s message is almost identical to an anti-aspartame screed first penned under a different name in l995.” So she saw my original post and all the evidence of facts on Dorway, including the damning CDC investigation, the FDA’s own audit, the Bressler Report, the secret trade information, and even the protest of the National Soft Drink Association. She must have seen Dr. Robert’s position paper Multiple Sclerosis or Aspartame Disease? The least she could have done was to call me, but instead she spewed the real web of deceit and misled the public.

Phyllis Weidmann had seen the original post and quit using aspartame. However, misled by Time, she started the use of aspartame again and sustained a grand mal seizure. Now that shes permanently off the toxin, her seizures have stopped, and she is an activist on the Aspartame Survivors Support list.

Many people repeated Christine Gorman’s search, and when reading the facts on Dorway told me they were outraged that Time would publish such an article, having known the truth.

David Emery, who runs the Urban Legends Web site at About.com, insisted there were many questions I could not answer, but when I did answer them, he refused to put them on his site. It continues to mislead the public to this day. That also goes for Dr. Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch.

As my phone was ringing off the hook, I called Dr. Rudolph Harris, who confirmed the FDA was having the same experience. I said: “How can you tell consumers aspartame is safe when we have FDA’s own audit, the Bressler Report, on the Web.” His only answer was, “I can’t refute that.

In an interview with Dr. James Bowen, he stated: “The FDA has made aspartame a self-validating compound, meaning that since they have released it to market generally recognized as safe, it must be held blameless. Therefore, their own studies which show horrendous toxicity must be held invalid.” Dr. Bowenwho says aspartame triggered his Lou Gehrig’s Disease, toxic cardiopathy, and severe depression, not to mention changing his hair from rich, dark brown to total silver gray in six weekswrote the FDA several years ago telling them that aspartame was a mass poisoning of the American public and more than 70 other countries. Their only response to this, says Dr. Bowen, was to send an FDA investigator to his office after he collected 30 other cases for them. This investigator told Dr. Bowen, “We don’t like what you’re doing, and we want you to stop.” He told me she repeatedly refused to accept the 30 cases of aspartame poisoning he collected. Whereupon he said to her, “Did you come here to intimidate me, or did you come here to review the case reports, as you say you have?” He says she merely glared at him and refused to take the reports until he repeatedly pressured her to do so, and nobody has seen those reports since.

Why is the post still heavily circulated after a year and a half? Why is it still causing articles to be written? The post contained so many symptoms and problems triggered by aspartame that many victims read their problems and got off the toxin, and then continued to forward it to friends. Even if the reader was not using aspartame, many saw the problems in their friends and family.

Nancy Markle reared her head again when she wrote The Ecologist in the UK, using my home address. After explaining the situation, I received a call from journalist Ed Metcalfe, who did his own investigation on aspartame, which was published in the June 2000 issue of The Ecologist. He discusses the FDA-commissioned taskforce, headed by Jerome Bressler, that investigated some studies to determine whether or not they had been properly conducted. “In August l977 the Bressler Report (as it became known) was released. Investigators found significant deviations from acceptable procedures for conducting non-clinical laboratory studies. They discovered, for instance, that a significant proportion of animal tissues from one of the studies had been allowed to decompose before post-mortem examinations could be performed. Original animal pathology sheets and the pathology sheets submitted to the FDA showed marked differences. Animals were recorded as dead and then subsequent records would indicate that the same animal was still alivealmost certain evidence of a mix-upwhich tallied with evidence that animals had not been correctly tagged. In one of the studies examining the possible carcinogenicity in rats of a breakdown product of aspartame called diketopiperazine (DKP), investigators could not ascertain what dosage of DKP had been fed to the rats. There was also evidence that the feed in the DKP test had been improperly mixed, allowing the animals to avoid the DKP while eating.

“In l987 Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, a toxicologist and member of the Bressler Task Force, testified before a US Senate hearing. She described the discrepancies found in the Searle tests of aspartame as ‘serious departures from acceptable toxicological protocols.’

“‘It is unthinkable,” she said, ‘that any reputable toxicologist giving a complete, objective evaluation of the data resulting from such a study could conclude anything other than that the study was uninterpretable and worthless and should be repeated.

“On the crucial question itself: ‘It would appear that the safety of aspartame and its breakdown products has still not been satisfactorily determined, since many of the flaws cited in these three studies were also present in all of the other studies submitted by Searle.'” [18]

The Ecologist’s investigation shows again that aspartame was never proven safe.

Today physicians are opening aspartame detoxification centers to help the victims of this chemical poison. The first one was set up by Dr. Paula Rhodes in Atlanta, Georgia. When I first saw a sign for the Aspartame Detoxification Center, I knew the world was getting the message. Likewise, Dr. David Dahlman of the Hyde Park Holistic Center in Cincinnati has been treating aspartame victims from all over the country. Dr. Ron Austin is not only detoxifying aspartame victims but plans in the future to have them treated with hyperbaric oxygen. I also received a call from the Hyperbaric Oxygen Department of the Whitaker Wellness Center saying their doors are now open aspartame victims who want assistance.

Monsanto could not put out the fire and sold the NutraSweet Company. They also sold the rights to Neotame, a more potent aspartame product. Dr. Jeffrey Bada, a peptide chemist, told me by phone that Neotame had the same dangerous breakdown products as aspartame. A 1998 study published in the prestigious journal Life Sciences showed that formaldehyde from aspartame accumulates in the cells and damages DNA, with substantial amounts of toxicity in the liver, kidneys, adipose tissue, retina, and brain. [19]

The poisoning of the world’s population by this FDA-approved potion is a tragedy on a scale unrivaled in history. Little blue packs of rat poison nestle in neat containers on every restaurant table, and it’s added to thousands of foods. An avalanche of new afflictions is sweeping away the well-being of millions to feed the greed of corporations and bureaucrats without conscience, without honor. It is time to stop the massacre, destroy the destroyers.

Endnotes

[1]. Roberts, H.J., M.D. (1990) Aspartame (NutraSweet): Is it safe? Philadelphia, PA: The Charles Press.

2. Wurtman, Richard J. & Timothy J. Maher. (1987). Effects of aspartame on the brain: Neurologic effects of aspartame. Presented at the symposium: “Sweeteners: Health Effects,” Naylor-Dana Foundation, New York; February 18-20, l987.

[3]. Congressional Record. Senate, May 7, l985 (S5507 – S5511).

[4]. Louis, R. J. (1992).

[4]. Sax’s Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials (eighth edition). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold: 2251-2252.

[5]. G. D. Searle Company. (1970).

Confidential internal memorandum entitled “Food and drug sweetener strategy documents supplied by Sen. Howard Metzenbaum’s office. December 28.

[6]. Federal Register 39: 27317 (July 25, l974).

[7]. Federal Register 46: 38285 (July 24, l981); US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, No. 84-1153 Community Nutrition Institute, et al, Petitioners v Dr. Mark Novitch, Acting commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Respondent, G. D. Searle Co., Intervenor, Petition for Review of an Order of the Food and Drug Administration, No. 84-5253 Community Nutrition Institute et al, Appellants v. Dr. Mark Novitch, Acting Commissioner, food and Drug Administration, Appellee (September 24, l985).

[8]. Food and Drug Administration, Searle Investigation Task Force Chaired by Carlton Sharp. (1976). “Final report of Investigation of G. D. Searle Company.” March 24.

[9]. Letter from Richard A. Merrill, Chief counsel, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Food and Drug Administration, to Honorable Samuel K. Skinner, US Attorney, Northern district of Illinois, requesting that Skinner’s office convene a Grand Jury investigation into G. D. Searle co. for submitting false reports. (January 10, l977).

[10]. Letter from Dr. Rudolph Harris of FDA to Barbara Alexander Mullarkey, dated August 10, l994.

[11]. Gordon, Gregory. (1987). NutraSweet: Questions swirl. United Press International, 3-part series.

[12]. Bowen, James, M.D. (2000). Aspartame murders infants in violation of Title 18 of the Genocide Law. Dorway Web site, June 6.

[13]. Roberts, H.J., M.D. (1994). Statement of H.J. Roberts, M.D., concerning the use of products containing aspartame (NutraSweet) by persons with diabetes and hypoglycemia. Dorway Web site, August 9.

[14]. Olney, John, M.D. (l996). “Increasing brain tumor rates: Is there a link to aspartame?” Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, Vol 55, No 12 (December).

[15]. Walton, Dr. Ralph (1993). “Adverse reactions to aspartame: Double-blind challenge in patients from a vulnerable population.” Society of Biological Psychiatry.

[16]. Congressional Record SID835:131. (August 1, l985).

[17]. Monte, Dr. Woodrow. (1984). “Aspartame: Methanol and the public health.” Journal of Applied Nutrition, Vol 36, No 1.

[18]. Metcalfe, Ed. (2000). “Sweet talking.” The Ecologist, Vol 30, No 4 (June).

[19]. Trocho, C., R. Pardo, I. Rafecas, J. Virgili, X. Remesar, J.A. Fornandex-Lopez, M. Alemany. (1998). “Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo.” Life Sciences 63 (5), June 26, pp 337-49.

Aspartame Detoxification Centers:

Dr. Paula Rhodes
3767 Chamblee Dunwood Road
Atlanta GA 30341
770-455-3999

Dr. David Dahlman of the Hyde Park Holistic Center (Cincinnati OH)
513-871-3300

Dr. Ron Austin
13132 Studebaker Road, Suite 1
Norwalk, CA 40650
562-863-5754

Hyperbaric Oxygen Department
Whitaker Wellness Center
4320 Birch Street
New Port Beach, CA 92660
949-851-1550

[The views expressed above are those of the author alone and publication does not imply any endorsement by the publisher. Caveat lector.]

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  • alizardx

    Don’t know how accurate the above is, but when I saw this info years ago, I switched to Splenda-flavored soda instead based on this information from The Center for Science in the Public Interest:

    “Sucralose. Don’t believe the manufacturer’s claim that this sweetener is “natural” or “tastes like sugar since it’s made from sugar.” But also don’t believe the Internet conspiracy theories that it’s toxic; it appears to be safe. ” Though some things sweetened with sucralose are also flavored with acesulfame as well – the approach I use is harm reduction – 100% safe food in an industrial ag enviromnent is not really possible.

    http://www.cspinet.org/new/200804291.html

    • JoiquimCouteau

      ‘Harm reduction’? If you like soda buy a fizzgizz and some fruit juice powder. No need for anyone to be consuming organochlorides.

    • Apathesis

      Splenda gave me a sore throat for almost a week on two separate occasions.

  • http://just-john.com just john

    Since Aspartame first came out, I’ve been saying about it: Imagine if mold could grow on styrofoam. That’s how this stuff tastes to me.

    For coffee, I use saccharin.

  • BuzzCoastin

    damn! ya mean I’m gonna have to stop drinkin’ Dr. Pepper Lite

    why would anyone want to ingest anything
    that needs artificial anything to make it palatable?

  • Simon Selvfed

    Wall of text: 200 damage – You guys should do more sub headlines and paragraphs…

    • Matt Staggs

      Disinfo makes its “Save vs. Comment Section” for half damage. Reality Sandwich casts Cure Major Wounds on Disinfo. Daily Grail blasts Simon Selvfed with Fireball for 160 damage. Disinfo casts “Summon Joe Rogan”: Jiu-jitsu take-down for 37 hit points.

      • Simon Selvfed

        Hahahaha

  • equip

    goddamnit dihydrogen monoxide

  • http://www.facebook.com/lincoln.nielson Lincoln Nielson

    “The poisoning of the world’s population by this FDA-approved potion is a tragedy on a scale unrivaled in history.” – – Clearly arguable, but keeping within the FDA/DEA (they are both corporate interest agencies) vein I would say that the prohibition of cannabis is at least equally tragic for the benefits repressed economically, environmentally, socially, and medically.

  • Bob

    Poison is ALWAYS dose dependent. At the right dose, everything is a poison, and at a low enough dose everything is safe. At the levels of aspartame found in food it’s quite safe. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17828671

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wrenja-Czaczkes/100000276829636 Wrenja Czaczkes

    Yeah I don’t know why they brought in MSG to be demonized as well. MSG ‘sensitive’ people are bullshit. It’s a salt. A naturally occurring salt that is derived from kelp. It’s also present in Tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. If those foods don’t bother you and you claim to be ‘msg sensitive’ you’re full of shit. If you eat too much salt in any situation you’re going to feel gross no matter what kind of salt it is, but in moderation, as with everything else, its fine.

    • Bill Raddatz

      Hi Wrenja. You are so sure of your point-of-view about MSG, I wonder, where you are getting your proof that it does not cause migraines in some people? Since scientific research has not determined the exact mechanism for the cause of migraine headaches, how can you rule out MSG as a possible trigger in some individuals? The whole point of the above article is that parties with vested interests can interpret scientific findings to suit their purposes. While your term “moderation” is open to interpretation, I agree with your profanity-laced assertion that MSG is a salt and too much can cause health problems. But the term salt covers a wide range of chemical substances and all the cards have not yet been played when it comes to the use of one we call MSG as an additive in our food. The subject is not as black-and-white as you assert.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wrenja-Czaczkes/100000276829636 Wrenja Czaczkes

        It really kind of is though, because every ‘MSG sensitive’ person I’ve ever met complains non stop about chinese food, but when I ask them about Italian food, which has plenty in it as well because of the use of tomatoes and parmesan cheese, they are fine. Along with any number of other foods that we eat everyday which are packed with MSG.

        MSG has gotten a bad wrap because of shoddy (lack of)scientific ‘research’ thirty years ago and there hasn’t been any attempt to give it a real scientific diagnosis or run down. So misinformation continues. Fact is that it is a simple salt with a gluten attached, and it’s not the kind of gluten that causes reactions like the gluten in wheat. In fact MSG is attached to a 6th sensation of taste on our tongues that was identified by the Japanese and is called ‘umami’. when you see people talking about ‘umami’ they are talking about MSG. In the past few years a pretty subtle rebranding campaign has been going on to try and help MSG shed it’s less than flattering image. It’s kind of obnoxious, but I guess, what else can be done?

        • Bill Raddatz

          Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Wrenja. I agree that the research about MSG is incomplete. In fact, I’d go so far to add that the results of any research can be disputed and might even be countered by other research, and when you mix in the prejudice of corporate or political interests, I think that we can agree that it is hard to be 100% certain about anything.

          I just know, from my own experiment on myself as a 66 year old, as anecdotal as that might be, that I have had no health problems since I decided 17 months ago to start eating only whole, organically grown (as far as I can tell) fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes with no added oil, additives, meat, fish, eggs, or milk products. I have lost 40 lbs, gotten off two blood pressure meds, and the pre-cancerous lesions from sun exposure on my skin are gone.

          I realize from reading some of your other posts that you shun vegan-ism but believe me when I say that I ate just about everything I could get into my pie hole for 64 years, so I am not one who can pass judgement on what others eat. I just believe that the chemistry of our body works the way we evolved (up until the advent of “civilization”) without any food additives, much processing, or concentrations of foodstuffs that would otherwise be healthy for us in their natural whole forms.

          However, I do respect your opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wrenja-Czaczkes/100000276829636 Wrenja Czaczkes

    Yeah I don’t know why they brought in MSG to be demonized as well. MSG ‘sensitive’ people are bullshit. It’s a salt. A naturally occurring salt that is derived from kelp. It’s also present in Tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. If those foods don’t bother you and you claim to be ‘msg sensitive’ you’re full of shit. If you eat too much salt in any situation you’re going to feel gross no matter what kind of salt it is, but in moderation, as with everything else, its fine.

  • Bill Raddatz

    Back in the early 90’s I was the victim of raging migraine headaches after consuming soda pop with an artificial sweetener. After it happened twice, I checked the label on the pop cans and found the soft drinks contained Aspartame. I have avoided it ever since, but a few times I ate or drank something without reading the label and wound up with another migraine complete with aura and a two day headache. Aspartame or MSG was always involved. I now am a vegan and eat only whole fruit, veggies, grains and legumes without oil – never any soft drinks, artificial sugar, or artificial anything. I’ve lost 40 lbs in 17 months and have not had a migraine since going on the diet.

  • Bill Raddatz

    So you believe what the government tells you? Our current government represents the interests of the very industry they are supposed to monitor – the foxes guarding the hen house. Beware of government findings with regard to processed food and food additives.

  • jnana

    Don’t know how true this is but I heard aspartame is a by-product of round-up.
    Ironic, the FDA won’t consider banning aspartame as a poison, but it insists on labeling raw milk a poison! I know many who’ve benefited from drinking raw cow’s and goat’s milk, including my cat!

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