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Made from Genetically Modified Bacteria Waste, Aspartame Risks Public Health

Andre Evans
by
March 26th, 2012
Updated 03/15/2013 at 3:55 am
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sugarblack1 220x137 Made from Genetically Modified Bacteria Waste, Aspartame Risks Public Health

Aspartame is one of the most used artificial sweeteners in the food supply today. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous. Aspartame is used in thousands of products as a substitute to sugar, though consumers would actually be better off eating regular sugar. Specifically, the toxic substance is often found in diet soft drinks and various candies. You should also be aware that aspartame is even present in a number of lesser-known conventional products as well.

Millions either knowingly or unknowingly consume aspartame on a daily basis. However, if the public was aware of the various dangers aspartame poses to individual health, they would stop — or would they?

Aspartame is an addictive substance. Most people who consume diet sodas regularly soon develop a craving for it. This is because of aspartame’s addictive quality. Soon after consuming the ingredient on a normal basis, many people find themselves unable to kick the habit.

This is concerning due to the fact that aspartame has been linked to a number of diseases, can impair the immune system, and is even known to cause cancer. Aspartame has even been found to create tumors in lab rats. One study showed that of 48 rats experimented on, up to 67 percent of all female rats developed tumors roughly the size of golf balls or larger. This is glaringly in contrast to the perceived nature of what a ‘sugar free alternative’ would entail, which is generally thought to be a ‘healthy’ substitute to sugar.

Aspartame works as an excitotoxin, stimulating a response in cells to simulate the effects of sweetness without actually being sweet. Over exertion of these cells leads to the various health conditions that currently wreak havoc on the public.

Excitotoxins have been found to stimulate cancer growth and metastasis. Aspartame, essentially, feeds cancer cells. If this weren’t enough to convince you to drop the diet soda habit, the process by which aspartame is made involves a highly toxic and volatile and genetically engineered form of bacteria waste — hardly something that would be considered safe by a reasonable standard.

And yet, the ‘safe and reasonable’ FDA has approved aspartame for use. Knowing the gamut of health risks that aspartame is responsible for, and knowing the history of FDA approved products, your health becomes your own responsibility. Being aware of its presence in over 6,000 products and counting is essential.

Additional Sources:

The Independent

About Andre Evans:
Andre Evans has studied the connection between mind and body for the majority of his professional career, offering insights as to why we do the things that we do and how to change our lives for the better. Highlighting the extreme power of the mind and the numerous neurological reasons that you may be experiencing a health crisis, Andre breaks down exactly how to melt away your stress levels and enjoy your life the way you should -- naturally.

From around the web:

  • Angelina

    Smithy, I have never known anyone that has died from diet coke. But what about that woman that wrote a book called "sweet poison" and traveled the country warning about the dangers of aspartame. There is alot of scary articles on the internet about aspartame. I wish they could use a natural sweetner like Stevia for diet coke, since I like to drink diet coke. I don't know what to believe.

  • Smithy

    I personally do not know anyone that has died from Diet Coke.

  • John Fryer

    John Garst hides behind his qualifications in toxicology and this is the issue. Toxicologists are responsible for allowing or disallowing toxic substances to damage or disorganise our bodies causing long term problems.

    Today we have rising autism, rising diabetes, rising Multiple Sclerosis and for some cancers rising numbers of these.

    60 years ago any carcinogen was banned from our foods. Today toxicologists like John Garst tell us we have more to fear from water than known carcinogens produced by aspartame in our processed foods.

    Clearly turning common sense, facts and even toxicological science on its head.

    Carcinogens are toxic at any level found in our food and harm does not come today, tomorrow or in five years but will come eventually.

    Water is toxic and also oxygen at high levels and this is the basis of 500 year old toxicology that has now progressed to yesterday when any amount of a carcinogen was prohibited. To allow carcinogenic metabolites today from aspartame is contrary to the human state of good health and an abomination of science that allows such adulturants at the cost of long term safety.

    The current and for how long adulturation of beef with horse meat shows the duplicity of food and chemical industry is real, ongoing and of long standing disregard for other humans.

    How much and for how long has John Garst ingested or over-ingested aspartame?

  • Ann

    John if it is so much of a myth why would it be on someones death certificate as a contribute factor to their death.America and many other counterys have banned it. why is it not banned in England Ann

  • deonna

    well maybe some doctors dont know everything the world does so how would yall know an i think it is not good for u the goverment keeps secrets from us so how would doctors know

  • EZ-Gee

    In 1985 Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame’s clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it “might induce brain tumors.”

    The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (Former Secretary of Defense) vow to “call in his markers,” to get it approved.

    On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener, and Reagan’s new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry’s decision.

    It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision, but Hull then installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then personally broke the tie in aspartame’s favor. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.

    The Aspartame/NutraSweetTimeline

    December 1965– While working on an ulcer drug, James Schlatter, a chemist at G.D. Searle, accidentally discovers aspartame, a substance that is 180 times sweeter than sugar yet has no calories.

    Spring 1967– Searle begins the safety tests on aspartame that are necessary for applying for FDA approval of food additives.

    Fall 1967– Dr. Harold Waisman, a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin, conducts aspartame safety tests on infant monkeys on behalf of the Searle Company. Of the seven monkeys that were being fed aspartame mixed with milk, one dies and five others have grand mal seizures.

    November 1970– Cyclamate, the reigning low-calorie artificial sweetener — is pulled off the market after some scientists associate it with cancer. Questions are also raised about safety of saccharin, the only other artificial sweetener on the market, leaving the field wide open for aspartame.

    December 18, 1970– Searle Company executives lay out a “Food and Drug Sweetener Strategy’ that they feel will put the FDA into a positive frame of mind about aspartame. An internal policy memo describes psychological tactics the company should use to bring the FDA into a subconscious spirit of participation” with them on aspartame and get FDA regulators into the “habit of saying, “Yes”.”

    Spring 1971– Neuroscientist Dr. John Olney (whose pioneering work with monosodium glutamate was responsible for having it removed from baby foods) informs Searle that his studies show that aspartic acid (one of the ingredients of aspartame) caused holes in the brains of infant mice. One of Searle’s own researchers confirmed Dr. Olney’s findings in a similar study.

    February 1973– After spending tens of millions of dollars conducting safety tests, the G.D. Searle Company applies for FDA approval and submits over 100 studies they claim support aspartame’s safety.

    March 5, 1973– One of the first FDA scientists to review the aspartame safety data states that “the information provided (by Searle) is inadequate to permit an evaluation of the potential toxicity of aspartame”. She says in her report that in order to be certain that aspartame is safe, further clinical tests are needed.

    May 1974– Attorney, Jim Turner (consumer advocate who was instrumental in getting cyclamate taken off the market) meets with Searle representatives to discuss Dr. Olney’s 1971 study which showed that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of infant mice.

    July 26, 1974– The FDA grants aspartame its first approval for restricted use in dry foods.

    August 1974– Jim Turner and Dr. John Olney file the first objections against aspartame’s approval.

    March 24, 1976– Turner and Olney’s petition triggers an FDA investigation of the laboratory practices of aspartame’s manufacturer, G.D. Searle. The investigation finds Searle’s testing procedures shoddy, full of inaccuracies and “manipulated” test data. The investigators report they “had never seen anything as bad as Searle’s testing.”

    January 10, 1977– The FDA formally requests the U.S. Attorney’s office to begin grand jury proceedings to investigate whether indictments should be filed against Searle for knowingly misrepresenting findings and “concealing material facts and making false statements” in aspartame safety tests. This is the first time in the FDA’s history that they request a criminal investigation of a manufacturer.

    January 26, 1977– While the grand jury probe is underway, Sidley & Austin, the law firm representing Searle, begins job negotiations with the U.S. Attorney in charge of the investigation, Samuel Skinner.

    March 8, 1977– G. D. Searle hires prominent Washington insider Donald Rumsfeld as the new CEO to try to turn the beleaguered company around. A former Member of Congress and Secretary of Defense in the Ford Administration, Rumsfeld brings in several of his Washington cronies as top management.

    July 1, 1977– Samuel Skinner leaves the U.S. Attorney’s office and takes a job with Searle’s law firm. (see Jan. 26th)

    August 1, 1977– The Bressler Report, compiled by FDA investigators and headed by Jerome Bressler, is released. The report finds that 98 of the 196 animals died during one of Searle’s studies and weren’t autopsied until later dates, in some cases over one year after death. Many other errors and inconsistencies are noted. For example, a rat was reported alive, then dead, then alive, then dead again; a mass, a uterine polyp, and ovarian neoplasms were found in animals but not reported or diagnosed in Searle’s reports.

    December 8, 1977– U.S. Attorney Skinner’s withdrawal and resignation stalls the Searle grand jury investigation for so long that the statue of limitations on the aspartame charges runs out. The grand jury investigation is dropped.

    June 1, 1979– The FDA established a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) to rule on safety issues surrounding NutraSweet.

    September 30, 1980– The Public Board of Inquiry concludes NutraSweet should not be approved pending further investigations of brain tumors in animals. The board states it “has not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive.”

    January 1981– Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, states in a sales meeting that he is going to make a big push to get aspartame approved within the year. Rumsfeld says he will use his political pull in Washington, rather than scientific means, to make sure it gets approved.

    January 21, 1981– Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United States. Reagan’s transition team, which includes Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G. D. Searle, hand picks Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA Commissioner.

    March, 1981– An FDA commissioner’s panel is established to review issues raised by the Public Board of Inquiry.

    May 19, 1981– Three of six in-house FDA scientists who were responsible for reviewing the brain tumor issues, Dr. Robert Condon, Dr. Satya Dubey, and Dr. Douglas Park, advise against approval of NutraSweet, stating on the record that the Searle tests are unreliable and not adequate to determine the safety of aspartame.

    July 15, 1981– In one of his first official acts, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr., the new FDA commissioner, overrules the Public Board of Inquiry, ignores the recommendations of his own internal FDA team and approves NutraSweet for dry products. Hayes says that aspartame has been shown to be safe for its’ proposed uses and says few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated close scrutiny.

    October 15, 1982– The FDA announces that Searle has filed a petition that aspartame be approved as a sweetener in carbonated beverages and other liquids.

    July 1, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) urges the FDA to delay approval of aspartame for carbonated beverages pending further testing because aspartame is very unstable in liquid form. When liquid aspartame is stored in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both of which are known toxins.

    July 8, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association drafts an objection to the final ruling which permits the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages and syrup bases and requests a hearing on the objections. The association says that Searle has not provided responsible certainty that aspartame and its’ degradation products are safe for use in soft drinks.

    August 8, 1983– Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte, Arizona State University’s Director of Food Science and Nutritional Laboratories, file suit with the FDA objecting to aspartame approval based on unresolved safety issues.

    September, 1983– FDA Commissioner Hayes resigns under a cloud of controversy about his taking unauthorized rides aboard a General Foods jet. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet) Burson-Marsteller, Searle’s public relation firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet’s major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior scientific consultant.

    Fall 1983– The first carbonated beverages containing aspartame are sold for public consumption.

    November 1984– Center for Disease Control (CDC) “Evaluation of consumer complaints related to aspartame use.” (summary by B. Mullarkey)

    November 3, 1987– U.S. hearing, “NutraSweet: Health and Safety Concerns,” Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Senator Howard Metzenbaum, chairman.

    Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/made-from-genetically-m

  • John E. Garst, Ph.D.

    As to bias note the end of paragraph one: "(By the way I have no connection to the aspartame industry; what I share is why FDA, EFSA, and virtually all relevant world authorities will NOT ban this substance.)"

    About "nonsense", remember no relevant world authorities today even question aspartame safety, but there are many conspiracy theorists out there who will believe anything.

    Since I answered your question, let me ask where did you get your training in pharmacology and/or toxicology?

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    • anon

      shutup! how much aspartame do u consume daily? no really u should, on ur own advise to.
      will check up on u in few years time, if ur still alive!

  • C.Wright.Thru.

    Dude, Dr Whatever,

    Eat A Dick!

    You lying sack of shit.

    We forgive and bless your evil/ignorant ass.

  • BarbaKay

    Have kicked the Diet COke and any diet sodas — ALL SODAS for that matter – for 4 years now! When my son told me that the aspartame never leaves your body AND that it's made of bat guano, I quit – cold turkey. I'm happy about it. Drink HEALTHY! Check your ingredients at all times!

  • SettheRecordStraight

    Who does @Garst thinks he's talking to . . . a group of 3rd graders? Certainly "his" argument about the safety of the obviously deadly excitotoxin aspartame doesn't hold up to even the most elementary examination and scrutiny. Anyone with a high school education and common sense knows that poisons ACCUMULATE OVER TIME and that drugs and especially GMO's are not metabolized by the body. The actual dose has nothing to do with the continual harmful exposure to a foreign substance over the course of time AND many with compromised immune systems are even more vunerable. It is as simple as that Mr. Garst. So why don't you take your years of so called education, along with your total lack of ethics and integrity and stick it where the sun DOESN'T SHINE; because the truth about aspartame and all of the other "life taking" concoctions that you and your kind have generated in the course of your short and insignificant lives IS FINALLY COMING TO LIGHT !

    • John E. Garst, Ph.D.

      SettheRecordStraight, the fact remains no relevant world authorities have banned aspartame and none will, because there is no evidence to the contrary. Everything you have heard or read to the contrary and cited here is part of a conspiracy theory thrust upon you that has been ongoing since aspartame was introduced.

      You have documented in your response not only your ignorance about not only aspartame, but you have told all you have absolutely no understanding of either pharmacology or toxicology. Dose is everything and nearly everything is metabolized, including even cyanide (see my note and second Wikipedia reference). Somethings are just metabolized faster than others. Aspartame is one that is rapidly and completely destroyed in the GI tract by hydrolysis. And its three products are no different from those you consume daily from your own food, no matter what you eat.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      • SettheRecordStraight

        @Garst If I have told "all" as you claim, then they need be told; and any lack of understanding of socery and the deadly toxicity that you desire to be continually and ill-licitly prescribed to the unsuspecting masses . . . IS ALL ON YOU !

        Bless You Anyway.

      • SettheRecordStraight

        Just waiting to hear you rant in defense of neotame and all of the other GMO's humanity is becoming aware of daily. Please d-o-o-o respond since you are the authoriy here.

      • Samantha

        We KNOW aspartame is a toxin because many of us ingested it in the past and it almost killed us! I know what happened to my body when I drank diet sodas and other products laced with aspartame. I stopped using it, and my symptoms disappeared. Tried it again, JUST to see, and, my symptoms reappeared. There are reliable, professional opponents of aspartame. We are not a bunch of idiotic conspiracy theorists.

        • SettheRecordStraight

          Yes, Samantha, just go to http://rense.com/general95/jetblue.html . Looks like the good doctor Garst needs to go back to school and get some new and more "worthwhile credentials". However, it's probably best if he doesn't fly to his favorite institution. Plus, considering how much of this excitotoxin he has been consuming himself, it's advisable that he doesn't drive either.

    • EZ-Gee

      Typical denial response from an addict, I must say. Get stronger bro. I been thar. I've done that. There will be an answer, Let It Be.

  • Joe Bassett

    This is how much politicians care about you. They don’t care about anyone. Everyone should quit eating processed foods, because you don’t know what’s in it. If you can’t read the ingredients don’t buy them. I live in the marsh and eat nothing but wild animals and grow my own garden. I quit eating stuff out of the store 9 years ago. Not only that but many times they have something that accidently was put into the product and people get sick.

  • Anonymous

    some politicians are very harmful to humans. Some ' doctors' are accompanying the same motives.

  • Cokehead

    This is also why Aspartame is not in any Frozen foods, such as Ice Cream

  • Cokehead

    Why you cannot make a slushy from Diet coke: Because it freezes into razor-sharp elongated crystals when frozen. Try freezing a half-filled cup with diet Coke; the next day, you will see for yourselves. Be careful not to touch the crystals, they will slice your skin very easily.

  • VPutin54

    Ummmm…..germ poop! Yummy.

    • billh

      Well, in defense, many of us drink alcohol which is yeast poop…

  • Sarah Henderson

    Well, This what politics and lobbying is all about.

    Aspartame manufacturers are scaling up the manufacturing of Sucralose and Stevia, once that is done. they will again lobby to law makers to ban aspartame and approve stevia as sweetener and sugar substitute. Appranttely, Even Sucralose has CHLORINE in it, which many people do not know. Out of this cat fights, there are few brands which are honestly good in terms of quality and reliability. Zyvia is one with organic stevia and reb A 97%. worth trying once!!

    • Emma

      haha.so true!! Will try Zyvia !!

    • Don

      You do realize that sodium chloride (aka table salt)contains chloride ions as well?

      you body NEEDS chloride to survive.

      Do not confuse the very dangerous chlorine gas with the necessary chloride ion which you clearly have.

      • John Fryer

        Hi Don

        You confuse inorganic forms of chlorine and elemental forms with covalent or organic forms of chlorine.

        Chlorine containing compounds in many organo chloro-entities did get a ban a very long time ago but came back by cheating companies as inert constituents that are not really inert.

        To actually market such compounds for food use is an amazing arrogance on the part of toxicologists today.

        No professional and competent toxicologist would ever condone the use of organo chlorine compounds as replacements for glucose or even carcinogens (aspartame) too?

        It appears in the risk – benefit analysis of these people that the consumer takes all the risk and the food industry take all the benefit AKA horse v cow but with higher ie TOXIC steaks?

  • dan

    In 1985 Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle, the chemical company that held the patent to aspartame, the active ingredient in NutraSweet. Monsanto was apparently untroubled by aspartame's clouded past, including a 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, comprised of three independent scientists, which confirmed that it "might induce brain tumors."

    The FDA had actually banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (Former Secretary of Defense) vow to "call in his markers," to get it approved.

    On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan's inauguration, Searle re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener, and Reagan's new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board of inquiry's decision.

    It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision, but Hull then installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. He then personally broke the tie in aspartame's favor. Hull later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety, served briefly as Provost at New York Medical College, and then took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.

    The Aspartame/NutraSweetTimeline

    December 1965– While working on an ulcer drug, James Schlatter, a chemist at G.D. Searle, accidentally discovers aspartame, a substance that is 180 times sweeter than sugar yet has no calories.

    Spring 1967– Searle begins the safety tests on aspartame that are necessary for applying for FDA approval of food additives.

    Fall 1967– Dr. Harold Waisman, a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin, conducts aspartame safety tests on infant monkeys on behalf of the Searle Company. Of the seven monkeys that were being fed aspartame mixed with milk, one dies and five others have grand mal seizures.

    November 1970– Cyclamate, the reigning low-calorie artificial sweetener — is pulled off the market after some scientists associate it with cancer. Questions are also raised about safety of saccharin, the only other artificial sweetener on the market, leaving the field wide open for aspartame.

    December 18, 1970– Searle Company executives lay out a "Food and Drug Sweetener Strategy' that they feel will put the FDA into a positive frame of mind about aspartame. An internal policy memo describes psychological tactics the company should use to bring the FDA into a subconscious spirit of participation" with them on aspartame and get FDA regulators into the "habit of saying, "Yes"."

    Spring 1971– Neuroscientist Dr. John Olney (whose pioneering work with monosodium glutamate was responsible for having it removed from baby foods) informs Searle that his studies show that aspartic acid (one of the ingredients of aspartame) caused holes in the brains of infant mice. One of Searle's own researchers confirmed Dr. Olney's findings in a similar study.

    February 1973– After spending tens of millions of dollars conducting safety tests, the G.D. Searle Company applies for FDA approval and submits over 100 studies they claim support aspartame's safety.

    March 5, 1973– One of the first FDA scientists to review the aspartame safety data states that "the information provided (by Searle) is inadequate to permit an evaluation of the potential toxicity of aspartame". She says in her report that in order to be certain that aspartame is safe, further clinical tests are needed.

    May 1974– Attorney, Jim Turner (consumer advocate who was instrumental in getting cyclamate taken off the market) meets with Searle representatives to discuss Dr. Olney's 1971 study which showed that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of infant mice.

    July 26, 1974– The FDA grants aspartame its first approval for restricted use in dry foods.

    August 1974– Jim Turner and Dr. John Olney file the first objections against aspartame's approval.

    March 24, 1976– Turner and Olney's petition triggers an FDA investigation of the laboratory practices of aspartame's manufacturer, G.D. Searle. The investigation finds Searle's testing procedures shoddy, full of inaccuracies and "manipulated" test data. The investigators report they "had never seen anything as bad as Searle's testing."

    January 10, 1977– The FDA formally requests the U.S. Attorney's office to begin grand jury proceedings to investigate whether indictments should be filed against Searle for knowingly misrepresenting findings and "concealing material facts and making false statements" in aspartame safety tests. This is the first time in the FDA's history that they request a criminal investigation of a manufacturer.

    January 26, 1977– While the grand jury probe is underway, Sidley & Austin, the law firm representing Searle, begins job negotiations with the U.S. Attorney in charge of the investigation, Samuel Skinner.

    March 8, 1977– G. D. Searle hires prominent Washington insider Donald Rumsfeld as the new CEO to try to turn the beleaguered company around. A former Member of Congress and Secretary of Defense in the Ford Administration, Rumsfeld brings in several of his Washington cronies as top management.

    July 1, 1977– Samuel Skinner leaves the U.S. Attorney's office and takes a job with Searle's law firm. (see Jan. 26th)

    August 1, 1977– The Bressler Report, compiled by FDA investigators and headed by Jerome Bressler, is released. The report finds that 98 of the 196 animals died during one of Searle's studies and weren't autopsied until later dates, in some cases over one year after death. Many other errors and inconsistencies are noted. For example, a rat was reported alive, then dead, then alive, then dead again; a mass, a uterine polyp, and ovarian neoplasms were found in animals but not reported or diagnosed in Searle's reports.

    December 8, 1977– U.S. Attorney Skinner's withdrawal and resignation stalls the Searle grand jury investigation for so long that the statue of limitations on the aspartame charges runs out. The grand jury investigation is dropped.

    June 1, 1979– The FDA established a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) to rule on safety issues surrounding NutraSweet.

    September 30, 1980– The Public Board of Inquiry concludes NutraSweet should not be approved pending further investigations of brain tumors in animals. The board states it "has not been presented with proof of reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive."

    January 1981– Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, states in a sales meeting that he is going to make a big push to get aspartame approved within the year. Rumsfeld says he will use his political pull in Washington, rather than scientific means, to make sure it gets approved.

    January 21, 1981– Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United States. Reagan's transition team, which includes Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G. D. Searle, hand picks Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA Commissioner.

    March, 1981– An FDA commissioner's panel is established to review issues raised by the Public Board of Inquiry.

    May 19, 1981– Three of six in-house FDA scientists who were responsible for reviewing the brain tumor issues, Dr. Robert Condon, Dr. Satya Dubey, and Dr. Douglas Park, advise against approval of NutraSweet, stating on the record that the Searle tests are unreliable and not adequate to determine the safety of aspartame.

    July 15, 1981– In one of his first official acts, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr., the new FDA commissioner, overrules the Public Board of Inquiry, ignores the recommendations of his own internal FDA team and approves NutraSweet for dry products. Hayes says that aspartame has been shown to be safe for its' proposed uses and says few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated close scrutiny.

    October 15, 1982– The FDA announces that Searle has filed a petition that aspartame be approved as a sweetener in carbonated beverages and other liquids.

    July 1, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) urges the FDA to delay approval of aspartame for carbonated beverages pending further testing because aspartame is very unstable in liquid form. When liquid aspartame is stored in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both of which are known toxins.

    July 8, 1983– The National Soft Drink Association drafts an objection to the final ruling which permits the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages and syrup bases and requests a hearing on the objections. The association says that Searle has not provided responsible certainty that aspartame and its' degradation products are safe for use in soft drinks.

    August 8, 1983– Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte, Arizona State University's Director of Food Science and Nutritional Laboratories, file suit with the FDA objecting to aspartame approval based on unresolved safety issues.

    September, 1983– FDA Commissioner Hayes resigns under a cloud of controversy about his taking unauthorized rides aboard a General Foods jet. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet) Burson-Marsteller, Searle's public relation firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet's major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior scientific consultant.

    Fall 1983– The first carbonated beverages containing aspartame are sold for public consumption.

    November 1984– Center for Disease Control (CDC) "Evaluation of consumer complaints related to aspartame use." (summary by B. Mullarkey)

    November 3, 1987– U.S. hearing, "NutraSweet: Health and Safety Concerns," Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Senator Howard Metzenbaum, chairman.

    So, Tell us doctor, how much aspertame do you consume daily?

    • John E. Garst, Ph.D.

      Dan:

      I drink 2-3 cans of aspartame sweetened beverage daily and have for forty years; I'm retired now from academia and last month got a great bill of health from my physician. Does that mean a negative of aspartame consumptiion might actually lead to great health? I don't know, but retirement only gives me more time to strike down this nonsense.

      Here's a little something to ponder. Your criticisms of aspartame had a last date of 1987. If you actually read my discussion, you would have answers to why there has been nothing noteworthy since–aspartame is perfectly safe–all science earlier was done wrong.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      • Bob

        I'm no doctor, but I do know how to add and subtract. If the first carbonated beverages containing aspartame were sold for public consumption in 1983, and you claim to have been drinking 2-3 cans of aspartame sweetened beverages for forty years, that means you started drinking them in 1973, which is 10 years before they were available. Apparently, you're prone to providing misinformation in order to support your position.

  • http://www.NaturalSociety.com AEvans

    Thanks for the heads up, P.

    • Stephanie Remington

      Mr. Evans,

      Your article has been re-posted on Nation of Change, where it has the same typo.

      I agree with P. Haylett that it would be a shame to expose the article to criticism unrelated to its substance, so if you are able to make the correction once it has been re-posted I think it would be helpful.

      Regards,

      Stephanie Remington

  • John E. Garst, Ph.D.

    For the record aspartame has never been shown to produce any direct response in any unbiased, correctly done study, but there is an internet conspiracy theory to the contrary as made clear by Snopes.com and many other truth websites. And comments about it being made with genetically modified bacteria are irrelevant; most drugs are made that way today. My comments will provide you and your readers with a rarely discussed, but exceedingly important explanation for all "side-effects" the conspiracy theorists attribute to aspartame. And that covers everything! Or perhaps I should say nothing fails to be explained by this paradigm. Readers should examine old criticisms or any new allegations against aspartame with these points in mind. (By the way I have no connection to the aspartame industry; what I share is why FDA, EFSA, and virtually all relevant world authorities will NOT ban this substance.)

    There has never been any substantiated, reproducible evidence of any harm from aspartame, cancer included. The US and other governments have wasted more money on this than misguided and false concern than it has on virtually any other substance known to man. Corn contains more dangerous components. To demonstrate this, two points will be made.

    First, the fundamentals of toxicology (the science of poisons) say “everything is toxic.” And that everything includes aspartame and all its three decomposition products, aspartate, phenylalanine, and methanol. But where the aspartame critics fail to understand and then mislead the reader is that dose is paramount. Everything about toxicology is dose; the words ‘toxic’ or ‘poison’ mean nothing without a specific dose for that substance. And dose alone separates a food/drug from a poison. For example botulinum toxin (Botox), which is the most toxic substance known (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin), is used extensively in cosmetic procedures. Highly toxic cyanide is found in plant products we all consume; however, cyanide is readily detoxified by a cyanide-specific enzyme, rhodanese, at those doses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodanese). In contrast ‘low-toxicity’ water drowns hundreds of people yearly. So the informed reader should understand that words like toxic or poison that fill all the anti-aspartame literature are irrelevant. That is any claim a chemical substance is “toxic” or a poison is by itself is absolutely MEANINGLESS. Such claims MUST include a specific toxic response at a specific dose. Aspartame critics cannot now do this and never could! That is part of the reason why they cannot get any regulatory agency to even listen to their long-failed arguments.

    Second, the fact is that aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed. However, there appears to be a defined class of people for which labeling might be insufficient. And that class of people is those with an ongoing insufficiency of the vitamin folic acid (and/or vitamin B12). Actually folate (B12) deficiency can explain all the "highly cited, but incorrect 92 symptoms attributed to aspartame toxicity". However, the dilemma here is that the people with this insufficiency are often unaware of it. That fact stems either from direct deficiency or because of a genetic requirement for more folate/vitamin B12. These people often, but not always display related issues like hyperhomocysteinemia (too much homocysteine in their blood). Homocysteine is a potent and true excitotoxin that poses a serious human health hazard that is detoxified by folate, see wikipedia]. Some aspartame users repeatedly get headaches after using aspartame, so they blame aspartame consumption for their acute headache, for example. But really they are at risk for these bigger problems for these other personal reasons that exist silently whether or not they use aspartame. Folate deficiency and lesser so vitamin B12 are directly connected to a large body of diseases, including breast and other types of cancers, etc. And folate insufficiency is still a real world problem both alone and because of polymorphism-associated genetic predispositions [requiring extra folate], including one directly associated with headache; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19619240.

    The connection between aspartame and folate deficiency arises because aspartame contains a methyl ester; methanol is released upon GI hydrolysis. The purpose of the vitamin folate is to recycle methanol’s oxidation products formaldehyde and formate into methyl groups. Deficiency can lead to the same "symptoms" as methanol toxicity—but only in people that are otherwise deficient in this vitamin. Methanol from untainted food consumption alone never leads to poisoning, but folate insufficiency amongst a segment of the population can have the longer term consequences mentioned in the previous paragraph. Vitamin B12 takes the folate-generated methyl groups and transfers them to homocysteine making a vital amino acid called methionine. Too little of either causes the same or similar ultimate problems.

    These facts explain everything about the whole "internet conspiracy" theory suggesting aspartame is unsafe. But you have to realize too that there is more methanol (read that as formaldehyde) in juice drinks (pectin is a polymeric methyl ester) than in aspartame drinks. And there is twice the amount of formaldehyde generated from caffeine than from the same molecular amount of aspartame. So again the problem is one of folate (B12) deficiency still being a human health problem, even after the US, Canada, and Chile required grain product folate fortification starting in 1998. That date is relevant also because all viable concerns with aspartame were raised before that date. But the frank malformations and teratology in infants of folate deficient mothers is what led to forced folate fortification to combat this widespread folate deficiency. Those issues have dropped dramatically amongst the population, since that action. They have not been eliminated because of these genetic issues (called folate polymorphisms) in up to 40% of the population; these make some people require even more folic acid than others.

    But the take-home message here is that aspartame toxicity is a myth. All papers showing any issue with aspartame failed adequately to ensure folate sufficiency in either their animal work or use populations (including diabetics and others), most of whom have a documentable ongoing folate-deficiency in the first place. [The antidiabetic drug metformin actually reduces folate,