Mark D. Gold
Volume 2, #28 (Oct-Nov ’95)
and Volume 3, #1 (Dec ’95-Jan
Aspartame sugar substitutes cause worrying symptoms from memory loss to
brain tumors. But despite US FDA approval as a ’safe’ food additive, Aspartame is one of the most dangerous substances ever to be foisted upon an
Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names, NutraSweet,
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
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 pain.
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 it is.
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
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 DAMAGE
Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by
facilitating the transmission 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 neuroendocrine disorders.
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 glutamic acid.
The exact mechanism of acute reactions to excess free glutamate and
aspartate is currently being debated. As reported to the FDA, those
Headaches/migraines, nausea, abdominal pains, fatigue (blocks sufficient
glucose entry into brain), sleep problems, vision problems, anxiety attacks,
depression, and asthma/chest tightness.
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
and Forman Awards, and Board certified in Pediatrics, Allergy, and
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
And there are many more who can be added to this long list.
PHENYLALANINE (50% OF
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
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
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
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.
(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 known 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 alcohol."(11)
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
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
DKP has been implicated in the
occurrence 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
definitely 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 occurred, 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 recommended by
G.D. Searle to develop the Industry-wide FDA standards for
Good Laboratory Practices.(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
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
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 following.
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
Cancer (Brain Cancer)
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
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
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 public?"(16)
In the mid-1970s it was discovered that the manufacturer of
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
Raymond Schroeder told the FDA on July 13, 1977 that the
particles of DKP were so large that the rats could
discriminate 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 1985-1987.(17)
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 sweetners,
1) Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes.
2) Causes poorer diabetic control in
diabetics on insulin or oral drugs.
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 products.
"Dramatic improvement of such features after avoiding
Aspartame , and the
prompt predictable recurrence of these problems when the patient resumed
Aspartame products, knowingly or inadvertently."
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
precipitate diabetes in persons who are genetically susceptible to the
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
Walton was forced to obtain and certify
it from an outside source.
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
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
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
Both the Air Force’s magazine
Flying Safety and the Navy’s magazine, Navy
Physiology published articles warning about the many dangers of
including the cumulative deleterious 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
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
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
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
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 out.
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
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)
"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
revolving 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
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 Inquiry.(24)
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
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 NutraSweet Association.
What is the FDA doing to protect the consumer from the dangers of
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 sweetener. 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
What is the US Administration (President) doing to protect the consumer from
the dangers of Aspartame ?
Aspartame consumption is not only a problem in the US. It is being sold in
over 70 countries throughout the world.
Aspartame CAN BE FOUND IN:
- instant breakfasts
- sugar-free chewing gum
- cocoa mixes
- coffee beverages
- frozen desserts
- gelatin desserts
- juice beverages
- milk drinks
- pharmaceuticals and
- 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
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 below.
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 Network.
Sweet’ner Dearest, Available from the
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network
Mary Nash Stoddard, The Deadly Deception, Available from the
Consumer Safety Network.
Barbara Mullarkey, Editor, Bittersweet
Aspartame - A Diet Delusion,
Available from the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network.
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 NETWORK
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
(3) Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
(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, September/October
(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 (9/24/85).
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
Board of Inquire of the FDA. Also Excitotoxins by Russell Blaylock, M.D.
(16) Congressional Record SID835: 131 (August 1, 1985)
(17) National Cancer Institute SEER Program Data.
(18) Walton, Ralph G., Robert Hudak, Ruth Green-Waite "Adverse Reactions to
Aspartame : Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable Population,"
Biological Psychiatry, 1993:34:13-17.
(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
(21) Reported by the
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network.
(22) Barbara Mullarkey, Bittersweet
Aspartame , A Diet Delusion.
(23) Millstone, Eric "Sweet and Sour." The Ecologist, 25 (March/April 1994).
(24) Mary Nash Stoddard, Editor, "The Deadly Deception,"
(25) ADA Courier, January 1993, Volume 32, Number 1. (26) "FDA Rejects AHPA
Stevia Petition" by Mark Blumenthal, Whole Foods, April 1994.