[from iron addict's site - i think it's that important; this isn't the whole thing - i guess he ran out of room and there's no link to the original page]
Aspartame, the controversial artificial sweetener that was approved when Donald Rumsfeld decided to call in his political markers to override the FDA's scientific doubts, seems to be nearing the end of its 'useful' life span. Not only are consumers getting increasingly angry - once they find out what causes their ills and they get off the poison - but threatening black scientific and legislative clouds are lining the horizon as well.
A large multi-year study of a private Italian health research foundation has acutely confirmed what studies in the 1980s had already found: brain tumors and other unsavory effects of aspartame consumption. The study, which used laboratory animals to test the cancer hypothesis, has been published by Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a monthly journal of peer-reviewed research and news on the impact of the environment on human health. The article is available on the EHP website.
The study's authors said that previous studies on aspartame were too short to show the cancer causing potential of the substance: "In our opinion, previous studies did not comply with today's basic requirements for testing the carcinogenic potential of a physical or chemical agent, in particular concerning the number of rodents for each experimental group (40 - 86, compared to 100 - 150 in the current study) and the termination of previous studies at only 110 weeks of age of the animals."
The study has made headline news, but most countries are wary to take a first step - the FDA is held in high esteem, although opinions might be changing after recent scandals have shaken in the agency.
Consumer complaints about aspartame were collected by the FDA and in a rare slip, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in February of 1994 released a listing of adverse reactions. There are some 92, the listing can be found in Aspartame... the BAD news!. Apparently aspartame accounted for more than 75% of all adverse reactions reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System.
The FDA is in a very unenviable position. It has approved a neurotoxic carcinogen to be used as an artificial sweetener and complaints are piling up to where they are difficult to hide. But once the sweetener was approved it became almost impossible for the agency to admit wrongdoing, without unleashing a scandal the likes of which has not been seen since the thalidomide disaster.
Against this background, there is now action in the New Mexico legislature to hear evidence about aspartame's health effects. Heaven forbid that there should be hearings, Ajinomoto, the principal manufacturer of aspartame, has hit the ceiling. Lawyers hired by Ajinomoto descended on legislative committees to argue why the fact that aspartame has FDA approval should prevent any independent hearings from taking place. The Calorie Control Council, a group close to industry, was called in to help. They dutifully attempted to demolish the Italian study saying it did not follow the guidelines of the National Toxicology Program...
The people pressure against aspartame comes from a network of former 'addicts' who have kicked the diet habit and from doctors who have seen the damage and halted or reversed it in their patients. Books have been written (look at the Amazon ads in the side bar ... hint, hint) that condemn the sweetener and document its ill effects, aspartame detoxification programs and aspartame help groups exist, a video Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World documents the history of aspartame's approval and its egregious side effects.
A tireless lady by the name of Betty Martini, who founded Mission Possible is arguably the most well known among the aspartame opponents, although hers is not a lonely crusade. Aspartame users (mostly ex, to be sure) and doctors in some 30 countries are involved. They swear they won't rest until the poison has been removed from the food supply and those responsible for overriding science and covering up the deadly effects are brought to justice.
It is Betty Martini who wrote the following two letters, one to the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board and another, more recent one, to the Governor and the Attorney General of New Mexico. While her tone reflects her frustration of seeing official inaction in the face of an obvious catastrophe, we should not make light of what she has to say. Her comments and documentation go well beyond the immediate issue of the New Mexico hearings.
Anyone serious about understanding what the aspartame controversy is all about would do well to read her letters. That includes any health officials who might be reading this article - especially! I have added some links to the references in the letters, to make it easier for those interested to arrive at the documents...
- - -
Why New Mexico must not capitulate to the flimsy and flawed arguments by the world's largest Aspartame Manufacturer, Ajinomoto, regarding ostensible FDA preemption for Aspartame, and Ajinomoto's corporate attempts to prevent two Board hearings on Aspartame's Neurotoxicity
Letter to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Deputy Attorney General of New Mexico
November 28, 2005
The Honorable William Blaine Richardson
The Honorable Patricia Madrid
The Honorable Stuart Bluestone
Dear Governor Richardson, Attorney General Patricia Madrid, and Deputy Attorney General Stuart Bluestone:
Below please find the letter I wrote the EIB [Environmental Improvement Board] in September proving that aspartame violates both State and Federal Statutes on Adulteration. I want each of you to take the time to read the EIB letter from September, and this more current one to you with my responses to the Ajinomoto of Japan's New Mexico lawyer's brief asking that the Board of Pharmacy not move forward with any hearing on aspartame's neurotoxicity. Thus, you will know that aspartame is a product that is poisonous, mislabeled, and adulterative, making it unfit for human consumption.
If aspartame were under consideration for approval today based on science instead of by the politics of Don Rumsfeld, there is no way it would be approved today. The FDA refused approval for 16 years, and at one point, even asked the Justice Department to prosecute the manufacturer for fraud and submission of false documents! This is the first and only time in its history that FDA did this. However both prosecutors, Sam Skinner and William Conlon, hired on with the defense team representing the industries, and the statute of limitations expired.
FDA continued to deny approval, and another branch of the Federal Government, the Department of Defense, was doing research on using aspartame as a biological weapon against other nations. Then Donald Rumsfeld, President of G.D. Searle, who was also on Reagan's transition team, "called in his markers," as he worded it, and his choice for the new FDA Commissioner, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, was appointed. It mattered not that aspartame was a proven carcinogen and triggered in original studies brain, mammary, uterine, ovarian, testicular, pancreatic and thyroid tumors, as well as testicular atrophy, polyps and seizures.
Dr. Adrian Gross, FDA toxicologist, told Congress that aspartame, without a shadow of a doubt triggers brain cancer and violates the Delaney Amendment forbidding carcinogenic additives. Hayes ignored the objection of his own Public Board of Inquiry and approved it in 1981. Dr. Gross told Congress in 1985 that since it triggers brain tumors, FDA could not by law have set an allowable daily dose. In 1987 FDA toxicologist, Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, testified to Congress that all Searle's studies were built on a foundation of sand and should be thrown out; it had not been proven safe, though it was on the market in thousands of products at that time.
FDA is the handmaiden of Big Pharma, their loyal attack dog. Dr. James Bowen of Hawaii, who has Lou Gehrig's caused by aspartame, has written that before the FDA approved aspartame, it was intact, but once it was approved and FDA had to lie about its safety, it is as though they no longer cared. One employee of the FDA told the mother of an aspartame-seizure victim:
"We revoked the petition for approval; we tried to indict the company; we said it wasn't safe, and we said it caused seizures and brain tumors. They should have listened to us. Now what do you want us to do?"
please see the Bressler Report, an FDA audit by Jerome Bressler, now retired. It gives the manufacturer indigestion. I thanked Mr. Bressler for his candor in letting the world know how deadly aspartame is, and he told me the studies were much worse than his FDA Audit showed because when they retyped it, they removed the worst 20%. He didn't say who was behind it but to look for two mice studies and a cover letter and I would learn how bad it is. Dr. Bressler repeated this to Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon who spoke to him on the matter. Dr. H. J. Roberts of Palm Beach Florida asked his congressman to get the missing records. The FDA wrote the congressman that the information is confidential and they would not release it. That is against the law, of course, but if the FDA released this particular information, they'd be found guilty of altering reports.
Dr. John Olney, one of the world's most renowned neuroscientists [who] founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, after doing the studies on MSG and aspartic acid, the acid which constitutes 40% of aspartame by molecular weight. He found lesions in the brains of mice from these chemicals and tried to prevent aspartame approval. (An excitotoxin is a biochemical that literally stimulates the neurons of the brain to death. Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock wrote a book on this subject - Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills).
Dr. Olney, fed up with all the fraud, insisted that Searle do studies in his lab so he could oversee them, and prevent manipulation. The studies showed brain damage. Dr. Olney thought it would never be approved, but didn't realize that Searle simply deleted those studies from its report to FDA.
In 14 years, I've spoken to a lot of informants and could give a course on how manufacturers of aspartame manipulate studies, and mislead the public. You simply cannot get a chemical poison like aspartame, a deadly, deadly neurotoxic drug, and carcinogen, to show safety unless you manipulate the studies for that purpose.
One study pivotal in the approval of aspartame was a 52-week oral toxicity study on 7 infant monkeys. Five had grand mal seizures and one died. However, it's very well known that aspartame is a seizure triggering drug, and interacts with anti-seizure medication and all medication and vaccines. It damages the mitochondria of the cells; this is one of the reasons, and, of course, it is a chemical hypersensitization agent that triggers polychemical sensitivity syndrome.
The FDA report of 92 symptoms from 10,000 volunteered consumer complaints, more that the complaints to FDA about all other food additives combined, is on www.dorway.com
(In other words, the FDA's own 92 symptom chart shows four different kinds of seizures triggered by aspartame!)
Monsanto, which bought Searle in 1985, decided they would do studies to show safety and put the minds of the people at rest. Here's what they did, in this hopelessly flawed double-blind study funded by Monsanto, the Rowen study of 1995:
They were so afraid somebody would have a seizure they actually had 16 of the 18 subjects taking anti-seizure medication during the study. They knew the CDC showed that most seizures linked to aspartame don't appear until three or more months of real world aspartame use, so they did a ONE DAY study with subjects all having been given in advance anti-seizure medication!
The aspartame was in capsules, so instead of spiking the plasma phenylalanine level and significantly changing the phenylalanine/LNAA ratio, the phenylalanine was absorbed very slowly -- more like what happens when ingesting food (Stegink 1987). These researchers discussed in detail the issue of plasma phenylalanine and LNAA levels. It was particularly absurd that they gave the aspartame in capsules, even though they cited industry research (Burns l990) that proves capsulated aspartame eliminates the spike in plasma phenylalanine! The researchers were pretending to test the hypothesis that phenylalanine/LNAA ratio changes cause seizures, but intentionally skewed their dog-and-pony show to get the result they wanted.
Capsulated aspartame slows the absorption of methanol and may reduce its toxicity somewhat similar to the way ingestion of food with methanol may slightly reduce its toxicity (Posner 1975) and also eliminates the quick absorption of the excitotoxin, aspartic acid (Stegink 1987). When aspartic acid is absorbed quickly, it is extremely excitotoxic (Blaylock 1994, Olney 1980), especially in conjunction with formaldehyde that comes from the methanol in aspartame.
This "study" consisted of ONLY ONE SINGLE DOSE of aspartame ingestion. This was comparable to the test subjects just smelling the bottle! The results of this study only apply to people who take a single dose of encapsulated aspartame while they're on anti-seizure medication. Not only is this study worthless, but also key information wasn't in the abstract; namely, the fact the subjects were on anti-seizure medication and that the aspartame was in capsules. This is just one example, and there are indeed hundreds, of the tactics used by the manipulative criminals in the aspartame industry who are trying to prevent two board hearings and investigations by the state of New Mexico into their manipulative techniques to conceal and misrepresent evidence!
Ralph Walton M.D. did an independent study on aspartame, and Monsanto, knowing they could not control the study, even refused to sell him the aspartame. After one man had a retinal detachment (the methanol in aspartame converts to formaldehyde and formic acid destroys the optic nerve) and lost vision in that eye, and another subject had conjunctival bleeding while others reporting they were being poisoned, the study was halted. You CANNOT do an honest study on this chemical poison and show safety. Poisons are always poisons - period. Dr. Walton's study is on www.wnho.net
Further, in 1996 when Dr. John Olney made world news on the aspartame/brain tumor association, Dr. Walton joined him on 60 Minutes with his research on peer-reviewed studies and funding, showing 92% of independent peer reviewed studies reveal the problems aspartame causes. Dr. Walton also stated if you removed the studies FDA had something to do with, 100% of independent studies show the problems with aspartame. Read this study on www.dorway.com
So if all independent studies show problems, what does this say about industry controlled/ funded studies that say aspartame is so safe? And why do the manufacturers threaten researchers who do these independent studies? Dr. Richard Wurtman of the Brain Studies Department of MIT testified before Congress on how dangerous this drug is. He also decided to do studies on aspartame and seizures, but was threatened by the VP of Searle that if he did his research, his funding would be terminated. Today Dr. Wurtman refuses to speak out about aspartame, yet MIT is getting funding again. However, he couldn't destroy the paper trail on how deadly aspartame is. Although Wurtman edited "Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function," this book is now removed from MIT, but many of his reports are on our web sites explaining the toxicity.
Gregory Gordon did an 8 month investigation on aspartame when he was with UPI
part one - part two) also wrote the article "FDA Resisted Proposals To Test Aspartame" when he was working with the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1996. The manufacturers manipulate the FDA into helping them prevent new independent studies, by citing the ostensible "200 studies that
show it is safe." Gordon wrote:
"Food and Drug Administration officials have for years resisted proposals from government scientists for comprehensive studies on the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame, which [at least] 100 million Americans consume as NutraSweet. Between the early 1980s and 1994, scientists at the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) proposed at least four times that the government's leading program for toxicology research fund such studies, the Star Tribune has learned. The government scientists said they wanted the National Toxicology Program to conduct animal studies to resolve questions about the sweetener's cancer risks. After each of these "nominations," NIEHS officials elected not to pursue the research at the urging of FDA officials, who said they were satisfied with industry-sponsored research that found no health risks. ...
"Now, after a scientific paper by researchers at Washington University of St. Louis has rekindled fears that aspartame may cause deadly brain tumors, some present and former NIEHS officials are criticizing the FDA for using its influence to delay research that could have settled some or all of the safety questions."
Perhaps by now, you can understand why no one in the USA knew that the European Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences Cancer Research Centre in Bologna, Italy was doing a 3-year study on aspartame. No independent researcher would want the manufacturers to know, because they would threaten, try to prevent and harass them. The studies, just recently released, show just exactly what was expected, that aspartame triggers malignant brain tumors as in original studies, lymphoma, leukemia and even kidney cancer and cancer of the peripheral cranial nerves. They called it a multipotential carcinogen, which we've known for 25 years!
In the 1970's, G.D. Searle sacrificed people in South and Central America who were in poor villages. They developed brain tumors and seizures; one pregnant woman began to bleed extensively, lost her baby, and disappeared; and otherwise the studies showed aspartame destroys the brain and central nervous system
. Aspartame also hardened the synovial fluids accounting for the agonizing joint pain so many victims complain about. Searle did not publish these studies, although we have the affidavit of the translator. They promptly closed the Florida office, went back to Illinois, and sent the physician involved to Mexico.
Now FDA will just stick with industry and accept the flawed studies instead of the real ones. They're complaining the Italian researchers didn't kill the rats after 2 years but let them live out their lives. This to determine how many cancers the aged rats would develop, just as my files are full of cancer reports from older Americans. The quicker you kill them, the fewer cancers you find!
Studies in Norway a few years ago showed aspartame destroys the brain, especially in the area of learning. The studies in South and Central America revealed the brain tumors. The manufacturers' own studies in Dr. Olney's office showed aspartame destroys the brain. The manufacturers have been caught red-handed so all they can use is their abundant clout & cash to get regulators to rubber-stamp their poisons. To hell with the people their poisons kill!
This letter has been long and detailed; in order for you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, as FDA toxicologist, Dr. Gross, told Congress, that aspartame is indeed a carcinogen. Dr. H. J. Roberts' medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, is 1038 pages of diseases and horrors that this toxin causes. As an abortifacient and teratogen it has destroyed millions of babies in their mother's womb and caused ADD, Autism, ADHD, Tourette's, mental retardation and a host of other horrors to our children.
Governor Richardson, thank you for your courage to get junk food out of school. Please just remember "no sweeteners," as they mostly are all chemicals except for Just Like Sugar (available in Whole Foods) and the sweet herb Stevia. There are products like Xylitol that can cause some bloating but nowhere near as bad as what it is presently in soft drinks
. With the information I am giving you in this letter, you and the legislators can strongly stand up to and reject the complaints of the lobbyists for the corporations which include Ajinomoto, Altria Corporate Services (Kraft-Philip Morris), the Glutamate Association of America, Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola, when your excellent legislative efforts in this realm come before the 2006 legislature.
Attorney General Madrid and Deputy Attorney General Bluestone, please show the same kind of courage in your legal research and your eventual Opinion for the Pharmacy Board, that they can move forward to hear evidence on the neurotoxicity of aspartame in medications, vitamins, and aspirin, despite the fact that this neurodegenerative product technically retains its ill-gotten FDA approval.
Aspartame has caused an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. It also aggravates and simulates diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy and interacts with insulin. It's a drug that makes you crave carbohydrates as Dr. Wurtman has reported. [Please see protest of National Soft Drink Association]
A book could be written on what the manufacturers have done! Even in the UPI investigation, it was reported physicians who spoke out to Congress were put on a yacht and the aspartame manufacturers tried to change their mind. No one disagrees they have bottomless checkbooks, but they also intimidate, threaten and have no concern for how many perish on their poison, and this should be prosecuted in due course by racketeering statutes, because purely and simply, racketeering is precisely what they do! If aspartame were safe, consider they would not have to manipulate studies, and try to prevent any independent studies, just as Ajinomoto is trying now to prevent any inquiries about aspartame's neurotoxicity from two New Mexico Boards!
In one of the manufacturers' press releases on the new Italian study, they commented that they thought it was criminal that the regulatory people were not advised. In other words, what they are saying is that they had no opportunity to change the results by purchasing the researchers' loyalty! Dr. Blaylock said their study confirmed the previous study by Dr. Trocho and co-workers (1998) that also found the formaldehyde breakdown product of aspartame to be damaging to cellular DNA and that this damage was cumulative. Similarly, when aspartame manufacturers and their front groups like the Calorie Control Council say the recent Italian studies by the Ramazzini Foundation don't go along with other carcinogen studies, they are lying; they are trying to compare the truthful new one from Italy to ones they controlled to get the result they wanted. And the Trocho people were intimidated terribly.
Please don't forget Dr. Blaylock's words in Aspartame Makers Tell A Whopper:
"This study should terrify mothers and all those consuming aspartame sweetened products. This was a carefully done study that clearly demonstrated a statistically significant increase in several types of lymphomas and leukemias in rats. Both of these malignancies have increased significantly in this country since the widespread use of aspartame."
He also wrote: "These studies strongly indicate that drinking a single diet cola sweetened with aspartame everyday could significantly increase one's risk of developing a lymphoma or leukemia."
Clearly by statute, the Environmental Improvement Board of New Mexico and the Board of Pharmacy have the power to conduct hearings, examine the evidence, and if they deem appropriate, to then ban aspartame. If they didn't exercise their powers given to them by the legislature in statutes, they would be of no use to the people. This was corroborated by former Special Assistant Attorney General Stevan Looney, now of the Sutin Firm, who represented Petitioner Stephen Fox pro-bono because he knew he was protecting the health of the citizens of New Mexico.