Disease Proof

FDA Not Worried About Aspartame

At least it seems that way. Because despite a recent report linking aspartame with cancer, the FDA doesn’t think there’s any reason to review its safety—man, that FDA sure is progressive. More from Reuters:
Morando Soffritti of the Ramazzini Foundation in Bologna, Italy, and colleagues tested aspartame in rats, which they allowed to live until they died naturally.

Their study of more than 4,000 rats showed a lifetime of eating high doses of the sweetener raised the likelihood of several types of cancer.

"On the basis of the present findings, we believe that a review of the current regulations governing the use of aspartame cannot be delayed," Soffritti's team wrote in the journal Environmental Health Perspectivesexternal, which is published by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

"This review is particularly urgent with regard to aspartame-containing beverages, heavily consumed by children."

FDA spokesman Michael Herndon said the agency had not yet reviewed the study.

"However, the conclusions from this second European Ramazzini Foundation are not consistent with those from the large number of studies on aspartame that have been evaluated by FDA, including five previously conducted negative chronic carcinogenicity studies," Herndon said in an e-mail.

"Therefore, at this time, FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food."
Personally, I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague. They’re fake, chemically created junk—why chance it? Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t trust them either. In Eat to Live he calls a spade a spade, take a look:
Sweeteners cause brain tumors and seizures in animals, a legitimate health concern exists, despite the FDA’s declaration that aspartame is safe. In the past twenty years, brain tumor rates have risen in several industrialized countries, including the United States. Aspartame was introduced to the American market several years prior to the shaper increase in brain tumor incidence.1 This suggests to me that the potential danger of aspartame should more carefully studied.
Dr. Fuhrman goes on to explain that aspartame plays into our dangerous food addictions—not good—and here’s why, back to Eat to Live:
Clearly this is a controversial subject because much of the research documenting the so-called safety of aspartame was financed by the aspartame industry, and a huge amount of political and monetary pressure led to eventual FDA approval. My opinion is that the possible dangers of aspartame are still unknown. Utilizing such artificial products is gambling with your health. Aspartame also exposes us to a methyl ester that may have toxic effects. I recommend playing it safe and sticking to natural foods. Getting rid of your addictions to unsafe substances is valuable in achieving long-term success.
1. Olney, J.W., N.B. Farber, E. Spitznagel, and L.N. Robins. 1996. Increasing brain tumor rates: is there a link to aspartame? J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 55(11): 1115-23.
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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Barbara Metzler - June 27, 2007 11:13 AM

Dr. Soffritti's new study suggests a danger to unborn babies and especially to children, including the newly identified risk of breast cancer as the child ages. He also believes that aspartame causes leukemia, lymphoma, and pelvis and kidney tumors. He said that his study should be a WAKE UP CALL to the FDA to seriously reconsider the use of aspartame. Dr. Soffritti expressed horror at the fact that aspartame is in approximately 500 drugs.

Over the years, many bright, courageous American physicians have warned of many other unwanted side effects of aspartame. Sadly, the Food and Drug Administration continues to support the safety of aspartame because our government watchdog is industry's lapdog. The FDA totally ignores the toxicity, carcinogenicity and neurodegenerative disabilities caused by aspartame. Many other groups, including the American Council on Science and Health and the Calorie Control Council are nothing but industry supporters. They have absolutely no conscience! Remember that the modern Golden Rule is: He who hath the gold makes the rules!

Aspartame causes problems other than cancer. In fact, the FDA admits to reports of 92 symptoms from aspartame.

More than 20 years ago, when my daughter was in her early 20's and studying for a Master's Degree, she noticed that she was experiencing bizarre symptoms that were quite alarming.

This truly bright girl, whose college tuition was entirely funded by scholarships and who won a Telluride Association Scholarship in competition with more than one million students from the entire US, realized that she was becoming very confused. In addition to her intellectual deterioration and drastic personality change, she developed epileptic-type seizures, and she began to lose her vision in both eyes.

She also began having severe headaches, panic attacks, tremors, profound exhaustion, insomnia, suicidal thoughts and numerous other problems including joint pains.

My daughter consulted a neurologist, and he told her that she had temporal lobe epilepsy. He began treating her with medication, but the medication didn't work, because the doctor was wrong in his diagnosis and he was treating her for a condition she didn't have! What she really had was ASPARTAME -- POISONING/TOXICITY!

I had heard about Dr. H. J. Roberts (Florida), so I contacted him and he
confirmed what I suspected - that she was suffering from a reaction to the artificial sweetener in diet soda, even though she drank only 1 or 2 cans a day. My daughter owes her life to Dr. Roberts, because thanks to him, she stopped drinking diet soda, and gradually, every one of her problems disappeared. Today, she is a successful computer programmer and financial analyst. Dr. Roberts is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Technology, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, and The Best Doctors in the U.S.

To follow up, my daughter went to Boston for special studies on her brain, and the doctors at the Clinical Research Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed that it was the aspartame that had made her so sick. They said that she had been totally misdiagnosed by the neurologist and that she did not have temporal lobe epilepsy at all. She also saw a highly-respected ophthalmologist who explained why her vision loss was due to aspartame.

She was fine for 12 years. Then, she began drinking diet soda again and had the same severe reaction. Luckily, I realized what was happening to her and was able to convince her to stop using aspartame. Why did she start again? It's addictive! (Aspartame has three components: phenylalanine (50 percent), aspartic acid (40 percent) and methanol, also termed wood alcohol (10 percent). Think about the 10 percent of aspartame that is absorbed into the bloodstream as methanol (wood alcohol)! The Environmental Protection Agency defines safe consumption as no more than 7.8 milligrams per day of this dangerous substance. A one-liter beverage, sweetened with aspartame, contains about 56 milligrams of wood alcohol, or eight times the EPA limit!)

By approving aspartame, the FDA caused many problems for many innocent people.

Aspartame is marketed under names such as NutraSweet, Equal, Equal Measure, Spoonful, Naturataste, Canderal, Benevia, E951, Nutrataste, Joe Sweet, Indulge, Hermesetas Gold (both ace-k and aspartame), Sanecta, and Tri-Sweet. (Crystal-Lite is a beverage mix that contains aspartame.)

My daughter's experience was a terrible waste of time and money -- from something as avoidable as diet soda. And, why did it take so long to help her? Because most physicians and their patients are clueless when it comes to connecting the myriad of bizarre symptoms of aspartame poisoning with the consumption of what is supposedly a safe substance - approved by the FDA! Since the FDA says aspartame is "safe," doctors don't notice "side-effects" when they are staring them in the eye.

All this happened to my daughter 20 years ago, long before I had a computer and could check out aspartame there. I had to spend an entire year writing to doctors and scientists and congressmen to learn about aspartame. I suspected aspartame because I knew it gave me severe classic migraine headaches.

As a teacher, I am especially upset when students drink diet soda.
In addition to causing other serious health problems, aspartame can definitely have a subtle effect on cognitive functioning and can interfere with the concentration and attention skills of the students.

Most students realize that illegal drugs and smoking are bad for them, but many don't know anything about the hazards of aspartame. With all the media attention on obesity these days, Americans will start using even more "diet" products.

Yes, obesity is a serious problem!!! However, what upsets me even more is that people turn to artificial sweeteners in an attempt to lose weight or prevent weight gain.
Several important studies have shown that aspartame contributes to weight gain!!! People who lose weight while consuming aspartame are losing only because they have the determination to make proper food choices and to exercise.

Government statistics indicated that more than 2.2 million American teenagers experience major depression. The use of antidepressants is skyrocketing. Not always, but very often symptoms of depression are caused by aspartame. Aspartame greatly lowers the Serotonin Level, and, decreased brain serotonin has been associated with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal attempts, hostility and psychopathic states, as well as hallucinations and insomnia.

A group demanding an FDA recall of aspartame has contacted influential people in Washington from the President on down. Thousands and thousands of victims of aspartame wish to have this artificial sweetener banned from the market. All they ever get from the FDA are packages of information claiming that aspartame is "safe" and that the victims are "mistaken" or "over-reacting." I, personally, have seen what aspartame can do to members of my family and friends. I am not "mistaken" or "over-reacting." Some people react quickly to aspartame consumption and others don't realize they have a problem for years. Other people recognize problems, but they have no idea that aspartame is the cause.
All Aspartame victims have busy lives. They wouldn't take their own valuable time to fight to have Aspartame banned from our food supply if they didn't think it was crucial to the health of the American people and to others all over the world.

I would like to quote an Aspartame victim from Great Britain. I recently saw a letter she wrote in which she described herself as a 29-year-old research scientist at the University of Cambridge. She said, "I use hundreds of different chemicals and have been doing so for years without harmful consequences, and yet I was ignorantly poisoning myself every day drinking diet Coke from the drinks machine down the corridor." When she realized that Aspartame was making her sick, she stopped using it. She also said, "My brain cells are functioning again, and I feel like working and enjoying life again, instead of just going through the motions on Auto Pilot waiting for 7 pm and the end of the day to finish."
The FDA's approval of NutraSweet was very murky in the first place. I think that's why the FDA ignores the issue now. In addition, I suspect the manufacturer had enough money and influence to convince everyone of the safety of aspartame.

For many years, the FDA refused to approve Aspartame because of the documented seizures and brain tumors it caused in laboratory animals. When President Reagan (a friend of Searle) took office in 1981, he asked the FDA Commissioner to approve it, and the man refused. So, President Reagan fired the FDA Commissioner and appointed Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes to do the deed. There was great opposition, so a Board of Inquiry was set up. The Board said not to approve Aspartame. Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes overruled his own Board of Inquiry and approved Aspartame in dry foods. (Don Rumsfield was President of Searle then.) In 1983, with acting FDA Commissioner Mark Novitch, he approved Aspartame for carbonated beverages, in spite of a thirty-page protest from the National Soft Drink Association asking for a delay of approval until further evaluation verified its safety. Then, when he was under investigation for conflicts of interest, Dr. Hayes went to work for Burson Marstellar, the manufacturer's public relations firm, for $1,000 a day. In 1993, the FDA approved Aspartame in baked goods, even though they themselves admitted it couldn't be heated!

There are numerous documents that show that the late Dr. Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, and many, many other physicians and scientists, tried to prevent Aspartame from ever being approved. For example, Dr. Gross said, "We have uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle's operation and practices which undermined the basis for reliance on Searle's integrity. . . Searle has not submitted all the facts or experiments to the FDA, retaining unto itself the un-permitted option of filtering, interpreting, and not submitting information . . an attitude of disregard for the FDA's mission of protection of the public health . . conduct which compromises the scientific integrity of the studies." He also indicated that Searle "did other terrible things. For instance, animals would develop tumors while they were under study. Well, they would remove these tumors from the animals."

Dr. Gross also said, "The report of the Task Force submitted in March 1976 in essence constituted a stinging indictment of Searle, and it contained various recommendations for regulatory action including referral to the Justice Department for review of possible criminal violations of the law."

On January 10, 1977, in a thirty-three page letter, FDA Chief Counsel Richard Merrill recommended to U. S. Attorney Sam Skinner that a grand jury investigate Searle for "apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Title 21, Unites States Code Section 331, and the False Reports to Government Act, 18 U.S.C. 1001, for their willful and knowing failure to make reports to the Food and Drug Administration required by Act 21 U.S.C. 355, and for concealing material facts and making false statements in reports of animal studies conducted to establish the safety of Aspartame." It was an open and shut case, so Searle's lawyers hired the U.S. Prosecutors, Skinner and Conlon, and the case died when the statute of limitations ran out.

In 1985, Senator Howard Metzenbaum introduced a bill entitled "Aspartame Safety Act of 1985." It required quantity labeling of Aspartame on food items and mandated that there be a moratorium on new uses of Aspartame until independent tests could be conducted under the auspices of the National Institute of Health, since the original studies were the target of an indictment for fraud that was never carried out. Due to heavy Monsanto lobbying, the bill never got out of committee. (Monsanto bought Searle in 1985.)

"Retired" Senator Metzenbaum recently mentioned that he told Dr. David Kessler that the case on Aspartame should be reopened because it never should have been approved. A physician told the FDA that the only responsible action would be to immediately take Aspartame off the market, fully disclose its toxicities, offer full compensation to the injured public, and criminally prosecute anyone who participated in the fraudulent placement of Aspartame in the marketplace as well as those who worked so diligently to keep it on the market.

Did Dr. Kessler listen to anyone? No! Without public notification, he approved Aspartame in blanket form in June 1996. He protected the manufacturer by ignoring the FDA register of complaints and its published list of 92 reactions to Aspartame ranging from coma and blindness to seizures and death. In fact, I understand that the FDA has constantly tried to ignore complaints about Aspartame or has at times even refused to accept new ones and by their own admission, has thrown out old ones. After all, the FDA had to show a decrease in complaints in 1996 in order to grant blanket approval. Dr. Kessler said in a JAMA article that only 1% of serious problems are even reported to the FDA. If that's the case, why wasn't he interested in finding out about the other 99% of serious problems before giving blanket approval to Aspartame? The FDA admits to receiving more than 10,000 complaints about aspartame. In the case of aspartame, then, that would balloon the real number to over one million. And, I would like to add that organizations of Aspartame victims are constantly flooded with complaints, even if the FDA isn't!

Apparently, Aspartame did violate the Delaney clause's "zero-tolerance" law. The late FDA toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, told Congress that it violated the Delaney Amendment because it triggered brain tumors, astrocytomas , (the first stage of the deadly glioblastoma now said to be rampant in the population ), and his last words were, "and if the FDA violates its own laws, who is left to protect the public?" His words are in the Congressional Record.

On December 29, 1996, when 60 Minutes aired a program about Dr. John Olney's article in the "Journal of Neurology" questioning a link between brain tumors and Aspartame, Dr. Virginia Weldon appeared on the show to defend NutraSweet/Aspartame. On this program, James Turner, Washington-based attorney, explained that the original studies on Aspartame never proved safety and were never replicated. According to Dr. Ralph Walton on 60 Minutes, independent studies have been done and 83 out of 90 reveal problems with aspartame.

The Bressler (1977) report exposed mammary, uterine, and ovarian tumors. James Bressler, leader of the FDA Task Force, said, "The question you have got to ask yourself is: Because of the importance of this study, why wasn't greater care taken? The study is highly questionable because of our findings. Why didn't Searle, with their scientists, closely evaluate this, knowing full well that the whole society, from the youngest to the elderly, from the sick to the unsick . . . will have access to this product."

What it all boils down to is that it's too much of a hassle for anyone in Washington to care. BUT, THAT ISN'T RIGHT! What's done should be Undone! It was the United States that put the poison on the market, and it should be the United States that stops it. Should the entire world look at us and ask why we poisoned the food in so many countries of the world?

Emily - March 18, 2010 7:26 PM

It's not that they dismissed it because it was safe they did it because they would rather lose lives than lose money! I'm thirteen and I already realize how wrong you are after the numerous studies of my fellow class mates and facts!

jaswant khalsa - December 12, 2011 11:06 AM

I had an injury and then I had to start taking a lot of medications. I started drinking about 12 diet cokes a day. Soon along with all the other problems I had I started having phsycomotor seizures. They are particularly harmful because they do not lot like seizures and then ruin all of your relationships without outlandish behavior. It took me five years to stop having them but now I am on 3 medications for them alone. A total of 15 meds. I am soooo sick and tired. I quit drinking the diet coke because it was killing my mouth. But I am still a seizure pt.

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