RUMSFELD AND ASPARTAME
Aspartame is an additive found in diet soft drinks and over 5,000 foods, drugs and medicine. It was approved in 1983 for use in carbonated beverages. However, there may be more sour than sweet when it comes to aspartame.
In reality, aspartame is a drug, not an additive in the sense many people associate with that word. It interacts with other drugs, has a synergistic and additive effect with MSG, and is a chemical hyper-sensitization agent. Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuoscience called excitotoxicity, attempted to stop the approval of aspartame with Attorney James Turner back in 1996. The FDA's own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer and violated the Delaney Amendment which forbids putting anything in food that is known to cause Cancer. Detailed information on this can be found in the Bressler Report (FDA report on Searle).
Dr. Olney isn't alone in attempting to reach out to the medical community and warn the American people about this drug. Dr. Ralph Walton, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine has written of the behavioral and psychiatric problems triggered by aspartame-caused depletion of serotonin.
According to the top doctors and researchers on this issue, aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue and depression. Further dangers highlighted is that aspartame liberates free methyl alcohol. The resulting chronic methanol poisoning affects the dopamine system of the brain causing addiction. Methanol, or wood alcohol, constitutes one third of the aspartame molecule and is classified as a severe metabolic poison and narcotic.
Dr. Woodrow Monte in the peer reviewed journal, Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health, wrote: "When diet sodas and soft drinks, sweetened with aspartame, are used to replace fluid loss during exercise and physical exertion in hot climates, the intake of methanol can exceed 250 mg/day or 32 times the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended limit of consumption for this cumulative poison."
Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, MD, author of "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills," wrote about the relationship between aspartame and macular degeneration, diabetic blindness and glaucoma (all known to result from excitotoxin accumulation in the retina).
The medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, by Dr. H. J. Roberts is 1038 pages of symptoms and diseases triggered by this neurotoxin. The claim is made that aspartame has even caused the epidemic of obesity because it makes you crave carbohydrates so you gain weight, and the formaldehyde accumulates in the adipose tissue (fat cells) according to the Trocho Study. Further accusations are that aspartame is also responsible for the epidemic of diabetes as it not only can precipitate diabetes but simulates and aggravates diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, can cause diabetics to go into convulsions and interacts with insulin.
The effects of aspartame are documented by the FDA's own data. In 1995 the agency was forced, under the Freedom of Information Act, to release a list of ninety-two aspartame symptoms reported by thousands of victims. It appears this is only the tip of the iceberg. H. J. Roberts, MD, published the medical text "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic" -- 1,000 pages of symptoms and diseases triggered by this neurotoxin including the sordid history of its approval. [See Video "Sweet Misery, a Poisoned World"]
Since its discovery in 1965, controversy has raged over the health risks associated with the sugar substitute. From laboratory testing of the chemical on rats, researchers have discovered that the drug induces brain tumors. On Sept 30, 1980 the Board of Inquiry of the FDA concurred and denied the petition for approval.
In 1981, the newly appointed FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, ignored the negative ruling and approved aspartame for dry goods. As recorded in the Congressional Record of 1985, then CEO of Searle Laboratories Donald Rumsfeld said that he would "call in his markers" to get aspartame approved. Rumsfeld was on President Reagan's transition team and a day after taking office appointed Hayes. No FDA Commissioner in the previous sixteen years had allowed aspartame on the market.
Dr. Betty Martini has worked in the medical field for 22 years. She is the founder of Mission Possible International, working with doctors around the world in an effort to remove aspartame from food, drinks and medicine. According to Dr. Martini, aspartame has brought more complaints to the American Food and Drug Administration than any other additive and is responsible for 75% of such complaints to that agency. From 10,000 consumer complaints FDA compiled a list of 92 symptoms, including death.
The history of aspartame and its approval has a political history as well as a scientific one. According to Dr. Martini,
"When Donald Rumsfeld was CEO of Searle, that conglomerate manufactured aspartame. For 16 years the FDA refused to approve it, not only because its not safe but because they wanted the company indicted for fraud. Both U.S. Prosecutors hired on with the defense team and the statute of limitations expired. They were Sam Skinner and William Conlon. Skinner went on to become Secretary of Transportation squelching the cries of the pilots who were now having seizures on this seizure triggering drug, aspartame, and then Chief of Staff under President Bush's father. Some of these people reach high places. Even Supreme Justice Clarence Thomas is a former Monsanto attorney. (Monsanto bought Searle in 1985, and sold it a few years ago). When Ashcroft became Attorney General, Thompson from King and Spalding Attorneys (another former Monsanto attorney) became deputy under Ashcroft. (Attorneys for NutraSweet and Coke).
"However, the FDA still refused to allow NutraSweet on the market. It is a deadly neurotoxic drug masquerading as an additive. It interacts with all antidepressants, L-dopa, Coumadin, hormones, insulin, all cardiac medication, and many others. It also is a chemical hyper sensitization drug so that it interacts with vaccines, other toxins, other unsafe sweeteners like Splenda which has a chlorinated base like DDT and can cause auto immune disease. It has a synergistic and additive effect with MSG. Both being excitotoxins, the aspartic acid in aspartame, and MSG, the glutamate people were found using aspartame as the placebo for MSG studies, even before it was approved. The FDA has known this for a quarter of a century and done nothing even though its against the law. Searle went on to build a NutraSweet factory and had $9 million worth of inventory.
"Donald Rumsfeld was on President Reagan's transition team and the day after he took office he appointed an FDA Commissioner who would approve aspartame. The FDA set up a Board of Inquiry of the best scientists they had to offer who said aspartame is not safe and causes brain tumors, and the petition for approval is hereby revoked. The new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, over-ruled that Board of Inquiry and then went to work for the PR Agency of the manufacturer, Burson-Marstellar, rumored at $1000.00 a day, and has refused to talk to the press ever since.
"There were three congressional hearings because of the outcry of the people being poisoned. Senator Orrin Hatch refused to allow hearings for a long time. The first hearing was in 1985, and Senator Hatch and others were paid by Monsanto. So the bill by Senator Metzenbaum never got out of committee. This bill would have put a moratorium on aspartame, and had the NIH do independent studies on the problems being seen in the population, interaction with drugs, seizures, what it does to the fetus and even behavioral problems in children. This is due to the depletion of serotonin caused by the phenylalanine in aspartame."
According to a press release put out by the National Justice League on April 26, 2004, lawsuits were filed in three separate California courts against twelve companies who either produce or use the artificial sweetener aspartame as a sugar substitute in their products: Defendants in the lawsuits include Coca-cola, PepsiCo, Bayer Corp., the Dannon Company, William Wrigley Jr. Company, Walmart, ConAgra Foods, Wyeth, Inc., The NutraSweet Company, and Altria Corp. (parent company of Kraft Foods and Philip Morris).
The suits allege that the food companies committed fraud and breach of warranty by marketing products to the public such as diet Coke, diet Pepsi, sugar free gum, Flintstone's vitamins, yogurt (including Yoplait) and children's aspirin with the full knowledge that aspartame, the sweetener in them, is neurotoxic.
Dr. Martini recommends that consumers read all labels on any food, medicine or drinks they intend to consume.
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"The effects of aspartame are documented by the FDA's own data. In 1995 the agency was forced, under the Freedom of Information Act, to release a list of ninety-two aspartame symptoms reported by thousands of victims."