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The Artificially Sweetened Times
PO Box 457
Spirit Lake, Idaho 83869
(208) 255-2307

Editor: Don Harkins    Associate Editor: Ingri Cassel
Graphic Design: Don Harkins
Contributors: Mission Possible Founder Betty Martini;
Aspartame Toxicity Center Director Mark D. Gold
Consumer Advocate Attorney Jim Turner
Medical Consultants: Russell Blaylock, MD; James Bowen, MD;
H.J. Roberts, MD; John Olney, MD

The Artificially Sweetened Times is a community service publication produced in cooperation with Mission Possible, Vaccination Liberation and The Idaho Observer. The intent of the editors is to present a balance of information regarding the synthetic food and beverage sweetener
aspartame and its link to epidemic illness and death. The editors of
The Artificially Sweetened Times believe that government product approval is not a license to knowingly poison the public for profit.

The masthead of The Artificially Sweetened Times' (hardcopy edition) features a photograph of Presidential Assistant Donald Rumsfeld and his assistant Dick Cheney meeting with reporters at the White House Nov. 7, 1975. Cheney is a former secretary of defense, former Halliburton CEO and current vice-president; Rumsfeld is a former secretary of defense, former Searle Corp. CEO and the current secretary of defense. These men are featured in the masthead of The Artificially Sweetened Times for helping to successfully merge the interests of modern multinational corporations with the interests of the U.S. government at the expense of public health.

Ordering Information
The eight-page on newsprint hardcopy edition of The Artificially Sweetened Times is available for $25 per 100 shipping included. Circulate this publication among friends, family and throughout your community. The future of America could very well depend upon the removal of aspartame (and now neotame) from our food supply. The Artificially Sweetened Times is the most concise, compelling and cost-effective means of accomplishing this critical goal.

"There are known knowns. These are things we know
that we know.
There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things we know we don't know.
But, there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don't know we don't know."
~Donald Rumsfeld

Sweet Slavery
"It's safe" says gov't, industry
"It's not safe" say others
Aspartame approval timeline
The human side of aspartame disease
Kicking the sweet habit
Aspartame Reaction Report Form
Questions and resources
Action plan
Sweeteners to use/avoid
Page 1  Page 2   Page 3   Page 4  Page 5   Page 6   Page 7  Page 8
Page 1
Aspartame: Harmless synthetic sweetener or
FDA-approved poison?
Long before it achieved FDA approval for use in foods, beverages and drugs, questions regarding the safety of synthetic sweetener aspartame have been the subject of much controversy. It has even been characterized as a poison linked to a variety of chronic ailments (See list of complaints/symptoms page 4).
A growing body of scientists, doctors and laypeople insist that aspartame disease is an ignored epidemic and an underlying cause of chronic ill-health in America today. Conversely, aspartame producers, food and beverage industry trade associations, government regulators and some scientists and physicians claim aspartame is completely safe and its worst characteristic is that it's non-nutritive.
Are aspartame and other synthetic sweeteners like saccharin and neotame harmless? Or are they government-approved poisons?
  After reading this publication, follow your instincts and become your own expert: The life you save may be your own.

God, refined sweets and political power
In the beginning, there were sweet fruits, vegetables and raw honey and all was good. Then man said, "Let's isolate that which makes things sweet. We shall discard the vitamin, mineral and enzyme components of food. This will make the sweetnesses sweeter so we can enter them into commerce."
Soon thereafter, people became addicted to the "refined" sweet stuff. They became cranky and unhealthy; their appetite for vice and tendency toward pettiness replaced morality.
It is understood by those who aspire toward political power that a moral people are self-governing and that amoral people demand more government. See story page 2

U.S. food and drug administrators' curious approval guidelines: Money
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was commissioned to enforce the Safe Food and Drug Act of 1906. For decades people have alleged that the FDA commonly approves for human consumption foods and drugs of questionable safety and denies approval of foods, supplements and drugs proved to be safe.
According to the FDA, its "...mission is to promote and protect the public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way, and monitoring products for continued safety after they are in use. Our work is a blending of law and science aimed at protecting consumers."
A lot has happened in the field of biochemistry since the FDA protected the public from real snake oil salesmen and unsanitary food packaging processes. By the year 2000, Americans were spending some $117 billion annually on pharmaceutical drugs. The FDA has approved the use of thousands of drugs that mask the symptoms of chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, anger, depression, heart disease, asthma, Parkinson's, lupus, multiple sclerosis and AIDS just to name a few.
According to FDA Criminal Investigations official Don Liggett, the key to product approval, is money. "...[T]he majority of firms that have drugs approved in the United States are international in scope... fantastically wealthy and able to invest the resources..."
Most drugs that get approved are from large multinational pharmaceutical companies that can spend up to $230 million to achieve approval of their wares. Since many of these drugs were only recently "discovered," it is impossible for them to have undergone scientific studies proving long-term risks or benefits.
If the approval of aspartame is any indication of tests conducted in lieu of FDA approval, we can infer that many have accomplished the expensive feat of drug approval with flawed science.
The proof is in the damage caused by FDA-approved drugs. A congressional committee found that nearly 100,000 people die each year from taking approved drugs per manufacturers' recommendations; American Medical News reported in 2000 that 28 percent of hospital admissions are the result of adverse reactions to prescribed drugs.
There are so many FDA-approved drugs entering the marketplace it is impossible for doctors, or the FDA, to know which drugs will work together to produce therapeutic results and which drugs will recombine to produce toxic and potentially fatal results.

Rumsfeld named G.D. Searle CEO, reverses
Aspartame non-approval tide
By 1976, the G.D. Searle company's campaign to achieve the approval of aspartame was mired in controversy. Amid objections to aspartame approval formally filed by consumer advocate attorney Jim Turner and neuroscientist John Olney, MD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an investigation into Searle's laboratory practices.
The FDA determined that the aspartame developer's testing procedures were shoddy, producing inaccurate results from manipulated data. The investigators stated in their 1976 report they, "...had never seen anything as bad as Searle's testing."
The FDA report prompted a grand jury investigation led by U.S. Attorney Sam Skinner. Six months later, Skinner resigned from the U.S. attorney's office to take a position at Searle's law firm Sidley & Austin.
By March, 1977, Searle had hired former Illinois congressman and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as its CEO. By Dec., 1977, the statute of limitations had run out on the grand jury investigation and charges against Searle were dropped by the U.S. attorney's office. Though opposition to aspartame approval was increasingly being supported by independent scientific studies,  Rumsfeld's political muscle prevailed. On July 15, 1981, in one of his first official acts as FDA commissioner under Ronald Reagan, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved aspartame for dry products.

Physicians, scientists, laypeople question safety of government-approved synthetic sweetener
People have a natural tendency to believe government-approved-products are safe. However, in the case of aspartame, the product is comprised of  substances that are not safe and every phase of its journey through the body produces additional substances of known toxicity. This fact has caused increasing numbers to question its safety as an artificial sweetener.
Aspartame breaks down into substances such as methanol, formaldehyde and formic acid all known neurotoxins. Our layperson hypothesis becomes: "Aspartame cannot be safe because it breaks down into substances known to be toxic to the human body."
The next logical step is to locate the science that proves or disproves our new hypothesis.
This is exactly the process that has led thousands of physicians, scientists, attorneys and laypeople to investigate government approval of aspartame. Their investigations reveal a trail of fraud, deceit and power politics not science and public health considerations that led to the approval of aspartame.
"Every known metabolite of aspartame is of marked or questionable toxicity and patently unsafe for human use... 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 placement of aspartame on the market that includes those who work so diligently to keep it there as well," explained James Bowen, MD.
On Nov. 2, 1987, Emory University Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics Dr. Louis Elsas testified before Congress. "Aspartame is, in fact, a well-known neurotoxin and teratogen [causes abnormal embryonic development] which, in some undefined dose, will, irreversibly, in the developing child or fetal brain, produce adverse effects... I am particularly angry at this type of advertising that is promoting the sale of a neurotoxin in the childhood age group," Dr. Elsas told the nation's lawmakers assembled on Capitol Hill.
Betty Martini of Mission Possible claims hundreds of peoples' chronic symptoms have reversed once aspartame is removed from their diets.
Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, MD, author of numerous books, including, "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills," has declared that aspartame is a toxin like arsenic and cyanide. He has demonstrated that aspartame causes tumors, cancer, seizures and other chronic disorders. He also said it can make people confused, disoriented and is linked to autism and Alzheimer's disease.
Endocrinologist H.J. Roberts, MD, FACP, has studied the case histories of 1,300 aspartame victims over 15 years. Dr. Roberts has declared aspartame disease a "worldwide epidemic."

Worldwide aspartame production, consumption increases 35-fold by 1995
Growth of Worldwide aspartame market (in tons)
*Rest of World
(Source: Exhibit 1, Holland Sweetener Co. v. NutraSweet)

Since its 1981 approval for use in dry goods, aspartame has been approved for beverages, processed foods and medical preparations. Today some 7,000 products contain aspartame.

Page 2
Sweet Slavery: A brief history
of the international sugar trade

by Don Harkins

Whether in cubes dropped in cups of coffee; in 100 pound sacks grandma had in the pantry for her cakes, pies, jellies and jams or; unseen in soda pop, ice cream, processed breakfast cereals and corporate candy, refined sugar has been a mainstay of the "civilized" diet for centuries. Only recently have sugar consumers become aware of health risks associated with its consumption. But this is only the beginning of the sugar story.
The international sugar trade is a story of slavery—slaves planted and harvested the canes and addicted people became slaves to its sweetness. Following is a brief look into the history of sweet slavery. Understanding how 300 years of refined sugar commerce shaped the world will give us a much clearer understanding of how the politics of sweet are playing out in modern times.

In the beginning
For thousands of years, refined forms of sugar were unknown to man: From the Garden of Eden to the New Testament and the Koran, there is no mention of what we now know as sugar.
Ancient Chinese medical texts make no reference to sugar; the Ancient Greeks did not even have a word for it. But, in 325 B.C., Admiral Nearchus, sailing in the service of Alexander the Great, described "a kind of honey" that comes from canes.
Peoples native to where sugar cane grows would press the cane and drink its sweet juice, or simply cut it into bite-sized pieces and chew it (juice from the sweet cane would not keep, however and would quickly ferment).
William Duffy, in his classic #1 bestseller "Sugar Blues (1975)" identified the technological development that marked the beginning of the international sugar trade and sweet slavery. "The school of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Djondisapour, the pride of the Persian Empire, is credited with the research and development of a process for solidifying and refining the juice of the cane into solid form that would last without fermenting. Transportation and trade were now possible. This happened sometime after 600 A.D. when the Persians began growing the sweet cane on their own."
The fall of the Arab Empire
The Persians began exporting "loaves of stone honey," or "saccharu m" to the Orient. When the Persian Empire was overrun by the armies of Islam and fell in the 9th century, A.D., Arabs took control of the saccharum trade. The Arab world discovered sugared food, sugared drinks and fermented sugar beverages. The Arab world also discovered many new diseases.
Duffy believes sugar played a key role in the decline of the Arab Empire. He interprets the notes of German botanist Leonhard Rauwolf as indicating he viewed the sugar addiction of the sultan's armies in the same light modern observers viewed American forces in Viet Nam who became addicted to heroin. The sugar-addicted Turks and Moors, "...are no longer the intrepid fighters they had formerly been," Rauwolf observed.
Similarly, a Japanese philosopher told Duffy in 1965, "If you really expect to conquer the North Vietnamese, you must drop army PXs on them sugar, candy and Coca-Cola. That will destroy them faster than bombs." 
Europeans wrestle for control of the sugar trade
The European sugar trade was largely controlled by the Portuguese by the mid-1400sbut the Spaniards were yapping at their heels.
The Portuguese captured negroes from the west African coast and set them to slavery on sugar cane plantations in Valencia and Grenada.
By 1510, the Portuguese had expanded their sugar production to South America and were importing negro slave labor to grow and harvest sugar cane in Brazil. Rather than keep lawbreakers imprisoned at home, they shipped them to the New World where they were encouraged to breed with natives and produce halfbreeds capable of working the sugar cane plantations.
The Spaniards, following Christopher Columbus, had exterminated the natives in the West Indies by 1596 (per a 1555 decree by Emperor Charles V) and brought in African slaves to work their fields of cane.
Sugar profits were largely responsible for the rise of the Spanish and Portuguese empires; sugar addiction and the diseases and immorality that accompany it, was also, arguably, a contributing factor in their fall.
British and Dutch interests had control of West Indies sugar production by 1648. During this era, the rum trade began to flourish: Enough rum was being imported into the American colonies for the annual consumption of "every man, woman and child" to be "four gallons," wrote Duffy.
Ships loaded with rum were  exchanged for blacks who were traded to British plantation owners in the West Indies in trade for molasses that was sold to rum makers in the colonies to satisfy the colonists' growing thirst for distilled spirits.
Rum was also being traded to Indians for furs at tremendous profit to the white traders and at tremendous social and economic loss to the Indians.
Millions of slaves
The 1860 census population of negro slaves in the U.S. was 4,441,830; it is estimated that some 20,000,000 negroes survived the voyage to become slaves in the Western World. "It will be no exaggeration to put the tale and toll of the slave trade at 20 million Africans, of which two-thirds are to be charged against sugar," wrote British historian Noel Deerr in "The History of Sugar (1949)."
Planting, tending and harvesting sugar cane is backbreaking work performed in the hot, humid climates cane prefers to grow. Negroes are the only human race able to survive under the yoke of sweet servitude. According to Deerr, it took some 13.2 million negro slaves to produce enough raw sugar cane to satisfy the western world's demand.
By the 1800s, France and Great Britain were wrestling for control of the international sugar trade. "No cask of sugar arrives in Europe to which blood is not sticking. In view of the misery of these slaves, anyone with feelings should renounce these wares and refuse the enjoyment of what is only to be bought with tears and death of countless unhappy creatures," wrote French Philosopher Claude Adrien Helvetius in the 1850s while his nation was profiting immensely from the sugar trade.
On the eve of the American Civil War, sugar and slavery were as solidly linked together as two sides of the same coin.
Colonists could have had a sugar party
England was so addicted to sugar, as a substance and as a commodity of unparalleled profitability, it amended its Navigation Acts in 1660. American colonists were banned from trading sugar, indigo and tobacco with any other country except England, Ireland or another British colony. In 1664, the Acts were again amended so British colonies could only receive foreign goods via England. The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was a colonial response to the Navigation Acts.
The queen's addicted subjects
When sugar was first introduced to Great Britain in the 1300s, only the upper class could afford the exotic treat. By the mid 1600s, the nation was importing 16 million pounds of sugar annually; 20 million pounds by 1700 and, by 1800, the British were consuming 160 million pounds of sugar 72 pounds per person each year.
It was about this time that the British Empire began crumbling.
Sweet slavery in America
According to Dr. Nancy Appleton, author of "Lick the Sugar Habit," the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that, between 1970 and 1995, Americans increased their sugar and corn sweetener consumption by 22 percent.
The USDA reported in 2000 that Americans consumed nearly 22 million tons about 151 pounds each of sugar and corn, glucose and dextrose sweeteners in 1999. Americans derive 36-40 percent of their carbohydrate intake from sugar.
Since 1984, Americans have gotten in the habit of drinking more soda pop than water. The number of 12-ounce cans of soda produced in 1997 was 580 per person about 1.5 cans a day per persona figure that has doubled since 1974; seven-fold since 1942. Each 12-ounce can contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar.
The myth of sugar substitutes
The main argument in support of providing non-caloric, sugar substitutes for the sweet-toothed consumer is to diminish their intake of sugar. Health officials have determined that America's addiction to sugar causes obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease and behavioral problems.
Sugar consumption in the U.S. continues to increase regardless of the marketplace presence of sugar substitutes such as aspartame, which itself has skyrocketed in use since 1982 (see page 1).
We are also experiencing in this country epidemics of chronic ailments historically associated with sugar addiction. The problem appears to be compounded by the world's new addiction to aspartame.
Our self-destructive demand for sweets has been shaping human history for centuries.

Page 3
How aspartame causes damage to the body
When a matter is in controversy, the fair and civilized manner of solving it would be for both parties of a dispute to bring their evidence before an impartial body. Once both sides have presented their evidence, the impartial body is adequately prepared to settle the matter based upon the facts. Were such a forum used to determine the safety of aspartame, the substance would no longer be an item of controversy; it would no longer be poisoning a trusting public.

Compiled by Don Harkins

Since prior to its 1981 FDA approval, an international who's who of scientific minds have been producing peer-reviewable reports warning against the dietary use of aspartame. To my knowledge, not one of the studies to which I refer has been duplicated and scientifically determined to be in error.
What this means is that, until new, peer-reviewable science is published to the contrary, aspartame is linked to the FDA's list of 92 reported symptoms (see margins pages 4, 5, 7). It also means that anyone who consumes aspartame is a candidate for a broad spectrum of physiological and psychological complications that include blindness, death and/or insanity.
But there will be no new, credible, peer-reviewable science to reveal that aspartame is safe. There wasn't any in 1965, 1981, 1983, 1985 or at any time between then and now. If you take a look at the aspartame information on page 3, you will see that published science and field experience easily refute claims promoting aspartame safety.
The argument in support of aspartame approval
Aspartame developer Searle conducted studies that are difficult to find and impossible to duplicate because they were scientifically flawed. Manipulated data were used to arrive at preconceived conclusions. Based upon these studies (for which Searle was being investigated for fraud), aspartame was initially approved by the FDA  for use in dry goods only. As of 1993, it has been approved for use in any product consumed by people living in the U.S.
European Union officials recently approved the use of aspartame and labeling requirements per recommendation of the FDA, World Health Organization and the American Medical Association.
The argument in opposition to aspartame approval
This section will take a little work on our part, the laypeople, to understand. Brilliant men and women have independently performed studies, largely at their own expense and personal sacrifice, to save your life and the lives of those close to you. Please honor their commitment to your health by reading this article with a dictionary close to you, if necessary.
Aspartame and the BBB
As of 1995, aspartame accounted for 75 percent of adverse reactions (see page 3) reported to the FDA.1
Aspartame is comprised of 40% aspartic acid, 50% phenylalanine and 10% methanol. Some of the metabolites of aspartame are methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid, diketopiperazine and carbon monoxide.
The body protects the brain from chemical imbalances through the blood brain barrier (BBB). However, the BBB matures during childhood, is compromised by ill-health and often allows substances to pass while functioning properly.
Aspartic acid
The body produces aspartic acid that serves as a neurotransmitter, facilitating the transition of information from neuron to neuron. Excess aspartic acid (an amino acid) creates too many neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain. This excess damages or kills neurons by overstimulating them hence the term "excitotoxin."
Excessive amounts of aspartame over time begin to destroy neurons. Significant populations of people who consume aspartame develop a variety of symptomologies commonly diagnosed as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease. Undiagnosed, aspartame users commonly experience memory loss, sexual dysfunction, blindness, heart irregularities, headaches, loss of hearing, seizures, blood sugar anomalies, irritability and varying degrees of dementia.
Naturally, populations most vulnerable to excitotoxic neurological damage are infants and developing children, pregnant women, the elderly and the chronically afflicted.
Phenylalanine is also an amino acid produced in the body. Phenylalanine from aspartame can cross the BBB and cause an imbalance of it in the brain, causing serotonin to decrease leading to emotional disorders. Elevated phenylalanine levels have been seen in the blood and in areas of the brain of  human subjects who chronically use aspartame.2 Dr. Louis Elsas showed Congress that such levels are dangerous to fetuses and infants. He also showed that lab rats metabolize phenylalanine more efficiently than humans.3
Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock shows earlier studies indicating concentrations of phenylalanine accumulate in the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and corpus stranium areas of the brain. Previous science has determined that phenylalanine buildup in the brain can cause schizophrenia or susceptibility to seizures.
Can we infer that aspartame use is partially responsible for increased sales of Prozac and other psychotropic drugs?
Methanol is a well-known neurotoxin. The EPA recognizes it as a "cumulative" poison and that "methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic." Methanol is slowly released in the small intestine when aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin.
Methanol metabolizes faster as "free" methanol which is created when aspartame is heated above 86 degrees F. In 1993, the FDA approved the use of aspartame in a wide variety of food items that would always be heated above 86 degrees F.
The symptoms of methanol poisoning include headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, digestive disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, vision problems, retinal damage and blindness, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral problems and neuritis.
Humans, lacking a couple of key enzymes, are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, animal studies with regard to the effects of methanol in the body are of no value.
Aspartame enthusiasts are quick to mention that many common foods such as fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain methanol. However, in these instances, ethanol is always present, usually in higher amounts. Ethanol serves as an antidote to methanol.4 Aspartame contains no ethanol.
Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.5
Diketopiperazine (DKP)
A by-product of aspartame metabolism, DKP has been associated with the formation of brain tumors. DKP has been found to form in aspartame-containing beverages during prolonged storage, particularly above 86 degrees F. Gulf War troops drank copious amounts of aspartame-sweetened sodas that had been stored for extended periods in the hot Arabian sun.
Science has shown how the components of aspartame are metabolized in the body. Aspartame's three main ingredients are themselves problematic and break down into substances already known to be toxic to the body.
Tests conducted by Searle to support claims that aspartame is safe do not withstand peer review and were being investigated for fraud prior to aspartame's FDA approval.
This article was largely taken from the article "The Bitter Truth About Artificial Sweeteners" by Mark D. Gold as it appeared in the Oct.-Dec., 1995 edition of Nexus Magazine. References available upon request.
1.       Department of Health and Human Services, "Report on All Adverse Reactions in the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System," February 25, 28, 1994.
2.      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
3.      Hearing Before the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, First Session on Examining the Health and Safety Concerns of NutraSweet (aspartame), U.S. Senate.
4.      Monte, Woodrow C., Ph.D., RD, "Aspartame: Methanol and the Public Health," Journal of Applied Nutrition, 36(1):42-53
5.      U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, No. 84-1153, Community Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte v. Dr. Mark Novitch, Acting Commissioner, USFDA, Sept. 24, 1985.

How diet soda becomes poison

In 1997, 11-year-old Jennifer Cohen saved her babysitting money for lab tests to measure how aspartame breaks down in cans before ingestion by consumers. With $1,250 this young girl was able to produce peer-reviewable results that Searle, Monsanto and the FDA and their $multi-million budgets, state-of-the-art testing facilities and scientists could not.

On January 21, 1997, Jennifer Cohen bought a case of Diet Coke. She put seven cans in the refrigerator (36 degrees F.), seven cans in her bedroom (69 degrees F.) and seven cans in an incubator set at 104 degrees F. She checked the temperatures daily for 10 weeks. The remaining cans she took to Winston Laboratories in New Jersey. The cans were found to contain .06 percent aspartame.
Prior to conducting her experiments, she discovered that aspartame was being consumed by over 100 million Americans and that aspartame has a shelf life of 262 days at 77 degrees F.
Her research also revealed that the FDA gets more complaints about aspartame than any other substance and; that aspartame use has been linked to brain tumors, seizures and symptoms mimicking multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer' s disease.
On April 1, 1997, Cohen took the refrigerated, room temperature and incubated cans of pop to Winston Labs for analysis. The refrigerated cans showed aspartame diminished to .0058 percent with .001 percent DKP and 53.5 parts per billion (ppb) formaldehyde. The room temperature samples showed .0051 percent aspartame, .002 percent DKP and 231 ppb formaldehyde. The incubated samples showed only .026 percent aspartame, .010 percent DKP and 76.2 ppb formaldehyde.
The higher the temperature, the more DKP; room temperature produced the highest levels of formaldehyde.
Cohen also conducted a double-blind taste test and found that "fresh" diet Coke was preferred and the incubated samples scored the lowest.
"The FDA says, 'we believe, based upon all the information we received to date, that this is a safe product,'" Cohen wrote.
"I say, 'Decide for yourself,'" she concluded.
Cohen's entire 1997 study can be found at

On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president of the United States, G.D. Searle resubmitted its petition for FDA approval of aspartame.
According to former G.D. Searle salesperson Patty Wood-Allott, G.D. Searle President and former (and current) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld circulated a memo among his sales people stating that, if necessary, "he would call in all his markers and that, no matter what, he would see to it that aspartame would be approved that year."
(Gordon, 1987, page 499, U.S. Senate, 1987)
True to his word, aspartame was approved for use in dry products July 15, 1981.

Aspartame Timeline

The process of aspartame's federal approval and subsequent mass marketing is a study in the triumph of political power over science and public health. The following time was compiled by longtime consumer advocate Attorney Jim Turner.

  • 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 to apply for FDA approval of food additives.
    F  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 statute 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 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 its senior scientific consultant.
  • Fall 1983-The first carbonated beverages containing aspartame are sold for public consumption.
  • November 1984-Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes its "Evaluation of consumer complaints related to aspartame use."
  • November 3, 1987-U.S. congressional hearing, "NutraSweet: Health and Safety Concerns," Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Senator Howard Metzenbaum, chairman.

  • 1993-FDA approves expanded uses for  aspartame to include foods that are always heated above 86 degrees F.
  • 1995-Monsanto sells its sweetener division to J.W. Childs Partnership
  • 1998-Monsanto petitions FDA for approval of neotame, reportedly 13,000 times sweeter than sugar.
  • July 5, 2002-FDA approves neotame despite formal objections by scientists, physicians and activists.

Jim Turner, a long time Washington D.C. consumer crusader, began his public advocacy career as one of "[Ralph] Nader's Raiders."' Food safety and the regulatory process were subjects Jim Turner knew a lot about . In the late 60s, he wrote the influential and best selling expose of the food industry called "The Chemical Feast". Turner established his reputation as a regulatory pit-bull when he fought to have cyclamate taken off the FDA's Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list. His success ultimately led to cyclamate's removal from the market in 1970.
Turner committed himself to fighting against aspartame's approval. He took on this battle largely at his own expense because he was convinced that influence-peddling in Washington was the reason behind aspartame's approval.
Note: An extremely detailed aspartame timeline is available at This timeline is an excellent reference from which one may begin a comprehensive investigation of the aspartame issue or just get a solid understanding of aspartame politics and science.

Page 4
Aspartame: Point/Counterpoint

The National Diabetic Association and the International Food Information Council (IFIC) maintain that the government-approved artificial sweetener aspartame is safe for use in foods, beverages and medicines. Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding aspartame safety. The questions are first answered ( in italics) as posed by the IFIC then refuted (in normal typeface) with analyses supported by published scientific and medical literature. The original 1995 IFIC article, "Everything you need to know about aspartame," as rebutted by Mark Gold (complete with fully cited references to published scientific reports), is available in its entirety at

What is aspartame made of?
Aspartame is made by joining two protein components, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a small amount of methanol. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are building blocks of protein and are found naturally in all protein-containing foods, including meats, grains and dairy products. Methanol is found naturally in the body and in many foods such as fruit and vegetable juices.

Aspartame-containing products also contain breakdown products of aspartame such as beta-aspartame (Lawrence 1987, Stamp 1989) and aspartylphenylalanine diketopiperazine (DKP) (Tsang 1985).
Because the amino acids are not bound in proteins, they are absorbed quickly and spike the plasma aspartic acid and phenylalanine to high levels. Even the industry researchers admit that these amino acids are metabolized differently than those found in foods (Stegink 1987a, Stegink 1987b). Methanol is found in available form in much greater quantities in aspartame than in real foods (Monte 1984). Methanol taken orally is extremely toxic to humans. Even though a small amount is found in the body, as little as a can of diet soda can spike the plasma methanol levels significantly (Davoli 1986).

How is aspartame handled by the body?
Aspartame is digested just like any other protein. Upon digestion, aspartame breaks down into its basic components and is absorbed into the blood. Neither aspartame nor its components accumulate in the body over time.

Formic acid (a toxic metabolite of methanol) likely can accumulate in the organs (Liesivuori 1991). No one knows if DKP or a metabolite of DKP accumulates in the body over time. Proper tests have not been conducted. Aspartic acid may accumulate for a significant amount of time like another excitotoxic amino acid, glutamic acid (Toth 1981). Much of the damage caused by aspartic acid and glutamic acid ingested orally is clearly laid out by Dr. Russell Blaylock, Professor of Neurosurgery, in his well-referenced book, "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills." Either way, gradual damage can be caused by aspartame breakdown products even when they do not accumulate. A chemical does not have to accumulate to cause damage.

Can aspartame be used in cooking or baking?
Aspartame's components separate when heated over time, resulting in a loss of sweetness. Therefore, aspartame is not recommended for use in recipes requiring lengthy heating or baking. It may, however, be added at the end of the cooking cycle in some recipes. If a food containing aspartame is inadvertently heated, it would still be safe, but would simply not provide the desired sweetness.

Any heating, even at the end of cooking will cause DKP and free phenylalanine to quickly form. Significant amounts of DKP are formed when aspartame is stored in liquid form at room temperature. Heating will speed that process considerably. See Tsang (1985) discussed above.

Is aspartame safe?
As a governmental agency charged with safeguarding the American food supply, the FDA has concluded that aspartame is safe for the general public, including diabetics, pregnant and nursing women, and children. Persons with a rare hereditary disease known as phenylketonuria (PKU) must control their phenylalanine intake from all sources, including aspartame. These persons are diagnosed at birth by a blood test performed on all babies. Products sweetened with aspartame carry a statement on the label that they contain phenylalanine.

In 1981 the FDA's Public Board of Inquiry, made up of scientists (including the President of the American Association of Neuropathologists), voted unanimously against approval of aspartame. The board believed the brain tumor data was "worrisome." As the pages of the AS Times will demonstrate, aspartame's FDA approval was secured by the political influence of Donald Rumsfeld, not as a result of safety-proving science. 

How much aspartame may people consume?
The FDA uses the concept of an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for many food additives, including aspartame. The ADI represents an intake level that if maintained each day throughout a person's lifetime would be considered safe by a wide margin. The ADI for aspartame has been set at 50 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight.

The FDA's ADI was determined by tests conducted with mice not humans. Mice are able to metabolize methanol, for instance, much more efficiently than humans. All independent experiments using much less than the FDA's ADI show aspartame causes problems in humans. Therefore, the FDA's ADI with regard to aspartame is not an accurate measure of safe levels of consumption in people.

How much aspartame are people actually consuming today?
The FDA monitors the amount of aspartame that Americans consume through ongoing dietary surveys. The average daily intake of Americans who consume aspartame has remained fairly constant since July 1984, averaging less than 2 percent of the FDA guideline for acceptable consumption. The most frequent consumers of aspartame are consuming only 4 percent to 7 percent of the ADI.

Children have been shown to consume far more than the FDA's ADI on an on-going basis and even overweight adults can consume more than half of the FDA's ADI on an ongoing basis (Frey 1976, Porikos 1984). The steady increase in consumption of aspartame since 1984 (see page 1 and USDA Situation and Outlook Report; Sugar and Sweeteners, 1988) indicates the mathematical impossibility of IFIC claims.

How was aspartame tested before it was approved for use in foods?
Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly studied ingredients in the food supply. It was tested in more than 100 scientific studies prior to its approval by the FDA in 1981. These tests were conducted in animals and humans, including normal adults and children, lactating women and persons with diabetes, obesity and special genetic conditions. Aspartame was tested in amounts many times higher than individuals could consume in the diet. Today scientists continue to conduct new studies on this sweetener as they do many other ingredients used in the food supply. The FDA also monitors and evaluates all research on this and other food ingredients.

If the studies to which IFIC refers exist, they are not part of the public record. IFIC has not provided copies of or even citations for these "more than 100 scientific studies" for review.

Have independent physicians and dietitians reviewed the safety of aspartame?
Yes. The American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs reviewed research on aspartame and found the sweetener to be safe. The American Dietetic Association also has concluded that moderate use of aspartame is acceptable as part of a healthy diet.

The American Medical Association's Council on "Scientific" Affairs, in 1985, merely restated comments made by FDA Commissioner Hayes in the Federal Register when he ignored the Public Board of Inquiry ruling and his own scientific team of experts in 1981.  The American Dietetic Association (ADA), which receives generous contributions from Monsanto, admitted that NutraSweet assists in the writing of its "fact" sheets (ADA 1993).

Can persons with diabetes consume aspartame?
Yes. The American Diabetes Association has stated that aspartame is acceptable as a sugar substitute and can be included in a diabetic meal plan.
H.J. Roberts, MD, has been studying the effects of aspartame on diabetics for 20 years. He has noticed significant metabolic, neurologic, vision and other problems in diabetics that remedy themselves when aspartame is removed from the diabetic diet. Dr. Roberts' observations can be found in his meticulously referenced work, "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic" (see page 7). As of 1995, the American Diabetes Association received generous annual contributions from Monsanto.

Is aspartame safe for people with epilepsy?
Yes. The Epilepsy Institute, an organization devoted to people suffering from seizure-related problems, has concluded that aspartame is not related to seizures among epileptic patients.

The Epilepsy Institute is not the Epilepsy Foundation, but a Monsanto-funded epilepsy center in New York. There have been no properly conducted tests on aspartame and seizures. All independent research has shown problems with aspartame (Camfield 1992, Elsas 1988, Walton 1986, Walton 1988). Seizures are one of the most common adverse reactions linked to aspartame usage.

Has aspartame been found to affect children's behavior?
No. Studies have shown that aspartame consumption does not affect the behavior of children, including those diagnosed as hyperactive or with attention deficit disorder.

Scientists who believe that children's behavior might be affected by aspartame and who saw case histories of erratic behavior from children on aspartame believed that it was the medium to long-term use of aspartame that often led to these changes. Some scientists believed that it was the constant spiking of plasma phenylalanine levels which led to brain chemistry changes.
Industry "researchers" conducted numerous experiments of very short length, often using encapsulated aspartame (which reduced the plasma phenylalanine spike) and then declared that there was no effect on children. They also averaged the results of all the children in each group so that if a few children were sensitive, their results would get lost in the averages. Independent blinded studies on children with behavior problems have yet to be conducted. However, when independent researchers conducted blinded studies of aspartame they have invariably found problems).

Can aspartame cause visual damage?
No. Scientists know that only huge quantities of methanol can affect vision. A small amount of methanol is formed when aspartame is digested or when its components separate. However, the amount of methanol one could possibly consume from aspartame is well within safe levels, and is actually less than that found in many fruit and vegetable juices.

The relationship between methanol and blindness has been known for decades. The relationship between macular degeneration and aspartame was explained to Congress in 1987 by methanol expert and eye specialist, Dr. Morgan B. Raiford. Dr. Raiford testified about one of the many persons he had seen with eye damage from aspartame. Per his paper (Raiford 1987), he described how the deterioration of Shannon Roth's eyes (due to methanol poisoning attributed to NutraSweet) "...was identical to the damage I observed repeatedly in the eyes of individuals whose eyes have been damaged by methyl alcohol toxicity."
Dr. Raiford's work was supported in 1991 (Cook and Bergman, et al).

Do some people have adverse reactions to aspartame?
There is no scientific evidence that aspartame is linked to adverse reactions in people. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed some 500 consumer complaints related to aspartame in 1984. CDC concluded that there was no specific group of symptoms clearly related to aspartame consumption. The FDA has investigated all complaints since 1984, and has stated that there is "no consistent or unique pattern of symptoms reported with respect to aspartame that can be causally linked to its use. " Individuals who have concerns about possible adverse reactions to aspartame should contact their physicians.

Adverse reactions to aspartame comprise about 80 percent of product complaints to the FDA. Contrary to IFIC claims, independently produced, double-blind studies which show adverse reactions in humans to aspartame have been published (Camfield, et al, 1992; Elsas, Trotter, 1988; Koehler, Glaros, 1988; Kulczycki, 1995; Spiers, et al, 1988; Van den Eeden, et al, 1994; Walton, 1993).

SYMPTOMS attributed to ASPARTAME in complaints submitted to the FDA
% OF
% OF
HEADACHE 1847 21.1% 19.0%
CHANGE OF MOOD 656 10.0% 6.7%
CHANGE IN VISION 362 5.5% 3.7%
DIARRHEA 330 5.0% 3.4%
MEMORY LOSS 255 3.9% 2.6%
FATIGUE, WEAKNESS 242 3.7% 2.5%
RASH 226 3.4% 2.3%
SLEEP PROBLEMS 201 3.1% 2.1%
HIVES 191 2.9% 2.0%
ITCHING 175 2.7% 1.8%
GRAN MAL 172 2.6% 1.8%
LOCAL SWELLING 14 1.7% 1.2%
1812 -- 18.6%

% OF
% OF
DIET SOFT DRINKS 3021 45.9% 38.3%
TABLE TOP SWEETNER 1716 26.1% 21.7%
PUDDINGS - GELATINS 633 9.6% 8.0%
LEMONADE 410 6.2% 5.2%
OTHER 346 5.3% 4.4%
KOOL AID 339 5.1% 4.3%
ICED TEA 319 4.8% 4.0%
CHEWING GUM 319 4.8% 4.0%
CEREAL 119 1.8% 1.5%
BREATH MINTS 62 0.9% 0.8%
PUNCH MIX 45 0.7% 0.6%
FRUIT DRINKS 24 0.4% 0.3%
FRUIT, DRIED 1 0.01% 0.01%

Page 5
The human side of aspartame poisoning

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox was the posterchild for aspartame-containing Diet Pepsi. Now he is the posterchild for Parkinson's disease. While the Michael J. Fox Foundation continues to solicit donations for Parkinson's research, Mr. Fox's health continues to deteriorate. Sources close to the actor claim he still consumes several cans of Diet Pepsi each day. We believe that Mr. Fox's Parkinson's is due to aspartame poisoning. Mission Possible, The Idaho Observer and others have repeatedly attempted to contact Mr. Fox and deliver to him information that could save his life. However, the research foundation that bears his name has expressed zero interest in identifying the cause of Mr. Fox's degenerative condition; it only seeks to use his name to raise money to develop drugs that mask, rather than cure, Parkinson's disease ( September, 2000

Joyce Wilson
The 1991 aspartame-related death of Joyce Wilson marked the beginning of Mission Possible. Described by those close to her as a wonderful wife, mother and friend, Joyce began to use products containing NutraSweet after it was approved by the FDA. Though not overweight, she wanted to stay slim. She began drinking diet sodas, Slimfast and chewing sugar-free gum. She gained 35 pounds and her health began to fail. She also began to lose her vision. Thirty-four doctors could not figure out what was happening. One day she heard how a woman named Shannon Roth became blind in one eye because of her consumption of NutraSweet. She contacted Roth and found that aspartame is a deadly poison. Indeed, this poison destroyed her brain, ravaged her internal organs and blinded her. She suffered headaches, hypertension and developed multiple-sclerosis-like symptoms. In her deteriorating state, she vowed to do everything in her power to warn the world about aspartame. In advance of testifying before Congress in 1986, she told Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, "I feel aspartame is the most dangerous substance introduced for human consumption. Please stop this product now before the toll on the health of Americans is disastrous. It is too late for me, but I hope I can help others..."
Joyce successfully got many people off aspartame and watched their health return an option that was not available to her. Aspartame disease eventually took her memory completely away and she passed away like an Alzheimer's victim.
The memory of Joyce Wilson lives on as more and more of us become informed about aspartame and become part of the team working to remove this horrible substance from our foods, beverages and medicines.

Gloria Collins, April 16, 1995
Gloria used Equal/NutraSweet/aspartame for about five years, completely unaware of the artificial sweetener's health risks and confident that FDA approval was an official seal of product safety. She began to experience depression, vertigo, leg cramps, insomnia, nightmares and memory loss. Her vision began to fail and, though her eye doctor could not explain why, she was resigned to going blind. Not knowing what else to do, she turned to prayer.
Her prayers were answered in the form of a flyer entitled, "NUTRASWEET IS A NEUROTOXIN." The flyer listed all her symptoms. She immediately abandoned the use of aspartame in any form. All her symptoms began to disappear even her vision returned to normal. Gloria said, "It looks like we have no protector, so we must warn each other. In this spirit I attest to the nightmare Equal made of my life. I urge you to take the 'no aspartame' test and discover if your health problems are the result of continuous daily poisoning."

George Jantz
My name is George Jantz and I am 69 years old. I have visited the website many times and was extremely impressed. You had expressed the need for 'hornblowers' and this is why I am writing to you as I have lived an unforgettable ordeal over the years.
For years, I had consumed a lot of soft drinks containing aspartame. Both of my knees had been replaced in August l988 and I was still consuming large amounts of aspartame when in l989 I started to fight a severe form of depression that landed me in the Oshkosh Psycho Ward for one week. From there I was transferred to the VA Hospital in Tomah, Wisconsin and stayed there for a number of months.
After being released in the fall of 1990 from the VA Hospital, I was forced to deal with a separation from my wife Lois for 1 1/2 years. During the 1991 summer I sank into a deeper depression and became psychotic. I had been placed on the medications of Lithium and Depekote. I believe now that it was the combination of these drugs along with my large consumption of aspartame that took at least 15 years of my life causing me to make two suicide attempts and experience many serious health problems.
I have since gotten off of Lithium and Depekote as well as stopping the consumption of aspartame. My personal experience along with witnessing the deteriorating effects of aspartame on three of my personal acquaintances has left me devastated. My stand against the use of aspartame and sharing with others the effects of aspartame on the human body has alienated most of my family from me and caused much heartache and sorrow.
In closing, it is my sincere hope that you and many others like you, can understand the long-term effects on a person's life because of the daily use of aspartame as well as prescription drugs. It is my sincere hope that my personal experiences can somehow help others in the future!

Aspartame and sudden death
News of the last few years has been punctuated with reports of world-class athletes and others in generally good health simply dropping dead. What could be causing the rise in incidences of "Sudden Adult Death Syndrome?" Dr. James Bowen has written an). It is the editorial belief of The Artificially Sweet in-depth report on aspartame and sudden death (available at It is the editorial belief of The Artificially Sweetened Times that, if the case histories of each one of these untimely and unexpected deaths were to be thoroughly analyzed, the common denominator would be consumption of aspartame over an extended period of time coupled with its metabolic interaction with dietary supplements and medications

Steve Belcher, 1979-2003
Steve Belcher, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, died at age 23 Feb. 17, 2003, in a Fort Lauderdale hospital. A bottle of ephedra-containing weight-loss supplements was found in his locker. Dr. H.J. Roberts contacted Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Joshua Perper and found that the official cause of death was hyperthermia because his internal body temperature reached 108 degrees F. to cause multiple organ failure. Dr. Roberts asked how many diet drinks Belcher drank per day. Dr. Perper did not even think to inquire as to the possibility of aspartame poisoning contributing to Belcher's untimely death. Dr. Roberts maintains that the ephedra alone could not have caused Belcher, a physically-fit professional athlete in the prime of his life, to die from hyperthermia. He believes that the excitotoxin aspartame must have been consumed by Belcher to achieve the toxicity that led to his death.

Chuck Fleming, 1963-2000
At age 37, Chuck Fleming was a fit, athletic man who habitually consumed a variety of health drinks, health powders, energy bars mass-building products. On the way home from church in June, 2000, Fleming and his wife Diane stopped at a store to buy a case of Gatorade and a carton of Creatine, a product marketed to help build muscle mass. Chuck and Diane mixed the Creatine into the Gatorade. Chuck misread the directions and mixed tablespoons not teaspoons as directed into one bottle of Gatorade. He sipped the mixture and, not liking the taste, put it into the refrigerator and took off to play basketball, as was his custom 2-3 times per week. For a month prior Chuck had been complaining of intermittent nausea and shortness of breath. Diane claims he drank about eight 12-ounce cans of diet pop each day, drank very little water and never drank coffee or tea. He took several pharmaceutical preparations including Prevacid (an antacid), tetracycline (an antibiotic), Naproxen (digestive anti-inflammatory), a multi-vitamin and Vancenase AQ (nasal inhaler for allergies). After returning home from playing basketball, he ate a bowl of ice cream, mixed Creatine in the remaining bottles of Gatorade and went to bed. He awakened the next morning feeling ill but went to work, taking three bottles of mixed Gatorade with him. He drank only a third of one bottle and returned home feeling nauseated. Originally thinking he had a touch of the flu, his condition continued to worsen. By late afternoon the following day, Diane called 911 and Chuck was rushed to the hospital. He lapsed into a coma and was removed from life support three days later. The cause of death was methanol poisoning. Thirteen months later Diane was arrested for murder and is now serving a 50-year sentence in a Virginia prison for allegedly spiking her husband's Gatorade with methanol-containing windshield washer fluid while he was off playing basketball.

Diane Fleming
Chuck Fleming's wife Diane also had her life suddenly come to an end due to aspartame. During a one-day trial she was convicted of murder and sentenced to spend the rest of her life in a Virginia prison. Court transcripts reveal that the methanol with which she allegedly spiked her husband's Gatorade came from a gallon of windshield washer fluid that had not been opened.
New evidence indicates that Chuck's methanol poisoning was aspartame not wife induced (The Idaho Observer, June, 2003
"If the facts about this case that have been reviewed are correct, it is my firm opinion that Diane Fleming should be immediately freed from wrongful imprisonment to rejoin her family," wrote H.J. Roberts, MD, in an affidavit submitted to the court (see
Diane is currently hoping the new evidence will prompt a judge to grant her a new trial.  Contact Betty Martini, Mission Possible, (770) 242-2599.

Aspartame destroys diabetics
The American Diabetic Association recommends aspartame to diabetics. H.J. Roberts, MD, has exhaustively reviewed the metabolic mechanisms of aspartame and their effect on diabetics. He has concluded that the artificial sweetener is extremely destructive to the diabetic. "In my experience and research over the past 20 years, numerous patients with known diabetes and hypoglycemia ("low blood sugar attacks") have suffered serious metabolic, neurologic, eye, allergic and other complications that could be specifically attributed to using aspartame products. They include the loss of diabetes control, the apparent precipitation of diabetes, the aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications (particularly neuropathy and retinopathy), the intensification of hypoglycemia, and a profound gain of weight  with dramatic improvement after avoiding aspartame, AND  their predictable recurrence shortly after resuming these products," wrote Dr. Roberts in a letter to the British Medical Association.
Dr. Roberts is the author of Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic.

Page 6
Kicking the sweet habit
Tips to regain your health through an aspartame detoxification program

compiled by Ingri Cassel

The first step in any detoxification program is to stop exposure to the toxins causing our health problems. Become an avid label reader and avoid instant or prepackaged food in general. Buy organic grains, nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables and herbs while learning how to cook from scratch.
The second step is to eliminate the craving for the substance causing our ill health. In the case of aspartame, it is essential to restore depleted nutrients by taking a high quality B-complex supplement as well as a multi-mineral supplement. Liquid supplements or supplements in capsules are much more assimilable than supplements in tablet form.
It is also important to drink a minimum of eight glasses of purified water a day while eliminating dehydrating drinks such as coffee, black tea, alcohol and carbonated beverages.
Plenty of chlorine and fluoride-free, filtered water is necessary for our bodies to eliminate the accumulation of toxic residues and heavy metals stored in our fatty tissues. A vast majority of the populace is severely dehydrated as Dr. F. Batmanghelidj in his book "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" reveals. This is one of the most powerful aspects of any detoxification program. The best resource on the Internet about the importance of water with several case histories cited is
In his book, "Health and Nutrition Secrets to Save Your Life," Dr. Russell Blaylock details an intense aspartame detox regimen. (see resources page 7).
In the case of aspartame as well as most other toxins, our body's main filter, the liver, is congested and needs to be supported in the cleansing process. For information on liver cleanses and herbs to support liver function, read Dr. Sandra Cabot's book, "The Liver Cleansing Diet Book" (888-752-4286).
Also, Dr. Richard Schulze is an expert on natural healing and "saying it like it is" when it comes to how your body works as well as how you can recover naturally from "incurable" diseases. Call 1-800-HERBDOC and ask for Dr. Schulze's comprehensive newsletter on The Liver or go to his website 
Colon cleansing is also an essential part of the detoxification process as you will find out from Dr. Schulze and countless other naturopaths.
Other important aspects of detoxification are oxygenation, copious amounts of Vitamin C, consuming lots of raw fruits and vegetables, drinking raw fresh juice made with your own juicer, and proper application of certain types of clay both internally and externally. Dr. Janet Starr Hull, author of Sweet Poison, recommends using French Green clay internally and we know of many people who have excellent results with magnetic clay baths for detoxing from mercury, aluminum and barium, as well as formaldehyde and DKP the metabolic byproducts of aspartame. Go to
But the most important and most commonly overlooked aspect of any healing program is its spiritual, mental and emotional components, known today as psycho-neuro-immunology. 1. Take control of your life by loving yourself and your life through positive affirmations. 2. Learn to forgive yourself and those around you. 3. Take responsibility for your personal life, cleaning up strained relationships. 4. Meditate, follow your spirit and pray. 5. Help someone everyday.
For books and websites on specific programs for detoxing from aspartame poisoning, refer to the resource list on page 7. You can meet others who have successfully detoxed from aspartame by participating in discussion groups found at

Where's the aspartame?
Aspartame can be found on the ingredients list in the following products: Soft drinks, over-the-counter drugs & prescription drugs (very common and listed under "inactive ingredients"), vitamin & herb supplements, yogurt, instant breakfasts, candy, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, coffee beverages, gelatin desserts, frozen desserts, juice beverages, laxatives, milk drinks, shake mixes, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas and coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers, etc.
Please check labels carefully and compare it against the list of "Sweetene rs to Avoid."
Many people make the mistake of not checking labels carefully and continue to poison themselves. (Note: In some countries such as Australia, the word "aspartame" may not appear on the label, but the phrase "Phenylketonurics: Contains Phenylalanine" appears instead). Also, some drug and supplement manufacturers are allowed to avoid listing aspartame on the label if they state the words, "contains phenylalanine." In addition, many people do not realize that their children may be given aspartame or other artificial sweetener-containing foods or drugs at school without their knowledge. Talk to the school director and to the local PTA to assure that this does not happen.
Sweeteners to Use
Stevia *
Barley Malt
Evaporated Cane Juice
Fruit Juice
Rice Syrup
Licorice Root (small amounts)
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) *
Vegetable Glycerin

Sweeteners to Avoid
Sucralose (Splenda)
Acesulfame-K (Sunette, Sweet & Safe, Sweet One)
Refined Sugar #
High Fructose Sweeteners #
Sorbitol #

* Safe for Diabetics
# Can Be Used in Very Small Amounts

Excitotoxins were discovered in 1957 by two opthalmologists testing how MSG affects the vision of mice.
A growing number of clinicians and scientists today are convinced excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of neurological disorders such as migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, learning disorders in children, AIDS dementia, episodic violence and obesity.
Excitotoxins are also linked to the development of neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington 's disease [and multiple sclerosis], wrote neuroscientist Russell Blaylock, MD.
The most commonly consumed excitotoxins are aspartame, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (which is commonly listed on product labels as "natural flavors, natural flavoring, spices, yeast extract, textured protein" and "soy protein extract").
Since 1948 the amount of MSG added to foods has doubled every decade. Over 800 million pounds of aspartame have been consumed in various products since it was first approved in 1981. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is found in a steadily-increasing array of  foods found at the grocery store. Today, at least one of these excitotoxins is present in nearly every packaged food product.
For example, soups often contain three or more excitotoxins in the form of flavor enhancers, and many breads contain L-cysteine as a dough conditioner.  In the body, L-cysteine converts to the powerful excitotoxin cystein sulfinic acid.
Additionally, excitotoxins have been found to interact with food additives and pharmaceutical preparations with adverse (even lethal) results.
Dr. Blaylock's brief description of excitotoxins can be found in his article Excitotoxins, Neurodegeneration and Neurodevelopment," at 
A more detailed analysis is found in his well-referenced book, "Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills (See page 7).

Aspartame Reaction Report Form

Commissioner of the FDA                                     Date:______________
Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Dear Commissioner:
For the past ______________________ I have experienced the following health problems:
_________________________________________________________________________ (Use this space for generalizations. Use additional pages for in-depth and supporting information)
I recently learned that aspartame, the artificial sweetener packaged under the trade names Equal, NutraSweet and others, is a toxic substance unfit for human consumption.
After the total elimination of this substance from my diet the symptoms listed above have either disappeared, or are greatly diminished.
According to your MISSION statement, the FDA must:
1. Base regulatory decisions on a foundation of sound scientific analysis and the law; and understand, conduct and apply excellent science and research.
2. Be honest, fair and accountable in all actions and decisions.

Your mission statement was not applied to the approval of this toxic drug. I understand that your predecessor, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, disregarded the fraudulent nature of test documentation submitted by Searle, and then overruled his own FDA Board of Inquiry to approve this substance for the open market.  The FDA ruling of 1993 allowing aspartame to be used in everything, including in heated foods, greatly compounds the gravity of this tragic action.
Those actions were not in keeping with the FDA's stated mission, and were taken with total disregard to public health and safety.
Aspartame has been linked to a full spectrum of chronic symptoms affecting men, women, and children.  It strikes especially hard at those who are most diet conscious for they are the ones most prone to use this drug. It is time to end a growing world-wide epidemic by recognizing aspartame for what it is, a slow-acting poison now found in over 7000 foods, beverages and medicines in over 90 countries.
As an American who helps pay your salary and provides you with facilities, I expect you to perform your duties according to the letter of the law and the Food and Drug Administration charter.  To this end, I demand that aspartame be reclassified as a dangerous toxin, a drug that is unfit for human consumption, and that it be banned from all foods, beverages and medicines.
Signed:__________________________________  Date:_____________
Address: __________________________________________________________________

Copy to: Betty Martini, Mission Possible, 9270 River Club Parkway, Duluth GA  30097

Mission Possible Aspartame Disease Class Action
Do you suffer from any of the symptoms found on page 3 or at the end of this post? Do you now have reason to believe they may be related to your consumption of products containing aspartame? Do you wish to be included in a class action? Write up your case history, make copies of supporting documents and send them to:

Betty Martini
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
(770) 242-2599

New medical text on the global plague of Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic at  or call 1-800-827-7991

WANTED: Looking for insider reports. Human subjects in locations all over the world have been used to test aspartame without their knowledge or consent. Mission Possible has obtained some of these shocking reports but knows there are more of them out there. Contact Mission Possible(770) 242-2599

Page 7
1. If aspartame begins to break down into methanol, a known neurotoxin, at 86 degrees F., how can aspartame be safe for humans whose healthy bodies operate at 98.6 degrees F.?
2. Aspartame is comprised of 40 percent aspartic acid, 50 percent phenylalanine and 10 percent methanol. In the body it converts to methanol (a neurotoxin), then formaldehyde (embalming fluid), then formic acid (insecticide) and DKP (brain tumor agent). How can this substance be safe if all its metabolic conversions are unsafe?
3. Why are most people who drink "diet" pop sweetened with aspartame chronically overweight? Why do slender people who drink "diet" pop sweetened with aspartame have a tendency to gain weight?
4. What prompted the U.S. attorney investigating Searle for aspartame approval-related fraud to leave his job to work for the law firm representing Searle?
5. If science has proven that aspartame destroys diabetics, why do ad campaigns for sugarless products sweetened with aspartame target diabetics? Why does the American Diabetic Association recommend that diabetics use aspartame?
6. If some of aspartame's metabolites are known to cause birth defects, why aren't pregnant women being warned?
7. If science has determined that neurological pathways develop during childhood, why would the FDA approve the consumption of neurotoxic, methanol-containing aspartame for children?
8. What would prompt the FDA to approve aspartame as safe for human consumption when they have compiled a list of 92 symptoms from complaints received that include blindness, coma and death?
9. Why would the FDA list "death" as a "symptom?" Isn't "death " the cessation of symptoms?
10. Aspartame is described as an "excitotoxin" because it interacts with other drugs. Why does the FDA list it as a benign food "additive" when it could interact with a person's medications with potentially lethal results?
11. The vast majority of product complaints (between 75 percent and 85 percent) received by the FDA are aspartame related. Why wouldn't the FDA think this is important?
12. If aspartame is safe, why do so many sick people get better when they stop using it?
13. Donald Rumsfeld was the secretary of defense before using his political influence to achieve FDA approval for aspartame as CEO of G.D. Searle. Was aspartame approval considered a matter of national security? Rumsfeld is secretary of defense, again is aspartame's continued presence in vitamins, drugs and the food supply related to his powerful political position?

The American people can render answers to all the previous questions moot by simply boycotting products containing aspartame and the companies who produce and market them.

Help remove aspartame from the world's food supply

Buy a bundle of 100 copies of The Artificially Sweetened Times and distribute them throughout your community.
  •     Talk to schools and daycare centers. Offer to speak at parent-teacher meetings.
  •     Contact your local, state, and federal government representatives.
  •     If you see someone with a diet drink, ask if they have had any of the typical aspartame side effects. 
  •     Refer people to the Mission Possible website at or its phone number 770-242-2599.
  •     Tell your doctor about the scientific research available proving the negative side effects of aspartame.
  •     Register a complaint with the FDA and the FAA about aspartame poisoning.
  •     Return all food products with aspartame, opened or unopened, to your grocer. Tell him/her the products make you sick. The grocer can return them to the manufacturer for a store refund. The manufacturer should get the message. So, will the grocer.
  •     Spread the word on computer networks and by writing letters to the editors of your local newspapers.
  •     Publish articles in newsletters at your church, place of work, or neighborhood association.
  •     Set a personal example for health and wellness.


    Russell Blaylock, MD Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills
    Russell Blaylock, MD Health and Nutrition Secrets to Save Your Life
    H. J. Roberts, MD Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic
    H. J. Roberts, MD Sweet'ner Dearest
    H. J. Roberts, MD Aspartame (Nutrasweet): Is It Safe?
    Barbara Mullarkey Bittersweet Aspartame: The Diet Delusion
    Janet Starr Hull Sweet Poison: How The World's Most Popular
    Artificial Sweetener Is Killing Us
    Mary Nash Stoddard The Deadly Deception: The Story of Aspartame
    Dennis Remington, MD and Barbara Higa, RD The Bitter Truth
    About Artificial Sweeteners
    Dr. Richard Schulze Common Sense Health and Healing:
    20 Simple, Easy and Powerful Steps to Create a New Healthy Life
    Dr. Richard Schulze Healing Liver and Gallbladder Disease Naturally

    Websites:    -  Mission Possible  Betty Martini, director - Dr. Russell Blaylock's website - Mark D. Gold's Aspartame Toxicity Center - Aspartame Consumer Safety Network  Mary Stoddard, founder - Janet Starr Hull's aspartame info. website - Dr. James Bowen's aspartame info. website - Dr. Joseph Mercola's excellent #1 alternative health website

    Editor's comment:
    An exercise in self-reliance

    Admittedly, the research we had already conducted on aspartame convinced us that it's devastating to the human body. Since millions of people consume this government-approved, carcinogenic, mutagenic, neurotoxic, non-nutritive synthetic sweetener every day, we were also convinced aspartame is helping to destroy entire nations. That is the real reason this paper had to be published.
    We were not, however, prepared to find absolutely nothing in support of aspartame approval. All claims in support of aspartame use are, at best, utterly false; all publicly available reports in support of aspartame safety actually prove aspartame toxicity if one takes the time to read them instead of taking for granted what government and industry tell you they say.
    We published on page 3 several frequently asked questions about aspartame as posed by the International Food Information Council (IFIC). What the IFIC says about aspartame is what we are supposed to believe about it. The IFIC's statements are so irresponsible and scientifically unsupportable, they had to be refuted.
    The editorial intent of The AS Times is clear. We want our people to (a) stop using aspartame and convince those close to  them to stop using aspartame immediately, (b) conduct further research, (c) begin the process of reclaiming your life through an aspartame detox program  and, (d)  help remove aspartame (and neotame) from the world's food supply.
    Since we didn't have to spend much time reviewing credible pro-aspartame science (because there isn't any), we had time to research the history of sweeteners. Quite surprisingly, "civilized" man has been a slave to his sweet tooth since discovering sugar. So enslaved, in fact, he has been willing to enslave millions to ensure his supply of it.
    Imagine our surprise when a revisionist review of history revealed that international commerce from the 1300s to the late 1800s was as influenced by the demand for refined sugar as 20th century commerce was influenced by the demand for gasoline.
    Supply and demand. For the most part, the product is in demand and so, for our folly, there are suppliers.
    But one has to ask himself, "Why would government approve as safe something that is so obviously unsafe?"
    The answers we must return to ourselves are more than a little disconcerting.
    If the government can approve one deadly poison for human consumption, what other government-approved poisons are we consuming?
    We should use the aspartame example as an exercise in self-reliance. We are now equipped to make an informed choice regarding our consumption of aspartame. Government approval of this substance will be of no consequence when enough of us stop buying it.   (DWH)

    Note: The website at provides the list of 92 FDA-recognized adverse reactions to aspartame with a link to published medical journal reports describing them.

    Rumsfeld's disease?
    The spectrum of chronic disorders linked to aspartame have been generically labeled "aspartame disease." This disease has become so pervasive it deserves a new name. Since Donald Rumsfeld is responsible for aspartame approval,The AS Times proposes that aspartame disease be called "Rumsfeld's disease."    

    Page 8
    Billions of victims or billions of activists: Anecdotes in support of removing aspartame from our food supply
    Congress and regulatory agencies have been shown enough science to know that the only acceptable use for aspartame is as a pesticide. The aspartame-related horror stories all around us prove that we should not subject ourselves to, or be secretly exposed to, aspartame. If Congress, the FDA, the CDC, HHS and the EPA (and the president, vice-president, the attorney general and [certainly] Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) all know that aspartame is poisoning the American people and nothing is being done; if consumer advocates and trade organizations know aspartame is poisoning the marketplace where aspartame-laden products are purchased and nothing is being done, then, who is left to keep us from being poisoned? The following is a collection of sound bytes to help answer that last question and support your efforts in alerting your family, friends and community to the painful, yet empowering truth about aspartame: We, the American people, are on our own.

    Journal of the Diabetic
    Association of India
    Oct. Dec. 1995
    A thoroughly referenced and researched report entitled, "A HEALTH ALERT: Emerging Facts About Aspartame," by researchers Dr. J. Barua, an associate ophthalmologist and Dr. A. Bal of the S.L. Raheja Hospital, Bombay, was published in the Journal of the Diabetic Association of India (Oct. Dec., 1995).
    These men were alarmed at the dramatically increasing use of aspartame in the U.S., and how it's being marketed to diabetics regardless of  the dangers and  adverse effects of aspartame as established by sound science. "Since in India, its [aspartame's] use is still limited, we felt it prudent to spread this important information to our colleagues and to the people, so as to prevent its extensive use in the future," Drs. Barua and Bal stated in the report's introduction.
    The report reviewed 78 papers published in esteemed medical journals from all over the world between 1974 and 1995. Drs. Barua and Bal concluded that, of aspartame's three components, aspartic acid (40%), phenylalanine (50%) imbalance the body to produce toxic results and methanol (10%) is itself a deadly poison.
    The researchers, puzzled that a product so obviously disharmonious in the body would enjoy such popularity among consumers, proposed that aspartame 's clean taste, its claims to be nonfattening, consumer confidence in aspartame safety and the political power of a $multi-billion industry are the reasons for its marketplace success.
    "To conclude," Drs. Barua and Bal logically observed, "it must be kept in mind that aspartame is not an essential, life-saving drug but a food additive meant to pamper our sweet tooth. Moreover, it does not fulfill its own objectives i.e. controlling weight gain or diabetes.
    "We suggest that, until such time that it is proved conclusively that there are no health hazards on prolonged use of aspartame, it will be prudent to refrain from its use."

    Sit back, relax and enjoy the flight"
    Some people have suffered aspartame related disorders with doses as small as that carried in a single stick of chewing gum. This could mean a pilot who drinks diet sodas is more susceptible to flicker vertigo, or to flicker induced epileptic activity. It also means that all pilots are potential victims of sudden memory loss, dizziness during instrument flight and gradual loss of vision." ~Flying Safety, May, 1992 (published by the U.S. Air Force).
    One more clue as to aspartame safety.

    Consumption of aspartame linked to fetal brain damage June 17, 1985
    WASHINGTON (UPI) Two pediatric and genetic researchers say many pregnant women who consume aspartame, the popular sugar substitute sold as NutraSweet in soft drinks and 70 other products, may have babies with permanent brain damage.
    In a contention rejected by NutraSweet's manufacturer, one of the scientists, Dr. Louis Elsas of Emory University in Atlanta, also said he believes a key aspartame component can cause similar damage to infants if they ingest it in the six months following birth.
    "There's no reason why the pregnant female should be taking aspartame, " Elsas said, "and there's no reason why a child less than six months old should be taking aspartame. Period." He said the damage may not show up for years.
    Meanwhile, lawyers for a five-year-old boy who a research team said became, "uncontrollable and wildly emotional" after drinking NutraSweet products have filed a $2 million damage suit against the product's manufacturer, G.D. Searle Co. of Skokie, Ill.
    The suit, filed three weeks ago in Washington [D.C.], charges that aspartame is an "unreasonably dangerous and harmful food additive" that causes permanent affects when combined with glucose and given to children under six years old.

    Aspartame a deadly neurotoxin says former FDA investigator
    Former FDA investigator Arthur Evangelista, in a letter "To all my neighbors of all nations..." stated, "The problems with aspartame include not only the biochemical nature of this toxin but....also sheds light on the political nature of the players involved."
    Evangelista believes aspartame's FDA approval was achieved as a result of FDA employees placing the interests of politicians and corporate lobbyists over public health and consumer safety.
    "What I can tell you regarding toxicology, histology and biochemistry is that aspartame is neurotoxic. Its components easily transcend the blood-brain barrier, interfering with normal nerve cell function. This affects the glutathione and calcium mechanisms in place, destroying nerve cell integrity. The methanol then breaks down into formaldehyde-formic acid components, which denatures/mutates the DNA a known scientific fact. The subsequent result from this interaction and from isolates of genetically-modified amino acids and methanol is nerve cell necrosis and subsequent organ system degradation."
    Evangelista cites the 1977 "Bressler Report" describing G.D. Searle's "despicable" lab practices. This FDA report led to the company being indicted for fraud (The full report and Evangelista's statement are available at
    The aspartame approval process "...was further corrupted by politicians involved with corporate constituents. Another name for this, of course, is 'bribery,'" Evangelista said.

    If aspartame weren't bad enough
    In 1995 Monsanto sold its sweetener division to J.W. Childs Partnership aspartame's current owner. We can imagine that the sale was mostly in name because aspartame was becoming a public relations nightmare for the high-profile Monsanto (a company whose business is manipulating the natural world with chemical killers and genetically modified organisms).
    In 1998 Monsanto petitioned the FDA for approval of its new monster molecule neotame. Based upon the aspartame formula, Monsanto added 3-dimethylbutyl (listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a most hazardous chemical). The addition of this one little chemical allows Neotame to be some 13,000 times sweeter than sugar.
    The FDA approved Monsanto's newest sweet creation despite formally submitted objections by the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and other opponents of bio-engineered sweeteners. Long-term effects of this product are unknown.
    We believe the FDA does not require that neotame be specifically identified on product labels and that it may be in the list of ingredients as "natural flavors."

    Congressional Record, Tuesday, May 7, 1985
    Aspartame was approved for use in dry goods in 1981; for use in beverages in 1983. Dr. John Olney and Attorney Jim Turner's proposed amendment to the FDA's approval of aspartame in beverages, sponsored by Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio), sparked opposition. All the amendment called for was to have the amount of aspartame indicated on product labels. The Congressional Record is very revealing.

    Mr. METZENBAUM. "...Now, the National Soft Drink Association in August, 1983, thought that aspartame should not be used in soft drinks. But so many of my colleagues have been called recently and told that they should not vote for this amendment. Yet this amendment does not provide that the product should not be sold, only that people who use the product have a right to know how much of it they are consuming."
    (Metzenbaum then reads an excerpt from an FDA memo dated May 19, 1981. "Th e first and primary agenda item relates to the brain tumor issue. This was the point on which the Public Board of Inquiry concluded that safety had not been shown," the memo stated.
    Mr. METZENBAUM. "...So what we are talking about is, do we agree that there will be labeling indicating how much aspartame is in the product or do we close our minds to all the questions surrounding this product and turn our backs on the consumers' right to know.
    "I am frank to tell you I stand on the floor and do not have all the answers. But I believe that this body has some responsibility to the children, grandchildren and the adults who are consuming these soft drinks. And all I am asking for here today is that which I consider to be the very minimum, to tell the people who are drinking these diet sodas how much aspartame is in the product.
    "My amendment is no big deal. It is not going to save the world. It is not going to solve problems in Nicaragua and it is not going to balance the budget. But it is one little step in the right direction. We will be providing people with the minimum amount of information they deserve about a substance that poses many unanswered questions about basic consumer health and safety."
    The amendment did not pass. Though the FDA, members of Congress, the scientific community and laypeople had concerns about the safety of aspartame and its link to brain tumors, the powerful aspartame lobby was able to defeat this seemingly innocuous bill.

    Squirrel Sense
    A friend and I were having lunch at the Beach House restaurant in Sandpoint, Idaho, early in October, 2000. We would have ordinarily dined outside on the deck overlooking magnificent Lake Pend Oreille as the empty tables were all set with tablecloths, water glasses and silverware. However, a fall chill was in the air so we decided to enjoy lunch at a table inside.
    The hostess seated us at a table that allowed us to look past the deck to the mountains beyond the lake. My friend and I had slipped into conversation when we were interrupted by the antics of a squirrel that had hopped up onto the empty deck table closest to ours but on the other side of the picture window.
    The squirrel hopped, as squirrels do in their uniquely squirreline manner, to the center of the table. He began sniffing about the little white ceramic box universally used by restaurants to hold paper packets of the various sweetener options. In this case the options available were refined white sugar, Equal, NutraSweet, Sweet and Low and brown paper packets labeled "Raw Sugar."
    By now our conversation had stopped as we were being totally entertained by the antics of the squirrel. He methodically grabbed a packet of each sweet option in both hands, sniffed it momentarily then threw it a few inches to the left or right, then picked up and sniff tested a different packet.
    Our squirrel rifled through all the packets in this fidgety, yet methodical fashion until he came to the raw sugar. He picked it up and sniffed it over and over again, turning it around several times to sniff the entire packet. Then he licked it a couple of times, nibbled at the paper and licked it again.
    Apparently satisfied, he threw it off the table, jumped off the table himself, picked the raw sugar packet up in his little hands, put it in his mouth and hurriedly disappeared under the deck with his booty.
    The entire show took less than five minutes, but our conversation about it lasted much longer. We even told the waiter but he seemed more irritated over the little rodent's bad table manners than the dietary implications of what we witnessed.
    It was obvious to us that, while performing the yearly task of gathering food for the winter, our squirrel had chosen the raw sugar over the other options because he was smart enough to discern, with one quick sniff, that they were poisonous and, therefore, not appropriate items to store for winter use. (DWH)

    Aspartame Side Effects
    The components of aspartame can lead to a number of health problems. Side effects can occur gradually, can be immediate, or can be acute reactions. According to Lendon Smith, M.D., Russell Blaylock, M.D. and a growing number of other medical doctors, there is an enormous population suffering from side effects associated with aspartame, yet have no idea why drugs, supplements and herbs don't relieve their symptoms. Even though some don't 'appear' to suffer immediate reactions, these individuals are still susceptible to the long-term damage caused by excitatory amino acids, phenylalanine, methanol, and DKP.
    Over 92 adverse reactions and side effects have been attributed to aspartame including:
    blindness in one or both eyes
    decreased vision and/or other eye problems such as: blurring, bright flashes, squiggly lines, tunnel vision, decreased night vision
    pain in one or both eyes
    decreased tears
    trouble with contact lenses
    bulging eyes
    tinnitus - ringing or buzzing sound
    severe intolerance of noise
    marked hearing impairment
    epileptic seizures
    headaches, migraines and some severe
    dizziness, unsteadiness, both
    confusion, memory loss, both
    severe drowsiness and sleepiness
    paresthesia or numbness of the limbs
    severe slurring of speech
    severe hyperactivity and restless legs
    atypical facial pain
    severe tremors
    severe depression
    personality changes
    palpitations, tachycardia
    shortness of breath
    recent high blood pressure
    diarrhea, sometimes with blood in stools
    abdominal pain
    pain when swallowing
    Skin and Allergies
    itching without a rash
    lip and mouth reactions
    aggravated respiratory allergies such as asthma
    Endocrine and Metabolic
    loss of control of diabetes
    menstrual changes
    marked thinning or loss of hair
    marked weight loss
    gradual weight gain
    aggravated low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    severe PMS
    frequency of voiding and burning during urination
    excessive thirst, fluid retention, leg swelling, and bloating
    increased susceptibility to infection
    Additional Symptoms of Aspartame Toxicity include the most critical symptoms of all:
    irreversible brain damage
    birth defects, including mental retardation
    peptic ulcers
    aspartame addiction and increased craving for sweets
    hyperactivity in children
    severe depression
    aggressive behavior
    suicidal tendencies
    Aspartame may trigger, mimic, or cause the following illnesses:
    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Post-Polio Syndrome
    Lyme Disease
    Grave's Disease
    Meniere's Disease
    Alzheimer's Disease
    Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
    Mercury sensitivity from Amalgam fillings
    non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

    These are not allergies or sensitivities, but diseases and disease syndromes. Aspartame poisoning is commonly misdiagnosed because aspartame symptoms mock textbook 'disease' symptoms, such as Grave's Disease.
    Aspartame changes the ratio of amino acids in the blood, blocking or lowering the levels of serotonin, tyrosine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. Therefore, it is typical that aspartame symptoms cannot be detected in lab tests and on x-rays. Textbook disorders and diseases may actually be a toxic load as a result of aspartame poisoning.
    Source:    Sweet Poison: How The World's Most Popular Artificial Sweetener Is Killing Us - My Story, by Janet Starr Hull, New Horizon Press, ISBN; 0-88282-164-4.

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