In a study performed upon
monkeys, Searle fed NutraSweet to seven simians. Five of them
had grand-mal seizures and one died outright, for a casualty
rate of 86%. In another study, this time performed upon rats,
Searle removed tumors and put cancerous animals back in the
study. When they died, Searle resurrected them (on paper) and
wrote a phony report. 300 rats were supposedly autopsied in 2
days by one lab worker – impossible!
Caught red-handed, what could
Searle do? Hire the prosecutors! Sam Skinner and William
Conlon reportedly got deals they couldn’t refuse; so they
stalled until the statute of limitations was about to expire
then switched sides to join the defense lawyers. Put it this
way: The Godfather hired the district attorney and the case
died – with a lot of us.
Nevertheless, the FDA was
determined to act anyway against Searle, so it followed
through, and on September 30, 1980, a Board of Inquiry revoked
Searle’s petition for approval. (Docket No. 75F-0355)
The NSDA Weighs
Believe it or not, even the
National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) also fought aspartame.
The Association’s long protest can be found in the Senate
Congressional Record (5/7/85 at pages S5507-15), which argues
that the chemical is illegal because Section 402 of the FDCA
provides that a food is adulterated if it contains, in whole
or in part, a decomposed substance or if it is otherwise unfit
for food. Since the NSDA knew aspartame decomposes in soft
drinks, it objected that Searle had not demonstrated to a
reasonable certainty that aspartame and its degradation
products would be safe for use in soft drinks. If anything,
the NSDA argued, aspartame is inherently, markedly, and
uniquely unstable in an aqueous media and in soft drinks will
degrade as a function of temperature and pH.
The NSDA did, however, omit from
its protest the point that upon breakdown aspartame drinks
contain the toxic substances methyl (wood)
alcohol, formaldehyde, and formic acid (fire ant venom).
Stack a rack of diet soda in front of a hot Tucson, Arizona
Texaco station and you are making formaldehyde cocktails.
Fifteen years later, the Trocho Study in Barcelona showed that
formaldehyde accumulates in the cells and damages DNA. Dr. H.
J. Roberts, in his medical text
calls it pre-embalming!
Rumsfeld to the
But Searle had a dynamic CEO
named Don Rumsfeld who promised that he would get it on the
market. Four months after the revocation of Searle’s
petition, he became Reagan’s Secretary of Defense. The day
after the inauguration, a new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hayes,
was appointed; and he did the dirty deed that no previous
Commissioner would stoop to doing when he approved aspartame
over the objections of his own Public Board of Inquiry.
Several scientists, who had been
overruled when aspartame was approved, resigned in protest.
They even alleged that Searle had fabricated results in the
Later, the FDA Commissioner
scurried out of his position while under a
conflict-of-interest investigation to become a consultant to
Searle’s public-relations agency. He has not said a peep
since. Who ever heard of a public-relations guy who wouldn’t
talk? Hey, there, Mr. Government Man, we’ll make you rich if
you bless our plan!
By now the FDA was truly turned,
becoming in effect Monsanto’s Branch Office in Washington,
D.C. Today, the Agency gets more than half of its money from
the industries it regulates, serving them instead of us. Said
the late FDA toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, in his
congressional testimony, "the cancer causing potential of
aspartame is a matter established way beyond any reasonable
doubt.” Yet the FDA ignored its own scientist. If the FDA
itself elects to violate the law, then who is left to protect
the health of the public?
In l986, the Community Nutrition
Institute petitioned the FDA to ban aspartame because it found
that many persons were having seizures and going blind from
the free methyl alcohol. The FDA refused.
In 1987, the late Dr. Jacqueline
Verrett (the FDA toxicologist who had investigated Searle)
told Congress that Searle’s studies were built on a foundation
of sand and that the flawed tests submitted to get FDA
approval were a "disaster" that should have been thrown out.
the market, America got sicker, and an avalanche of consumer
complaints commenced. The FDA diligently counted and
classified these into 92 categories including sexual
dysfunction, blindness, four types of seizures and memory
loss, and death. Aspartame complaints exceeded those for all
other food additives combined. Barely one percent of
reactions are reported, so the 10,000-plus complaints actually
represent a hidden multitude of injured Americans.
Overwhelmed, the FDA began sending the complaints to the AIDS
Hotline. Then, still unsatisfied, the FDA slammed the
complaint window shut in 1996 and now denies they ever had a
list of thousands of complaints. The product, they say, is
safe as rain.
Thus, our government watchdog
became industry’s lapdog with full knowledge of the toxicity,
carcinogenicity, and neurodegenerative disabilities this
poison brings to the table. Meanwhile, three FDA
Commissioners and a parade of its lower executives landed jobs
in the aspartame industry. Three Congressional hearings were
held because of this outrage. Senator Howard Metzenbaum
introduced Senate Bill S.1557, requiring an aspartame
moratorium and directing the National Institute of Health to
conduct studies on problems appearing in the population from
its consumption, including its effects upon the brain
chemistry of the unborn and children. Unfortunately, the bill
never made it out of committee.
Dr. H. J. Roberts, identified in
1984 as the Best Doctor in the United States by a medical
journal, publicly predicted that unless aspartame were
removed, we would have a global plague of disabilities and
fatalities in 5-10 years. A true prophet, he authored the
1,038-page encyclopedic medical text,
Aspartame Disease: An Ignored
Epidemic with hundreds of case histories. In all,
Roberts has authored four books on aspartame.
In 2002, I filed a Citizen’s
Petition with the FDA, which by law they must answer within
six months. After a long delay exceeding six months, I
re-contacted the FDA, only to get a brush-off response,
essentially saying the Agency had more important things to do.
To my mind, though, what could be more important than
complying with the law, more important than prohibiting the
toxin in children’s products or warning pregnant women, or
more important than saving lives? The FDA cannot answer me
because of the incontrovertible evidence that exists showing
that aspartame is poisonous.
Especially At Risk
Dr. John Olney, founder of the
neuroscience field called excitotoxicity, testified on the
damage of aspartame to the brains of children: "If a human
infant or child sustained hypothalamic damage from glutamate
or aspartate, delayed sequelae such as obesity and subtle
disturbances in the neuroendocrine status of the individual
are the types of effects to be expected and it would not be
until adolescence or perhaps early adulthood that such effects
would become evident." Now we are plagued with the obesity
epidemic he prophesied.
Dr. Olney warned of the damage
that this product would do to the unborn and to children. He
said that the FDA acknowledged "aspartame had been shown to
induce brain damage in neonatal animals” but FDA dismissed the
neurotoxicity as irrelevant on grounds that the approved uses
of aspartame don’t include feeding it to newborn humans. Yet
aspartame can be found in prescription and over-the-counter
pediatric drugs and in pediatric vitamins. Nursing babies
receive this poison from mothers who breastfeed. How
gruesome! The recent plague of Attention Deficit Disorder
(ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
autism, and birth defects manifest the neurologic devastations
Supporting this view, Dr. Louis
Elsas, Emory Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics, testified
in a congressional hearing that aspartame is a teratogen
(causes birth defects) and a neurotoxin.
quoted the Calorie Control Council, a front group recommending
NutraSweet for women during pregnancy and those with liver
disease and phenylketonuria, renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Russell
Blaylock wrote, “this is the most serious breach of public
trust in the history of this nation." The Feingold
Association, an organization of ADD people, says the term ADD
first came into use around 1981, which curiously enough is
when aspartame was approved. All of Drs. Roberts’ and Olney's
prophecies have come to pass: the damage to the unborn and our
children is horrific.
manufacturer pumps its propaganda pushing this product upon
pregnant women and nursing mothers through, at best, an
uninformed media. Aspartame was Monsanto’s Cash Cow in
thousands of foods, the queen of sweeteners. Coca Cola
displayed the NutraSweet swirl on Diet Coke. And little blue
packets of Equal adorned millions of tables in the Western
world. Every day in every way business got better and better.
But the “NutraTanic” has hit an
iceberg. Europe’s largest producer, Holland Sweetener, will
jump overboard this December because they are losing money on
the product. On top of that, Merisant – America’s top
producer – lost 29% of their United States sales in 2004 and
2005 and is upside down, capsized, with $100 million more debt
than assets. Davy Jones, make room! Two things have brought
this well-deserved calamity, one good and one evil:
ACTIVISM. Hundreds of courageous doctors, publishers,
broadcasters, victims, and generous volunteers have for years
sounded the alarm that aspartame is death. This unrelenting
persistence has persuaded tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions
to escape this poison. The word has gone to the ends of the
earth, a collective shout that billions of dollars in
advertising and campaign contributions cannot suffocate.
As the word has spread about aspartame, this newer chemical
construct has claimed first place among tabletop toxins. Splenda
is a tri-chlorinated sugar, which releases chlorine into our
bodies, destroying the immune system and many other vital
functions. To my mind, trading Splenda for aspartame is
swapping arsenic for cyanide. Be warned.
Clearly, aspartame has seen
better days, as shown by the recent comments made by a
politician who has carefully studied the public-health impact
of this chemical.
The Measure of
Several months ago I had the
pleasure of meeting with New Mexican State Senator Gerald
Ortiz y Pino, who sponsored the recent New Mexico Senate
aspartame bill. In trying to limit the unhealthy impact of
aspartame, he made the following points:
"Nothing surprises me anymore
when it comes to the corrosive influence of money on our
public policy. I'm not just talking about the shenanigans
inside the beltway of our nation's capitol that Congress is
for sale to the highest bidder [, which] has unfortunately
become a practically accepted tenet of the American belief
system. So accepted is it that the astounding arrogance and
venality being revealed by the current scandals in the
District of Columbia scarcely produce raised eyebrows, let
"But I'm not just talking about
that... Instead, today I'd like to zero-in on the pressure
applied to our third level of representative government, the
carryings-on that occur in the halls of State
Government.....in all its branches.
"And from among at least a dozen
recent, painful examples of how big business manages to
protect itself from such wet-blanket considerations as the
good of the public, I'd like to select one as a
representative: the continued approval of the reliance by
processed food and beverage manufacturers on the chemical
"As an artificial sweetener, one
now being added to some 6,000 products, it is difficult for
most Americans to not consume aspartame daily. Its safety
would seem to be of critical importance to millions of us. But
any discussion of this topic has been postponed in New Mexico
indefinitely – through influence exerted by representatives
hired by the Japanese manufacturer of aspartame, the Ajinomoto
"Those well-connected hired hands
managed, in December, to frighten the State Environmental
Improvement Board (EIB) into backing off of the public
hearings into aspartame's safety that they had originally
agreed to conduct this coming summer. They managed this delay
by challenging the authority of the State of New Mexico to
review anything already approved by the Federal Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and by threatening to sue the State if we
tried to do so. . . . [They also quashed] all attempts to
discuss the matter during the just-concluded State
"There was one hearing on the
subject and it drew significant numbers of the industry
lobbyists, all of whom asserted the same party line: The
substance is perfectly safe; the Federal Government has looked
at it carefully, and who the heck is New Mexico, anyway, to
raise any questions about it?
"The committee succumbed, and
turned down the measure to ban aspartame 7-2. That half-hour
hearing was the total discussion of the matter this year in
the public arena in New Mexico, unless the EIB board changes
its mind and decides to call Ajinomoto's bluff by going ahead
and holding a hearing.
"Twenty-five years [after
approval of aspartame], the evidence is mounting that our
growing incidence of brain tumors, organ cancers, and
neurological diseases has followed the introduction of so many
artificially-created additives and chemicals in our food.
It's only a matter of time until even Ajinomoto's money won't
be able to block the unavoidable link between these
unnecessary products and our decline in health.
"When that happens, as it finally
did to tobacco and lead and other heavy metals found in
gasoline, we will act. The sad thing is that thousands of
deaths and ruined lives will occur between now and then. One
of the cruel ironies to aspartame is that it was supposed to
create sugar-free soft drinks for the benefit of diabetics.
Since its introduction, the incidence of diabetes has soared.
Some critics link the two.”
Efforts to ban aspartame continue
around the world. Stephen Fox has worked tirelessly in New
Mexico and now New Mexico State Senator Ortiz y Pino has faxed
President Bush to pull the plug on aspartame and his letter
has also been signed by various members of the New Mexico
Legislative Health and Human Services Committee.
Aspartame interacts with drugs
and vaccines causing thousands of deaths, but instead of
looking for the problem Congress has passed a new law
exonerating the pharmaceutical industry from any liability.
In the United Kingdom, the Honorable Roger Williams, a member
of Parliament, has demanded a ban. And Robin Goodwin
petitioned for a ban in the Falklands after his wife sustained
a brain tumor and his daughter suffered seizures for 18 years
until he found out aspartame was the culprit, and removal
stopped the problem. Not wanting to wait for delays due to
politics, he simply wrote every single citizen of the
Falklands and aspartame products now rot on the shelves.
Congress has failed us in three
congressional hearings. Senators like Orin Hatch were given
money by Monsanto. Now, Congress has let us down again,
giving the pharmaceutical industry a green card to be
unconcerned with disability and death because they are no
longer liable for any such injuries. Congress should instead
echo the courageous words of State Senator Ortiz y Pino, who
put the problem of lobbyists and aspartame in vivid
At the same time, consumer
organizations must educate the World as a counter to the blind
eye that the FDA has turned to the issue. The FDA has all too
easily adopted an anti-health position on aspartame ever since
it became the pharmaceutical industry’s Washington Branch
If Congress has any interest in
the health and welfare of this nation, as well as the World
itself, it must seriously consider this issue and take
action. Literally every day counts. Congress must wake up,
turn away from the debasing effect of the pharmaceutical
industry’s money, and make the health interests of individuals
Congress’ paramount concern.
Dr. Betty Martini is the founder of the worldwide volunteer
force, Mission Possible World Health International, which is
committed to removing aspartame from our food supply. She has
an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree for the work she has
done. With 22 years of experience in the medical field, Dr.
Martini is uniquely qualified to research and write about
aspartame. While working with a hematologist, she supplied the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with reports on leukemia,
which CDC said, were more than all the case histories
submitted by the entire Emory University Hospital system
combined. And in l970, Dr. Martini established a model for the
nation by creating Physicians on Call, a network of five
Emergency Care clinics in Atlanta, Georgia, staffed with
medical doctors 7 days/24 hours. Services were without cost to
the indigent. She also speaks frequently on nationwide radio
hookups for talk programs throughout the country. Dr. Martini
has three grown children, two sons and a daughter. She may be
reached at e-mail address: