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Aspartame's impeccable Study proving cancer beyond any shadow of a doubt

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Aspartame, the _controversial  artificial sweetener_
that was approved when Donald _Rumsfeld_
rtame_gate_when_donald_rumsfeld_was_ceo_of_searle.htm)  decided to 
call in his political markers to  override the FDA's
scientific doubts, seems to be nearing the end of its  'useful' life span. Not
only are consumers getting increasingly angry - once  they find out 
what causes
their ills and they get off the poison - but  threatening black scientific
and legislative clouds are lining the horizon as  well. Italian study A large
multi-year study of a private  Italian health research foundation has acutely
confirmed what studies in the  1980s had already found: brain tumors and other
unsavory effects of aspartame  consumption. The study, which used laboratory
animals to test the cancer  hypothesis, has been published by Environmental
Health Perspectives  (EHP), a monthly journal of peer-reviewed 
research and news
on the impact of the  environment on human health. The article is available on
the _EHP  website_ 
The study's authors said that previous studies on aspartame were  too short to
show the cancer causing potential of the substance: "In our  opinion, previous
studies did not comply with today's basic requirements for  testing the
carcinogenic potential of a physical or chemical agent, 
in  particular concerning
the number of rodents for each experimental group (40 -  86, compared to 100 -
150 in the current study) and the termination of previous  studies at only 110
weeks of age of the animals." The study has made  headline news, but most
countries are wary to take a first step - the FDA is  held in high esteem,
although opinions might be changing after recent scandals  involving 
painkillers and
the effects of psychiatric drugs approved by the  agency. Consumer complaints
Consumer complaints about aspartame  were collected by the FDA and in a rare
slip, the U.S. Department of Health and  Human Services in February of 1994
released a listing of adverse reactions.  There are some 92, listing can be
found in _Aspartame... the BAD  news!_ 
(<> .
Apparently aspartame accounted for more than 75% of  all adverse reactions
reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System.  The FDA is 
in a very
unenviable position. It has approved a neurotoxic  carcinogen to be used as an
artificial sweetener and complaints are piling up to  where they are 
difficult to
hide. But once the sweetener was approved it became  almost impossible for the
agency to admit wrongdoing, without unleashing a  scandal the likes of which
has not been seen since the _thalidomide_
disaster. New Mexico Against this background, there is now  action in
the New Mexico legislature to hear evidence about  aspartame's health
effects. Heaven forbid that there should be hearings,  Ajinomoto, the 
manufacturer of aspartame, has hit the ceiling. Lawyers  _hired  by Ajinomoto_
descended on legislative
committees to argue why the FDA's  approval should prevent any independent
hearings from taking place. The Calorie  Control Council, a group close to
industry, was called in to help. They  dutifully _attempted to demolish_
the Italian study
saying it did not  follow the guidelines of the National Toxicology 
Program, the
United States  government toxicology initiative administered by the National
Institute of  Environmental and HealthSciences. The people pressure against
aspartame  comes from a network of former 'addicts' who have kicked 
the diet habit
and from  doctors who have seen the damage and halted or reversed it in their
patients.  Books have been written (look at the Amazon ads in the side bar -
hint, hint)  that condemn the sweetener and document its ill effects,
aspartame  detoxification programs and aspartame help groups exist, a 
video _Sweet
Misery: A Poisoned World_
documents some the history of  aspartame's approval and some of its
egregious side effects. A tireless lady by  the name of Betty Martini, who
founded _Mission Possible_ 
is  arguably
the most well known among the aspartame opponents, although hers is not  a
lonely crusade. Aspartame users (mostly ex, to be sure) and doctors 
in some 30
countries are involved. They swear they won't rest until the poison has been
removed from the food supply and those responsible for overriding science and
covering up the side effects are brought to justice. It is _Betty Martini_
who  wrote the following two letters, one
to the New Mexico Environmental Improvement  Board and another, more recent
one, to the Governor and the Attorney General of  New Mexico. While her tone
reflects her frustration of seeing official inaction  in the face of 
an obvious
catastrophe, we should not make light of what she has  to say. The 
comments and
documentation go well beyond the immediate issue of the  New Mexico hearings.
Anyone serious about understanding what the aspartame  controversy is all
about would do well to read her letters. That includes any  health 
officials who
might be reading this article -  especially! I have added some links to the
references in the letters, to make it  easier for those interested to 
arrive at
the documents... (12/1/2005 9:50:11  PM)

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