An interesting item from the food ingredients press: China is restricting production and sale of Aspartame, the controversial sweetener that has recently been declared to be innocuous by both the FDA and the European Food Safety Administration.
China to Restrict Aspartame Production and Sale
12/07/06 - By controlling production and banning the launch of new projects, China will exert more efforts to restrict the production and sale of aspartame, press reports said.
A circular issued by The National Development and Reform Commission (NDR), the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the State Environmental Protection Administration highlighted their further strengthening of China’s work on restricting the sale and production of the widely-used sweetener.
State-designated aspartame producers shall in principle shift production to other products when moving to a new place, according to the circular. In addition, their reconstruction will not exceed the state designated one, if they decide to pursue their aspartame operations.
A clamp-down on aspartame production by the Chinese authorities. What do the Chinese know that the US FDA and the European Agency for the Safety of Foods are completely missing?
Only recently, the European Commission moved its Food Safety Agency to discredit the Italian study by the European Ramazzini Foundation's Cancer Research Institute which had found that in a long time experiment, rats had developed cancers and leukemias when given aspartame at dosages comparable to those that humans could be expected to consume.
No wonder the Chinese economy is the most vibrant economy, together with India, growing by about 10 % a year. They actually take care to eliminate losing business propositions and concentrate on what has a promising future, and there is no override of decisions of the government by industrial giants.
Not so here in the West. Since Donald Rumsfeld called in his markers to override the FDA scientific advisory board's decision to not approve the sweetener, the FDA has been looking the other way every time it got an adverse event report. Now such reports are openly discouraged because ... well, it just can't be that a sweetener that is on the market with regulatory approval is causing your nausea, your headache, your vision going bad, and any of a number of some 92 adverse reactions listed in an early FDA report, then removed from public view.
The situation is similar with the European Union. The scientific data were re-examined several times, and each time aspartame was given a clean bill of health. At its latest aspartame-defense press conference, the EU representative was bold enough to state that "no further research is needed". Translation: Aspartame will stay on the market, whether you like it or not.
Perhaps the only conclusion one can come to by looking at all the data available is: Our health authorities are in bed with an industry that is concentrating on shareholder profit rather than on eliminating problems their products cause for our health.
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