Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that was approved by an FDA temporary commissioner over the strenuous objections of the FDA's own scientists who had looked at the original studies - or rather those parts of the studies G. D. Searle & Company had supplied in an effort to get the sweetener approved. Their recommendation was to not approve, but Donald Rumsfeld, when he stepped down as Searle's CEO, but stayed on as its president, promised to "call in his markers" and he did. Here is the whole timeline of what happened.
From then on it was all smooth sailing for Monsanto, the company that had acquired Searle and with it aspartame, the sweetener that some say is one of the most poisonous food additives on the market. "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World" is a documentary that exposes the dangers of Aspartame and how it became approved by the FDA.
Betty Martini, who is featured in the video together with victims and experts on the sweetener's toxicity, has formed Mission Possible, a world wide network of volunteers who feel that toxic additives like aspartame have no place in our foods.
Betty describes, in the article that follows, how aspartame was about to be banned in the state of New Mexico. But the sweetener was 'saved' by a well financed industrial lobby and a new front group, thrown together at the spur of the moment, to convince legislators not to pay heed to evidence of how their constituents are being poisoned. Betty's is an instructive tale, one that brings home how politics has really nothing to do with "the will of the people" and how money really talks, regardless of any evidence of harm for our health.
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Aspartame And the New Mexico Legislature: The Facts of the Matter
New Mexico is truly the Land of Enchantment. In February I saw a spell cast over the state legislature that killed a bill to ban a poison and protect the lives and health of every New Mexican. A veritable phalanx of corporate agents crawled over Santa Fe in the New Mexico Roundhouse like a seething swarm of maggots to defeat the Honorable State Senator Ortiz y Pino’s bill to outlaw aspartame from the state. The poison is sold as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, Canderel, E951 and other aliases, and it interacts with most drugs and vaccines. 92% of all independent scientific peer reviewed studies show the problems that aspartame causes. It’s a GM product.
Senator Ortiz y Pino is a remarkable example of a principled public servant, a courageous idealist defending the health of his constituents, not the lobbyists. It was heartening to meet again this outstanding gentleman and worth my trip to Santa Fe.
Stephen Fox is a valiant Santa Fe activist who has striven mightily for over 2 years to inform legislators of the seriousness of this neurodegenerative plague. Fox supplied documents by many recognized MDs and medical authorities to each senator. He is a brilliant multi-talented crusader who speaks several languages and regularly communicates with influential people worldwide. Most of Stephen’s time and energies are expended in unpaid and expensive civil service, in the truest sense of the word. He is Mission Possible New Mexico.
Through the generosity of Sound and Fury Productions of Tucson, Arizona, copies of the documentary, Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World, had been distributed to lawmakers. Fox also supplied Dr. Russell Blaylock’s lecture on CD, “The Truth About Aspartame”, and Dr. H. J. Roberts paper: “Aspartame Disease: An FDA Approved Epidemic”.
An unregistered lobbyist said he represented “The Coalition for Freedom of Choice in Sugar Substitutes”. It seems to have sprung up overnight, spawned and funded by the industry front group, Calorie Control Council. Fox commented, “A lobbyist can lie, but you have to register to become a liar!” There is a $5000.00 fine for not registering with the New Mexico Secretary of State. The head of the so called “Coalition” is Albuquerque Endocrinologist Dr. Gleeson who wrote the legislators in advance of the hearings in the Senate and in the House to convince them aspartame was urgently needed for diabetics!
Aspartame can precipitate diabetes. It simulates and aggravates diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, destroys the optic nerve and makes diabetics go into convulsions. It even interacts with insulin. Immediately Dr. H. J. Roberts, Florida endocrinologist and world expert on aspartame, and Dr. Kenneth Stoller, Santa Fe pediatrician and renowned authority on autism’s causes, fired off letters challenging and correcting Gleeson’s ploy to poison diabetics…
Dr. Armando Gutierrez, the unregistered lobbyist who represented “The Coalition” spewed off a list of government agencies, individuals and professional organizations that agree aspartame is safe including those in other countries.
Originally, FDA asked the Department of Justice to prosecute the G. D. Searle Co for submitting fraudulent test data. Both US Prosecutors hired on with the defense team after dawdling until the statute of limitations expired. FDA revoked the petition for approval but Don Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, called in his markers and got it on the market.
Obviously this history would never convince the world of safety so it was back to dirty tricks. Searle simply made a business deal with Paul Turner in the regulatory agency in England who approved the poison without anyone knowing. Parliament had a big blow out with the story in the Guardian, but the order was never rescinded. No studies were ever done in the England, but now Searle could say, “see, it’s approved in the US and in England.” Then regulatory agencies simply rubberstamped approval around the world.
Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, FDA toxicologist, told Congress in 1987 the original studies were built on a foundation of sand and should have been thrown out, and aspartame never was proven safe. This was 6 years after aspartame had been marketed for human consumption!
Certainly there is no secret about the professional organizations since they get their money from industry and stories flourish on how those responsible to solve the problem “are” the problem. The New York Times on 11/15/95 wrote “Corporate Support To Dietitians Group Is Called Unhealthy.” Dr. Julian Whitaker in January 1995 wrote the supplement: “The American Dietetic Association Must Be Stopped in its Tracks.” He ended by saying: “You R.D’s that are angry with me, the messenger, had best check the message. Your leaders don’t lead – they intimidate. Their agenda is simply a blueprint for tyranny. The rank and file should either clean house or walk away. There is no reason why you can’t learn new things along with the rest of us, and earn respect, instead of hoodwinking state legislatures into mandating it for you. If you continue to seek power instead of knowledge to coerce instead of to influence, you will only reap contempt from those trying to advance the field of nutrition. Is that the legacy you wish to leave to your grandchildren?”
Dr. Whitaker’s profound words says it all with regard to those who do it for money: “You must realize the American Dietetic Association is simply a private trade association of dietitians that functions more like a cheerleader for big business. ----- “they join hands with large food and pharmaceutical companies. If this group has any concept of conflict of interest, it is all but invisible. ADA proudly flaunts it financial ties to multinational food and drug companies.” … ” The ADA endorses NutraSweet, a non-nutritive chemical sweetener that breaks down in your body into methyl alcohol and formaldehyde, and has been the subject of more “adverse reaction reports” to the FDA than any food additive in history. But it publicly embarrasses a PhD nutritionist for saying that vitamins may enhance the immune system of the elderly!” As usual, an ADA lobbyist was there to support this poison.
The American Diabetes Assn even had a suit filed against them for racketeering in 2004 because they were pushing aspartame on diabetics with full knowledge it can precipitate diabetes and trigger damaging reactions. Even though they got it dismissed they certainly can’t say they don’t know what they are doing. It's sacrificing diabetics for profit! Diabetic specialist, H. J. Roberts, M.D., who wrote the medical text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic was a member for 35 years and constantly educated them on the dangers. Yet they refused to publish his abstract on aspartame and diabetic reactors that was later published by Clinical Research. Must be hard to take money from industry while you’re warning the people off their product.
Vice President of Coke, New Mexico, Antonio Anaya, said in the Senate hearing that “listening to these aspartame opponents made me feel like I was on the movie set of “Twilight Zone”.” Unfortunately this Coca Cola executive and others have neither apologized nor tried to mitigate the conclusive research done by the Ramazzini Foundation proving the cancer causing properties of Coca Cola. http://www.ramazzini.it/fondazione/docs/NYAS_Coca-Cola_Ramazzini.pdf
Lobbyists never tell the full story. It’s called errors of omission. So if an association or government agency says aspartame is safe, just look for the money and influence trail. Concern for consumer safety is not a consideration.
With the legislators who were to decide the issue sipping Diet Coke during the hearing, it was self-evident they would vote for their addiction, not citizens. No facts, expert witnesses, medical documentation or Federal records could move them. The grim irony is: they will, in due course, forfeit their health and shorten their lives by permitting Rumsfeld-Aspartame Disease to rage on unchecked.
Last year many received copies of the Ecologist with the entire history of this hideous world epidemic. This article alone should have produced a reaction of rage and indignation at the misrepresentations by Ajinomoto and Coca Cola lobbyists and those from the Calorie Control Council and their funded Coalition for Sugar Substitute Choices.
New Mexico Senate
Dr. Kenneth Stoller, Santa Fe, boarded in Pediatric Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine and world expert on Thimerosal & Autism, began by saying, “I know we don’t have a chance with you drinking Diet Coke, but at least consider the children.” He said a 50 lb Little Leaguer drinking ¾ of a 2 liter bottle of diet pop gets ten times the allowable EPA exposure to methanol.” Dr. Stoller operates an Aspartame Detox Center.
Santa Fe Neurotoxicologist Dr. Raymond Singer testified, declaring,
"Aspartame is a toxic substance added to our food supply, which alters brain function. It has no nutritional value to offset its toxicity. The brain has no pain receptors, so subclinical damage, such as may occur with aspartame, and is unnoticed, but cumulative and persistent."
A great disappointment was Senator Steve Komadina, (Republican-Corrales), a medical doctor who warns his pregnant OB-GYN patients off aspartame to avoid damage to the fetus. With full knowledge of aspartame toxicity, Dr. Komadina made the motion to kill the bill, which was seconded by Senator Gay Kernan, Republican of Hobbs.
The week before I had sent Komadina a 50-page display book full of evidence against aspartame. When I saw him before the Senate committee meeting I asked if it had been received. I was shocked at his bizarre reply: "I don't read emails, I get more than 4000 a day sometimes." I repeated: "Senator it was sent Federal Express". His reply? "I don't always read my mail." The third time he said: "Okay, I did receive it." It was obvious he didn’t want anyone to know he had the knowledge because he was going to kill the bill, and I made that comment.
The Vice Chairman of that first Committee, Public Affairs, Senator Mary Jane Garcia is diabetic and I was so concerned she was using aspartame I sent her a packet of medical reports on the dangers of aspartame. I was trying to save her life and was particularly pleased when I heard before the committee meeting that she would vote for the bill. However, immediately before the Committee meeting she was talking to the lobbyist for the New Mexico Soft Drink Association who thanked her very much. Minutes later she told Stephen Fox she wouldn’t vote for the bill because she had heard from people in her “industry”, the bar business, that it was a bad bill.
I was in New Mexico at the request of Senator Ortiz y Pino, testifying as an expert witness for the Senate and House of Representatives. I explained FDA approvals do not preempt States Rights to reject additives to protect consumers. James Turner fought original aspartame approval along with Dr. John Olney. I showed the protest of the National Soft Drink Association (now American Beverage) from the Congressional Record. Among their many objections was that aspartame decomposes and adulteration violates the law. It also violates the Delaney Amendment that prohibits putting anything in food that caused cancer in animals. Dr. Adrian Gross, FDA toxicologist, testified 8/1/85 to Congress, in this regard. I read the summary of the FDA Board of Inquiry report that revoked the petition for approval of aspartame because it failed to prove safety and caused brain tumors.
I further testified that the Bill of Rights forbids taking away the rights of the people or of the States. I held up the 1038 page medical text, “Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, by H. J. Roberts showing Aspartame Disease is a raging plague.
Senator Komadina asked that the bill be tabled because of Interstate Commerce issues. I explained you couldn’t legally ship an illegal adulterated product in the first place, a priori, so aspartame violates Interstate Commerce laws. Senator Ortiz y Pino explained that his bill would forbid only selling it in New Mexico; thus, there was no problem with trucking it through the state.
Komadina nevertheless moved to table the bill which was then seconded by Senator Gay Kernan from Hobbs, who is married to a physician who tries to persuade her to give up Diet Coke. What would he know; he’s only a doctor!
Komadina also brought up "derivatives", (components) asking how they could ALL be banned. He's a smart man. Instead of tabling the bill, he could have just added an amendment, "Aspartame as patented".
“The Coalition for Freedom of Choice in Sugar Substitutes” emerged in the hearing by Public Affairs! The committee voted 6-2 to table the bill.
Unregistered lobbyist, Dr. Armando Gutierrez, also represented the Calorie Control Council. Perhaps the CCC got a bad name after Dr. Russell Blaylock's letter to the Miami Herald was distributed at the last legislature, and obviously they needed the appearance of a genuine citizen coalition, of course conceived and funded by Calorie Control Council all along.
CCC wrote the paper to push aspartame on pregnant women knowing it triggers birth defects and mental retardation, and is also an abortifacient. According to this front group, it was okay for people with serious liver disease and for phenylketonurics, those who can't metabolize phenylalanine.
The Trocho Study in 1998 shows the formaldehyde converted from the free methyl alcohol actually embalms living tissue. Most toxicity is in the liver. By law there must be a PKU warning as phenylketonurics using aspartame could be fatal. But the Calorie Control Council was writing for profits not for human safety. Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote: "This is the most serious breech of public trust in the history of this nation!"
In testifying before the New Mexico House of Representatives it was Rep Tom Anderson (Republican-Albuquerque) who asked the bill be tabled. Anderson is a retired physical chemist who worked in Naval Ordnance, and appears not to know anything about biochemistry. He certainly knows nothing about amino acid isolates as in aspartame or their dangers.
When I explained in protein there are 20 amino acids in balance with each other, and there are certain amino acids you can't isolate because of toxicity, he wanted to know what if they put the other 18 amino acids in aspartame. I revealed again aspartic acid is an excitotoxin and phenylalanine is a neurotoxin, (isolates) connected with a methyl ester, which immediately becomes methanol, but he still didn't get it. The entire molecule breaks down to DKP, a brain tumor agent. Finally, I handed him Dr. Wurtman's book on "Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function".
Gail Chasey, Madam Chair, an Albuquerque Democrat and student at UNM Law School, asked that there be more discussion before tabling the bill because she knows someone who was effected by aspartame, and because her own nutritionist strongly advised her
not to use it. Attorney, Albuquerque Democrat Al Park, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stated he had done his homework remarking about the great wealth of information on the Internet on both sides, but he believed in WHO, whom his grandfather has worked for in Venezuela, although I believe that WHO is another organization massively influenced by the aspartame industry, as well. The House Committee vote was 4-2 to table the bill.
Mendacity is bottomless
Richard Mizner, an Ajinomoto lobbyist said, "There is more methanol in tomato juice than in aspartame". The ol methanol propaganda again. It doesn't matter to them whether it has been rebutted, and shown to be absurd, as long as they can list some lies to stumble the legislators. I quickly called him on his fabrication explaining, as if he didn’t know, that in tomato juice methanol binds to pectin, and furthermore there is ethanol in fruits and vegetables, which is the antidote to methanol toxicity.
In molecular chemistry it's one molecule of aspartic acid to one molecule of methanol to one molecule of phenylalanine. That's 33% free methyl alcohol, classified as a narcotic. It causes chronic methanol poisoning, which affects the dopamine system of the brain. Minzner's lies were simply pathetic.
Dr. Armando Gutierrez before the House Committee now represented the front group, the Calorie Control Council. Richard Minzner representing Ajinomoto saw me in the Senate Committee hearing and observed me carrying around Dr. H. J. Roberts’s medical text throughout the capital. People looking through it were being informed and realized the seriousness of this world epidemic. So unregistered Gutierrez attacks Dr. Roberts saying he didn't really see patients, but only has forms filled out and published the book only to make a personal profit.
Immediately I revealed Dr. Roberts spent more than 20 years taking care of aspartame victims in the trenches of a medical practice that lasted 50 years. He testified before Congress, was selected as the Best Doctor in the US in 1984 by a medical magazine, and was even knighted for his humanitarianism by the Order of St. George. Mendacity is bottomless.
Lobbyists realize when they are there in number; the expert only has a maximum of 5 minutes to answer objections. I now realize that a "Lobbyist Liar Report for Legislators" needs to be prepared in advance. It's the same propaganda over and over but legislators are not medical researchers so they can be misled by obvious lies, and they seem to be in such a dreadful hurry to get on to the next bill! As it is, many anti-aspartame web sites have the rebuttal with medical references such as the excellent article by Mark Gold. A copy was handed to Rep. Tom Anderson during the committee meeting.
Henry Clay (1777-1852) said: "Government is a trust, and the offices of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people." Today government is controlled by powerful corporations to whom they have given their loyalty.
There are activists all over the US who also want aspartame banned.
All they have to do is go to the web site of the New Mexico Legislature in Santa Fe, click on bill finder and print out SB 498 and HB 391, identical bills from each New Mexico Chamber, to ban aspartame. Have it sponsored in your state by your own state legislators.
There are efforts around the world to try and prevent poisoning of their citizens with aspartame. Recently Indonesia announced their effort. All need to know aspartame interacts with all drugs and vaccines, so that as long as someone is consuming this toxin no drug is safe. Obviously, if you want to avoid interaction and death you can't have medications and aspartame on the market at the same time, and many medications even contain it. This poison strongly interacts for example, with Parkinson drugs like L-Dopa. Parcopa has aspartame in it and they refuse to remove it. There have been so many interactions and deaths that a law has been passed to prevent liability to Big Pharma.
A Bill before the New Mexico Legislature, sometimes called the Freedom to Eat Cheeseburger Bill to prevent lawsuits by giving immunity to food corporations, was not passed because time ran out. No State can remove the right of the people to initiate compensatory lawsuits and New Mexico’s Attorney General offered the opinion that to try to prohibit them was counter to the New Mexico Constitution.
I asked the lobbyist for the New Mexico Soft Drink Assn. if he told Mary Jane Garcia not to vote for the bill to ban aspartame, He said, "We work with legislators on different projects and I was thanking her." I said, "So I'm to understand that a New Mexico Soft Drink Assn lobbyist stops a senator to thank her just before a meeting to pass a bill banning aspartame, and is talking about another project? Are you aware of the protest of the National Soft Drink Assn in the congressional record?” He said, "They changed their mind". I answered, "Exactly, that's why they put it in the congressional record. “You can change your mind but not the testing. How do you suddenly accept studies proving aspartame is adulterated, unsafe, decomposes and inferior testing was used on purpose for omission of metabolites?”
I told Ajinomoto lobbyist, Richard Mitzner, he had lied to the legislators. I announced he knew fully well aspartame causes birth defects and mental retardation with no warning, and he was here to kill New Mexico children. Obviously if the bill doesn't pass more and more pregnant women will use it without warning and it can either abort their baby or they may give birth to one with defects such as autism. I emphasized, "You have sold your soul to the devil." I informed him further it was atrocious he would attempt to assassinate the truth of the Ramazzini Study, the most impeccable research ever done proving aspartame is a multipotential carcinogen, confirming FDA's original findings. I reminded him, “obviously you know even a member of the European Food Safety Authority finally confessed they were pressured to hi-jack science?
Ajinomoto will never debate the facts because their lies are easily shown. Minzer wasn’t used to be called down on his fabrications.
Ajinomoto fills their web site with propaganda so some years ago I wrote our “Open Letter”. In Japan there has been insistence to answer my response. Their last word was they were not going to answer it, but they should have said they couldn’t answer it without exposing their deceit.
Lies from lobbyists never end. The Calorie Control Council lobbyist said the Sprague Dawley rats used in the Ramazzini Research were specially bred to develop tumors and used just in that research because they are predisposed to develop brain tumors. It was outrageous. If that was the case why didn't the control rats develop brain tumors? Only the rats fed aspartame developed malignant brain tumors. In fact, aspartame brain tumor cases are being taken in New York and New Jersey for litigation. As neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D. (Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills) said: "As for the rats, there is no evidence that I know of stating a high incidence of brain tumors occurring spontaneously - otherwise they would be useless for other research. The Sprague-Dawley rats are used in a great number of experiments. They are desperate and will try anything." Indeed, lying lobbyists murder first the truth – then us.
That's the whole issue, the lobbyists were desperate and the lies were preposterous. Stephen Fox said, "But the legislators' addiction to aspartame and the corporate lobbyist lies and their influence won out, at least this round."
Before I left the Land of Enchantment. I had a 30-minute conversation with the Attorney General, Gary King, with his PhD in Chemistry and with a law degree from UNM Law School, and was pleased to see of his concern, especially the effects of aspartame on children.
I did see Senator Mary Jane Garcia, Democrat from Dona Ana, and handed her a jar of "Just Like Sugar", something safe for diabetics because even though she agreed not to use aspartame, she was going to use fructose. She owns a bar in Southern New Mexico near Las Cruces. There is growing evidence that excess fructose consumption may facilitate insulin resistance, and eventually Type 2 diabetes.
One Senator sipping Diet Coke was Senator Gay Kernan, Republican in Hobbs, and in the hope of saving one more life I stopped in to see her. I let her know no one escapes aspartame, that it causes all kinds of neurodegenerative diseases and even turns hair gray. She was visibly upset because she had just received a letter from a constituent who told her she cared more about roosters than people, as she had recently voted to ban cock-fighting. I said, "Well Senator, you did vote for yourself rather than the people of New Mexico." She was late for a meeting and said she believed the "other side". I had held up the huge medical text and she knew the epidemic had been documented. It was obvious that her problem is addiction.
Mary Kay Papen also voted against the bill but I didn't have time to talk with her. Her daughter is a lobbyist for the New Mexico Restaurant Association, and many restaurateurs in Southern New Mexico had loudly bragged that because of their lobbyist's influence on Senator Papen, they had managed to get the bill killed in 2006 and would do so in 2007.
The vote for the Senate Public Affairs was 6 to 2 to Table SB 498, and the vote in the House Consumer and Public Affairs was 4 to 2, to table. Both Chairwomen voted to ban aspartame, Senator Dede Feldman, Democrat of Albuquerque, and Representative Gail Chasey, Albuquerque Democrat. The sponsors were Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Albuquerque Democrat and Representative Irvin Harrison, Democrat and Navajo from Gallup.
Those who put these people in office might think about that, as well as how to get the real truth about aspartame to their suffering constituents, who would quit using it immediately, regardless of how long the legislators are “enchanted” by lying corporate lobbyists.
My hope is that you’re not in a trance, Unenchanted. For 16 years Mission Possible International has known the producers have the money and political clout, but we’ve got the Truth. This is a David vs Goliath battle. So what’s the score? Holland Sweetener, Europe’s largest producer, just jumped out of the aspartame biz because they were losing money. Coke’s cola sales are falling year by year. Merisant, the US producer, owes $100 million more than they’re worth, and lost 29% of North American sales in 04 & 05.
Now a new dragon has raised its head, Splenda, trichlorinated sugar. It too is a killer, but that’s another story. .
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder
Mission Possible Intl
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
www.wnho.net and www.dorway.com
Aspartame Information List
Aspartame Toxicity Center
Contact for Stephen Fox:
Aspartame Documentary: Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World