betty at noel.pd.org
Thu Aug 3 00:05:43 EST 1995
Dear Andre: NutraSweet is a compound composed of the following chemicals
by weight: methanol (10%), aspartic acid (40%) and phenylalanine (50%).
When placed in liquid it can break down into its component parts. Heat
will speed its breakdown. Another breakdown product is diketopiperazine
(DKP - a brain tumor agent). Methanol further breaks down into
formaldehyde and formic acid, both known to cause serious side effects.
The Random House Dictionary defines methanol (also known as methyl
alcohol) "as a colorless, poisonous liquid used chiefly as a solvent,
Methanol is on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Community
Right To Know List, and is reported in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act
Inventory. Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials states
methanol is a human poison by ingestion.
The levels of methanol are quite low in a single serving of a product
containing aspartame, provided that it has not been exposed to heat or
left for a long time on the shelf. Because these factors promote the
breakdown of aspartame into its component parts, researchers are
concerned that high consumption levels combined with aspartame's unstable
shelf life may allow methanol to reach toxic levels in some cases.
Human systemic effects from methanol include changes in circulation,
cough, headaches, nausea and vomiting, optic nerve neuropathy,
respiratory effects, and visual field changes. In experiments, it has
shown teratogenic (birth defects) and adverse reproductive effects.
Genetic mutations from methanol have been reported in human tissue.
Methanol is classified as a narcotic.
According to Sax, methanol's main toxic effect is exerted upon the
nervous system, particularly the optic nerve and possibly the retina
which can progress to permanent blindness. Once absorbed, methanol is
only very slowly eliminated. Coma resulting from massive exposures may
last as long as 2-4 days. In the body, the products formed by its
oxidation are formaldehyde and formic acid, both of which are toxic.
Because of the slow elimination, methanol should be regarded as a
cumulative poison. Though single exposures to fumes may cause no harmful
effect, daily exposure may result in the accumulation of sufficient
methanol in the body to cause illness. Death from ingestion of less
than 30 ml (milliliters) has been reported.
Dr. Woodrow Monte, director of the Arizona State University Food Sciences
and Nutrition Laboratory, is uncomfortable with the methanol content of
aspartame. In a l986 interview, Monte called aspartame "a crime against
Humans are 100 times more sensitive to methanol than animals. When you
ingest aspartame, it breaks down into methanol within one hour of
ingestion. Methanol forms as soon as aspartame goes into solution and
increases the longer it is in solution," according to Monte.
Because heat speeds the breakdown of aspartame into methanol, if
aspartame is added to coffee or tea at 80 degrees C (145 degrees F) one
half of the amount breaks down into methanol in 10 minutes, according to
Monte. This raises serious concern about aspartame's 1993 approval for
use in baked goods and other heated products like hot cocoa and tea.
Although aspartame came about as the result of a search for a drug, and
its compounds were the basis for a potential prescription medication, the
petition for approval of NutraSweet was based on the premise that it was
a food additive. The FDA followed its precedent of permitting
manufacturers to conduct their own product safety research.
Monte feels that aspartame was mislabeled from the beginning, "Aspartame"
is a drug, not a food additive," he said. "One hundred million people
from little babies to the elderly, are consuming this stuff in megadoses,
more than they ever would if it were labeled as drug."
Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, a former FDA toxicologist, and member of an FDA
task force that investigated the authenticity of research done by Searle
to establish the safety of aspartame says she believes the original
aspartame studies were "built on a foundation of sand."
She testified in front of a U.S. Senate hearing in 1987 that flawed tests
conducted by Searle - used as the basis of FDA approval - were a
"disaster" and should have been "thrown out". She said she believed the
studies left many unanswered questions about positive birth defects and
the safety of aspartame.
Verrett said the team was instructed not to be concerned with, or
comment upon, the overall validity of the study. She said a subsequent
review discarded or ignored the problems and deficiencies outlined by her
teams' original report. She said "serious departure from acceptable
toxicological protocols" that her investigative team noted in the
reevaluation of these studies were also discounted.
She warned that any of the improper practices would compromise and negate
a safety study of a food additive. Verrett concluded the data in the
study was worthless, and the safety of aspartame and its breakdown
products have therefore not been determined.
She emphasized that aspartame exists in the marketplace without basic
toxicity information. She said there are no data to assess the
interactions with DKP, excess phenylalanine, other aspartame metabolites,
additives, drugs or other chemicals.
In her testimony, Verrett elaborated on DKP problems, including
significant increases of uterine polyps and changes in blood
cholesterol. DKP is formed when liquids in particular are pre-sweetened
with aspartame. The production of DKP is vulnerable to increase in
temperature and high temperatures produce increasing amounts of DKP. She
reminded members of the Congressional Committee "that is why initially,
aspartame was not intended or not planned to be used in liquids because
of this decomposition...it was decided it was too unstable to be used in
hot preparations, hot liquids, and also in diet drinks.
Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) chairman of the hearing when Verrett
testified asked her if she disagreed with FDA's position that tests for
aspartame safety were credible. Verrett succinctly said she disagreed.
Dr. H. J. Roberts, a Florida internist and author, cites case studies of
individuals adversely affected by aspartame use. In one case described
by Roberts, the destruction left in the wake of aspartame use was so
debilitating that a college honor student deteriorated from the brain
damage and finally had to be institutionalized because her mental
retardation was so severe.
Roberts said he treated the 18 year old student in 1986 because of
"profound intellectual deterioration" that followed her use of aspartame
products for weight control.
The young woman suffered mental incapacitation that destroyed her
academic goal when she had a drop of 20 I.Q. points, according to
Roberts, who said prior to use of the aspartame she had been an
outstanding student at a major university, as well as a skilled typist
Her skills had rapidly declined, according to Roberts by the time of her
first visit to his office. Her physical complaints included headaches,
decreasing vision in one eye, dizziness, intense drowsiness, tremors,
insomnia, suicidal depression, itching, burning on urination, personality
change, abdominal pain recurrent nausea, loss of menstrual cycle, and an
ironic 15 pound weight gain.
Roberts said extensive neurophysical tests were conducted on the woman
and no consistent patterns were found for a primary disorder or
When he noted the woman experienced drowsiness after ingesting aspartame
drinks and dozed while driving, he advised her to avoid aspartame, and to
follow an antihypoglycemic diet with medication. Avoidance of aspartame
relieved her symptoms, but the apparent brain damage remained, requiring
her placement in a facility for the mentally retarded.
In a study investigating the consequences of aspartame on people with
mood disorders, Ralph Walton, M.D., Robert Hudak, Ph.D. and Ruth J.
Green-Waite concluded "individuals with mood disorders are particularly
sensitive to this artificial sweetener (aspartame) and its use in this
population should be discouraged.
Walton said their study was terminated after only 20 days by the
Institutional Review Board of Western Reserve Care System, Youngstown,
Ohio because the reactions (including a detached retina and a
conjunctival hemorrhage) among the patients with a history of depression
were so severe they could not "ethically continue the study".
The study included a total of 13 subjects. Eight of the subjects were
patients, ranging in age from 24 to 60 years. All suffered from
recurrent major depression. Five healthy hospital employees, including
the hospital administrator, volunteered as control group for the study.
Each participant was asked to monitor his or her own symptoms from a
checklist of headache, nervousness, dizziness, memory problems, binge
eating, lower back pain, nausea, upset stomach, depression, insomnia,
uncontrolable temper outburst or other symptoms.
The hospital pharmacy prepared 300 mg. capsules of aspartame for some
participants and sugar placebos for others. (NutraSweet Co denied the
request from the researchers to purchase the aspartame for the study, so
the capsules were provided by Schweizerhall, Inc. of New Jersey). A 154
pound person ingested seven of the prepared capsules daily - the
approximate aspartame equivalent would be 10 to 12 cans of diet sodas.
Although the study was abbreviated because of the severity of the
subjects' symptoms, the researchers did find the incidence of headaches
in participants taking aspartame increased and that persons with a
history of depression demonstrated significant adverse reactions while
taking aspartame. They also reported adverse symptoms for the group
taking aspartame increased significantly.
Walton, then chief of psychiatry, at New York's Jamestown Hospital and
Chautauqua County mental health commissioner, reported a case study of a
patient who reacted adversely to aspartame. His 54 year old female
patient "suddenly experienced a grand mal seizure followed by profound
Some of the personality changes included euphoria, flight of ideas,
increased motor activity and insomnia. A history of the woman's eating
habits revealed she had been accustomed to drinking about a gallon of
sugar sweetened ice tea daily. In the weeks before her seizure, she had
switched from sugar-sweetened tea to an iced tea product containing
aspartame. After reviewing her case, Walton advised her to eliminate the
aspartame product upon which she returned to normal and the symptoms
Walton questions the reliability and validity of studies for the safety
of aspartame funded by the NutraSweet's Co. "I'm absolutely convinced,"
he says, "I know it causes seizures. I'm convinced also that it
definitely causes behavioral changes. I'm very angry that this substance
is on the market. I personally question the reliability and validity of
any studies funded by the NutraSweet Company.
In the l987 proceedings of the First International Meeting on Dietary
Phenylalanine and Brain Function, he also presented eight other seizure
cases, along with case studies of mania, panic attacks and weight gain
induced by aspartame use.
In No-Nonsense Nutrition For Kids Annette Natow and Jo An Heslin write
"animal and human studies have shown that aspartame caused chemical
changes in the brain. More research is needed to determine if aspartame
is a health hazard.
The questions about the validity of the Searle research and tests of
aspartame date back to 1976 when FDA was uncertain about the animal test
data provided by Searle. The FDA administrators asked Sam Skinner,
former U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, to convene a
grand jury to investigate discrepancies in the animal test data provided
On January 10, 1977, FDA chief counsel Richard Merrill, sent a 33 page
letter to Skinner repeating the request for the grand jury investigation
"into apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act ..
and False Reports to the Government Act.. by G. D. Searle Co.
The letter also charged that Searle concealed material facts and made
false statements in reports of animal studies conducted to establish the
safety of the food additive aspartame. The studies cited for
investigation had been conducted in 1972, and five year statutes of
limitation for criminal prosecution were due to expire on October 10 and
December 8, 1977.
The statues of limitation ran out before any criminal charges were ever
filed. In 1977 Skinner was offered and accepted a job with Sidley and
Austin, the law firm that represented Searle.
And ----- I could go on and on and on. The story of aspartame just keeps
on getting worse. Remember that Congressional Hearings on Safety were
held when aspartame was in only 600 products. People were already going
blind like Joyce Wilson who testified before she died. Today aspartame
is in 5000 products and climbing. Three world-wide organizations,
Mission Possible, The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Worldwide
Pilot Hotline continue to warn the world and take case histories. We're
running out of space to stack case histories of horrible side effects and
disease. Databases are running over! Do you really want this drug in
Truckloads of cases of diet soda were sent to the Persian Gulf and sat in
the 120 degree Arabian sun for as long as 8 weeks on pallets. One
soldier said they drank them all day. Desert Storm Syndrome symptoms are
identical to aspartame poisoning - slurring of the words from the
methanol, chronic fatigue syndrome (methanol breaks down the immune
system), headaches, depression, mood changes, vision problems, confusion,
memory loss, etc. 6000 perished!
Why are so many of you fighting for this poison?. I personally have
friends and relatives who almost died on this stuff. Why would anyone
want a drug in their food and drink just because its sweet. The studies
Searle did are just plain hideous with rats dying and being resurrected,
monkeys having grand mal seizures.
An article in the CFIDS Network News (Sept 94) is titled NUTRASWEET:
'THE SWEET POISON" (CHRONIC FATIGUE AND IMMUNE DYSFUNCTION SYNDROME)
It says: Suspect "methyl alcohol intoxication" in:
1. Recurrent headaches
2. Mental aberrations
4. Suicidal tendencies
5. Behavioral disorders
6. Birth defects
7. Childhood CNS illness
8. Urinary bladder disturbances
9. Skin lesions
"Because of the damage done to the brain and other organs by the end
products of methyl alcohol intake, the only way to avoid these deadly
side effects is by AVOIDING THIS LETHAL SUBSTANCE! (Reprinted from
Winston-Salon CFS Support Group Newsletter, June l994)
Folks this is not even a diet product. The Congressional Record of 1985
"Aspartame has been demonstrated to inhibit the carbohydrate induced
synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin (Wurtman affidavit).
Serotonin blunts the sensation of craving carbohydrates and thus is part
of the body's feedback system that helps limit consumption to appropriate
levels. Its inhibition by aspartame could lead to the anomalous result
of a diet product causing increased consumption of carbohydrates."
Translation: If you want to get fat use aspartame!
Methanol poisoning symptoms are lethargy, confusion, leg cramps, back
pain, severe headaches, abdominal pain, impaired articulation, fainting,
visual loss and labored breathing just to name a few.
Please tell me what use aspartame has? It is a chemical poison. It is
not a diet product and will seriously damage a diabetic - they are going
blind from the methyl alcohol converting to formaldehyde in the retina of
the eye. Wood alcohol has killed and blinded thousands of skid row drunks!
In the Congressional Record on page S 5492 it says: "the extensive
deficiencies in the stability studies conducted by Searle to demonstrate
that aspartame and its degradation products are safe in soft drinks
intended to be sold in the United States, render those studies inadequate
and unreliable." Can this be any clearer! Somebody needs to change
Medline and expose the truth.
Dr. H. J. Roberts wrote to Newt Gingrich on June 2 asking for new
congressional hearings. He said: "I also am concerned about two other
suspect aspartame related problems on which I have published in detail -
name the acceleration of Alzheimer's disease, and the initiation of brain
cancer. The latter was demonstrated in several animal studies long
before the arbitrary approval of aspartame for human use. My just
published book, DEFENSE AGAINST ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, reviews considerable
evidence for this "Alzheimer connection."
Folks this 20th century disease is now the 4th leading cause of death and
Dr. Roberts believes its NutraSweet accelerating the disease - even in baby-
I have only seen two successful uses for aspartame:
1. As biochemical warfare (as evidenced by those with Desert Storm
2. Rat poison. It was particularly good at killing rats in the
original studies - and giving them brain tumors.
How many of you want your children to consume this poison. It was only a
couple of weeks ago that a child development organization called to say
learning disabilities are now at 50%. This has sacrificed the brains of
our children. The packet I sent them on aspartame including Dr. Roberts
lengthy report on learning disabilities has been duplicated and sent to
their 10,000 offices.
And a note to you our there who keep saying the aspartame tests were safe.
Please show us some not financed by Searle/Monsanto. This says it all:
Dr. John Olney informed Searle that aspartic acid caused holes in the
brains of mice he was testing. Ann Reynolds, a researcher hired by
Searle, confirmed DR. Olney's findings in a similar study. A large task
Force was formed, headed by FDA lead investigator, Philip Brodsky. Here
are excerpts from the conclusions of their summary:
"We have uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle's integrity in
conducting high quality animal research to accurately determine or
characterize the toxic potential of its products."
"We have found instances of irrelevant or unproductive animal research
where experiments have been poorly conceived, carelessly executed or
inaccurately analyzed or reported." "The cumulative findings of problems
within and across the studies we investigated reveal a pattern of conduct
which compromised the scientific integrity of the studies."
1.Documents supplied by Sen. Howard Metzenbaum's office (February 6, l986)
2.Letter from Richard A. Merrill, Chief Counsel, Department of Health,
Education and Welfare, Food and Drug Administration, to Honorable Samuel
K. Skinner, U. S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois requesting that
Skinner's office convene a Grand Jury investigation into G. D. Searle Co.
for submitting false reports (January 10, l977)
3. Memorandum from Charles P. Kocoras, First Assistant U.S. Attorney, to
Samuel K. Skinner, U. S. Attorney, regarding G. D. Searle Co. (April 13,
4. Testimony of Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, Food and Drug Administration
Toxicologist before the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human
Resources, regarding "NutraSweet Health and Safety Concerns," (November
5. Walton, R. G., Hudak R.;Green-WaiteR. J. "Adverse Reactions to
Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable
Population." Biological Psychiatry 34 13-17 (1993)
6. Walton, R. G. "Seizure and Mania After High Intake of Aspartame"
Psychosomatics. (March l986)
7. Roberts, H. J. Aspartame (NutraSweet) Is It Safe? The Charles Press
8. Nalow, A., Heflin, J.A. No-Nonsense Nutrition for Kids N.Y.
9. Congressional Record - Senate May 7, 1985
For those who want instructions for the auto-responder please email me to
access more information on aspartame. We hope you will print out our
warning flyer being distributed throughout the world, and warn everyone
who know and meet.
Betty Martini Operation Mission Possible
Domain: betty at pd.org
On Wed, 2 Aug 1995, Andre' van Schaik wrote:
> Betty Martini <betty at noel.pd.org> wrote:
> snap snap
> >Methanol toxicity
> >mimics MS and Dr. Roberts mentioned he tells physicians not to make the
> >diagnosis until he gets the patient off of NutraSweet.
> I might have missed something obvious, but what is the link between
> NutraSweet, or Aspartame and methanol?
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