WARNING! Aspartame (Nutrasweet) Labelling Need

Alan J. Robinson robin073 at maroon.tc.umn.edu
Sat Dec 16 12:31:26 EST 1995


On Wed, 13 Dec 1995 22:54:23 -0500, 
Betty Martini   <betty at noel.pd.org> wrote:

>I just lectured for the World Environmental Conference.  The keynote 
>address by the EPA discussed an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and 
>systemic lupus.  They didn't know what toxin was causing it.  I said: "I'm 
>here to lecture on multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus and aspartame.  
>In reality its methanol toxicity from NutraSweet which mimics MS.  MS is 
>not a death sentence but methanol toxicity is.  People are getting so 
>much of this deadly poison they are losing their equilibrium, slurring 
>their words, getting vertigo, loss of sensation in lower legs, fatigue, 
>loss of memory, etc.  Physicians are diagnosing them with MS but this is 
>not what it is.

...

>Patients are coming down with horrible neurological symptoms and diseases 
>and most physicians are not associating them with aspartame because they 
>have been told it is an FDA approved sweetener.  Its sweet alright - 
>Sweet Poison!  Warn everyone you know off of it!  It's a killer!  One day 
>this will go down in history as one of the biggest scandals in U.S. History.
>

Betty:

There is a world wide epidemic of almost all neuropsychiatric and 
immune disorders, not just MS and lupus, but it started well before 
the introduction of aspartame.

See for example:  The changing rate of major depression:  
cross-national comparisons.  JAMA 268(21):3098-3105 1992.

The epidemiological characteristic that has emerged from these 
studies is that the increase is most closely associated with 
birth cohort after 1945.  Gershon at NIMH has hypothesized that 
such a major change in prevalence could not be be explained by 
genetics, but only by an enviromental factor (e.g. a virus).  He is 
overlooking the massive demographic changes that have taken place in 
the 20th century, some of them associated with the two world wars.

We may never know for certain because the older generation will have 
died off by the time we have the ability to determine complete genetic 
profiles, but I believe that it is highly likely that what we are 
seeing is the direct result of increased assortative mating by 
intelligence that is the byproduct of increasingly meritocratic 
western, industrialized societies.  Anybody who thinks that high 
intelligence is uniformly a blessing should consider that the FBI's 
Violent Crimes profile of the typical serial killer is that they 
are white males of well above average intelligence.  (In childhood 
typical characteristics are firesetting, torturing animals, 
and bed-wetting.)

This all gets back to the vexed subject of the genetic basis of 
personality, intelligence, and the NPI spectrum disorders.  And 
because these disorders, as well as various types of toxicity, tend 
to have so many symptoms in common, it is very difficult to determine 
etiology, as practicing physicans can well attest.  (The differential 
diagnosis exclusion list for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has something 
like 100 entries.)  One should not fall into the trap of assuming that 
because a patient's symptoms are similar to those of methanol toxicity 
that it proves methanol poisoning.

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but John Olney may not 
have fully understood what would happen when he included conventional 
neurotransmitters in his list of "excitotoxins".  An injection of 
almost any neurotransmitter into the brain will result in the 
self destruction of the corresponding neurons.  (This apoptosis 
mechanism may be related to the neural pruning associated with 
maturation.)

I think there are many important scientific issues in the aspartame 
controversy, which can ultimately only be answered by progress in the 
basic brain sciences, but the scientific approach and assumptions that 
have been adopted by its opponents strain credibility.  One could 
write almost in the same vein a damming indictment of that well known 
and abundant natural substance - water.  Water in the wrong place and 
amounts can be EXTREMELY toxic and hazardous to the health and well 
being of living organisms.

Merry Christmas!

AJR




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