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Betty Martini (fwd)

Robert Rogoff rrogoff at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jul 9 02:40:24 EST 1995

mgold at max.tiac.net (Mark Gold) wrote:

>Hi Todd.

>I am not a "real" researcher, but I can assure you that the aspartame
>issue has been studied by experienced neuroscientists.  The "anecdotal"
>evidence of the dangers from long-term use of aspartame has been
>piling up for many years.  I have received a large number of case
>histories on the Net concerning serious illnesses triggered or
>worsened by aspartame (only to have many or all of the symtpoms
>disappear after it is removed from the diet).  Of course, like many
>substances, individual susceptibility varies considerably.

>Virtual all independent studies and reviews of aspartame has shown 
>problems or serious concerns.  Some of what you may see on MEDLINE
>is written by researchers for NutraSweet (although they do not always 
>note their close ties to the industry).  Just as you would probably not 
>automatically assume that studies and reviews done for the tobacco 
>industry are totally above-board (although many scientists did make this 
>assumption in the 1950s, you may find it beneficial to read NutraSweet
>studies and reviews very critically.

>I am somewhat familiar with the science of this subject and the studies.
>I would be happy to help anyone who is really interested in finding out 
>more about the issue by discussing each specific point or by providing 
>whatever references you like.

>Best regards,

>- Mark
>mgold at tiac.net

Well, I am not a "real" researcher either, if by that you mean someone
who does applied or theoretical scientific research as my primary or
secondary occupation.  However, a reason for me to read these groups
is to learn what is actually considered to be consensus thinking among
scientists today.  If I wanted to read hyperbolic exaggerations based
upon fringe research I can find that ad nauseum in the alt.hierarchy.

Not realizing the possibility that aspartame, an FDA-approved
non-nutritive sweetener, approved because trials indicated it was
safer than sodium cyclamate, could cause people to "literally drop
like flies," [see attribution below], I made some tongue-in-cheek
comments about aspartame in the groups alt.mindcontrol and
alt.folklore.urban. Nobody seems to have paid much attention to them
except for a few people emailing me, but only one of the emails had
anything to say negative about aspartame.  The solitary email from
someone claiming an aspartame-related death never responded to my
inquiry asking if his allusion to a wasted-away sister suggested
anorexia, and a lifestyle of drinking diet soda (perhaps also smoking
tobacco) corrolary to that. 

Apparently my sophostricated expose' re aspartame was lost in the
noise of those groups.  I would hazard to speculate the heavy traffic
and high noise ratio in those groups were what drove Watts/Martini to
proselytize her cause in [often] serious groups such as this one.
Another good one for propagation of this kind of urgent secret
knowledge might be alt.conspiracy.  I think Betty Martini, aka "A.R.
Watts" is playing to the wrong crowd here if she wants attention for
her sophostricated analyses of why aspartame is Satanic, that HGH and
bovine somatotropin are "the same" and how her mentor(?) Dr. Whittaker
has discovered aspartame to cause diabetic retinopathy and

Here is a direct quote from <betty at noel.pd.org> writing under the
alias "A.R. Watts" on 13 June 1995 in the newsgroup
soc.culture.african.american apparently related to drinking aspartame:
"People are literally dropping like flies."  Although it is common
consensus aspartame can lower the convulsant threshold for susceptible
individuals, and I have heard anecdotal claims it causes more frequent
headaches to migraine sufferers, note that a random reading of
Watts/Martini's posts to such newsgroups as alt.support.diabetes
indicates she is in reality not crusading =against= NutraSweet, but
=for= the FDA to approve a competing non-nutritive sweetener she
suggests was once used by the organic tea company Celestial Seasonings
but subject to "seizure" by the FDA.

Betty/A.R. may be on to something in the grand tradition of Kepler,
Galileo, Tesla, and Crick--but this isn't playing to the right
audience in bionet.neuroscience, sci.med.psychobiology, or any other
group outside the alt. hierarchy.

BTW, it does stand to reason the inventors of aspartame would
construct the research to downplay any "anecdotal" evidence that would
tend to negate the stringency required to get FDA approval--but it has
been well over a decade now since its US approval.  If aspartame is
indeed all that harmful, then the one thing that's wrong with this
picture is in the country known for frivolous lawsuits, I have never
even heard of any out-of-court settlement stemming from aspartame
injury or death that might prove embarrassing to Monsanto or the FDA.

I believe there can be anecdotal evidence of almost anything however.
I do know if I drink too much diet soda I feel symptoms I attribute to
electrolyte imbalance.  For awhile there I was hitting it really hard
and it even caused polyuria!

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