H. J. ROBERTS, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P.
300 27TH STREET
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA 33407-5299
DIPLOMATE AMERICAN BOARD OF INTERNAL MEDICINE
(561) 832-2400 (Fax) (RECERTIFIED)
July 18, 1997
Australia New Zealand Food Authority
P. O. Box 7186
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610
I am writing your agency in response to concern about the serious
reactions to products containing aspartame that have been expressed to me
in the two nations by citizens in Pasadena, Capertee, Sydney, New
Plymouth, Auckland, Wellington and New South Wales. Several strongly
disapproved of your ANZFA Information Paper, dated June 1997, which was
relayed to me.
My comments are totally corporate-neutral (that is, no grants have been
received), and intended as constructive professional input. They are based
on considerable clinical experience, research, and a database of more than
1000(!) aspartame reactors. My observations have been detailed in about 30
medical articles, three books, and a 2-cassette lecture. Several reprints and
brochures are enclosed - along with an abbreviated bibliography, my testimony
for the U.S. Senate and a letter to Congressman Newt Gingrich requesting a
new congressional hearing on the matter.
Stated briefly, it is my firm conviction that aspartame products
constitute an imminent public health hazard and therefore ought to be
removed from the market. This assertion obviously will be rejected by
manufacturers, distributors, and employees or researchers for this
multibillion dollar industry.
I have repeatedly expressed the opinion that aspartame should not
have been approved by the FDA Commissioner in July l981. He failed to heed
his own scientific staff, consultants for the General Accounting Office, and
even the advice of a formal Public Board of Inquiry.
I shall not reiterate the numerous afflictions logically
attributed to these products. Suffice it to emphasize that the effects
have been profound -- especially on the nervous system, eyes and
gastrointestinal tract, in patients with diabetes, among children and the
elderly. I unequivocally believe that no pregnant mother or nursing woman
should take these products.
My recent book, DEFENSE AGAINST ALZHEIMERS DISEASE, presents further
clinical and investigational evidence for the premise that aspartame products
may be accelerating -- or even initiating - this disease. Your agency should
carefully study this issue.
Concerning the matter of brain tumors. I am enclosing my l991 paper
published in a peer-reviewed journal, that raised this probable effect in
humans ... long before the Olney report. Indeed, I had personally discussed
the matter with Dr. Olney years ago and then sent him a reprint.
The epidemiologic data were reviewed with both the National Cancer
Institute and an American Cancer Society statistician before I submitted
Both concurred that a significant increase of primary brain tumors had
occurred, especially brain lymphoma, in nonimmunosuppressed persons. I am
somewhat dubious about the accuracy of recent data on primary brain tumors
in view of the widespread feeling that they have increased
I should also point out the following:
* The appreciable increase of brain tumors occurred after l981, not 1973.
* The increased incidence cannot be attributed largely to imaging studies.
* The initial "negative" experimental studies were done in females, a
relevant fact ignored by the FDA.
* Mutagenic activity does occur (e.g., the report by Shephard et al in Fd.
Chem. Toxic. 1993;31:323-329)
I strongly disagree with the "negative" conclusion by the CDC concerning its
initial data on 592 complaints attributed to aspartame products. You ought
to examine the report yourself. To the contrary, I have encountered highly
consistent patterns of reproducible symptoms in aspartame reactors upon
rechallenge; they are detailed in my publications.
In my opinion, the decision by the FDA on June 28, l996 to approve of
aspartame as a general-purpose sweetener was ill-advised and irresponsible,
especially for products exposed to heat, such as baked goods.
Finally, your preference for publications by authors who have had direct
connections with the aspartame industry (e.g. Stegink, Filer, Butchko), and
by regulatory agencies that never attempted to replicate the
corporate-sponsored studies having flawed protocols that serve to validate
the alleged safety of aspartame, is disturbing.
On the basis of existing and mounting data, your agency has a unique
opportunity to protect its citizens from Asppartame Disease, and to assume
international leadership by prohibiting these products. This will take much
courage, but the public health rewards will generate much gratitude. As a
case in point, your nation's noble pioneering efforts in checking the
thalidomide disaster is still appreciated.
A copy of this letter is being sent by e-mail to several aspartame victims
and concerned citizens in Australia and New Zealand who are knowledgeable
about this matter.
H. J. Roberts, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.C.C.P.
Director, Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research
300 27th Street
West Palm Beach, Florida 33407, USA
CC: Australia New Zealand Food Authority
P. O. Box 10559
The Terrace, Wellington 6036
Mrs. Elaine Attwood
13 Pritchard Grove
Pasadena, South Australia 5042
Mrs. Patricia Ziliani
Mission Possible Australia
Dr. Sandra Cabot - MB.BS D.R.O.C.G
Director International Women's Health Network,
Mr. Chris Wheeler, President
Soil & Health Assoc. of New Zealand, Inc.
P. O. Box 36 - 170
Auckland 9 New Zealand
(Also Founder of Mission Possible New Zealand)
Mrs. Val Paino