Thank you SO MUCH for sending this to Dave for his web page. I'm taking
the opportunity to put it on the list so others can read it and pass it
DATE: Thursday, July 31st, 1997
Aspartame/Nutrasweet - When will the New Zealand Government & Health
Ministry act?...Or is that a silly question? Better question still
- When will TV2 stop the sponsorship of the soap 'Friends' by Diet
PepsiZ? (trick question - Which is the brain poison?)
By Chris Wheeler
Editor, Soil & Health & friends from Mission Possible, USA
We asked a number of serious questions about aspartame in our
December/February issue of the journal, even running the story as our
We circulated the facts to all the major news networks in print, radio
and television, but only National Radio picked up the story and ran with
New Zealand has virtually ignored the relevance of the issue yet a
wide range of consumer items are cynically produced with what 83 major
scientific peer-reviewed studies have shown to be a poison capable of
causing serious medical symptoms and even death.
So subtly has this poison penetrated the national daily diet that a
significant number of diet and "fitness" products carrying the approval
of the natural health industry are presently available down in your
local "health" store.
Several of these products were even featured in a recent Auckland
"healthy lifestyles" fair.
I assumed the story regarding the dangers of aspartame/Nutrasweet had
received wide coverage in the United States, but when I went there in
March I was amazed to find Americans everywhere quaffing Diet Cokes and
Pepsis as if nothing had happened. Had they heard the news? Yes,
they'd heard a rumour in some cases, but so what? They shrugged their
shoulders. "If you believed everything you read about what's in our
food you'd stop eating", they said.
Does aspartame make you brain dead? People reacted similarly in the
40s to Jews dying in Nazi concentration camps. Similar apathy allowed
Pol Pot to murder several million over two years in Cambodia. We saw it
all again in the Bosnian conflict with a gutless UN, incompetent Boutros
and immoral NATO-nation politicians permitting the obscenity of "ethnic
cleansing." Aspartame may be a lesser issue to many, but later
generations will wonder at our complacency over what is probably the
most dangerous chemical industry poison ever to be released for general
consumption as a food.
WE ACCUSE - Dr Olney's research has been ignored by our Health Ministry!
Why has world renowned Dr. John Olney's research paper on the aspartame
link to brain tumours been ignored or (more probably) been discounted by
our Ministry of Health? Dr Olney produced substantial evidence (on top
of the vast volume of already existing evidence!) on
aspartame/Nutrasweet/Equal's positive link with brain tumours in his
paper "Increasing Brain Tumour rates: Is there a link to Aspartame?"
published in the prestigious Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental
Neurology, Vol 55, No 11, November 1996, pages 1115-1123.
WE ACCUSE - Monsanto
The seat of the aspartame problem, of course, lies back in the United
States, where Monsanto, Du Pont, Dow, etc virtually run the Federal Drug
Administration (a Monsanto senior executive is currently under
consideration as the incoming head of the FDA!) and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) which together set the standards, which New
Zealand's Ministries of Health and Agriculture slavishly and
unquestioningly follow. Some attempts have been made by the few
American politicians left in Washington retaining a moral sense over
health issues to legislate aspartame off the market.
Senator Howard Metzenbaum, who investigated the aspartame issue and the
problems arising in the population, wrote a bill way back in 1985 that
would have required independent testing by the National Institute of
Health and put a moratorium on aspartame.
The bill would have required studies to investigate some of
neurological problems then being complained about back in l985 when
aspartame was only in a few hundred products not 9000 and climbing with
an expired patent and thus an open slather situation for anyone to
Heavy lobbying by Monsanto prevented the bill from getting out of
committee (have you ever noticed how often Monsanto figures in issues
involving the poisoning of the planetary Life Force?).
The scientific whistleblowers Dr. H. J. Roberts in his letter in The
Lancet in February this year went a little further than requesting new
studies being accomplished. He said: "I have documented other severe
neuropsychiatric reactions to aspartame products - most notably
headache, seizures, confusion and depression, and the probable
acceleration of Alzheimer's disease by aspartame products. I believe
that our society faces a preventable medical disaster if aspartame
products are not promptly removed from public use."
Dr. Roberts has written on the brain tumor issue for years and has
authored books on the dangers of aspartame. There have been independent
studies on aspartame over the years, not funded by the manufacturer
Monsanto/Nutrasweet (Monsanto have flicked their Nutrasweet purchase
[from Searle] into its own independent company against the day when
aspartame poisoning becomes generally recognised and consumer litigation
begins. By this mechanism Monsanto hope to avoid legal responsibility
in similar fashion to the Dow- Corning strategy over toxic breast
Dr. Ralph Walton on the USA's version of 60 Minutes on Dec 29 (later
shown in New Zealand in February) said that out of 90 independent
studies 83 showed a problem with aspartame.
During Congressional Hearings on aspartame a document was discussed
titled CONFIDENTIAL TRADE SECRET INFORMATION, Food and Drug Sweetener
Strategy, 28/12/70. In the concluding paragraph it says: "we have no
way of estimating maximum likely abuse and hence need to utilize data
based on almost complete conversion to DKP. If we include this .. we
stand a good chance of ending up with nothing.." Diketopiperazine (DKP)
is the effective BRAIN TUMOUR AGENT in aspartame.
The Verrett evidence for aspartame toxicity With regard to the studies,
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, said she believes the original
aspartame studies were "built on a foundation of sand". (Testimony of
Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, FDA toxicologist, before the US Senate Committee
on Labor and Human Resources, regarding "NutraSweet Health and Safety
Dr. Verrett testified 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 possible 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 team's original report. She said, "serious
departures from acceptable toxicological protocols" that her
investigative team noted in the reevaluation of these studies were also
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 market place
without basic toxicity information. She said there are no data to
assess the interactions with DKP, excess phenylalanine (note the warning
on Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi bottles in your local supermarket - THEY
KNOW it's a poison!), other aspartame metabolites, additives, drugs, or
She 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 higher temperatures produce increasing amounts of DKP.
She reminded members of Congress "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 (see Jarrah in our panel story "What products in NZ contain
aspartame?"), hot liquids, and also in diet drinks."
Searle cooks the books & slips the money under the table
On January 10, l977, FDA chief counsel, Richard Merrill, sent a 33 page
letter to U.S. Attorney 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 (the chemical corporate who originally developed aspartame before
selling it off to Monsanto). The letter charged that Searle concealed
material facts and made false statements in reports of animal studies
conducted to establish the safety of aspartame. Studies cited for
investigation had been conducted in l972 and five year statutes of
limitation for criminal prosecution were due to expire on 10/10 and
Good old Yankee corruption (Remember Tricky Dicky Nixon and Watergate?
etc, etc) made damn sure that Searle never had to face the music. U. S.
Attorney Sam Skinner got an offer he couldn't refuse from the corporates
and went to work for Searle's law firm, Sidley and Austin, and the
statue of limitations ran out.
Nevertheless an FDA task force observed laboratory methods at Searle
from April 25 to August 4, l977. The Bressler Report (named for team
leader Jerome Bressler) identified major discrepancies including
"substantial differences between gross observation on pathology sheets
when compared with those submitted to the FDA" in a rat toxicology test
of aspartame. (FDA, Bressler Report, Investigation of Searle
Laboratories, 7/8/77) According to the Bressler Report, one rat even
appeared resurrected. It stated: "Observed records indicated that
animal A23LM was alive at week 88, dead from week 92 to week 104, alive
at week 108, and dead at week 112."
The actual meal fed to the rats was also in question. Raymond
Schroeder, a former Searle employee, said in an FDA interview on July
13, l977 that "the particles of DKP were large enough to allow the rats
to discriminate between the DKP and the basal diet."
Olney, Turner & Gross add to the evidence against aspartame Dr. John
Olney, psychiatrist, neuropathologist and professor at Washington
University in St. Louis, found 12 brain tumors in 320 dosed rats and
none in 120 control rats when he examined FDA files on aspartame animal
studies in l978. Olney advised that the high number of brain tumors was
Olney voiced another concern based on his research. He showed that
when glutamate and aspartic acid are ingested together each agent
augments the neurotoxic effects of the other.
Olney, along with consumer activist attorney James Turner,
initiated court action over aspartame. In a l986 interview Turner said
he had spent 15 years battling approval of aspartame because "its
The late Dr. M. Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, spoke out
against aspartame in the August 1, l985 Congressional Record.
Gross, who took part in on site investigations at Searle laboratories,
said the studies carried out by Searle to show the safety of aspartame
were "to a large extent unreliable." He said "at least one of those
studies has established beyond any reasonable doubt that aspartame is
capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals and that this
.. is of extremely high significance." (Congressional Record SID835:131
Aug 1, l985)
Gross also testified that because aspartame was capable of producing
brain tumors and brain cancer, the FDA should not have been able to set
an allowable daily intake of the substance at any level. He said at
least one of Searle's "has established beyond any reasonable doubt that
aspartame is capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals
and that this predisposition of it is of extremely high significance...
In view of these indications that the cancer causing potential of
aspartame is a matter that has been established way beyond any
reasonable doubt, one can ask: What is the reason for the apparent
refusal by the FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called
Delaney Amendment to the Food, Drug an Cosmetic Act?"
The Delaney Amendment makes it illegal to allow any residues of cancer
causing chemicals in foods.
In his concluding testimony Gross asked, "Given the (cancer causing
potential of aspartame) how would the FDA justify its position that it
views a certain amount of aspartame as constituting an allowable daily
intake or Ôsafe' level of it? Is that position in effect not equivalent
to setting a Ôtolerance' for this food additive and thus a violation of
that law? And if the FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left
to protect the health of the public?" H.R. 3200 just repealed the
Delaney Amendment and in June 1996 the FDA at the request of the
NutraSweet Co. (Monsanto) gave blanket approval to this neurotoxin
without public notification.
Ring-a-Rosy Govt/Chemical industry appointees Dr. Kessler of the FDA,
who give aspartame its final blanket approval, has recently resigned and
quit office, his work for the chemical industry completed. His possible
replacement will be Virginia Weldon, vice president of Monsanto and a
vocal advocate of Nutrasweet who represented Monsanto on the 60 MINUTES
programme as their sickening apologist for the product.
Another chemical industry hack was prominent in the original approval
of aspartame. Aspartame was initially approved for general release in
l981 by Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes (a Ronnie Reagan appointee as FDA
Commissioner, what else!) when he over-ruled a scientific Board of
inquiry which still had doubts about the product.
Hayes then went to work for the PR firm representing Searle
(aspartame's original developers), his mission having been accomplished.
He refused to talk to the press for over 10 years and refused recently
to be interviewed by 60 Minutes.
REMEMBER THIS! When the NutraSweet Company, Monsanto, the NZ Ministry
of Health and assorted NZ "experts" tell you aspartame has been proven
safe, remember that these are the studies that approved it.
This is the myth of the most tested additive in history.
The US chemical industry has an enormously corrupting role at every
level of American society. The International Spartina (an aquatic weed)
Conference I recently attended (March 20-21) in Washington State at the
State University was virtually highjacked by academics plugging for
Monsanto's weed control products at every session. Monsanto funds the
trade organizations, the American medical establishment represented by
the American Medical Association (AMA) and the US Congress.
Petitions to ban aspartame have failed in the past. Monsanto has
great power and the FDA has great loyalty to them. When Dr. Olney's
report made world news the NutraSweet Co. attempted to defend their
product and the FDA went to their defense. After my own afternoon
interview on National Radio of March 3rd on the aspartame/Nutrasweet
scandal Radio NZ came under pressure from Monsanto/Nutrasweet to give a
"more balanced" coverage to the product, which resulted in a special
interview with a Nutrasweet apologist on March 12 - unfortunately at the
same time I was winging (or is that "whinging"?) my way to the USA to
sample corporate corruption and the Great American Way at its source.
But that's another story. Soil & Health has joined with Betty Martini
and Mission Possible in the USA in exposing the whole dreadful saga of
aspartame. Our last story sank without a trace into the national
consciousness. Please don't waste this one. We get the information
out, but don't expect what is strictly an organisation of unpaid
volunteers to do all that needs to be done with aspartame - or anything
else, for that matter. Get in behind the steps for action we suggest on
this and the preceding pages. In distant New Zealand, well clear of the
political machinations and corporate manipulation of Washington, the
levers of political influence are a lot more accessible to the ordinary
public. WE can change things here while American consumers and Betty
Martini slug it out with the Washington chemical industry spin doctors,
the FDA and their dodgy politicians for the next decade!
MORE ACTION YOU CAN TAKE 1. Take the 60-day No-Aspartame test - stop
using diet preparations (Equal, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, etc - also some
Weightwatchers products - read product labels for Aspartame/Nutrasweet
content) - note any health improvements. 2. Tell your doctor (who
should really know already!) and warn your friends. 3. Return
Aspar-Poisoned foods to the shop you bought them from and ask for your
money back. The supermarkets have no excuse selling this rubbish - look
how long the evidence of hazard has been out! See the panel elsewhere
on these pages for more local action to take including pushing the
politicians and Health Ministry into action to ban aspartame. TO GET
MORE INFORMATION ON ASPARTAME Email: betty at pd.org as follows: Subject:
sendme help The subject line must be typed exactly like the above line.
Mission Possible reports can be found on the Internet/Web at
http://www.dorway.com/possible.html (with links to more than 29 other
Web Sites dealing with this topic).
A brochure touting the safety of aspartame and its components, which
may be used in NZ by Nutrasweet to counter this campaign, is on Dave
Rietz web page, email address below, and it has been answered by Mark
Gold. Dave Rietz' web page links to 29 other web pages including Mark Gold's.
The anti-Aspartame/Nutrasweet Campaign is being co- ordinated by Betty
Martini, Mission Possible, 5950-H State Bridge Rd, Suite 215, Duluth GA
(PANEL STORY) Aviation industry has long warned against aspartame
dangers In an absurdist consumer world where soap
opera values rule it's probably a tad purist to expect much of a
reaction to the hard facts about aspartame from a general public
habituated to leaving hard decisions to someone else. One professional
group have gone against the general rule, however. No, no - not the
medical establishment! Anything chemical smacks of SCIENCE and heavily
sponsored medical conferences and seminars where doctors get introduced
to the latest miracle drug from the same chemical industry that produces
aspartame. Medicine is soft on chemicals of any sort. No, it's not
doctors but airline pilots who have been heavily into the dangers of
aspartame since the 1980s. Not surprising when you think about it.
It's part of the folklore of medicine that our official quacks can be
doped up to the eyeballs and still be allowed to practice. An airline
pilot, on the other hand, has to sit rigorous medical examinations at
regular intervals and any loss of function sees them unemployed and out
on the street. That imparts a wonderfully strong focus on immediate
Mission Possible, the anti-aspartame group, has a special
Aviation Division because of the serious hazard to aviation aspartame
presents. Even the U.S. Air Force (as well as the Navy) warned all
pilots off aspartame in their journals, well before the ordinary media
caught onto the issue. In FLYING SAFETY (US Air Force mag) in May, 1992
"In pregnancy the effects of aspartame can be passed directly
on to the fetus, even in very small doses. Some people have suffered
aspartame related disorders with doses as small as that carried in a
single stick of chewing gum. This could mean a pilot who drinks diet
sodas is more susceptible to flicker vertigo, or to flicker induced
epileptic activity. It also means that all pilots are potential victims
of sudden memory loss, dizziness during instrument flight and gradual
loss of vision."
Here also are some exerpts from THE AVIATION CONSUMER,
June 15, 1988 titled SAFEGUARD:" Feeling headachy, irritable and
rundown lately? Or worse, have you had tremors, or even a seizure? If
you've been eating or drinking food with Nutrasweet or aspartame in it,
and you're a pilot, be on your guard. "At least that's the urging of
Charles King of Brownwood, Texas. King, a pilot, began having strange
symptoms in l982, including dizziness, memory loss and irritability, to
mention just a few. These were climaxed eventually over the period of
several years by a grand mal seizure.Result: his airman's medical
certificate was denied, and he was grounded. King strongly believes his
problems stemmed from his consumption of aspartame in Nutrasweet, the
dietary sweetener now added to any number of food products from dry
cereals to wet sodas - and of course routinely dropped into so many cups
of coffee every day by millions of people in homes and restaurants
around the country. His message: Don't eat the stuff. His problems -
and he listed 31 of them from diarrhea to anxiety attacks, depression
and skin rash -disappeared after he stopped using it. Now in the midst
of a full-fledged crusade to warn people - especially fliers - about the
potential hazard, King cites a remarkable number of sources that have
serious questions and/or doubts about the substance......One Air Force
F-16 pilot, Maj. Michael Collins, who made a statement to the Committee
on Labor and Human Resources on his concerns regarding NutraSweet, is
suing aspartame's manufacturer ..claiming the substance caused him to
have seizures that finished his flying career. As long as aspartame is
considered "officially" safe by Government vetting agencies like our
Ministry of Health that rely on US Food & Drug Administration approvals
and data, people like Charles King face a problem getting their medicals
approved to fly again. King claims NutraSweet was the cause of his
seizures, and by removing it from his diet he has regained his health.
But the US Federal Aviation Authority, going along with the FDA's
original endorsement of the substance, has refused to acknowledge it
could have caused him a problem.Does any of this strike close to home?
Do any of the symptoms described seem similar to those you or your
friends have experienced while on diet preparations? Join a very large
club worldwide! As it turns out, one of the pilot/editors of The
Aviation Consumer began having mysterious dizzy spells on a fairly
regular basis a couple of years ago. The only dietary difference he
could recall was switching some months earlier from Sweet 'N Low to
Nutrasweet for the daily doses of coffee in the office after the office
quartermaster arbitrarily made the switch. He stopped using Nutrasweet,
and the dizziness completely went away. Supporters of aspartame, hack
medicos, Ministry of Health bureacrats and Monsanto PR flaks claim
reports like these are not scientific, merely "anecdotal." Our advice
for those of you out there living in the real world: If you're in doubt
about your anecdotal symptoms, the antidote is to stop using the stuff!
(PANEL STORY) What can I do about aspartame/Nutrasweet/Equal?
We all need to get into campaigning mode about this poisonous food
additive. It's such a gross example of the way the food chain is
contaminated that to let it continue in the NZ food supply would be an
equally gross dereliction of our duty towards other less-informed
consumers. So write to Prime Minister Jim Bolger and his Deputy, Winston
Peters (Parliament, Wellington - no stamp needed for Parliamentary mail)
and ask them what they intend to do about this scar on the heart of NZ.
Write to Dr Karen Poutasi, Director-General of Health (Ministry of
Health, P O Box 5013, Wellington) and ask why the Ministry has failed to
act and when they will be banning the product. Pester your local media
with photocopies of this story and the previous one in our Dec/Feb 97
issue and ask them why they don't feature the issue (ANSWER: Because
the junk drink bottlers, supermarket chains, etc who advertise in the
media carry more clout with sold-out media hacks than interests of
consumer safety and health interests.) DO IT TODAY - CHANGE COMES ABOUT
FROM YOU & I TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT IS GOING WRONG. DACHAU, POL
POT, & ETHNIC CLEANSING CAN ONLY TAKE PLACE WHEN A NATION THINKS
MORALITY IS SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM.
(PANEL STORY) DEMAND TO FDA FOR RECALL OF NUTRASWEET In June, l996
aspartame was given blanket approval by the FDA without public
notification. Aspartame is now believed to be in more than 9000
products worldwide including those in New Zealand listed on the previous
page. Consumers worldwide are being
asked by Mission Possible to send either the following model letter or
one of their own listing the arguments presented above to the FDA. The
address of the FDA is 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA.
Phone: 301 443-1240. Michael Friedman, Acting Commissioner of FDA
This is a demand for the immediate withdrawal of NutraSweet from the
worldwide market. Copies of this letter are being issued as press
releases to the news media of the South Pacific region. FDA loyalty to
Monsanto is legend and you continue to send out their propaganda in
support of a product which has been demonstrated to contain causative
factors in brain cancer and a long list of medical problems faced by
consumers since its general introduction. Monsanto PR flaks call
aspartame the most tested additive in history, but it was tested by
comedians according to the late Dr. Adrian Gross, FDA Toxicologist, who
tried to prevent it from ever being approved. In his letter to Senator
Howard Metzenbaum he said: "The views of the FDA's Center for Food
Safety read like a script written for Abbott & Costello in the sense of
their having perceptions inside-out and upside-down ..." I call on the
FDA to take immediate action in withdrawing its approval of aspartame to
ensure this toxic product is withdrawn from the international food
chain. I further call for a full Federal investigation of the process
of approval which allowed aspartame on to the market in the first place.
(PANEL STORY) What products in NZ contain aspartame? Well,
anything containing the Nutrasweet logo or under the Equal label and a
vast array of "diet" foods and drinks - Diet Cokes and Pepsis are
amongst the biggest sellers in supermarkets throughout NZ - an
indication of how addictive poisons can be. Carefully check all
Weightwatchers products for Nutrasweet or aspartame. The term
"artificial sweeteners" could be a clue that aspartame is involved.
Children"s medicines in particular often contain aspartame (Moderate the
prescribed symptom and introduce a totally new disease!) and some
tabletted forms of Vitamin C (Cure your cold, get diabetes and a brain
tumour!). We did a tour of our local supermarket to get a short list of
the aspartame-containing products that follow: * Beware dedicated
sweeteners - Equal (G.D.Searle & Co, Australia), Balance (Abbott
Australasia Pty Ltd, Australia), Emblem Sprinkle (Lyons Tetley Ltd, UK).
* Beware ALL diet drinks - Diet Coke, Pepsi Light, Diet Mountain Dew,
Foodtown Diet Coke, Foodtown Diet Dry Ginger Ale, Schweppes Diet Drink,
Diet 7Up, Diet Sprite (Diet Mountain Dew, 7Up & Pepsi products are
produced by Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Auckland. Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd,
Auckland, produce Coke and other brands). * Beware "diet" and "reduced
calories" milk drinks - Weightwatchers Reduced Calorie Milk Drinks
(Hansells Ltd, Masterton); Jarrah Chocolatté, Jarrah Chocn" Toffee,
Jarrah Choc o"Lait (Wander Australia Pty Ltd - under licence from Sandoz
Nutrition Ltd). * Beware "diet" sauces & other preparations -
Weightwatchers Oriental Sweet & Sour/Traditional Apricot/Herb sauces (WW
Foods, Auckland). * Beware special chewing gums - Wrigley's
Freedent/Extra Sugar Free Chewing Gum.
************************************ Chris Wheeler President, Soil &
Health Association of New Zealand Inc P O Box 36-170, Northcote,
Auckland 9 NEW ZEALAND Tel/Fax: 64 9 480 4440; A/H (Chris Wheeler)
Tel/Fax: 64 9 483 7319 Email: chris at wheeler.pl.net A PRINCIPLE OF LIFE -
"Healthy Soil - Healthy Food - Healthy People"