"Despite approval by
the federal Food and Drug Administration as a sweetener, Aspartame
remains the focus of serious human health questions poised by a
core of sceptics.
Aspartame is the generic name for
"NutraSweet", which is owned by Monsanto Corp. FDA okayed
Aspartame for limited food use in the early l980s. In June 1996,
FDA sanctioned use of Aspartame in thousands of food products.
Aspartame consists of three components: 50% phenylalanine (a
chemical which transmits impulses in the human brain), 40%
aspartic acid and 10% methanol (wood alcohol-a poison).
FDA's human "safety" determination for Aspartame
is based upon some 112 studies submitted to FDA by the original
manufacturer, Searle Pharmaceuticals. (Monsanto acquired Searle
Pharmaceuticals in the mid-1980s.) Of those 112 studies, FDA
designated 15 studies "pivotal".
Critics have been re-looking those "pivotal"
studies and come away puzzled how FDA can deduce human "safety".
Take, for example, one of the 15 "pivotal" studies: "52 Week Oral
Toxicity Infant Monkey Study (SC-18862)." This study orally dosed
Aspartame to seven infant Rhesus monkeys for 52 weeks, in work
conducted at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center at
Madison, Wisconsin. The work was reported in l972.
The monkeys were divided in three groups: a low
dose group (1.0 g/kg), a medium dose group (3.0 g/kg.) and a high
dose group (4-6 g/kg). Aspartame was incorporated into milk
formula and administered orally. The high dose group did not
consume intended levels of aspartame during the study, perhaps due
to the overt sweetness (200 times greater than sugar). Thus,
researchers concluded, the high-dose group actually ingested
approximately as much Aspartame as the medium-dose group.
(Editor's note: The UW-Madison researcher, H. A. Waisman, deceased
in mid-study. For that reason, the low-dose group monkeys was
pulled from this study at about 200 days-prior to when brain
seizures commenced for the medium and high-dose groups.)
There was no control group. That ostensible
inadequacy in the research protocol was dismissed by the lack of
available monkeys and "..limitations in adequately skilled
All medium and high dose monkeys showed
increased phenylalanine levels in their blood. All medium and high
dose monkeys exhibited brain seizures, starting about seven months
into the experiment.
The study reported "All animals in the medium
and high dosage groups exhibited seizure activity. Seizures
were observed for the first time following 218 days of
treatment... The seizures were of the grand mal type... One
monkey, m38, of the high dose group, died after 300 days of
treatment. The cause of death was not determined..."
Data for the deceased monkey were lost.
The study correlates brain seizures with high
amounts of phenylalanine ingested by the monkeys. The study
determined: "following the end of the experiment, medium and high
dose monkeys were kept under observation for three months. No
further convulsions were detected during this period." In other
words, once the Aspartame was withdrawn from the monkeys' diets,
the brain seizures ceased.
How could FDA claim a "pivotal" study, in which
all of the medium and high dose monkeys suffer brain seizures,
confirms Aspartame's safety for humans?
Robert Cohen, a private citizen from Oradell,
New Jersey (who has a degree in pharmakinesology - brain
chemistry), recently un earthed this "pivotal" study. Cohen's
personal theory: the milk-based formula in which the monkeys were
served their Aspartame in this study is a key link why the brain
seizures were suffered. Cohen contends that ingesting dairy
products elevates the pH of the stomach. He asserts that drinking
a 12 oz. glass of milk buffers the pH of the human stomach from 2
to 6. At a pH of 6, Cohen contends, simple proteins such as
Aspartame pass through undigested. Thus, they move to the blood
stream intact. (Editor's note: Cohen claims the same phenomenon
explains why IGF-1 (insulin-like Growth Factor -- - a potent
mitogen, i.e., cancer causing agent) from rbGH-derived milk
survives digestion and enters the human bloodstream).
Recently, a long term Aspartame critic rolled
out a new data analysis, suggesting that Aspartame was a factor in
increased incidents of human brain lesions. Monsanto spokesperson
Dr. Robert Moser countered that claim, saying that Aspartame was
not ingested and did not enter the blood stream.
The data revealed by this "pivotal" study
submitted to FDA renders false Moser's assertion that Aspartame
does not enter the bloodstream. Elevated levels of phenylalanine
in the blood of monkeys fed medium and high levels of Aspartame
prove that the compound is absorbed into the blood stream. The
brain seizures followed.
What is the significance of this issue for
dairy? NutraSweet is increasingly used in dairy products. At
worst, presence of dairy products increases the odds that
Aspartame can be channeled through the stomach into the
bloodstream, by buffering the stomach's acidity.
Word is that CBS' television's hard-hitting news
program, "60 Minutes" is preparing a segment on the Aspartame
controversy, tentatively due for broadcast on December 29. (was
shown) (Editor's Note: We were told recently that an adhesives
applications firm in Texas is working on a project to include
Aspartame on the back of U.S. Postal Service stamps, to make the
stamps which consumers lick "taste better") SWEET NIGHTMARES!"
Page continues: ANTI-ASPARTAME CONSUMER GROUP
OFFERS INFORMATION TO PUBLIC
"A consumer group, Mission Possible, has
requested that FDA withdraw Aspartame from public use, in light of
the obvious negative health effects depicted in the "pivotal"
study described above. The blood data shows the chemical entered
the Rhesus monkeys' blood streams. All monkeys receiving medium
and high doses of Aspartame suffered severe brain seizures after
about seven months' treatments.
Persons wishing to receive more information
about Aspartame should write Mission Possible at the following
address and include 5 32 cent postage stamps to cover return
postage. The address is: Mission Possible, 5950 H State Bridge
Road, Suite 215, Duluth, Georgia 30155