A Ground Zero investigation by Michael Goodspeed

Over the past 15 years, dozens of independent researchers have compiled anecdotal evidence linking aspartame (ASP) to a variety of devastating physical ailments -- tinnitus, glaucoma, migraines, short-term memory loss, even brain tumors are thought by many doctors to be directly caused by NutraSweet consumption. This has been a matter of public record for three decades. Less widely-known, however, are the data suggesting that ASP may have caused an exponential increase in both mental illness and violence, particularly in young people.

One of the more serious effects thought to be caused by ASP is the lowering of serotonin levels in the brain. In the foreward to Mary Nash Stoodard's book, Deadly Deception-Story of Aspartame Dr. Lendon Smith, one of the country's most respected doctors, outlines the devastating impact this can have on a person's state of mind:

The MENTAL SYMPTOMS that ASP can produce in a person is thought to be related to the increase in violence and suicides in our population. ASP causes a blockage of the formation of serotonin in the brain. Since tryptophan has been taken off the market by the FDA, there are many people who cannot make enough serotonin from their food, and they are more susceptible to insomnia, depression, and/or PMS. If these genetically deficient people are also swallowing ASP, they will more readily have headaches, insomnia, depression, hostility, anxiety, and a host of other negative symptoms.

When you see someone sitting on the sidewalk, tired, alone and depressed, ask him if he is drinking soft drinks. Chances are, ASP IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A LOT OF SICKNESS AND CRIME. It is not what Mother Nature wants us to eat. "It is interesting to note that the serotonin levels in hyperactive children are inherently lower than in normal kids. Their hyperactivity is lessened when their serotonin levels rise.

This, along with many other factors, makes one wonder about the epidemic of tragic school shootings and other youth violence currently ravaging our country.

Young people consume far more soft drinks and sugarless chewing gum than the adult population. Dentists advise them to do so to prevent cavities. Many teenage girls, self-conscious of their weight, practically live off diet products. How many of America's children and teenagers are unaware of NutraSweet's' serious side-effects, or simply fail to see the connection between their own symptoms and the signs of aspartame poisoning? These facts are especially relevant when one examines the escalation in reports of young mothers murdering their newborn infants. In researching this report, I contacted Mary Stoddard, head of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network. Mary began her crusade against NutraSweet when (as she now believes) her life was directly threatened by ASP consumption.

Mary was diagnosed with the devastating illness EMS (Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome), but the symptoms disappeared after she eliminated NutraSweet from her diet. I was startled to hear that American OB-GYN's are trained to encourage pregnant women to consume large quantities of NutraSweet to help them control their weight!

Throughout Mexico, the labels on sweetener packets read: "Recommended by the Pediatric Association of Mexico." How does this impact the mental and physical health of the mother? Does it make her more prone to violence towards her child? What effect does ASP have on the developing fetus? Is the FDA conducting ANY legitimate investigation of these questions?

Addressing the role ASP may be playing in increased violence, Mary offered this exclusive statement: "It is now a widely-accepted fact that abuse of steroids in some can cause a type of rage dubbed 'Roid Rage.' Not yet so widely-accepted -- but nevertheless true -- is the fact that aspartame has similar effects on the brain. The children of aspartame -- those whose mothers ate and drank it prior to their birth -- are now 16 years old or younger.

That, coupled with the fact that many children have also received daily doses of it following birth in the form of mother's milk, children's vitamins and antibiotics, bubblegums, jello, puddings, yogurts, frozen treats etc. makes one wonder what life will be like for them and those around them as they mature into adulthood."

In Deadly Deception-Story of Aspartame, Stoddard outlines the events leading to NutraSweet's approval by the FDA:

1969 - Dr. Harry Waisman fed ASP mixed with milk to monkeys. One died after 300 days of ASP and five others had grand mal seizures. Searle deleted this negative study when the company submitted safety evidence to the FDA.

1970 - The FDA banned cyclamate during the time that the safety of saccharin was being questioned. The time seemed ripe for ASP.

1971 - Dr. John Olney, a research psychiatrist, told Searle that aspartic acid caused "holes in the brains of mice."

1974 - Searle people said these studies raised "no health problems." Searle told the FDA about these findings after approval was granted.

1975 - Many of the test animals fed ASP developed large TUMORS. These were NOT reported to the FDA.

1977 - Despite the many complaints about ASP, William Conlon and Thomas Sullivan, the US attorneys, took no action, in five years the statute of limitations for a grand jury investigation expired. A year later Conlon took a position with the law firm that represents Searle. (U.S. Attorney, Samuel Skinner did the same and ended up Chief of Staff in Bush's White House. ed.)

1980 - A Public Board of Inquiry of three scientists was activated. These (2 MDs and one PhD) voted to ban ASP. Because of those negative findings a five member Commissioner's Team of Scientists was impaneled: Three said ban; two said it was safe. Another member was added, resulting in a deadlock. Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, PhD, toxicologist on the team said, "Bureau officials were working up to a whitewash. Safety questions remain unanswered."

1981 - Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. was appointed the new FDA Commissioner and overruled the Public Board of Inquiry's recommended ban of ASP. He said his approval was part of the Reagan administration's new reform! Throughout the 1980's Searle argued that the best evidence of ASP's safety was the fact that it had been approved in more than 60 countries. But these foreign approvals had been based on thecontroversial test noted above and the questionable approval of the FDA. It was approved as a "food additive," and hence, exempt from continued safety monitoring.(Searle is not obligated to monitor any adverse reactions.)

1983 - THE NATIONAL SOFT DRINK ASSOCIATION wrote to the FDA that ASP was breaking down in warm climates. But the Association later accepted ASP. Dr. Hayes office approved the use of ASP in soft drinks just two months before he quit his job as FDA chief. He then obtained a job with a public relations firm who represents NutraSweet.

1984 - Seven million pounds of NutraSweet are swallowed by about 100,000 people.

1985 - Reports of side-effects mount.

1987 - ACSN is founded by Mary Nash Stoddard and consumer advocate, James Turner. They believe ASP should be recalled and retested as a drug.

And if this is not enough, here is an astonishing footnote from Deadly Deception-Story of Aspartame: 75% of all complaints registered to the FDA are NutraSweet related!You will also be interested in knowing the three components of aspartame:

1) Phenylalanine (50%) which can be neurotoxic and in some susceptible people will cause seizures.

2) Aspartic acid (40%) which can cause brain damage in the developing brain 3) methanol (10%) which turns into formaldehyde, embalming fluid; an obvious toxin.

The basis for suspecting a cover-up by NutraSweet and the FDA is clear-cut. NutraSweet is a multi-billion dollar industry which seems to have successfully lobbied its way into the bank accounts of our highest government officials. Since American journalists show almost zero inclination to investigate the safety of aspartame, is it any wonder that people are growing suspicious?

Do we have the right to know if massive advertising revenues might be affecting the investigator's normal instincts for a shocking story? Imagine the potential for astronomical litigation against NutraSweet -- and possibly the FDA itself -- if the facts become known. Big Tobacco settlements are surely making some powerful folks very nervous.

Those of us who've stumbled across the disturbing facts in this case now have an obligation to the public. We believe that every citizen has the right to make informed health-choices, and that must include the right to know the truth about aspartame.

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