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$350 Million Plus Lawsuit Filed
Against Nutrasweet - Monsanto
Aspartame Sweetener

September 15th, 2004
by columnist
David Lawrence Dewey
"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
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In Depth Special ReportReport
September 15th, 2004
If you feel you have suffered from aspartame poisoning, then fill out THIS FORM
UPDATE - August 20th, 2005

This lawsuit was withdrawn by the the plantiffs in August 2005, without prejudice, ( meaning they can re-file it at a later date ). The reason for the withdrawal of the lawsuit at this time is not known.

This morning, Wednesday, September 15th 2004, in San Francisco, a $350 million dollar plus class action racketeering lawsuit was filed in United States Federal District Court, court case # C 04 3872, against the NutraSweet Corporation, Monsanto Corporation, American Diabetes Association, Dr. Robert H. Moser and some fifty other defendants to be named later. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is mentioned throughout in the lawsuit. Copy of Rico Lawsuit Filed

Rumsfeld was once the CEO and President of G.D. Searle Company which got aspartame approved by the FDA in the 1982. Before taking the CEO position at G.D. Searle, Rumsfeld was Chief of Staff for President Gerald Ford. The question is, did Rumsfeld use his Washington connections to get FDA approval for aspartame when it should not have been approved?

The lawsuit is being filed by a Joe Bellon of Concord, California according to spokesperson, attorney, Britt Groom from Idaho.

According to attorney spokesperson Britt Groom, a press conference is scheduled Thursday, September 16th, 11:00 AM at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 1230 J Street, Sacramento, California. At the press conference, details of the lawsuit will be discussed.

The lawsuit contains the following counts:

1. R.I.C.O. ( racketeering charges )
2. Unfair Competition
3. False Advertising
4. Consumer Remedies Act
5. Fraud
6. Breach of Warranty
7. Breach of Merchantability
8. Filed as a Class Action representing the People as a whole and Joe Bellons personal injuries as well.

On or about September 8, 2004 an affidavit was signed describing the initial third world studies and the health hazards of aspartame. These studies conducted in 1983/84 by the J.D. Searle Company were translated to English from Spanish by a translator in 1984. The "double blind" studies showed conclusive evidence that aspartame caused severe health problems and even death to the exposed study group. According to the Affidavit, the doctor directing the studies has been missing since the approval of aspartame in1984. The affidavit also describes how the affiant was directed by J.D. Searle officials to destroy all records of the studies - including filed notes and/or translations - possessed by the affiant. The affiant describes in detail how the translations were forwarded upon completion to J.D. Searle corporate offices in Illinois.

The class action lawsuit is asking for $300 million plus in damages for the class action and $50 million for the Plaintiff Joe Bellon.

On April 26, 2004, three other lawsuits were filed by the National Justice League in three separate California courts against twelve companies who either produce or use the artificial sweetener aspartame as a sugar substitute in their products. Defendants in the lawsuits include Coca-cola, PepsiCo, Bayer Corp., the Dannon Company, William Wrigley Jr. Company, Walmart, ConAgra Foods, Wyeth, Inc., The NutraSweet Company, and Altria Corp. (parent company of Kraft Foods and Philip Morris).

Finally after over 20 years, it appears the days of this deadly sweetener are numbered. This chemical sweetener should never have been approved by the FDA years ago.


The Nutrasweet company is the world's #1 producer of artificial sweetener aspartame. It sells its NutraSweet-brand aspartame to makers of food, beverages, and tabletop sweeteners in more than 100 countries. In all, NutraSweet is used in some 5,000 products. Aspartame was discovered in 1965 and soon given the NutraSweet brand name by chemical company Searle. Nutrasweet was later bought by Monsanto. NutraSweet has also won FDA approval for neotame, which is 8,000 times sweeter than sugar. Neotame is as deadly to the health of humans as aspartame is according to various researchers worldwide. Investment firm J.W. Childs Associates now owns NutraSweet. Childs purchased Nutrasweet from Monsanto in 2000. NutraSweet management also has a stake in the company.

J. W. Childs Associates makes private equity investment look like child's play. This firm, created by four former Thomas H. Lee Company partners, conducts leveraged buyouts (LBOs) of middle-sized companies. J. W. Childs specializes in making investments in consumer goods, health care, fitness, and pet food. Upon takeover of a firm, J. W. Childs installs management teams that often have a stake in the buyout. The firm, which has been active since 1995, pursues deals primarily in North America. J. W. Childs has agreed to purchase menswear line Joseph Abboud from Italian conglomerate RCS Mediagroup and Sunny Delight and Punica from Procter & Gamble. It has agreed to sell pet food maker Hartz Mountain to Sumitomo.

The Monsanto Corporation is all about bioengineered crops. Monsanto supposedly helps farmers grow more crops by applying biotechnology, genomics, and molecular breeding technology to herbicides and seeds. However, bio-enginnered and genetically altered foods have been rejected by many European countries. Its flagship product, Roundup, is the world's #1 herbicide. Monsanto also produces genetically altered seeds (cotton, corn, soybean, and canola) that tolerate Roundup and resist bugs. Monsanto estimates that more than 70% of the world's insect- and herbicide-resistant crops bear its stamp. It also produces Asgrow, Hartz, and DEKALB seeds. Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant announced in June 2003 a restructuring of the company. The goal of which was to increase public acceptance of bioengineered and genetically altered crops. That has fallen on deaf consumer ears who want nothing to do with genetically altered foods and many farmers are refusing to plant the genetically altered seeds. Many scientists are worried that genetically altering foods are not healthy for many reasons, one being they are altered to resist insects, changing their molecular structure. Monsanto owned NUTRASWEET until 2000, when J.W. Childs Associates Investment bought it from Monsanto.

The Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris Companies, is the world's largest tobacco firm. Altria operates its cigarette business through subsidiaries Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International, both of which sell Marlboro - the world's largest-selling cigarette brand since 1972. The company controls about half of the US tobacco market. However, tobacco is only part of the story. The company owns 84% of Kraft Foods, the world's #2 food company (after Nestlé), which makes Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, and Post cereals. The tobacco giant bought Nabisco in late 2000, folding it into Kraft's food portfolio. Altria owns 36% of SAB Miller Inc. in England.

SAB is Miller time at South African Breweries (SAB). SAB's 2002 purchase of Miller Brewing earned it a new name, SABMiller PLC, and made it the world's second-largest brewer, behind Anheuser-Busch. The company, which has operations in more than 40 countries, dominates South African brewing with 98% of the market on the strength of Africa's best-selling beer, Castle Lager. It brews other regional brands, including Hansa Pilsener and Ohlssons. SABMiller also makes wines, spirits, and fruit drinks as well as bottles Coca-Cola and Schweppes products. Miller's former parent Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris Companies, owns 36% of SABMiller.

This current lawsuit seeks redress for the Defendants’ unlawful acts of knowingly and intentionally using the neurotoxic Aspartame as a sugar substitute in the manufacture of Equal, while knowing that exposure to Aspartame causes among other diseases/symptoms: abdominal pain, arthritis, asthma, brain cancer, breathing difficulties, burning eyes or throat, burning urination, chest pains, chronic cough, chronic fatigue, death, depression, diarrhea, headaches/migraines, hearing loss, heart palpitations, hives (urticaria), hypertension, impotency and sexual problems, memory loss, menstrual problems or changes, nausea or vomiting, slurring of speech, tremors, tinnitus, vertigo and/or vision loss. The lawsuit also states, "Further, Aspartame disease mimics symptoms or worsens the following diseases: Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Lupus, Diabetes and diabetic complications, Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease, birth defects, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lymphoma, Lyme Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Panic Disorder, Depression and other psychological disorders."

The development of new pharmaceuticals was the focus of research at the international pharmaceutical company, G.D. Searle and Company .

In December of 1965, while James Schlatter was recrystalling aspartame from ethanol, the mixture spilled onto the outside of the flask. Some of the powder landed on his fingers. Later, when he licked his fingers to pick up a piece of paper, he noticed a very strong sweet taste. He realized that the sweet taste might have been the aspartame.

The investigators first reported the discovery of the artificial sweetener in the Journal of the American Chemical Society stating:

"We wish to report another accidental discovery of an organic compound with a profound sucrose (table sugar) like taste . . . Preliminary tasting showed this compound to have a potency of 100-200 times sucrose depending on concentration and on what other flavors are present and to be devoid of unpleasant aftertaste."

In 1970, G.D. Searle approached Dr. Harry Waisman, Biochemist, Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the University of Wisconsin's Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Laboratory of Mental Retardation Research and a respected expert in phenylalanine toxicity, to conduct a study of the effects of aspartame on primates. The study was initiated on January 15, 1970 and was terminated on or about April 25, 1971. Dr. Waisman died unexpectedly in March, 1971.

Seven infant monkeys were given aspartame with milk. One died after 300 days. Five others (out of seven total) had grad mal seizures. The actual results were hidden from the FDA when G.D. Searle submitted its initial applications.

G.D. Searle denied knowledge of or involvement with the initiation, design or performance of the study. Yet, the false results were submitted to the FDA like the rest of the 150 G.D. Searle studies (on aspartame and other products), bearing a Searle Pathology-Toxicology project number. Both Dr. Waisman and G.D. Searle were responsible for the study design. A number of false statements were made by G.D. Searle, including that reported the animals were unavailable for purchase for autopsy after the termination of the study.

Neuroscientist and researcher John W. Olney found that oral intake of glutamate, aspartate and cysteine, all excitotoxic amino acids, cause brain damage in mice. An internal G.D. Searle memo laid out the strategy for getting aspartame approved (Helling 1970):

In 1971, Ann Reynolds, a researcher who was hired by G.D. Searle and who had done research for the Glutamate (MSG) Association, confirmed aspartame's neurotoxicity in infant mice. Searle ignored her findings, they were swept under the carpet.

In 1972, FDA Toxicologist Dr. Adrian Gross came upon some irregularities in the submitted tests of the G.D. Searle drug Flagyl. G.D. Searle did not respond for another two years. Their response raised serious questions about the validity of their tests.

The FDA approved aspartame for limited use on July 26, 1974. The allowable uses included free-flowing sugar substitute, tablets for sweetening hot beverages, cereals, gum, and dry bases.

In August 1974, before aspartame could go on the market, Dr. John Olney, James Turner, and Label Inc. (Legal Action for Buyers' Education and Labeling) filed a formal objection stating that they believe aspartame could cause brain damage. They were particularly worried about aspartame's effects on children.

On August 4, 1976, G.D. Searle representatives met with the FDA and convinced them to allow G.D. Searle to hire a private agency, University Associated for Education in Pathology (UAREP), and pay them $500,000 to "validate" the other 12 studies that Searle had submitted to get aspartame approved by the FDA.

According to the FDA Commissioner during the early 1980s, Arthur Hull Hayes, the UAREP investigation was to "make sure that the studies were actually conducted."

Dr. Kenneth Endicott, Director of UAREP, said in an interview that the FDA had "reasons to suspect" that Searle's tests "were not entirely honest." Because the FDA "had doubts about Searle's veracity," Edicott said, officials wanted UAREP "to determine whether the reports were accurate."

FDA scientist Dr. Adrian Gross, in a letter to an FDA official, said, "speaking as a pathologist, it seemed questionable that the group could do the kind of comprehensive investigation that was required." He pointed in particular to a variety of issues that needed to be investigated. He said some of these would involve closely questioning administrators and lab technicians about their practices. Since many important issues that should be investigated "have nothing to do with pathology," he said, only trained FDA investigators were qualified to do a comprehensive evaluation of the testing.

Meanwhile, an interview with Endicott indicates that Adrian Gross was right: the pathologists couldn't--and didn't--carry out a comprehensive review. As former FDA Commissioner Alexander Schmidt put it in a recent interview, UAREP looked at the slides to determine whether they had been misrepresented, but didn't look at the conduct of the experiments in depth. The 1975 [FDA] task force investigation looked at the conduct of the experiments in depth, but did not look at the slides. . . . Endicott agreed . "We could only look at what was there--the tissues."

In 1977, Donald Rumsfeld, who was a former member of the U.S. Congress and the Chief of Staff in the Gerald Ford Administration, was hired as G.D. Searle's President and CEO. Attorney James Turner, Esq. alleged that G.D. Searle hired Rumsfeld to handle the aspartame approval difficulties as a "legal problem rather than a scientific problem."

Rumsfeld immediately hired John Robson as Executive Vice President. He was a former lawyer with Sidley and Austin, Searle's Law Firm and also served as chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, which was then connected to the Department of Transportation. Rumsfeld also hired Robert Shapiro as General Counsel. He is now head of Searle's NutraSweet Division. He had been Robson's Special Assistant at the Department of Transportation. Rumsfeld then hired William Greener, Jr., as Chief Spokesman. He was a former spokesman in the Gerald Ford White House.

Donald Rumsfeld at the time was on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Tribune which shortly after Rumseld became CEO of Searle wrote a glowing article about the NutraSweet Company.

On January 10, 1977, FDA Chief Counsel Richard Merrill recommended to U.S. Attorney Sam Skinner in a 33-page letter detailing violations of the law that a grand jury be set up to investigate G.D. Searle. In the letter, Merrill stated, "We request that your office convene a Grand Jury investigation into apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 331(e), and the False Reports to the Government Act, 18 U.S.C. 1001, by G.D. Searle and Company and three of its responsible officers for their willful and knowing failure to make reports to the Food and Drug Administration required by the Act, 21 U.S.C. 355(I), and for concealing material facts and making false statements in reports of animal studies conducted to establish the safety of the drug Aldactone and the food additive Aspartame."

All of the G.D. Searle studies were abysmal as discussed earlier. However, there were two studies where the violations of the law appeared to be especially flagrant. The two studies cited by Merrill were the 52-week toxicity study on infant monkeys performed by Dr. Waisman, in which G.D. Searle withheld key information from the FDA and the 46-week toxicity study of hamsters, where G.D. Searle had taken blood from healthy animals at the 26th week and claimed that the tests had actually been performed at the 38th week. Many of the animals from which G.D. Searle claimed had blood drawn from were actually dead at the 38th week.

On January 26, 1977, G.D. Searle's law firm, Sidley & Austin, requests a meeting with U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner, before a grand jury is convened. One representative of Sidley & Austin at that meeting was Newton Minow who was at the time on the Board of Directors at the Chicago Tribune.

On March 8, 1977, in a confidential memo to aides, while he was supposed to be pushing for fraud indictments against G.D. Searle and Rumsfeld. However, U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner began preliminary employment discussions with G.D. Searle's law firm Sidley & Austin. Conflict of interest?

On April 13, 1977, a U.S. Justice Department memo urged U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner to proceed with grand jury investigations of G.D. Searle. The memo points out that the Statute of limitations on prosecution would run out shortly, (October 10, 1977 for the Waisman monkey study and December 8, 1977 for the hamster study).

On July 1, 1977, U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner left his job to work for the G.D. Searle law firm Sidley & Austin. Thomas Sullivan was appointed as Samuel Skinner's successor. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Conlon convened a grand jury, but he let the Statute of Limitations run out on the aspartame charges.

Fifteen months later, Conlon accepted a job with the law firm representing G.D. Searle, Sidley & Austin.

Robert McConnell was the Director of G.D. Searle's Department of Pathology and Toxicology which oversaw most of the aspartame research. Mr. McConnell was named in Richard Merrill's letter to U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner. According to McConnell's attorney, his client was awarded a $15,000 bonus and asked to take a 3-year sabbatical (for which he received $60,000/year) because he was a "political liability."

Philip Brodsky, the Lead Investigator for the orginal FDA Task Force looking into G.D. Searle’s studies retired. He stated that his reason for retiring was the disclosure of the 1975 FDA Task Force findings before the U.S. Congress, Senator Ted Kennedy hearings in 1976 ) had become "politicized." As Gregory Gordon put it in the UPI Investigative article,"He said the main witnesses, Searle executives and top FDA officials uninvolved in the investigation gave 'the wrong answers to the wrong questions. They didn't even let the experts answer the questions."

In August 1977, the Bressler Report pertaining to three key aspartame studies, E5, E77/78 and E89, was released. Some of the findings from the three studies reviewed by the Bressler led FDA Task Force included the following:

1:) In one study, 98 of the 196 animals died but were not autopsied until as much as one year later. Because of the delay, much of the animal tissue could not be used and at least 20 animals had to be excluded from postmortem examinations.

2:) The original pathology sheets and the pathology sheets submitted to the FDA showed differences for 30 animals.

3:) One animal was reported alive at week 88, dead from week 92 through week 104, alive at week 108, and finally dead at week 112.

4:) An outbreak of an infectious disease was not reported to the FDA.

5:) Tissue from some animals was noted to be unavailable for analysis on the pathology sheets. Yet results from an analysis of this "unavailable" tissue was submitted to the FDA.

6:) There was evidence that the diet mix was not homogeneous allowing the animals to eat around the test substance. This evidence included a picture and statements by a lab technician.

7:) Fifteen fetuses from animals in one experiment were missing.

8:) Sections from the animals were too thick for examination.

9:) There was no documentation on the age or source of the test animals.

10:) There was no protocol until one of the studies was well underway.

11:) Animals were not permanently tagged to prevent mixups.

12:) Some laboratory methods were changed during the study, but not documented.

The Senior Scientist of the FDA Bureau of Foods Task Force, Jacqueline Verrett had left the FDA when she openly discussed the Task Force with UPI Investigative Reporter, Gregory Gordon.

Jacqueline Verrett, the senior scientist on the review team, said members were barred from stating opinions about the research quality. "It seemed pretty obvious that somewhere along that line they (bureau officials) were working up to a whitewash,'" she said. "I seriously thought of just walking off of that task force." Verrett, now a private consultant, said that she and other members wanted to "just come out and say that this whole experiment was a disaster and should be disregarded."

In her testimony before the U.S. Senate, Dr. Verrett stated the following:

"This authentication was hence intended to verify that the submitted data had not been altered; that it reflected the actual outcome of the study, and that it did not change substantially, particularly in a statistical sense, the various parameters from which the conclusion of safety had been derived."

"Our analysis of the data in this manner revealed that in these three studies, there were really no substantial changes that resulted, although in numerous instances, a definitive answer could not be arrived at because of the basic inadequacies and improper procedures used in the execution of these studies."

"I would like to emphasize the point that we were specifically instructed not to be concerned with, or to comment upon, the overall validity of the study. This was to be done in a subsequent review, carried out at a higher level. It would appear that the safety of aspartame and its breakdown products has still not been satisfactorily determined, since many of the flaws cited in these three studies were also present in all of the other studies submitted by Searle. Well, they told us in no uncertain terms that we were not to comment on the validity of it. And I hoped, although having been there at that point for 19 years, I should have known better, that there really would be an objective evaluation of this beyond the evaluation that we did."

"I do not feel that was done, based on what I have read in the GAO report that I have looked at and so forth. They definitely did not objectively evaluate these studies, and I really think it should have been thrown out from day one."

"We were looking at a lot of little details and easy parameters in this study, when the foundation of the study, the diet and all of these other things, were worthless. We were talking about the jockey when we should have been talking about the horse, that he had weak legs. It is built on a foundation of sand."

In March of 1979, the FDA somehow concluded that G.D. Searle's aspartame studies could be accepted. They decided to convene the Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) which was agreed to by Dr. John Olney and Attorney James Turner more than four years earlier

In April of 1979, the FDA outlined the specific questions which were to be addressed by the PBOI. The FDA limited the scope of the PBOI to the following areas:

a. Whether the ingestion of aspartame either alone or together with glutamate poses a risk of contributing to mental retardation, brain damage, or undesirable effects on neuroendocrine regulatory systems.

b. Whether the ingestion of aspartame may induce brain neoplasms (tumors) in the rat.

c. Based on answer to the above questions.

e. Should aspartame be allowed for use in foods, or, instead should approval of aspartame be withdrawn?

f. If aspartame is allowed for use in foods, i.e., if its approval is not withdrawn, what conditions of use and labeling and label statements should be required, if any?

In June of 1979, the acting FDA Commissioner, Sherwin Gardner selected the 3-person Public Board of Inquiry. The panelists were Peter J. Lampert, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology, University of California (San Diego), Vernon R. Young, Ph.D., University of Nutritional Biochemistry, M.I.T., and Walle Nauta, M.D., Ph.D., Institute Professor, Department of Psychology and Brain Science, M.I.T.

Dr. John Olney strongly objected to the Commissioner's selection of one of the panelists, Dr. Vernon Young, on grounds of conflict of interest and lack of qualifications .

Dr. Young had written non-aspartame related articles in collaboration with G.D. Searle scientists. In addition, Dr. Olney stated that the question of aspartic acid's neurotoxicity should be looked at by a neuropathologist and that Dr. Young was unqualified since his field was Nutrition and Metabolism. Dr. Olney's objections were overruled by acting FDA Commissioner Sherwin Gardner and the panelists who he objected to was assigned to study the issue of aspartic acid toxicity.

One of the PBOI members, Dr. Walle Nauta stated, "It was a shocking story we were told [about Searle's animal testing] but, there was no way we could go after it. We had absolutely no way of knowing who was right. We had to take the FDA's word."

On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan took office as U.S. President, G.D. Searle reapplied for the approval of aspartame. G.D. Searle submitted several new studies along with their application. It was believed that Reagan would certainly replace Jere Goyan, the FDA Comissioner. G.D. Searle President & CEO, Donald Rumsfeld's connections to the Republican party were also thought to play a part in Searle's decision to reapply for aspartame's approval on the day after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.

However, Rumsfeld politics soon entered the picture.

According to a former G.D. Searle salesperson, Patty Wood-Allott, G.D. Searle president, Donald Rumsfeld told his salesforce that, if necessary, "he would call in all his markers and that no matter what, he would see to it that aspartame would be approved that year."

In a new documentary produced by Sound and Fury Productions, consumer Attorney Jim Turner provides a candid report of his exchange with Donald Rumsfeld. Turner had been a part of Reagan's transition team when the FDA's board of inquiry was overrulled on aspartame. What followed was a single-minded force of politics over science.

Meanwhile, FDA scientists, Dr. Phillip Brodsky, Dr. Adrian Gross, and Dr. Jerome Bressler were gravely concerned over specific problems linking aspartame with brain tumors, brain lesions, and overall brain chemistry. Another concerned neuroscientist, Dr. John Olney, a pioneer in the study of excitoxins, studied aspartame extensively and expressed his grave concern of the serious negative health effects on the human body of aspartame consumption.

But the concerns of these top scientists were of no concern to Rumsfeld. At some point during the negotiations, Jim Turner describes the ultimate decision by Rumsfeld. Turner stated Rumsfeld decided to solve this problem as a political problem....not as a scientific problem.

These video clips where Turner talks about this can be viewed at Sound and Fury's website:
There is one for Windows Media and one for QuickTime.
Windows Media
QuickTime Media

On October 15, 1982, G.D. Searle petitioned the FDA for approval to use aspartame in soft drinks and children's vitamins.

On October 1, 1982 an amendment was attached to the Orphan Drug Act, an act which encourages the development of drugs for rare diseases, modified the U.S. Patent law. The amendment extended the patent on only one product -- aspartame -- by 5 years, 10 months and 17 days. The amendment did not mention aspartame or G.D. Searle by name and there was no debate or discussion on the amendment.

The amendment was proposed by Senator Howell Heflin, brought up for a vote by Senator Robert Byrd, and pushed through by Representative Henry Waxman and Orrin Hatch. G.D. Searle asked Senator Heflin to sponsor the amendment. Heflin received $9,000 in campaign donations from G.D. Searle company executives and their wives, shortly after this amendment was approved. Senator Byrd received a $1,000 campaign contribution from the CEO of G.D. Searle before the amendment was proposed. Representative Waxman received a $1,500 campaign contribution from the soft drink political action committee, including $500 before the amendment was proposed. Senator Hatch received $2,500 from the soft drink political action committee prior to his re-election and $1,000 each from Daniel Searle, Wesley Dixon (Daniel Searle's brother-in-law), and William Searle. Senator Hatch has repeatedly blocked hearings looking into the safety of aspartame.

In 1984, the State of Arizona DHS completed studies showing that aspartame in carbonated beverages can break down into free methanol and other things in 99°F temperatures.

On August 1, 1985, Senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio introduced a bill entitled "Aspartame Safety Act of 1985" which required quantity labeling of aspartame on food items and mandated that there be a moratorium on new uses of aspartame until independent tests could be conducted under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (Metzenbaum 1985). Testimony was submitted for the record. The bill was submitted to a Senate committee, where it died.

After suffering a $28 million dollar loss in the previous year, selling off 30 subsidiaries, and having suits filed by 780 women, claiming that G.D. Searle's intrauterine device caused them pelvic inflammatory disease, G.D. Searle sold out to the chemical company, Monsanto. Monsanto then created the NutraSweet Company as a subsidiary separate from G.D. Searle.

The United Press reported on October 12, 1987 that more than 10 federal officials involved in the NutraSweet decision took jobs in the private sector which were linked to the aspartame industry.

In 1991, NutraSweet joined with its long-time partner, Ajinomoto Co. Inc. of Japan to begin building an aspartame manufacturing plant in Gravelines, France .

In 1992, NutraSweet signed agreements with the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. "stipulating The NutraSweet Company as their preferred supplier of aspartame.

The patent for aspartame expired on December 14, 1992 opening up the market to other companies such as Holland Sweetener Company.

In mid-1993, NutraSweet and long-time partner, Ajinomoto Co. of Japan began producing aspartame from the new production facility in Gravelines, France. NutraSweet also began a joint venture with Nestle Mexico to bring aspartame to Mexico also. NutraSweet also introduced tabletop aspartame products to Mexico, Hungary, Uganda, Ecuador, Romania, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

In 1995, NutraSweet announced plans to market aspartame tabletop sweeteners throughout Southeast Asia. They also introduced aspartame to India and to test market an aspartame tabletop sweetener in China during 1995.

On May 13, 1998, the University of Barcelona produced, in final form, its study clearly showing that Aspartame, labeled with a carbon-14 isotope, was transformed into formaldehyde in the bodies of the living specimens, and that when they were examined later, the radioactive-tagged formaldehyde had spread throughout the vital organs of their bodies.

The chemical breakdown of Aspartame in the human body is described as follows: Methanol, from Aspartame, is released in the small intestine when the methyl group of Aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin. Free methanol begins to form in liquid Aspartame-containing products at temperatures above 86°F.

The methanol is converted to formaldehyde. The formaldehyde converts to formic acid (ant sting poison). Formic acid is toxic and is used as an activator to strip epoxy and urethane coatings. Phenylalanine and aspartic acid (90% of Aspartame) are amino acids normally used in synthesis of protoplasm when supplied by the foods eaten by humans. However, when unaccompanied by other amino acids, they are neurotoxic.

The FDA has established at least 92 medical/health problems have symptoms associated with Aspartame and include, but are not limited to--abdominal pain, anxiety attacks, Arthritis, Asthma and asthmatic reactions, bloating, edema (fluid retention), blood sugar control problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia), brain cancer (pre-approval studies in animals), breathing difficulties, burning eyes or throat, burning urination, chest pains, chronic cough, chronic fatigue, confusion, death, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, excessive thirst or hunger, flushing of face, hair loss (baldness) or thinning of hair, headaches/migraines dizziness, hearing loss, heart palpitations, hives (urticaria), hypertension (high blood pressure), impotency and sexual problems, insomnia, irritability, joint pains, laryngitis, marked personality changes, memory loss, menstrual problems or changes, migraines and severe headaches (triggered or caused from chronic intake), muscle spasms, nausea or vomiting, seizures and convulsions, slurring of speech, swallowing pain, tachycardia, tremors, tinnitus, vertigo, vision loss, and/or weight gain.

Aspartame disease mimics symptoms or worsens the following diseases;

Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's Disease, Lupus, Diabetes and diabetic complications, Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease, birth defects, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lymphoma, Lyme Disease, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

Recent studies support the FDA listing. These studies include but are not limited to :

– Smith, J.D., C.M. Terpening, S. Schmidt, J. Gums, 2001. "Relief of Fibromyalgia Symptoms Following Descontinuation of Dietary, Excitotoxins," Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Volume 35, pages 702-706, 2001.

– Konen, J.A., T.L. Sia, M. Czuchry, P.M. Stuntz, G.S. Bahr, T.M. Barth., D.F. Dansereau, 2000. "Perceived Memory Impairment in Aspartame Users,"Presented at the Society for Neuroscience 30th Annual Meeting, November 6, 2000.

– Kovatsi, L., M. Tsouggas, 2001. "The effect of oral aspartame administration on the balance of magnesium in the rat," Magnesium Research, Volume 14, Number 3, pages, 189-194.

– Newman, L.C., R.B. Lipton, 2001. "Migraine MLT-down: an unusual presentation of migraine in patients with aspartame-triggered headaches," Headache, Volume 41, Number 9, pages 899-901,

– Hill, A.M., D.V. Belsito, 2003. "Systemic contact dermatitis of the eyelids by formaldehyde derived from aspartame?" Contact Dermatitis, Volume 49, Number 5, pages 258-259.

– Christian, B., K. McConnaughey, et al., 2004. "Chronic aspartame affects maze performance, brain cholinergic receptors and Na+, K+-ATPase in rats," Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, Volume 78, Number 1, pages 121-127.

On or about September 8, 2004 an affidavit was signed describing the initial third world studies and the health hazards of aspartame. These studies conducted in 1983/84 by the J.D. Searle Company were translated to English from Spanish by a translator in 1984. The "double blind" studies showed conclusive evidence that aspartame caused severe health problems and even death to the exposed study group. According to the Affidavit, the doctor directing the studies has been missing since the approval of aspartame in1984. The affidavit also describes how the affiant was directed by J.D. Searle officials to destroy all records of the studies - including filed notes and/or translations - possessed by the affiant. The affiant describes in detail how the translations were forwarded upon completion to J.D. Searle corporate offices in Illinois.

The bottom line is that there are studies that were destroyed, "hidden" from the public and health investigators. This is the same thing the tobacco industry did in the 1960's regarding nicotine and the over 1,000 chemicals in cigarettes.

Before I close, if you are new to my site or have not read my column on the dangers of aspartame, otherwise known as Equal or Nutrasweet, I strongly urge you to.

Sweetness Disguised as Disease or Death?
Also Known As Equal®, Nutrasweet® and Spoonful®
concerning this deadly chemical sweetner,
I urge you to and become involved in spreading the word to your family and friends.

A new documentary by producer, Cory Brackett has been released. The AWARD WINNING documentary: SWEET MISERY: A POISONED WORLD was produced by Bracket and her husband, J.T. Brackett, co-owner of Sound and Fury Productions.

In this amazing documentary, you will learn about a woman, Diane Fleming who was unjustly convicted of murdering her husband when he actually died from aspartame poisoning.

Make sure you also visit these other sites for more information concerning aspartame, MSG.
World Natural Health Organization

If you have not read my column on global warming, which is part 3 of the real issues for the 2004 election, I suggest you do. You will learn the facts concerning global warming and how something must be done now to prevent a disaster that is waiting worldwide. Part 3 - Global Warming and Other Issues.

Make sure you get out and VOTE this year!

~ David Lawrence Dewey ~

In the United States medical diagnosis and treatment is constrained by law to be the exclusive purview of state licensed practitioners. The diseases discussed on this site are serious, sometimes life threatening matters. Neither the content nor the intent of this column may or should be construed as the giving of medical advice or as recommending any treatment of any kind. The purpose of this column is to support informed discussions, to provide medical research links and and to help the patient identify the doctors who keep up with advances in their field.
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