(NaturalNews) The laws governing the sale of drugs and food additives require substances be safe for human consumption. The artificial sweetener aspartame primarily consumed in beverages and as a popular sugar substitute has consistently been found to cause tumors and brain seizures in animal subjects. In 2005, a European Cancer Research Center, the Ramazzini Foundation, called for an urgent re-examination of aspartame in food and beverages to protect children. This call is made in the face of the US FDA stand that aspartame is safe for human consumption on the ground that “aspartame as a carcinogen is not supported by data.”
Aspartame: A brief history
As early as 1960 aspartame was determined to be a dangerous chemical and the emerging research years later only served to affirm the true nature of this artificial sweetener. Over the years, aspartame has been found to create holes in brain tissue, adversely affect the brain and nerve development in the fetus, cause cancer, migraines, headaches, seizures, convulsions and even retinal damage. With this amount of negative findings, aspartame should have been removed from the market years ago!
Ironically, aspartame was indeed removed from the market after it was already approved for limited use based on tests selected by Searle, the company who originally produced the artificial sweetener. This was after Dr. John Olney, a research psychiatrist from Washington School of Medicine, revealed that consumption of aspartic acid, a major ingredient in aspartame, produced holes in the brains of animal subjects.
After two task forces that found questionable laboratory practices as well as findings, the FDA ordered a grand jury investigation of aspartame studies, but lawyers for the government failed to initiate a legal action against Searle. Time ran out, and the grand jury investigation had to be terminated. Of interest to note was that one of the lawyers for the government, U.S. attorney William Conlon, later joined the law firm representing Searle.
Unfazed by this setback, the FDA this time recommended a Public Board Inquiry which recommended that aspartame be kept off the market until further tests could prove that it did not cause tumors. This led to a formation of another team of experts brought together to look into the Public Board of Inquiry’s conclusions. This team found itself in a deadlock over aspartame approval, causing the FDA Commissioner not to approve aspartame this time.
In April 1981, Dr. Arthur Hayes was appointed the new Commissioner for the FDA and he later approved aspartame for use in dry goods. In 1983, he also approved aspartame for use in diet drinks, conveniently leaving months later to work for Searle’s advertising agency.
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