Two new studies have linked drinking diet soda to poorer health compared with those who don’t drink the beverage.
In the first study, people who drank two or more diet sodas a day experienced an increase in waist size six times greater than those of people who didn’t drink diet soda. The study, called the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging, followed 474 participants for nearly 10 years. Researchers found that soda drinkers, as a group, experienced 70% greater increases in waist circumference compared with those who do not drink diet soda.
The second study involved feeding aspartame to diabetes-prone mice. One group ate chow with corn oil and aspartame; the control group had chow with corn oil. After three months, the mice that ate aspartame showed elevated blood sugar levels, suggesting that exposure to large amounts of aspartame may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes in humans.
What’s sad about this is that it isn’t new — and yet, the FDA still allows aspartame to be used in hundreds of products, not just diet sodas. When aspartame is absorbed, it passes immediately to the liver where it is broken down into its toxic components – phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. Toxicity in the liver decreases its ability to break down of fat, increasing weight throughout the body.
Every physician probably encounters aspartame disease in practice, especially among patients with illnesses that are undiagnosed or difficult to treat. This applies to ALL fields of medicine and public health. A partial list of reactions include headache, dizziness, depression, convulsions (seizures), impaired vision, complications to diabetes, hypoglycemia, MSG sensitivity, chronic fatigue, eating disorders, and a long list of neurological symptoms. Conditions that may be related to aspartame can be misdiagnosed as inflammatory arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and even Alzheimer’s disease.
In my book, “FOWL“, about bird flu, Tamiflu and the scam of the flu shot, I discussed aspartame at length. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
The aspartame story can be traced back to Donald Rumsfeld prior to becoming a politician. Throughout his career, Rumsfeld was been known as a highly ambitious, tough operator with a reputation for ferociously pursuing what he wanted. An article in the Chicago Magazinedescribes his assent. Although he had next to no experience in private business, what he brought to the table for Searle were government ties and an insider’s grasp of the workings in Washington. All of these attributes were exactly what Searle needed.
Since 1965, Searle had been attempting to bring aspartame to market. Originally developed as a drug for gastric ulcers, the research scientist who was working with the compound had inadvertently tasted it and found it to be extraordinarily sweet. On further testing, the sweetness was 180 times greater than the taste of sugar. Searle immediately shifted the focus from developing a limited-use pharmaceutical product to a “calorie-free” additive that could be used in thousands of products and purchased by billions of repeat customers worldwide.
However, despite spending millions on research and drug applications, the FDA refused to approve aspartame for use. From the beginning, the approval process had been fraught with problems ranging from rejections due to inconsistent safety studies to grand jury probes into fabricated data. Consumer groups had filed legal proceedings to stop its use due to serious concerns; studies had demonstrated that aspartame caused brain cancers in experimental animals. Prior to Rumsfeld’s arrival at Searle in 1977, there didn’t seem to be much hope for getting this potential blockbuster approved.
However, things began to look up with the return of the Republican Party to the White House. When Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as the fortieth president on January 21, 1981, Rumsfeld was poised to move the approval of aspartame through to completion. He was so confident in his party connections that, according to former G.D. Searle salesperson, Patty Wood-Allott, he told his sales force “he would call in all his markers” and no matter what, he would see to it that aspartame would be approved during that year. Politics would supersede safety since reports from aspartame research showed disastrous consequences on the health of nearly all animals tested.
Four days after Reagan’s inauguration, previous FDA commissioner, Jere E. Goyan, was replaced by professor and defense department contract researcher, Dr. Arthur Hayes. No clear reason can be found in the public record why he was selected over other candidates but it was rumored he was “hand-picked” due to his close ties with Rumsfeld during his previous tenure as the Secretary of Defense.
Despite all information to the contrary regarding aspartame’s supposed “safety,” Hayes over-ruled the Public Board of Inquiry, disregarded scientific warnings, and ignored several laws of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, and in July 1981 approved aspartame for use in dry foods. Just as Rumsfeld had predicted, the approval had been completed within the year. Several years later (1983), the chemical was approved for use in consumer soft drinks. Today, aspartame is found in more than 5,000 products under the brand names Equal® and NutraSweet®.
Attorney and consumer-advocate James Turner, who fought the aspartame approval process for years, commented that for Hayes to arrive so quickly to the conclusion that aspartame was safe, he had “firewalked a path through a mass of scientific mismanagement, improper procedures, wrong conclusions, and general scientific inexactness,” meaning he had been given marching orders which he carried perfectly to completion, turning a blind-eye to both scientific evidence and laws.
Shortly after the additive was approved, Commissioner Hayes was forced to leave the FDA after being investigated for accepting a bribe from General Foods, a major user of aspartame. As with many top bureaucrats, even criminal investigations rarely leave them unemployed for long. Dr, Hayes became Dean of New York Medical College and was hired by Burson-Marsteller, Searle’s public relations firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet’s major users), as senior scientific consultant and medical advisor.
The rewards for those involved with the approval process for aspartame were huge. In 1985, Searle was purchased by Monsanto and lawyer Robert Shapiro, who navigated the name change from aspartame to NutraSweet, was named President of Monsanto. After the sale was finalized, Rumsfeld reportedly received a $12 million bonus. The full story was detailed by attorney, Jim Turner here.
The complete story of aspartame is far beyond the scope of this text but a fe w points deserve to be highlighted. In 1992, FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler approved its use in heated food, such as baked goods, despite research that shows heated aspartame is converted to formaldehyde. Four years later it was approved for use in all foods. After the completing the approval process, Kessler resigned from the FDA to take a position as Dean of the Yale School of Medicine.
This story demonstrates how deeply politics, big business, and medical education are connected with little regard to the health of humanity.