Soaring Spirit with Tears


Boycott Aspartame

What is Aspartame?

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener produced by GD Searle, a subsidiary of Monsanto. It is sold under many names, most notably NutraSweet and Equal.

It is a chemical byproduct that, depending on potency tastes 100-400 sweeter than sugar. While attempting to develop an ulcer drug, something that would inhibit the secretion of gastrin, aspartame was "discovered." The research was performed in the mid-60s and experiments on primates were carried out in 1971. Of the seven baby monkeys in the study, one died and five had grand mal seizures. These facts were concealed when Searle submitted its application to the FDA, a pattern that was found to be consistent in 150 Searle studies. Independent studies on mice showed that holes were formed in the brain when consuming aspartic acid. By the mid-70s, aspartame was linked to cancer.

How Dangerous is Aspartame?

Although Monsanto denies the chemical's toxicity, 80-85% of consumers complaints to the FDA about food pertain to aspartame. Symptoms vary enormously: muscle and joint pain, menstrual cramps, ringing in ears, vertigo, nausea, insomnia, severe headaches, blurred vision and slurred speech, memory loss, blindness, mild to seriously suicidal depression, and seizures.

Technically, aspartame is what is known as an "excitotoxin," a drug that stimulates the nervous system and causes such serious damage to the brain that it has been linked to Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's, two scourges of modern times. Russell Blaylock, MD, board-certified neurosurgeon and author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills has linked aspartame to brain tumors and neurological degeneration of epidemic proportions.

How Bad is the Government Collusion?

Failure to act appropriately on seriously damaging information has been a pattern with Searle and the FDA and courts where the game of musical chairs is as dizzying as the side effects of the sweetener.

Aspartame was approved by the FDA in 1974. Approval was subsequently withdrawn when the brain tumor issue came to light. By 1977, the FDA had a 15,000 page report on aspartame, easily the most studied substance in the food industry. Its conclusion was that:

We have uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle's integrity...

The tumors were surgically removed from the test animals, not reported, and even the animals were variously stated to be both dead and alive. It's hard not to be facetious when former CEO of Searle, now Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, states at a press briefing that Osama bin Laden may be dead or he may be alive; he may be in Afghanistan or he may have fled. Rumsfeld was head of Searle at the time in question and has, like other players in this roulette with human lives, been in and out of government.

A task force was appointed to investigate aspartame. Senator Edward Kennedy said that "the extensive nature of the almost unbelievable range of abuses discovered by the FDA on several major Searle products is profoundly disturbing."

In 1977, Senior Assistant U.S. Attorney, William Conlon was assigned to the Searle case. He took no action, despite repeated prodding by Richard Merrill, Chief Counsel to the FDA. One year later, Conlon took a position with Sidley and Austin, the law firm representing Searle.

There's a lot more, but try to follow the drift. In 1983, two months before leaving office, the Commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. approved NutraSweet for soft drinks and later for use in dry foods. A few months later, he accepted a position as Senior Medical Advisor to Searle's public relations firm, Burson Marsteller. He was paid $1,000 per day as consultant.

The truth is the same set of characters keeps appearing in the administration of Bush Sr. and now Bush Jr. It includes attorneys, such as Clarence Thomas, and people who have been on the payroll of Searle and/or Monsanto as well as in the FDA and other key government positions.


In California last week, lawsuits were filed in three separate courts against 12 companies that manufacture or use the chemical sweetener aspartame. The suits seek to hold food giants such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and The Nutrasweet Company legally accountable for knowingly poisoning consumers with this neurotoxic food additive.

The lawsuits, filed on April 7, 2004, allege that the 12 food companies named in the suit committed fraud and breach of warranty by marketing thousands of products to consumers containing aspartame, while being fully aware of the dangerous health effects. The plaintiffs in the suits have asked for an injunction to stop these companies from producing, manufacturing, processing, selling or using aspartame.

See also:

Stevia and its Battle with Aspartame


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Poulsbo, Washington