View Full Version : unsafe aspartame must be banned, Roger Williams, MP in UK Parliament, The Guardian

12-22-2005, 01:09 AM
unsafe aspartame must be banned, Roger Williams,
MP in UK Parliament, Felicity Lawrence, The Guardian:
Murray 2005.12.15


Safety of artificial sweetener called into question by MP:
Examples cited in the Commons of the 6,000 products with aspartame

Felicity Lawrence, consumer affairs correspondent
Thursday December 15, 2005 The Guardian

In 1977 Donald Rumsfeld, now George Bush's defence secretary
but then chief executive of the pharmaceutical company GD Searle,
publicly stated that he would
"call in his markers" to win a licence for aspartame,
the sweetener that had been discovered by chance in Searle's
laboratories, according to Roger Williams in the Commons yesterday.

Mr Williams, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire,
said in an adjournment debate that there was much controversy
about aspartame's safety at the time but
"Rumsfeld appears to have honoured his pledge".
In fact, "the history of the approval of aspartame
puts public health regulators and politicians to shame".

The sweetener is now used in 6,000 products,
from crisps such as Walkers prawn cocktail,
to soft drinks including Diet Coke and Robinson's fruit squash,
chewing gums such as Orbit, and vitamins pills and medicines.

Yet the science on which it was given approval was
"biased, inconclusive, and incompetent".

"There is compelling and reliable evidence for this
carcinogenic substance to be banned
from the UK food and drinks market."

On the day of his inauguration as president in 1981,
with Mr Rumsfeld on his transition team,
Ronald Reagan personally wrote an executive order
suspending the head of the US Food and Drug Administration's
powers on aspartame, Mr Williams further claimed.

One month later Mr Reagan appointed a new head
of the regulatory authority, Arthur Hayes,
who granted a licence for the sweetener. [ in July, 1981]

"The history of aspartame's approval is littered with examples
showing that if key decision makers found against aspartame's safety,
they were discredited or replaced by industry sympathisers,
who were recompensed with lucrative jobs."

The MP said he was using his parliamentary privilege to highlight
"the strong scientific evidence" that the components of aspartame
and their metabolites can cause very serious toxic effects on humans,
and that long-term aspartame use can cause cancer.

Searle had originally submitted a host of studies to the FDA in 1970s
in the hope of getting aspartame approved.

But when flaws were revealed in the science behind another Searle
product, Flagyl, the FDA set up a taskforce to investigate 15
of the key studies submitted by Searle on aspartame.

Dr Jerome Bressler was commissioned by the FDA
to investigate three of these studies.
He had found 52 major discrepancies in Searle's clinical conduct
of the studies, Mr Williams told the Commons.

Tumours contracted by rats were removed before dissection
but not reported; one record shows an animal in the experiment
was alive, then dead, then alive again, then dead again.

MPs were told that because it lacked funds, the FDA submitted
12 other studies to be analysed by a research body that was under
contract to Searle at the time. It declared all 12 studies authentic.

Doubts about aspartame among FDA scientists were overruled
by the FDA's administration and it was given approval.

Many other countries soon followed suit and approved aspartame
on the basis of the same flawed studies, Mr Williams said.

In 1996 a review of aspartame research found that
every single industry-funded study found aspartame safe.
But 92% of independent studies identified one or more
problems with its safety.

Mr Williams outlined to MPs the evidence that the breakdown
products of aspartame include suspected carcinogens and
toxic molecules that damage nerve cells.

But the final nail in the coffin for the sweetener, he said,
was a new, "monumental" peer-reviewed study, that should have
"set alarm bells ringing in health departments around the world".

This vast study, conducted by the Italian-based European
Ramazzini Foundation, demonstrated that aspartame caused
a significant increase in lymphomas and leukaemias,
malignant tumours of the kidneys in female rats and
malignant tumours of peripheral and cranial nerves in male rats.

These tumours occurred at doses that were well below
the acceptable daily intake recommended
by the regulatory authorities in the EU and US.

The public health minister, Caroline Flint,
responding for the government,
said it took the issue very seriously
and would look at any new evidence.

But she added that the use of food additives
was very strictly controlled at EU level.
The safety of aspartame had been very extensively reviewed
many times and the current advice remained
that it does not cause cancer and is safe.

Artificial sweeteners help in the control of obesity, she said.
Acceptable daily intakes were set at a very conservative level.
Moreover, the UK's expert committee on toxicity had reviewed
the initial data from the Ramazzini Foundation and had not been
convinced by its interpretations,
but the European Food Safety Authority
would conduct a review when it had the full data.

The trade associations for confectionery, snack, soft drink
and pill manufacturers and the sweetener industry's
Aspartame Information Service said aspartame had been used safely
for many years and evidence for its safety had been reviewed
and approved many times by regulators around the world,
including by the WHO, the FDA,
the UN expert committee on food additives
and the EU scientific committee for food.

They pointed out that the European Food Safety Authority
has said that "based on current evidence,
it does not recommend that consumers who wish to choose foods
containing aspartame make any changes to their dietary habits".

The compound Aspartame breaks down into three components --
a methyl ester and two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid,
according to Roger Williams during the parliamentary debate.

The sweetener industry repeatedly pointed out that these compounds
occur naturally in food and drink,
yet that statement hid the complex science that makes each one
harmful to humans when found in aspartame, he added.

In food, phenylalanine and aspartic acid are bound to other amino acids
in long, complex chains of proteins so that they are not absorbed
in a way that could cause damage.

But in aspartame they are not,
and enzymes in the gut can easily split them apart.

Once phenylalanine is released in its free form,
it is metabolised into diketopiperazine, a suspected carcinogen.

Aspartic acid in its free form becomes an excitotoxin,
a toxic molecule that stimulates nerve cells
to the point of damage or death.

The third component of aspartame, methyl ester,
was the most harmful, Mr Williams said.
It is metabolised by the body into methanol, a well-known poison.

In the US, the environmental protection agency
defines safe consumption of methanol as no more than 7.8 mg a day.

Anyone drinking three cans of a drink sweetened with aspartame a day
was consuming about 56 mg of methanol, the MP said.

The public health minister, Caroline Flint,
responded by saying that studies had shown methanol levels
were not increased by the ingestion of aspartame.

What do you think?
Email your comments for publication to
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Mr Roger Williams LD, Member of Parliament for Brecon & Radnorshire, Wales
region: Liberal Democratic Whip
http://www.locata.co.uk/commons/mail.asp?cons_id=533 to email
http://www.rogerwilliams.org.uk/ website [photo]
Member Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2005

Ms Caroline Flint, Public Health Minister [photo] 2005

http://www.carolineflint.co.uk/don-valley/don-valley-voice.htm website

Constituency Office Caroline Flint MP, Room 15,
115 St Sepulchre Gate West,
Doncaster DN1 3AH. Phone 01302 366778 Fax 01302 328833
flintc@parliament.uk House of Commons 020 7219 4407

Caroline Flint MP, for Don Valley, Doncaster coal area: Labour party
Title: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health

Responsibilities include Public Health White Paper implementation; health
inequalities; drugs; tobacco; alcohol; physical activity; diet and
nutrition; communicable diseases; sexual health; Human Fertilisation and
Embryology Authority (HFEA); Food Standards Agency (FSA); fluoridation;
sustainable development. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public
Health also supports the Minister of State for Health Services on
international business, cancer and cardiac services.

Caroline Flint MP is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public
Health at the Department of Health, including health improvement and health
protection. dhmail@dh.gsi.gov.uk 0207 210 4850
Previously, she was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home
Office from June 2003 to May 2005, responsible for reducing organised and
international crime, anti-drugs co-ordination and international and European
Prior to becoming a Minister in June 2003, Caroline was Chair of the All
Party Childcare Group, which she founded;
and was a member of the House of Commons Administration Committee and is a
keen advocate of modernisation of parliament.
She served on the Education & Employment Select Committee from 1997-1999.
In 2003, she joined the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, completing 29
days of work with the army.
As part of the scheme, she visited Iraq in June 2003, to see the security
and reconstruction work of HM Armed Forces.
A dedicated constituency MP, Caroline has represented Don Valley since 1997.
Caroline is a former local government officer and, prior to becoming an MP,
Caroline was the senior researcher and political officer for the GMB union.
She is a GMB member.
She was educated at Twickenham Girls' School, Richmond Tertiary College and
University of East Anglia.
Caroline is married with three children. She enjoys going to the cinema and
spending time with family and friends.
************************************************** *****

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Any unsuspected source of methanol, which the body always quickly
and largely turns into formaldehyde and then formic acid, must be
monitored, especially for high responsibility occupations, often with
night shifts, such as pilots and nuclear reactor operators.

In particular, the next review gives many recent mainstream
peer-reviewed studies that show formaldehyde,
always inevitably derived in the body from any methanol source,
including aspartame, causes endothelial injury,
ie, diabetic neuropathy -- among the most serious and complex
complications of diabetes.

many studies on endothelial injury (diabetic neuropathy) by adducts of
formaldehyde derived from methylamine from many of the same sources
as also supply methanol (formaldehyde), including aspartame:
PH Yu et al: DJ Conklin et al: Murray 2005.12.04

ubiquitous potent uncontrolled co-factors in nutrition research are
formaldehyde from wood and tobacco smoke and many sources,
including from methanol in dark wines and liquors, in pectins
in fruits and vegetables, and in aspartame: Murray 2005.12.11

aspartame causes cancer in rats at levels approved for humans,
Morando Soffritti et al, Ramazzini Foundation, Italy &
National Toxicology Program
of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
2005.11.17 Env. Health Pers. 35 pages: Murray

As a medical layman, I suggest that evidence mandates immediate
exploration of the role of these ubiquitious, potent formaldehyde
sources as co-factors in epidemiology, research, diagnosis,
and treatment in a wide variety of disorders.

Folic acid, from fruits and vegetables, plays a role by powerfully
protecting against methanol (formaldehyde) toxicity.

Many common drugs, such as aspirin, interfere with folic acid,
as do some mutations in relevant enzymes.

The majority of aspartame reactors are female.

In mutual service, Rich Murray
************************************************** *****

Rich Murray, MA Room For All rmforall@comcast.net
505-501-2298 1943 Otowi Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

group with 149 members, 1,265 posts in a public, searchable archive
http://RoomForAll.blogspot.com http://AspartameNM.blogspot.com

Dark wines and liquors, as well as aspartame, provide
similar levels of methanol, above 100 mg daily, for
long-term heavy users, 2 L daily, about 6 cans.

Methanol is inevitably largely turned into formaldehyde,
and thence largely into formic acid.
It is the major cause of the dreaded symptoms of "next
morning" hangover.

Fully 11% of aspartame is methanol -- 1,120 mg aspartame
in 2 L diet soda, almost six 12-oz cans, gives 123 mg
methanol (wood alcohol). If 30% of the methanol is turned
into formaldehyde, the amount of formaldehyde, 37 mg,
is 18.5 times the USA EPA limit for daily formaldehyde in
drinking water, 2.0 mg in 2 L average daily drinking water.

faults in 1999 July EPA 468-page formaldehyde profile:
Elzbieta Skrzydlewska PhD, Assc. Prof., Medical U. of
Bialystok, Poland, abstracts -- ethanol, methanol,
formaldehyde, formic acid, acetaldehyde, lipid peroxidation,
green tea, aging: Murray 2004.08.08 2005.07.11

ATSDR: EPA limit 1 ppm formaldehyde in drinking water July
1999: Murray 2002.05.30 rmforall

Aspartame is made of phenylalanine (50% by weight) and
aspartic acid (39%), both ordinary amino acids, bound
loosely together by methanol (wood alcohol, 11%).
The readily released methanol from aspartame is within hours
turned by the liver into formaldehyde and then formic acid,
both potent, cumulative toxins.

Nurses Health Study can quickly reveal the extent of aspartame
(methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid) toxicity: Murray 2004.11.21
[ Any scientist can get access to this data for free by submitting a proper
research proposal.
No one has admitted mining the extensive data on diet soda use
and many symptoms for decades for about 100,000 nurses. ]

aspartame (methanol, phenylalanine, aspartic acid) effects, detailed
expert studies in 2005 Aug and 1998 July, Tsakiris S, Schulpis KH,
Karikas GA, Kokotos G, Reclos RJ, et al,
Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece: Murray 2005.09.09

aspartame (aspartic acid, phenylalanine) binding to DNA:
Karikas July 1998: Murray 2003.01.05 rmforall
Karikas GA, Schulpis KH, Reclos GJ, Kokotos G
Measurement of molecular interaction of aspartame and
its metabolites with DNA. Clin Biochem 1998 Jul; 31(5): 405-7.
Dept. of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece
http://www.chem.uoa.gr gkokotos@atlas.uoa.gr
K.H. Schulpis inchildh@otenet.gr G.J. Reclos reklos@otenet.gr

Murray, full plain text & critique: chronic aspartame in rats affects
memory, brain cholinergic receptors, and brain chemistry, Christian B,
McConnaughey M et al, 2004 May: 2004.06.05

eyelid contact dermatitis by formaldehyde from aspartame,
AM Hill & DV Belsito, Nov 2003: Murray 2004.03.30

Thrasher (2001): "The major difference is that the Japanese
demonstrated the incorporation of FA and its metabolites into the
placenta and fetus.
The quantity of radioactivity remaining in maternal and fetal tissues
at 48 hours was 26.9% of the administered dose." [ Ref. 14-16 ]

Arch Environ Health 2001 Jul-Aug; 56(4): 300-11.
Embryo toxicity and teratogenicity of formaldehyde. [100 references]
Thrasher JD, Kilburn KH. toxicology@drthrasher.org
Sam-1 Trust, Alto, New Mexico, USA.
http://www.drthrasher.org/formaldehyde_embryo_toxicity.html full text

DMDC: Dimethyl dicarbonate 200mg/L in drinks adds
methanol 98 mg/L [ becomes formaldehyde in body ]: EU Scientific
Committee on Foods 2001.07.12: Murray 2004.01.22

aspartame puts formaldehyde adducts into tissues, Part 1/2
full text Trocho & Alemany 1998.06.26: Murray 2002.12.22

Aspartame disease: an FDA-approved epidemic, H. J. Roberts,
MD 2004: Murray 2005.09.30

Aspartame -- the shocking story, The Ecologist, 2005 Sept.,
p. 35-51, full text: Murray 2005.09.30: the correct author,
Pat Thomas, What Doctors Don't Tell You www.wddty.co.uk (http://www.wddty.co.uk) :

genotoxicity of aspartame in human lymphocytes 2004.07.29
full plain text, Rencuzogullari E et al, Cukurova University,
Adana, Turkey 2004 Aug: Murray 2004.11.06

NM EIB votes 4-2 for 5-day aspartame toxicity hearing July,
2006, requesting a Hearing Officer and a medical expert from
Environmental Dept. and legal advice from NM Attorney
General: Murray 2005.10.04

ubiquitous potent uncontrolled co-factors in nutrition research are
formaldehyde from wood and tobacco smoke and many sources,
including from methanol in dark wines and liquors, in pectins
in fruits and vegetables, and in aspartame: Murray 2005.12.11

fructose in rats increases uric acid, obesity, insulin resistance,
endothelial damage -- RJ Johnson et al, U. Florida: Murray 2005.12.07
************************************************** *****

hangover research relevant to toxicity of 11% methanol in
aspartame (formaldehyde, formic acid): Calder I (full text):
Jones AW: Murray 2004.08.05 2005.09.28

Since no adaquate data has ever been published on the exact
disposition of toxic metabolites in specific tissues in
humans of the 11% methanol component of aspartame, the many
studies on morning-after hangover from the methanol impurity
in alcohol drinks are the main available resource to date.

Jones AW (1987) found next-morning hangover from red wine
with 100 to 150 mg methanol (9.5% w/v ethanol, 100 mg/L
methanol, 0.01%, one part in ten thousand).

Joining together: short review: research on aspartame
methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid) toxicity: Murray
2005.07.08 rmforall

research on aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid)
toxicity: Murray2004.04.29 rmforall

aspartame causes cancer in rats at levels approved for humans,
Morando Soffritti et al, Ramazzini Foundation, Italy &
National Toxicology Program
of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
2005.11.17 Env. Health Pers. 35 pages: Murray

USA National Institutes of Health National Toxicology
Program aids eminent Ramazzini Foundation, Bologna, Italy,
in more results on cancers in rats from lifetime low levels
of aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde), Felicity Lawrence,
www.guardian.co.uk: (http://www.guardian.co.uk:) Murray 2005.09.30

aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats, full plain text,
M Soffritti, F Belpoggi, DD Esposti, L Lambertini: Ramazzini
Foundation study 2005.07.14: main results agree with their previous
methanol and formaldehyde studies: Murray 2005.09.03

Michael F Jacobson of CSPI now and in 1985 re aspartame
toxicity, letter to FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford;
California OEHHA aspartame critique 2004.03.12; Center for
Consumer Freedom denounces CSPI: Murray 2005.07.27

methanol (formaldehyde, formic acid) disposition: Bouchard M
et al, full plain text, 2001: substantial sources are
degradation of fruit pectins, liquors, aspartame, smoke:
Murray 2005.04.02 rmforall
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critique of aspartame review, French Food Safety Agency AFSSA
2002.05.07 aspartamgb.pdf (18 pages, in English), Martin Hirsch:
Murray 2004.04.13

safety of aspartame Part 1/2 12.4.2: EC HCPD-G SCF:
Murray 2003.01.12 rmforall EU Scientific Committee on Food, a whitewash

Mark Gold exhaustively critiques European Commission Scientific
Committee on Food re aspartame ( 2002.12.04 ): 59 pages, 230 references

http://www.HolisticMed.com/aspartame mgold@holisticmed.com
Aspartame Toxicity Information Center Mark D. Gold
12 East Side Drive #2-18 Concord, NH 03301 603-225-2100
"Scientific Abuse in Aspartame Research"

Gold points out that industry methanol assays were too insensitive to
properly measure blood methanol levels. ]

J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Feb; 104(2): 255-75.
Position of the American Dietetic Association: use of nutritive and
nonnutritive sweeteners. American Dietetic Association.

critique of aspartame review by American Dietetic Association Feb 2004,
Valerie B. Duffy & Madeleine J. Sigman-Grant:
Murray 2004.05.14

"Survey of aspartame studies: correlation of outcome and funding
sources," 1998, unpublished: http://www.dorway.com/peerrev.html
Walton found 166 separate published studies in the peer reviewed
medical literature, which had relevance for questions of human safety.
The 74 studies funded by industry all (100%) attested to aspartame's
safety, whereas of the 92 non-industry funded studies, 84 (91%)
identified a problem. Six of the seven non-industry funded studies
that were favorable to aspartame safety were from the FDA, which
has a public record that shows a strong pro-industry bias.
Ralph G. Walton, MD, Prof. of Clinical Psychology, Northeastern Ohio
Universities, College of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry, Youngstown,
OH 44501, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine,
Northside Medical Center, 500 Gypsy Lane, P.O. Box 240
Youngstown, OH 44501 330-740-3621 rwalton193@aol.com

www.dorway.com: (http://www.dorway.com:) original documents and long reviews of flaws in
aspartame toxicity research: Murray 2002.07.31

Samuels: Strong: Roberts: Gold: flaws in double-blind studies re
aspartame and MSG toxicity: Murray 2002.08.01

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/ Truth in Labeling Campaign [MSG]
Adrienne Samuels, PhD The toxicity/safety of processed
free glutamic acid (MSG): a study in suppression of information.
Accountability in Research 1999; 6: 259-310. 52-page review
P.O. Box 2532 Darien, Illinois 60561
858-481-9333 adandjack@aol.com

aspartame expose 96K Oct 1987 Part 1/3:
Gregory Gordon, UPI reporter: Murray 2000.07.10

aspartame history Part 1/4 1964-1976: Gold: Murray 1999.11.06

revolving door, Monsanto, FDA, EPA: NGIN: Murray 2002.12.23

Donald Rumsfeld, 1977 head of Searle Corp., got aspartame FDA
approval: Turner: Murray 2002.12.23 rmforall
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