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  • unsafe aspartame must be banned, Roger Williams, MP in UK Parliament, The Guardian
    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
    ************************************************** *****

    Mr Roger Williams LD, Member of Parliament for Brecon & Radnorshire, Wales
    region: Liberal Democratic Whip to email website [photo]
    Member Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2005
    Ms Caroline Flint, Public Health Minister [photo] 2005 website

    Constituency Office Caroline Flint MP, Room 15,
    115 St Sepulchre Gate West,
    Doncaster DN1 3AH. Phone 01302 366778 Fax 01302 328833 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. 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
    505-501-2298 1943 Otowi Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
    group with 149 members, 1,265 posts in a public, searchable archive

    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
    K.H. Schulpis G.J. Reclos
    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.
    Sam-1 Trust, Alto, New Mexico, USA. 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 :
    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, 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
    ************************************************** *****
    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
    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:
    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 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 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
    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
    ************************************************** *****
    Send blank post to: <br /> to join<br />free,open, list with searchable archives for toxicity issues.<br />Richard \"Rich\" T. Murray Room For All 1943 Otowi Road Santa Fe, NM 87505<br /> 505-501-2298