Sent on: March 11, 2008
To the Honorable Rep Josh Green, MD, Chairman, House Health Committee
Rep John Mizuno, Vice Chairman
and Members of the Committee:
Dear Rep Green and Committee Members:
Thank you for including Mission Possible International as a member of your work group, and thank you for taking the time to read this formal testimony. We are filing this at the very last minute, since you and no one from your office or any of the committee members responded to our voluminous medical and victim testimony to inform any of us of your Resolution. We are sure that the lobbyists from the Grocers and Soft Drink Companies who opposed the bills for an outright ban are aware of this Resolution of yours, as that is their job after all, to apprise their employers of anything and everything which might even potentially down the road challenge the viability and safety of their products. They are probably happy to begrudgingly chime in their concurrence, although at this date, there is no testimony presented on the Hawaii Legislature website.
We recommend that you in a committee amendment or in a floor amendment, include two victims of aspartame poisoning, not just consumers, as you originally put it, and that you add a representative of the Hawaii Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Division, since aspartame will someday soon be the subject of massive compensatory and punitive lawsuits similar to the states tobacco suits in the 1990's; you might as well get someone on board who is capable of comprehending the evidentiary aspects of the epidemiological scale inherent in aspartame poisoning, the whistle blowers from the manufacturers, etc.
You apparently are trying to be conciliatory and trying to mean well, although the tone of some of the Resolution is angry and critical of victims point of view by impugning and ridiculing the opposition to aspartame as a kind of junk internet science.
We are also astonished by your inclusion of the Calorie Control Council, whose entire purpose is to please their corporate fenders, which include aspartame manufacturers and users, like Coca Cola, Ajinomoto, and the Merisant Corporation, maker of Equal. They are at best apologists and soothsayers, through and through; that is their job. Putting them on a Task Force, however well intended are your intentions, is similar to asking a few members of the Nazi High Command to serve as judges at Nuremberg!
Deriding our point of view as junk science is absurd, in view of the fact that the Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, and her Department, in order to oppose outright ban bills, chose to use a so-called study [AKA the Burdock Report] from Toxicology Journal which was entirely paid for by Ajinomoto of Japan, the worlds largest manufacturer of both aspartame and of another neurotoxic additive: Monosodium Glutamate, and purposefully excluded almost all of the independent studies which showed their obvious neurodegenerative harm from aspartame and its metabolic by products, like methanol, formaldehyde, and diketopiperazine.
Another point on Calorie Control Council which you and your House colleagues should be aware of: these folks continually espouse the use of their products, even for pregnant women, phenylketoneurics, and liver patients. Their cheerleading positions occasionally erupt onto the pages of major American newspapers, like the Miami Herald, to whom Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D. wrote the following, and we quote his entire letter for exactitude of testimony:
Posted: 24 Apr 2004
Miami Herald article from 02 February 2004
"It has come to my attention that the Calorie Control Council, a front group for the NutraSweet Company, recently suggested that aspartame was safe for women to use during pregnancy, as well as by those with serious liver disease and phenylketonurics. [Emphasis added:] This is the most serious breech of public trust in the history of this nation.
"There is not one long-term study of aspartame safety ever conducted on the offspring of pregnant women consuming aspartame. Yet, there are numerous studies indicating aspartame could pose a serious danger to both mother and infant. For example, according to the National Collaborative Study for Maternal PKU, blood levels of phenylalanine, a major component of aspartame and a developmental brain toxin, should not exceed 6mg./dl. In a study of pregnant women it was found that aspartame consumption at commonly consumed amounts reached these levels in 42% of normal women and 100% of PKU carriers. One in fifty people are PKU carriers and do not know it. This same group concluded that levels of 10mg/dl held a serious risk of infant brain impairment. In this same study 15% of pregnant women reached this toxic level of phenylalanine and 36% of PKU carriers. This means that fully a third of all babies born to PKU carrier mothers consuming aspartame foods and drinks risk-varying degrees of brain damage. It is also known that the amount of toxic phenylalanine reaching the baby is twice as high as that in the mother's blood because the placenta concentrates the toxin. In addition, numerous metabolic breakdown products of aspartame are known to damage the developing infant's brain, including methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid, diketopiperizine and phenylacetate.
"Aspartame has been shown by several studies to damage DNA, which can lead to cancer and degenerative brain disorders later in life. The risk of increased brain tumors in such a child would be enormous. Similar mechanisms of damage would be expected in those with liver disease. Studies on aspartame safety have shown that the product increases tumors throughout numerous organs, especially the brain. It was shown that brain tumor incidence increased over 47X in animals exposed to aspartame.
"With the public concern over childhood obesity and diabetes, few are being told of the overwhelming evidence that early exposure to excitotoxins (as found in aspartame) consistently produce gross obesity and insulin resistant diabetes, just as we are seeing in our youth.
"The promoters of aspartame use have been lying from the beginning and continue to use their money and political clout to cover up the real and present dangers of this toxic product."
Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
Ridgeland, MS 39157
Author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills As to Dr. Fukinos espousal of the Ajinomoto study, we are indeed patient, ready and willing to educate her, if that is acceptable to you and to her as to the egregious flaws in that so-called Burdock Report, and if this is even possible with the presence of the Calorie Control Council in your Resolution. Because the gullible Dr. Fukino didn't have the ability nor take the time to research based on facts easily found in the public record, Mark Gold of the Aspartame Toxicity Center, did it for her. Here is the rebuttal to this atrocity to stumble the public, which we ask be included in the official testimony on this Resolution of yours: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/burdock
Any physician should have known better than to use one of the manufacturers defense reviews. Much of their flawed research has already been exposed.
Next, in the proposed work group, you have included the American Beverage Association, the present successor to the National Soft Drink Assn. They wrote a 30 page protest in l983 stating Searle had not met its burdens under section 409 to demonstrate that aspartame is functional for use in soft drinks. They spoke about the extensive deficiencies, enough to render those studies inadequate and unreliable. They stated the company did not demonstrate the use of aspartame in soft drinks would not result in the adulteration of the beverages. The protest was so vehement that when NSDA turned around and lobbied for NutraSweet, their protest was added to the congressional record of May, l985, so the world would know they were adding this toxin with full knowledge of the studies that did not prove it safe. Are you expecting they are going to say they are sorry and want to turn around and help the people now?
We are however, willing and prepared to further educate them as to the point of view implicit in their vehement objections in 1983, the details of which are included in a forthcoming more effective Senate Resolution, which you may read shortly when it has been formally introduced.
Do you really believe front groups who are paid and those who sell the product will not defend their product? Are we to believe that the plan in your Resolution is a serious and unbiased program to help Hawaiians? Why not just invite the CEOs of Ajinomoto, Monsanto and Merisant and let them have a reunion on the House Floor, and pass out diet sodas for everyone to drink?
Dr. Green, in your possession you have Dr. H. J. Roberts medical text of over 1000 pages of the horrors this poison causes from cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, seizures and sudden death, to embalming of living tissue and interaction of drugs, written by a physician with over two decades experience treating diabetics who are victims of aspartame poisoning, as well as those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, whose symptoms subside once they stop consuming Aspartame. Selected by his medical peers in 1984 as the best doctor in the US, Roberts has taken care of aspartame victims in the trenches of medical practice and has testified before Congress. You're a physician. Have you forgotten First do no harm? Why would you invite the corporate hacks and front groups who poisoned the people to work a program to genuinely protect them?
We are somewhat appalled at your resolution, although under the circumstances, with less that 30 hours before the first testimony may be heard, and rushing to complete this letter before 24 hours before the hearing, we have to rise in support of the Resolution, with a few changes, like adding 2 victims instead of consumers chosen by the Director of the Health Department.
You had full knowledge because you are the only member of the entire legislature with Dr. Roberts medical text, and were even given a documentary where the attorney himself who tried to stop approval explains how it was marketed by the political chicanery and regulatory coup by Don Rumsfeld after the FDA revoked the petition for approval and said it could not be proven safe. Why do you think the FDA wanted the company indicted? Because they kept trying to prove a poison safe, and couldn't do it; they kept getting caught.
In saying in the Resolution that the people of Hawaii have a choice to consume or not consume aspartame, thus giving a kind of carte blanche to any corporation manufacturing anything, as they do in most 3rd world nations which have no regulatory apparatuses set up to protect them: this is technically true; however, most Hawaiians, like most Americans, really don't read labels, as they have been assured hundreds of times that the United States Food and Drug Administration would never approve a poison, and most naively believe that the FDA is there to protect them. Further, we are sure that 90% of them don't know what a phenylketoneuric even is.
Corporations and their front groups loudly proclaimed the safety of their products like Asbestos, Leaded Gasoline, Thalidomide, DDT, Vioxx, etc., until the body count and the lawsuit piled up so badly that their lies were completely transparent. Wouldn't your point of view there obviate the entire purpose of committees like yours and the House Committee for Consumer Protection and Commerce?
We are trying to protect the people of Hawaii from a poison, not defend front groups lobbyists and manufacturers. There is not a person who has read this resolution who has not seen through it, and not liked what they saw. You can read a medical text; you know the score.
First, under obvious and regrettable pressure from Grocery Manufacturers and Soft Drink bottlers, you defer the bill when it could have been moved to the next committee, and now you bring in those we've been exposing for years. How will you explain this to your constituents, in the event that they ask you? This whole resolution is outrageous. It's like asking baby killers to decorate the nursery. They will spend all their time convincing you and the committee this poison is safe as rain, and then you can walk away and say "we tried".
Thank you and the Committee Members for reading this long testimony prepared on very short notice.
Respectfully, and cosigned by:
Managing Editor Santa Fe Sun News
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum.
Founder, Mission Possible World Health International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
Aspartame Toxicity Center: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
H.C.R. NO. 132 , TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008
STATE OF HAWAII - HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
Requesting the Director of Health to form a work group to explore the need to ban or better label products containing the artificial sweetener aspartame.
WHEREAS, discovered in 1965, aspartame was first approved in the United States in 1981 and is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners; and
WHEREAS, when metabolized by the body, aspartame is broken down into two common amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a small amount of a third substance, methanol; and
WHEREAS, these three substances occur in similar or greater amounts in common foods; and
WHEREAS, aspartame continues to be the subject of strong public controversy regarding its safety; and
WHEREAS, some studies have recommended further investigation into the possible connection between aspartame and diseases such as brain tumors, brain lesions, and lymphoma; and
WHEREAS, some human and animal studies have found adverse effects and some have found no adverse effects; and
WHEREAS, while there have been a number of studies on the effects of aspartame on people, there is a great deal of argument by both proponents and opponents on the methods used in the testing and whether accurate representations of the consequences of average consumption by people have been achieved by these studies; and
WHEREAS, the Internet has become a tool for many to spread and promote the opinion they adhere to as fact whether it is that aspartame is a neurotoxin derived from toxic sludge or it is a harmless product enabling a healthy lifestyle; and
WHEREAS, while many may find that the simple answer to the problem is to not purchase or use any product containing aspartame in it, there are those who maintain that some products do not specifically list aspartame as an ingredient, rather it is hidden under the label of "natural flavors"; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-fourth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2008, the Senate concurring, that the Director of Health is requested to form a work group to explore the need to ban or improve labeling for products containing the artificial sweetener aspartame; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the members of the work group should include:
(1) One member from the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
(2) One member of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate;
(3) The Director of Health or the director's designee;
(4) The President of the Calorie Control Council or the President's designee; and
(5) The President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Beverage Association or a designee;
(6) The President of the Hawaii Society of Naturopathic Physicians or a designee;
(7) The Founder of Mission Possible International or a designee; and
(8) Two consumers appointed by the Director of Health; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the work group is requested to submit a report of its findings, as well as any suggested legislation, to the Legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2010; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health, President of the Calorie Control Council, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Beverage Association, President of the Hawaii Society of Naturopathic Physicians, and Founder of Mission Possible International.