This is a story that needs to be told so the public won't accept manufacturer funded research on aspartame (NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful/E951/Canderel). You have to remember the original studies were the target of an indictment for fraud. The only reason this wasn't carried out is that both US Prosecutors hired on with the defense team and the statute of limitations expired. After the FDA revoked the petition for approval Searle sued them. Don Rumsfeld was CEO of Searle and said he would call in his markers and get aspartame on the market somehow. Here is how he did it from the aspartame documentary, Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World, http://www.soundandfury.tv/pages/rumsfeld.html
Dr. Paul Spiers did the first study and became very concerned. Dr. Richard Wurtman of MIT also was a tiger in Congress speaking out against aspartame and its dangers. He also told Gregory Gordon that the Searle VP threatened him that if he did studies on aspartame and seizures his research funds would be rejected. They were. http://www.wnho.net/upi_1987_aspartame1.htm Spiers second study was funded by Monsanto and notice the difference. Dr. Wurtman no longer speaks out about aspartame. Wurtman, however, left quite a paper trail. He wrote many papers on the dangers of the phenylalanine in aspartame, some of which are on http://www.dorway.com He also edited a book on Phenylalanine and Brain Function, although took it out of MIT. You can now get used copies. Here are some of the comments he made in Congress about the phenylalanine in aspartame: http://www.wnho.net/congressionalrecord.htm
Barbara Metzler's daughter, Julia, was an aspartame victim (MP New Jersey) and is in two of Dr. Roberts books, http://www.sunsentpress.com It was Dr. Spiers who told Barbara Julia was suffering from aspartame.
Funding from aspartame manufacturers made the difference in Doctors Wurtman and Spiers discussion on aspartame.
You must remember Searle tried to prove safety of a poison and got caught. They simply couldn't get aspartame to show safety. The FDA audit, the Bressler Report, exposes what they were doing: http://www.dorway.com/bressler.txt This audit was so bad that when FDA retyped it they removed 20% of the worst of it which are two mice studies. Jerome Bressler told this to myself and Doctors H. J. Roberts and Russell Blaylock. The FDA refused to give this information to Dr. Roberts congressman and in a FOIA request the FDA first said it was confidential and then said they destroyed it.
There is simply no way to take a poison like aspartame and make it show safety. That's why Dr. Ralph Walton in doing research on scientific peer reviewed studies and funding for 60 Minutes proved that 92% of independent scientific peer reviewed studies show the problems aspartame causes and only industry paid and controlled research ever said it was safe. So you have to remember if a study is funded by industry on aspartame you can disregard it. There is no way to take a poison and make it show safety as both the FDA audit showed, and Dr. Walton's research. http://www.dorway.com/peerrev.html In fact, Dr. Walton says if you remove 6 studies the FDA had something to do with because they are now on industry's side, and one pro industry aspartame summary, 100% of independent scientific peer reviewed studies show the problems aspartame causes.
Read on about these studies so you can see how "funding" makes the difference.
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum.
Founder, Mission Possible World Health International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
Aspartame Toxiocity Center: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 12:35:12 -0400
From: Fred & Barbara Metzler
To: Betty Martini, Bettym19@mindspring.com
Before MIT is paid by NutraSweet:
New fuel for NutraSweet debate
Researchers clash over findings on safety of sugar substitute
By SANDY ROVNER-The Washington Post
Daily Record Newspaper Monday June 1, 1987
WASHINGTON A series of scientific studies in this country and abroad is stirring new concern among some scientists over the safety of aspartame, the immensely popular sugar substitute marketed as NutraSweet. But a spokesman for the company cited the same studies as evidence that the product is safe. An estimated 4,000 tons of the sweetener, some 200 times sweeter than sugar, is consumed every year, and sales are estimated now at more than $l billion annually and increasing rapidly. Last month, at a scientific conference that was closed to the press, researchers reported that heavy aspartame use appears to increase migraine headaches and seizures in susceptible individuals, cause changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) readings and may even be related to birth defects and retardation.
G D Searle, which manufactures aspartame, and the NutraSweet Co, which markets it have maintained that the substance's 1981 Food and Drug Administration approval came with more safety studies than any product in history.
Some researchers believe, however, that because the tests were looking for acute deleterious effects they missed the more subtle effects that may occur over a long period of time.
Dr. Paul Spiers, a clinical neuropsychologist of the Behavioral Neurology Unit and the Harvard Medical School's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, presented at the meeting some preliminary evidence that use of aspartame over a period of time might affect intellectual functioning in normal users. In an interview Spiers said the findings had been something of an accident. He had been planning to study the effects of aspartame on individuals who reported that they had suffered seizures after ingesting aspartame. However, he was first ethically bound to run the tests on normal control subjects to confirm their safety. "For that reason," he said, "we went out and selected people specifically who had a history of using NutraSweet products and were not aware of it having any adverse effects on them. We picked normal neurological histories, no history of psychiatric illness and no physical problem nothing, in fact, that would suggest that we would expect to have problems."
The group was given aspartame capsules up to the FDA's maximum allowable limit550 milligrams per Kilogram of weightthree times a day for 12 days. Unexpectedly, the researchers began to find "cognitive deficits" in some of the neuropsychological tests then done on the group. Among the tests was a sophisticated computer test called "Think Fast," which requires comparisons, copying and recall of patterns of blocks and sequences of letters. Spiers describes it as "quite demanding and self-paced, becoming increasingly difficult. Normally when a test like this is repeated, subjects tend to improve in their performance as they learn how the test is done." Nevertheless the subjects on aspartame failed to improve and some of them frankly showed a reverse pattern where their performance got worse."
Although he was admittedly dealing with only a few subjects and checking performances on only a small number of the tests that were administered, Spiers believes the findings are important A second group of volunteers who were given a placebo instead of aspartame showed none of the problems manifested by the aspartame group The computer test and others measured functioning of the bra1n's frontal lobe, Spiers said, "simulating what the brain does in everyday life."
"We are wondering whether in fact this substance may be capable of having a subtle effect on cognitive functioning that people may not necessarily be aware of. Think of the implications, for example, on an average college student who starts consuming a liter of this stuff during examination period, and it may in fact he interfering with his concentration and attention skills."Šnbsp; Said Spiers; "This kind of neuro-psychological cognitive examination has never been used to investigate the effects of new drugs of any kind. Now we have food additives that are more like drugs than foods are introduced into the dietary chain but have direct effects on the brain's neurotransmitter system. But because the chemical industry is 20 years ahead of the regulators, thus far no one has attempted to apply more sophisticated methods of testing brain functions to these problems."
NutraSweet's principal ingredient is an amino acid called phenylalanlne (PHE), which is found, along with other amino acids, in protein. There is a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU) in which the ability to normally process the amino acid is impaired. Without careful dietary restriction of protein, PKU babies may suffer severe, irreversible mental retardation. All products containing NutraSweet must warn against its use where PKU exists.
Now, however, specialists and researchers believe that there may be many more people who carry the gene for PKU but show no symptoms who, however, may be unable to deal with the extra load of PHE that comes from using products containing NutraSweet.
Dr. Reuben Matalon, a geneticist and pediatrician at the University of Illinois warned those at the conference that perhaps millions of PKU carriers are at risk of varying reactions to aspartame, as are the fetuses of pregnant carriers.
Another major study presented at the conference suggested that the use of aspartame could increase the frequency of migraine headache fourfold.
Dr. Richard J. Wurtman, neurophysiologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the organizers of the conference, called for more studies of the 3,000 people who have complained of reactions to NutraSweet. "Except for the migraine study, which is preliminary, at this point we cannot say aspartame is responsible for all those anecdotes. Still, given the basic science findings and the anecdotes," Wurtman said, "the index of suspicion is high."
Said Spiers: "I think it is in everyone's interest to do good research on this. It may turn out that it is just a labeling issue, that the warning needs to be broader. People still smoke, but they smoke knowing the consequences. The difference here is that people have not understood the consequences "
"How many people even know that the FDA has attached a limit to aspartame consumption?" asked James Wagoner. Legislative aide to Sen. Howard Metzenbaum,
(Ohio). Metzenbaum has introduced legislation requiring that labeling include information about how much NutraSweet is contained in a serving of a given product. The FDA's limit of 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight translates to about four liters of a diet drink for an adult but only to about three cans for a child who weighs about 30 pounds.
"Americans,'' Wagoner said at the conference, "drink over 20 billion cans of diet soft drinks a year. And that doesn't count the gum, pudding, breakfast cereal, chewable vitamins, tooth paste, juices, frozen pops - all sweetened, with NutraSweet."
Researchers reported last month that that heavy aspartame use appears to increase migraine headaches and seizures in susceptible individuals cause changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) readings and may even be related to birth defects and retardation.
"We are wondering whether in fact this substance may be capable of having a subtle effect on cognitive functioning that people may not necessarily be aware of.
Think of the implications, for example, on an average college student who starts consuming a liter of this stuff during examination period, and it may in fact be interfering with his concentration and attention skills."
Dr. Paul Spiers
After MIT is paid by NutraSweet:
Study reaffirms safety of aspartame
Deborah Halber, News Office September 16, 1998
Even daily large doses of the high-intensity sweetener aspartame, also known as NutraSweet, had no adverse effect on study subjects' health and well-being, a visiting scientist at MIT reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last week.
"We conclude that aspartame is safe for the general population," said Paul A. Spiers, visiting scientist in the Clinical Research Center (CRC).
Mood, aggression and selected cognitive functions were tested during a study in which some of the subjects consumed doses of aspartame nearly 20 times the daily amount taken by the vast majority of the general population.
During a four-month period, subjects received either aspartame, sugar or a placebo and underwent physical and psychological testing. Some subjects were given doses of up to 45 milligrams per kilogram of body weight--the equivalent of 17 to 24 12-ounce diet beverages for males and 14 to 19 12-ounce drinks for females. In the general population, most Americans who consume aspartame take in 3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight a day, the equivalent of one or less 12-ounce diet beverage.
Despite the high consumption of aspartame, the 48 normal subjects showed no changes in mood, memory, behavior, electroencephalograms (which record the electrical signals of the brain) or physiology that could be tied to aspartame, Dr. Spiers found. Although some subjects reported headaches, fatigue, nausea and acne, the same number of incidences were reported by subjects taking placebo and sugar as those taking aspartame.
Dr. Spiers noted that these findings corroborate the results of another recent study with preschool and elementary school children that discovered no effect on their moods, activity levels, behavior or thinking after they consumed high doses of aspartame.
He recommended that if a patient reports any adverse effects from a food product, factors such as the patient's overall diet, nutrition and behavior should be carefully tested in a double-blind challenge. "Only in this way can allegations regarding the safety of any food product be properly evaluated before speculation regarding harmful effects begins," wrote Dr. Spiers and co-authors LuAnn Sabounjian of Interneuron Pharmaceuticals of Lexington; Dr. Allison Reiner of Princeton, NJ; Diane K. Myers and Judith Wurtman of the CRC; and Donald L. Schomer in the neurophysiology department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.
The study was conducted at MIT's CRC. Electro-encephalograms were done at the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. This work was supported by a grant from the NutraSweet Co. to the Center for Brain Sciences and Metabolism Charitable Trust.
A version of this article appeared in (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/techtalk-info.html) MIT Tech Talk on September 16, 1998.