Guest Columnist #70 - Zanne

    There are quite a few people in this world that are under the impression that if something food related is on the market for mass consumption it can’t be THAT harmful for you.  After all, the few people running our country are certainly doing everything they can to protect the public. I have a hankering to chat about artificial sweeteners, so lets.
    There are 4,000 products worldwide that contain aspartame, and because of marketing panache, and unquestioning, blankly staring consumers, it is thought of as a great aid to dieting. What the majority of people don’t know is that instead of helping them to loose weight, they are actually embalming themselves. HA! Aspartame is what is known as an excitotoxin, which cause damage to the brain by overstimulating neurons. It also causes the brain to stop producing serotonin, which can be a factor in someone who is suffering from depression, but also tricks the body into feeling full. (There goes the diet aid theory)
    Aspartame has 3 main components. Methanol, which is wood alcohol. (a one liter beverage has over 8 times the environmental protection agency limit of wood alcohol), aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Approximately 10 percent of methanol is absorbed into the body as wood alcohol, and methanol, under almost any temperature can spontaneously produce formaldehyde. There are a lot of independent studies that show that it’s common for formaldehyde formation to result from ingesting aspartame. The other two components are amino acids that are generally supplied by foods we eat, and usually harmless, but only if they are consumed with other amino acids.
     Over 75 percent of all recorded adverse reaction complaints the FDA receives are concerning aspartame. Some of the symptoms and diseases ingestion can trigger and/or cause are dizziness, seizures, migraines, nausea, weight gain, muscle spasms, depression, fatigue, irritability, vision problems, heart palpitations, hearing loss, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, loss of taste slurred speech, tinnitus, joint pain, memory loss, epilepsy multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, chronic fatigue Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, lymphoma, fibromyalgia, birth defects, mental retardation, and DIABETES.
    Next time you’re in the grocery store, check out the 'special diets' section, a lot of those products have aspartame. Take notes on how many of these products have aspartame AND is also endorsed by the American Diabetes Association. In fact the American Diabetes Association has received large amounts of money from the makers of nutrasweet, including money to operate a diabetic cooking school in Chicago.
    For those wondering how exactly the FDA approved such a product, read on. The FDA approved aspartame originally in 1974, and it was revoked soon after it was shown to cause brain tumors in rats. G.D. Searle, makers of aspartame, is actually a subsidiary of Monsanto (gee, who would have thought).  In 1981 all the objecting members of the FDA left their positions, and that same year new members re approved for general consumption. Why? Somewhere in the midst of testing the product there is evidence that G.D Searle manipulated tests and studies to get it approved, and that certain FDA members knew about this. In 1977 before aspartame was re-approved, the FDA chief counsel at the time suggested to U.S. attorney Sam Skinner that his office start a grand jury investigation into violations and false reports of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act by G.D. Searle for concealing facts, and making false statements in order to get aspartame approved. Nothing ended up happening because Sam Skinner decided to leave his position as U.S. Attorney after being offered a job working for Sidney and Austin, G.D. Searle’s law firm. He took the job on July 1, and the U.S. attorney who stepped in after he left, let the statute of limitations run out on the charges against aspartame. 15 months later HE left his position to start working for G.D Searle’s law firm as well! This kind of thing has been going on for decades. A total of 10 VIP FDA and government officials involved with aspartame’s regulation and investigation left to go work for the artificial sweetener industry.
    In fact a study reported in The Townsend Letter for Doctors (Nov. 1992) revealed that 37 out of 49 top FDA officials who left their jobs, took jobs with companies they specifically had been assigned to regulate.  It was also shown that over 150 officials of the FDA owned stock in drug companies they were supposed to be managing.
    And yet, there’s so much more.
    Stevia is an awesome herb used for a lot of health benefits and is used in Japan as an alternative sweetener for hundreds of years with no side effects, was banned by the FDA for importation in 1991, even after seeing many studies declaring it to be perfectly safe for human consumption. Although Stevia is available in the US now, it still isn’t approved by the FDA and is not allowed to be identified as an alternative sweetener.
    Aspartame was accidentally discovered in 1965, when a chemist of G.D. Searle named James Schlatter was testing and anti ulcer drug. It was originally listed in the U.S military’s chemical warfare division, but it’s not clear if it was used as a poison of itself or a sweetener to hide the taste of poison.
    I suppose this makes sense, only because pilots not being able to fly their planes create problems. In the 1992 issue of the U.S. Airforce’s flying safety publication it warns pilots of some of the disturbing side effects, of aspartame, and that a pilot using products with it in there could have higher chances of suffering from flicker vertigo and epileptic seizures.
    There’s a lot more info out there to delve into, check out the resources I used for this, and some of the other resources as well. Please write me if you want me to hook you up with any more info, and take care of yourselves damn it. It’s hard to fuck shit up, if your shit is fucked up.
    My address has changed and even though eventually I’ll get a PO Box, this address will still be permanent.
- Zanne Rehash

“Aspartame: sweet poison?” Ecovision Journal, November 2001
“Bitter Truth about Artificial Sweeteners”  Nexus Magazine, October/November 1995
Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills  Blaylock, Russell L.