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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Associated Press Wire Story on Aspartame

                                                ASSOCIATED PRESS WIRE - 5/4/99                                  


Doc:00128513 DB: research_d_99_2 Date: Tues May 4 18:01:30 1999

Christian dedicates life to educating the public about aspartame 
By Susan Montoya=
Associated Press Writer=
With AP Photo 

  DALLAS  (AP) _ Mary Nash Stoddard wouldn't go so far as to say aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in those little blue packets, is the work of the devil. But she will definitely say it's not the work of God.
  Mrs. Stoddard, a 60-year-old Southern Baptist and former Christian radio show host, has dedicated her life to educating the public on what she calls the dangers of aspartame, which gives sweetness to diet sodas and many other products without the calories of sugar.
       "Once I discovered what this was and what it could do to people I was not given the luxury of sitting back and going back into life just as a widow, a mother and eventually a grandmother," she said. "I knew I had to do something drastic."
  Her message has found favor with several Christian leaders, including Pat Robertson, a religious broadcaster and founder of the Christian Coalition: television show hostess Dr. Karen Hayter; and televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who has banned the sweetener at his ministry's Fort Worth headquarters.
      Mrs. Stoddard said she visited six specialists, but none could determine what was causing her severe muscle aches, twitching and numbness. As she tells her story some 15 years later, her hands still tremble.
"I was getting sicker and sicker," she said.
Her doctor suggested that it could be "that new sweetener that everybody was using." Aspartame, better known as NutraSweet or Equal, had just been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1981 and was beginning to reach the market.        
 "I stopped taking it and I could tell the difference in a  matter of weeks," she said.
  Eventually, the mother of three started the Dallas-based Aspartame Consumer Safety Network to warn people that the artificial sweetener was supposedly linked to cancer and a slew of other diseases.

      Mrs. Stoddard acknowledges that the ingredients of aspartame can be found in nature, but not in the way it is packaged.
Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and the methyl ester of phenylalanine.
  "Biblical text shows us the way to respect our body as a temple of God is by taking in what is natural, but aspartame was developed by man," she said. "Only God can make an apple. When man can make an apple, maybe then I'll buy it."
The Christian broadcasters say they oppose aspartame based on biblical passages that refer to the body as the temple of God and that instruct them to eat only the fruit of the seed.
   "Christians feel a responsibility to take care of themselves. We feel like God's word does instruct us to take care of our bodies," said Barry Tubbs, one of Copeland's associate ministers. "It's strictly a health concern."                  
 A spokeswoman for the maker of NutraSweet, St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., said company officials respect the Christians' beliefs, but insist their product is not dangerous.
     "People should not link our product to any adverse reactions," Nancy Nevin said.
      Mrs. Stoddard said thousands of people have contacted her about their negative reactions to aspartame. She said that's proof enough of the danger associated with the sweetener.
        "People are falling like flies but nobody is telling them they triggered their illnesses by taking aspartame," she said. "I am not saying aspartame causes every single symptom, but let's consider it a factor."
       "You can't just write me off as some kind of crackpot because I'm not a scientist or a doctor. You have to remember our first doctors bled their patients to death for pneumonia."
    AP-DX-0603-99  0709MDT 



Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline [1987-2005]
P.O. Box 2001 - Frisco, TX 75034
tel. 1-214-387-4001