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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Requiring Calorie Counts

Dear Assemblyman Jones,

Thank you for allowing us to submit our comments and official position regarding artificial sweeteners for the record. We believe the ads stating aspartame sweeteners are healthy/safe/natural are the most deceptive of all. Please let me know if you have questions.

Best regards,
Hon. Mary Nash Stoddard
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October 3, 2008

Re: California Assembly Committee on Health to Hold Hearings Regarding Deceptive Advertising and Artificial Sweeteners


Dear Chairman Dymally and Assembly Health Committee Members,

Thank you for allowing us to comment on today's Hearing on the effects of artificial sweeteners in our food supply. Our organization has been working on this issue for over two decades. Please see the enclosed Press Release regarding California's recently-passed SB 1420.

It is our feeling that, as long as real food is being evaluated, calorie content may be appropriate. When we are talking about calorie content of real food integrated with food additive 'fillers,' such as artificial sweeteners, then, in our estimation, the premise has been compromised. Artificial sweeteners are synthetically produced in a laboratory. In the case of aspartame, produced from petrochemical derivatives. Saccharin is a coal tar derivative and Sucralose is chlorinated sugar.

Research has shown aspartame and neotame to be potential health hazards in the world food supply.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Thank you,
Hon. Mary Nash Stoddard
214.387.4001

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Attention: Assignments Editor
keywords: Gov. Regulations/ Health/ Medical/ Food Safety
For Immediate Release

Food Safety Consultant Questions New California Law Making Fast Food Chains List Calorie Content

Dallas - October 1, 2008 -- A former member of the President's Council on Food Safety, today questions the wisdom of a new California law reported today that will require listing calorie contents of foods and beverages sold at fast food chains in the state by 2011. [LA Times 9/30/08]"The law, though well-intentioned", says Mary Nash Stoddard, food safety consultant and founder of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, "is going to force fast food retailers to invest even more heavily in fake food. Artificial sweeteners and fat substitutes with known side effects on record."

Stoddard's organization, founded in 1987, with Washington consumer attorney, James Turner, Esq., has publicly questioned the effectiveness and safety of the controversial artificial sweeteners, aspartame [aka NutraSweet/Equal] and Neotame, for the past twenty one years. Medical Expert Witnesses, Turner and Stoddard gave testimony at the Senate Hearings on Aspartame Safety in 1987.

It's an open invitation for every restaurant in the country to post lowered caloric content by adding artificial sweeteners, instead of higher calorie natural sweeteners to everything. It could even cause a resurrection of unhealthy fake fats - like Olestra. There are some things in this world potentially more deadly than a 'calorie.' [Arsenic is sugar-free, fat free and probably very low in calories!]

Stoddard points to her recent weight loss of nearly forty pounds, within the past year, eating real food - without the use of unhealthy artificial sweeteners or fake fats. She wanted to show how "natural sweeteners, such as raw sugar, honey, pure maple syrup, fruits, etc., used in moderation, are not the enemy." In fact, there are even scientific studies showing artificial sweetener use, in some people, causes weight gain.

Those wanting more supporting documentation are invited to visit the organization's website:
http://www.aspartamesafety.com/

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Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Requiring Calorie Counts
Washington Post, USA Today
California became the first state to require restaurants to put calorie counts on their menus and indoor menu boards Tuesday when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill requiring chains with 20 or more locations to post the information by 2011. Starting in July, restaurants and drive-throughs will have to offer menus that provide information on the calories, saturated fat, carbohydrates and sodium in each item.

In an analogy sure to resonate with the common tank commander, Schwarzenegger put the nation's obesity problem into perspective: "When I was in the Austrian army, I drove a tank that weighed 50 tons. Now multiply that by 3,500 -- that's as many pounds as California has gained" in the past decade, he said.

USA Today's Bruce Horovitz , meanwhile, reports that Yum Brands -- parent company to Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut -- will announce today that it will post calorie information on the indoor menu boards nationwide at company-owned restaurants by Jan. 1, 2011, if not before.

Fast-food critic Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, calls it a "groundbreaking announcement" and "fabulous news for health-conscious consumers."

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PRESS RELEASE FROM ACSN [Aug. 8th, 2007] ILLUSTRATES THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED FOODS AND WEIGHT GAIN:
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U.S. Consumer Group Calls for FDA Reevaluation of Aspartame Based on Latest Scientific Studies Showing Evidence of Potentially Serious Reactions - Including Weight GAIN

Dallas -- The safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame is questioned again following the release of a report connecting diet drinks to heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Aspartame Consumer Safety Network founder, Mary Nash Stoddard said, “The new Framingham study follows on the heels of an eight year study on experimental rats.” Author of Italy’s Ramazzini Cancer Research Institute’s study, Dr. Morando Soffritti found aspartame causes lymphoma, leukemia and breast cancer.

Authors of a major study published July 23rd in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, found that one or more sodas per day increases risk of new-onset metabolic syndrome (a cluster of factors that boosts the chance of having a heart attack or stroke and developing diabetes) by about 45 per cent. "It did not seem to matter if the soda was regular or diet," Dr. Ramachandran Vasan, senior investigator for the Framingham Heart Study, said Monday from Boston.

“In the 1970s, Food and Drug Administration toxicologist, Dr. Jerome Bressler discovered unreported heart and other life threatening problems in the laboratory animals, showing how the original drug company tests could have been manipulated to gain approval for the sweetener,” said Stoddard.

American Heart Association scientists said in the study, 6,039 middle-aged participants without “metabolic syndrome”,an umbrella term for excess waist circumference(obesity),hypertension and glucose intolerance(pre-diabetes)who daily drank one soft drink of any kind,in a 4-year follow-up,had a 50% higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome than those who didn't drink 1 soda (12-ounces) a day.

The link to diet soda found in the study was “striking” says Dr. Vasan, because it shows artificially sweetened diet sodas could be harmful. “That association was evident even when the researchers accounted for other factors,such as levels of saturated fat,calorie intake,smoking and physical activity.”

While authors of the study are still somewhat mystified about why there seemed to be no difference between the adverse effects of drinking regular or diet sodas sweetened with the artificial sweetener, aspartame, Stoddard proposes: “part of the answer lies in the Cephalic [Pavlovian] response that may be elicited by both high fructose corn sweeteners and artificial sweeteners.”

In the study, it is stated, “The high sweetness of diet or regular soft drinks may lead to conditioning for a greater preference for intake of sweetened items.” This speculation is based on a study by T.L. Davidson, S.E. Swithers titled A Pavlovian approach to the problem of obesity, in the Internal Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders, published in 2004.

By way of further explanation, author Dennis Remington, M.D. said in the book, The Bitter Truth About Artificial Sweeteners, “Another problem arises from using highly sweetened products of any type, whether used by themselves with few calories, as in a diet drink, or whether used to sweeten real food. Frequent ingestion of highly sweetened products forces the senses to become used to the extremely sweet taste. The sweetness causes a number of changes to occur, including release of insulin and release of endorphins and contributes to the sense of satiety caused by eating.” A scientific study done by Dr. T.L. Powley titled The ventromedial hypothalamic syndrome, satiety, and a cephalic phase hypothesis, published in Psychology Review in 1977 explains this response in more detail. Dr. Remington also cites the study by J.E. Blundell and A.J. Hill in Lancet, May 10, 1986 titled: Paradoxical effects of an intense sweetener [aspartame] on appetite. to show how subjects in a study gained weight while using aspartame.

“Foods that are not as sweet may no longer cause adequate insulin and endorphin release and may no longer be satisfying to the consumer. Also, foods that are not as sweet may no longer taste good. Using highly sweetened foods on a frequent basis will thus rob one of the pleasure normally derived from eating good wholesome food.” Dr. Remington also points out that there seems to be a clear cut relationship between weight gain and the use of artificial sweeteners, which should be further investigated.
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The report is titled: Soft Drink Consumption and Risk of Developing Cardiometabolic Risk Factors and the Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged Adults in the Community - Ravi Dhingra, Lisa Sullivan, Paul F. Jacques, Thomas J. Wang, Caroline S. Fox, James B. Meigs, Ralph B. DAgostino, J. Michael Gaziano and Ramachandran S. Vasan

Circulation published online July 23, 2007; published by the American Heart Association.
http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.689935v1
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** Message **
Diet Food Research

** Diet food 'may fuel obesity risk' **
Diet foods and drinks for children may inadvertently lead to overeating
and obesity, say researchers.
< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/health/6933686.stm >