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Sunday, August 15, 2010

NUTRITION & HEALING - Nov. 1995 [Int. w/Mary Stoddard]

NUTRITION & HEALING - November 1995

Exclusive Interview
Consumer Information On Aspartame
MARY NASH STODDARD

Mary Nash Stoddard is founder of the ASPARTAME CONSUMER SAFETY NETWORK, and
author of DEADLY DECEPTION, a fact-filled sourcebook concerning the sweetener
"aspartame" (NutraSweet/Equal.) She started ACSN's Pilot's Hotline, which has
taken over 500 pilot-related calls about aspartame-related flight-safety
impairments, including grand mal seizures in the cockpit, as well as loss of
vision, vertigo, and heart problems.

Stoddard has qualified as an expert witness in aspartame-related courtroom
proceedings and is a board member of the National Natural Foods Association.
From 1977-1983 she was appointed Judge on the State of Texas Board of
Adjustments. In the 1960's she was the first woman disc jockey in the
Dallas/Fort Worth area, and operated "KSAM Productions," an audio-visual
production studio from 1965 through 1987.

Q: Your important consumer education work on the sweetener "aspartame" is
well known and we are delighted to speak to you. Is it true that the large
majority of non-drug complaints to the Food and Drug Administration are about
adverse reactions to aspartame, also called NutraSweet or Equal?

A: Currently, it's about 78% of all complaints. At one time, the figure was
85%! Yet, this isn't reported in the newspapers or announced through other
media. It's a well-hidden secret.

Q: Imagine if it were a vitamin or herbal product, we'd have the federal pill
police swarming like angry bees. Would you please list for us some of the
symptoms caused by aspartame?

A: Aspartame not only causes individual symptoms, it can mimic entire
syndromes! For example, the CFIDS (chronic fatigue and immune deficiency
syndrome) newsletter calls it the "sweet poison, NutraSweet," because it can
mimic the symptoms of CFIDS. It can also cause grand mal seizures. According
to H.J. Roberts, M.D., it can cause decreased vision, pain in the eyes,
decreased tears, ringing in the ears, hearing impairment, headache, dizziness
and unsteadiness, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, sleepiness, slurring of
speech, numbness and tingling, tremors, depression, irritability, aggression,
anxiety, insomnia, phobias, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, high
blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, itching, hives, menstrual
changes, weight gain, hair thinning and hair loss, urinary burning and
frequency, excessive thirst, fluid retention, bloating, increased infection,
and even death.

Q: Death?

A: Five deaths reported prior to 1987. We don't know the number since then.

Q: What's in this stuff?

A: Among other things, it's about 10% methanol (wood alcohol,) famous for
causing blindness in alcoholics. In the body, methanol metabolizes into
formaldehyde, a neurotoxin; formic acid, a venom in ant stings; and
diketopiperazine, which causes brain tumors in animals. It's so bad that in
July of 1983, the National Soft Drink Association presented official
objections to putting aspartame in beverages. I'll read you one of their
objections: "It is well established under Section 402(a)(3) that a food which
contains a decomposed substance...is subject to seizure by FDA." It's
thoroughly established that after a number of weeks and at temperatures over
85 degrees F, there's no aspartame left in a soft drink, only breakdown
products. So, why isn't FDA seizing it under Section 402 (a)(3)? 

Q: Your book, Deadly Deception reports that initially FDA had started
investigations of the G.D. Searle Company, makers of aspartame.

A: Yes. In 1977 an FDA task force submitted a 15,000 page document covering
their investigation. Here are two quotes:
 "We have uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle's integrity..."
 "The cumulative findings of problems within and across the studies we
investigated reveal a pattern of conduct which compromises the scientific
integrity of the studies."

Q: These are from FDA's own task force report on Searle's aspartame research?

A: Exactly. Your readers may not know that aspartame was originally approved
in 1974, but when the brain-tumor issue arose, the approval was withdrawn.

Q: Tell us about the "brain-tumor issue."

A: Many of the test animals fed aspartame developed large tumors. These were
actually cut out, and the animals returned to the study. In some cases, the
tumors weren't even examined for malignancy, and the tumors weren't reported
to FDA. In several cases, animals were reported as dead and later reported as
alive again.

Q: No wonder FDA's task force "uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle's
integrity!"

A: The results of the task force investigation of aspartame and other Searle
drugs were presented to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Labor and Public
Welfare. Senator Edward Kennedy said that "the extensive nature of the almost
unbelievalbe range of abuses discovered by the FDA on several major Searle
products is profoundly disturbing."

Q: So, how did aspartame ever get approved and progress so far into our food
supply?

A: Well, for one thing, a former member of Congress and Chief of Staff in the
Ford Administration, Donald Rumsfeld, was hired as President of Searle in
1977. Rumsfeld was paid $2 million in salary and $1.5 million in bonuses
between 1979 and 1984.

Q: Oh-oh.

A: Also, in 1977, Senior Assistant U.S. Attorney, William Conlon was assigned
to the Searle case. He took no action, despite repeated prodding by Richard
Merrill, Chief Counsel to the FDA. One year later, Conlon took a position
with Sidley and Austin, the law firm representing Searle.

Q: A pattern seems to be emerging. 

A: Rumsfeld, now Searle president, hired: John Robson as Executive
Vice-President - he had been a spokesman of the Civil Aeronautics Board;
William Greener as Chief Spokesman for Searle - he had been a spokesman in
the Ford White House; and, Robert Shapiro as General Counsel, who later
became head of Searle's NutraSweet Division - he had been a Special Assistant
in the Department of Transportation.

 But, here's the pay-off!

Q: No pun intended?

A: The facts are interesting, aren't they? In 1983, the Commissioner of the
FDA, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. approved NutraSweet for soft drinks two
months before leaving office. Two-to-three months later, he accepted a
position as Senior Medical Advisor to Searle's public relations firm, Burson
Marsteller. He was paid $1,000 per day as consultant.

Q: Really, $1,000 a day? This is a matter of public record?

A: A matter of public record. And, Michael Taylor was also involved in the
approval of aspartame. 

Q: Michael Taylor, the Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) man, who worked for FDA,
lawyered for Monsanto to get rBGH approved, then went to work for FDA writing
the rBGH regulations?

A: The very same. Didn't you know that G. D. Searle is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Monsanto, with Robert Shapiro as current CEO?

Q: What a surprise. And a not unfamiliar pattern. But, tell us about aviation
and aspartame.

A: The official Air Force safety magazine, FLYING SAFETY, and the Navy's
flight magazine, NAVY PHYSIOLOGY, have both published warnings about using
aspartame and flying.

Q: Will you give us an example?

A: A pilot called ACSN's Pilot Hotline two nights ago and told me about his
experience. Flying for Peninsula Airlines in Alaska, he had a seizure in
flight at 10,000 feet and was grounded. He had been drinking eight to ten
cups of coffee a day sweetened with Equal, another aspartame compound. Since
he quit aspartame, he's been seizure-free, but he hasn't been allowed to fly.

Q: We need to know more about this.

A: In my book, Deadly Deception, there's a reprint of a scientific paper
showing that aspartame aggravates abnormal brain waves in children with
epilepsy (Neurology 1992;42:1000-1003.)

Q: Maybe airline passengers should question pilots about aspartame use before
boarding! What about those U.S. Senate hearings during which pilots testified
about the adverse effects of aspartame on their flying abilities?

A: There have actually been three hearings.

Q: Here we go again!

A: Speaking of contributions... watch out diabetics! The NutraSweet company
has given money, money, money to the American Diabetic Association. And,
remember when you hear a registered dietitian say aspartame is safe for
pregnant women, children, and everyone else, the Registered Dietitian's
professional association has been given $75,000 to expound on the virtues of
aspartame. The American Dietetic Association has even stated that the
NutraSweet company writes their "Fact Sheets."

Q: So, there's money everywhere...to members of Congress, former regulatory
bureaucrats, professional associations...

A: Absolutely. Aspartame approval and persistence on the market has
everything to do with money and politics, and almost nothing to do with
science and reason. Even the FDA's own reviewers were against aspartame until
those political/financial events I've mentioned.

Q: Is there any hope to reverse all this?

A: Each of us will have to do it ourselves, one at a time and by spreading
the word. Fortunately, it appears that the public pays more attention to this
issue when they're given access to the information I've been outlining. The
last TV show I appeared on about this issue, received 100,000 calls over the
next three days.

Q: Thank you so much for devoting your time and energy to spreading the word
about the hazards of aspartame.

A: Your readers can call the ASPARTAME CONSUMER SAFETY NETWORK at
(214)352-4268 for more information as well as many suggestions for helping to
make known the truth about aspartame.
_____________________________________________________________
(Cover story Interview with Mary Nash Stoddard, founder of the Aspartame
Consumer Safety Network and author of a source book about the sweetener,
aspartame. - Dr. Jonathan V. Wright's NUTRITION & HEALING with Alan R. Gaby,
M.D., November 1995 - Vol. 2, Issue 11. Pub. by Nutrition & Healing, Inc.,
Phoenix, AZ.)
_____________________________________________________________
*(U.S. Attorney, Samuel Skinner was prosecuting G.D. Searle for falsifying
tests submitted for approval of aspartame, but recused himself at the last
minute to join Searle's law firm, Sidley & Austin. Skinner then went back
into Government, becoming head of the Dept. of Transportation - over the FAA.
From there he was appointed Chief of Staff in President Bush's White House. 
Recently, he was nominated Man-of-the-Year by the Epilepsy Foundation in
Chicago. Ironically, aspartame is reported to "trigger" epilepsy in a number
of Epileptics. Also, former Monsanto Attorney, Clarence Thomas was appointed
Supreme Court Judge amidst swirling controversy over his appointment! Ed.)
_____________________________________________________________
Deadly Deception and other aspartame-related materials including THE
ASPARTAME CONSPIRACY, an hour-long video are available for $35 each - send check or Money Order made out to Mary Nash Stoddard - Founder ACSN - P.O. Box 2001, Frisco TX 75034, USA.