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Sunday, November 7, 2010

ACSN Founder's Personal Story

by Mary Nash Stoddard

Fifteen (now 25) years ago, I was experiencing suicidal depression, extreme mood swings, memory loss and confusion, linked with other somewhat “bizarre” behavioral patterns . I saw a neurologist and five other “specialists” to no avail. The onset of my symptoms coincided with the start of a 1985 weight-loss program using lots of aspartame, and ceased after I stopped using anything with artificial sweeteners. I no longer suffer severe suicidal depressions.

In 1987, after many months of researching the medical literature, at the request of my friend, Washington Consumer Advocate, James Turner, Esq., I provided sworn, expert testimony at the Senate Hearings and founded an international grassroots organization, Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline. In 1992, I qualified as an Expert Medical Witness in Judge Holiday’s courtroom in Lansing, Michigan and in 1997, I was a paid visiting professor at one of the top medical schools in the country - University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas. I have lectured at many science symposiums and university events, in several countries, since that time and am a member of the President's Select Council on Food Safety.

My purpose is this: to educate those users who may be suffering severe adverse reactions without knowing the cause and to create increasing awareness on the part of an unsuspecting public. My allegations are supported by literally dozens of studies and articles published in the peer-reviewed medical journals showing the risk factors associated with ingestion of aspartame. At the risk of hurtful personal ridicule and disbelief by some, if my words of caution help others to find relief from troubling symptoms, I have done my job.

For the record, we have received, through the Freedom of Information Act, as a Journalist, 92 cases of aspartame-related symptoms -- including 5 deaths which have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration. Because one aspartame component, phenylalanine [50%of the molecule] has been shown in the laboratory to block production of a necessary neurotransmitter, serotonin, which controls sleep patterns and moods, many daily users of products containing the sweetener such as diet drinks, gums, etc. report both manic and suicidal depressions among other symptoms. Aspartame also breaks down in heat and in the body to methanol [10% wood alcohol], formaldehyde, formic acid [venom in ant and spider bites] and diketopiperazine [a brain tumor agent.] In the lab, aspartame caused four kinds of tumors: brain, pancreatic, breast and uterine. [Also kidney cancers, leukemia and lymphoma in the more recent Ramizzini study in Italy.]

Even subtle alterations of brain patterns in aspartame users may be deemed significant, according to these prominent brain researchers:

Richard Wurtman, M.D., head of Brain Science at MIT says, “There is evidence that levels of serotonin or 5-HIAA are subnormal in CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] samples from violent psychiatric patients and in brains of people who died by suicide.”1

“In rats, the administration of glucose and aspartame by gavage increased brain levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine and decreased brain serotonin concentration. It has been argued that these changes in brain amino acid and biogenic amine levels in rats may have important behavioral implications for humans.”2

About the Author:

With a background in Broadcast Journalism and Law, Mary Nash Stoddard searched for the cause of her youngest child’s reaction and her own life threatening blood disorder (Eosinophilia Myalgia Syndrome) as an investigative reporter might on the trail of a baffling story. With the help of a close friend -- a neuropharmacologist researcher at a foremost medical school -- and Shannon Roth, another friend in Ocala, Florida who provided moral support and substantial evidence that aspartame had caused Roth’s blindness and symptoms mimicking Multiple Sclerosis, Stoddard was well on her way to finding answers and reporting the story.

For the past fifteen [now 25] years - with virtually no outside funding and at great personal risk and sacrifice _ she has taken her fight around the world and was a member of the President’s Select Council on Food Safety. Last year [1999] she was a keynote speaker at the invitation of the Mexican Government,accompanied by her interpreter and friend, Ms.Connie Soto of Tampa, Florida. Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder and President Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline [1987-present] Mary Nash Stoddard, author of Deadly Deception Story of Aspartame, [Odenwald 1998], can be reached at: P.O. Box 2001, Frisco, TX 75034, phone: 214-387-4001, email:,;

1 Wurtman, Richard J. ,M.D.; “Effects of Dietary Amino Acids, Carbohydrates, and Choline on Neurotransmitter
Synthesis; The Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine; Vol. 55, No. 1, January 1988. From the Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and The Clinical Research Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.]

2 JAMA, July 19,1985-Vol 254, No.3, p.402

3 “Adverse Reactions to Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable Population,” the Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 1993

4 Lane Lenard, Phd as reported in the January 1998 issue of Life Enhancement

5 Blaylock, Russel M.D., Excitotoxins-The Taste That Kills

Permission granted to re-post/re-publish - giving full attribution to Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline Founder, Mary Nash Stoddard - and link to the following URL: