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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MAYOR BLOOMBERG OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRESTORM OF CONTROVERSY OVER PROPOSED SODA BAN

The Sinister Dark Side of Banning HFCS Sweetened Sodas In NYC

June 5, 2012

A proposed ban on large-sized sugary sodas may drive consumers to sodas filled instead with formaldehyde, as a breakdown product of Aspartame's 10% methanol content.
On June 12, in an attempt to combat the obesity epidemic, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will ask the Board of Health to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces by movie theaters, restaurants, mobile food carts, and delis, though not grocery stores or convenience stores—so 7-Eleven's 44-ounce Super Big Gulp is safe. It also must be stated that there is not one grain of refined cane sugar in a regular Soft Drink. They all contain the highly-controversial, genetically-modified sweetener, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Another little known fact is this: the so-called Sugar Lobby pales in comparison to the megalithic Artificial Sweetener Industry, which literally has billions in its coffers with which to vigorously fight any threat to its dominance in the world.
The Bloomberg proposal would exempt not only diet sodas, but also fruit-based drinks, dairy-based drinks, and alcoholic beverages, no matter how many calories they contain.
Most soft drinks are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. HFCS is a corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired level of sweetness. Astonishingly, the mayor has exempted so-called diet drinks featuring artificial sweeteners Aspartame and Neotame. The mayor seems to like them and his proposal will undoubtedly push more people into choosing them. There is evidence these drinks are extremely dangerous, some scientists call them 'neurotoxic,' potentially much more so than the drinks they would replace.
  • Aspartame and Neotame (aka Equal/ NutraSweet), which are used in more than 6,000 diet products, foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, have carcinogenic effects at a dose level within range of human daily intake—effects that are magnified when exposure begins during pregnancy. One packet of Equal contains 33 mg. of aspartame; one can of Diet Coke contains approximately 200 mg. of Aspartame and 20 mg of methanol. One-half cup of sugarfreeJello contains 40 mg. of Aspartame and 4 mg. of methanol. 
  • Ten percent of each aspartame molecule is methanol, which is converted, at temperatures exceeding 85 degrees Fahrenheit, into formaldehyde—which, in turn, is converted to formic acid. The other 90% is composed of phenylalanine (may cause mental retardation & seizures) and aspartic acid (caused 'holes' in the brains of lab animals.) These amino acids, when found in nature are harmless.  When ingested in isolation, as in Aspartame, they are neurotoxic.
  • Aspartame has been implicated in the development of Gulf War syndrome. Huge amounts of diet drinks were shipped to Gulf War troops, who were drinking it, after it converted to toxic breakdown products in high temperatures. In the transcripts of the August, 1985 Senate Hearings on the Safety of Aspartame, the National Soft Drink Association stated their objections to the sweetener, saying "After a few weeks in storage in hot climates, there is little to no Aspartame left in a Diet Soda." Instead, only the toxic breakdown products remain. Aspartame has been shown to decompose into: methanol (wood alcohol), formaldehyde, diketopiperazine (brain tumor agent), and other toxins. Coca-Cola started using aspartame in Diet Coke in 1984.
  • In a study on seven monkeys, five had grand mal seizures and one died, a casualty rate of 86%.
  •  Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder of Dallas/Washington-based Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, set up a hotline for pilots in 1987. Stoddard reports that pilots are having grand mal seizures in the cockpits of commercial airline flights due to Aspartame, and others are crashing the flight simulator at training facilities while in seizure. Aspartame also blocks production of serotonin—a chemical that regulates aggressive behaviors, sleep patterns and menstrual cycles in women.
  • Diet sodas in general are linked to a 61% increase in strokes and heart attacks, according to the American Stroke Association. Interestingly, Alliance for Natural Health reports: the population studied for this landmark report consists of all New Yorkers!
  • In a 1976 FDA document on GRAS substances, it stated: "High-fructose corn syrups are predicted to increase in production and to replace sucrose and invert sugar in up to 30 percent of their applications by 1980-85, based largely on relative costs." The document further states: " Informing the consumer of the sugar content of foods by appropriate labeling could lead to judicious use of sweetened foods. Choices could be made easier with a greater selection of less sugared foods in the market place. The Select Committee has weighed all of the foregoing and concludes that: Evidence exists that simple sugars, including glucose and fructose [and, therefore, corn sugar(dextrose), corn syrup including high-fructose corn syrup, and invert sugars] are cariogenic. … However,  Informing the consumer of the sugar content of foods by appropriate labeling could lead to judicious use of sweetened foods. Choices could be made easier with a greater selection of less sugared (artificially-sweetened?)  foods in the market place. The Select Committee has weighed all of the foregoing and concludes that: Evidence exists that simple sugars, including glucose and fructose [and, therefore, corn sugar(dextrose), corn syrup including high-fructose corn syrup, and invert sugars] are cariogenic.   
Mayor Bloomberg needs to seriously rethink his proposed ban. It demonstrates a complete ignorance of science on his part. When government tries to force people to behave a certain way on pain of fines or worse, there is always the risk of unintended consequences, separate from the question of whether government should be telling people what to eat in the first place.
What even the most informed scientists know about food (and medical treatments) is continuously changing. Over time people will become better informed and hopefully, better choices will be made. When government officials jump in with heavy-handed punishment, there is too much risk they will get the science wrong, as in this case, or else, they will arbitrarily force today's science into law, even though science is consistently evolving. Don't forget - at one time, "More Doctors Smoked Camels Than Any Other Brand!" proclaimed the ad in the Journal of American Medical Association JAMA, a peer-reviewd scientific, medical publication. 
The mayor, states opposition to his ban is "ridiculous." But is it? There are many reasons to oppose it, not the least of which is scientifically well documented and may be found in numerous independent peer-reviewed studies.
It must also be stated, said Aspartame Consumer Safety Network Founder, Stoddard, "If this legislation is dropped in favor of tax penalties to be levied on consumers who purchase regular HFCS sweetened Sodas - we propose Diet Sodas be taxed on a basis equal with the Regular Sodas."
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(article taken from published research of Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline, since 1987, along with information on the proposed NYC ban of HFCS sweetened Large Diet Drinks, presented June 5, 2012, by The Alliance for Natural Health)

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