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Sunday, May 22, 2016


"Today we acknowledge the work of outstanding scientist, Dr. John Olney, and his published findings regarding the possible association between aspartame and a dramatic rise in the incidence of Brain Tumors. My distinguished colleagues and I each bring forward a different piece of the aspartame puzzle. Our Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline's contribution is international in scope and relates to our decade of work on the issue of what effects aspartame consumption may have on the health of the average person using it. 

My name is: Mary Nash Stoddard. Today I speak as the Founder of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network. Our organization consists of thousands of concerned consumers and has links to health care professionals and scientists around the world. It was founded in 1987, based on my personal experience with a child. As the parents in the movie, "Lorenzo's Oil", I searched to find the truth. Because my background was in media, not in science, I conducted my search as an investigative reporter might. And, also because I am the widow of a wonderful husband who was diagnosed with Brain Cancer Oct. 9, 1984 and died three months later in 1985 at age 42. I learned that along with finding "the truth" connecting Brain Cancers with Aspartame consumption, came a compelling sense of responsibility to share it with others. Therefore, I've worked daily, on a voluntary basis, with individuals seeking help for their serious health problems. The adverse reaction reports pour in to our Dallas office via mail, email and telephone from all over the world. Many people report symptoms that mimic common diseases of our time which seem to have reached epidemic proportions since the advent of Aspartame, such as: MS; Lupus; Epilepsy; Chronic Fatigue; Lyme Disease; Alzheimer's; Lou Gehrig's Disease; Graves Disease; Post Polio Syndrome; Fibromyalgia, etc. Even Gulf War Syndrome, which I seemed to suffer from in 1985, while consuming Aspartame. I had all the reported symptoms. All these conditions usually diminish or completely disappear when Aspartame sweeteners (better known in the U.S. as NutraSweet and Equal) are eliminated from the diet for a period of 2-4 weeks. Extremely disturbing, and pertinent today, are reports of severe neurological symptoms. These include: aggression, suicidal depressions, aberrant behaviors, unexplained sleep disorders and extreme mood swings. 

We are here today to discuss the Brain Tumor issue. Yes, ACSN has reports of Brain Tumors in our files. One from an airline pilot - a heavy user of the sweetener - who suffered a rare form of Brain Tumor. After neurosurgery, he has lost the use of one hand and "flies a desk" for the airline. 

Another, amazingly, came from a public liaison officer with the FDA (who did not wish to be identified for obvious reasons). Her daughter developed a Brain Tumor during a concentrated period of heavy dieting to fit into a tight wedding dress. She was left unable to perform as a concert pianist, and her life wilI never again be the same. She was using lots of Aspartame sugarfree products to help her lose weight.

In November, 1987, I was invited to give testimony to Senator Metzenbaum's Committee, holding their third hearing on the safety of Aspartame. While in Washington, I met Major Michael Collings, an outstanding F-16 pilot in the Air Force. During a private conversation, he asked, "Why did you start a consumer group? Do you know what you're up against?" And, finally, "Are you crazy?" (Or words to that effect.) I answered "No." to the last question, and told him I wanted to help other parents understand what aspartame can do to children. He said, "Don't stop there. Help us too. Pilots are losing their careers and maybe even their lives because we are not being told the truth." (Major Collings had just lost his medical certificate after suffering a grand mal seizure as my child had done.) 

James Turner and I met with Chief Deputy Flight Surgeon, Dr. Jon Jordan at his Washington FAA Headquarters, presenting our concerns and looking for solutions for pilots. One of the answers was to establish a pilot hotline for the purpose of taking adverse reactions confidentially. The FAA, we were told, could not recall a drug or go against FDA findings that it was safe enough to approve in 1981. Since then, based on our work, the US Air Force published two warnings in their official Flying Safety magazine in 1992. We believe the flying public and pilots have a right to know we have collected several reports of grand mal seizures in the cockpit in flight on commercial airlines. 

Based on a review of thousands of case histories in our files, we have concluded aspartame is indeed harming people and destroying lives. Whether we use it or not, each of us suffers economically. In skyrocketing health care costs and higher insurance premiums, from loss of productivity in the workplace and compensations for disabilities, sometimes caused by Aspartame. 

As is well-documented now, a defensive tobacco industry has stacks of studies that prove "scientifically" how their product cannot be implicated as the cause of: heart attacks, strokes, cancers and deaths. Now, a multi-billion dollar artificial sweetener industry does the same. Aspartame symptoms (such as those from smoking) do not show up in short term testing. These are parallel issues. Our message has been referred to in print as "alarmist" by both Dr. Robert Moser, NutraSweet's senior medical advisor and Rich Nelson, head of public relations. That's their job. Our job is proving them wrong. They also referred to me as a "Nice lady, but very misguided!" in another interview. 

As Founder and Executive Director of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, I speak for literally thousands of consumers around the world who urge the FDA to call an immediate moratorium on the sale of the chemical sweetener, Aspartame. In the words of our late friend and former FDA Toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, "We no longer have dead laboratory animals. We have live victims." -- Hon. Mary Nash Stoddard/author Deadly Deception Story of Aspartame (Odenwald Press 1998)"


Hon. Mary Nash Stoddard (ret)
Co-Founder Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Pilot Hotline (1987-present)

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