A Poison By Any Other Name

There’s increasing evidence that a common poison available in many consumer goods has gone and changed its name. Aspartame, found as a principle ingredient in Equal© and Nutrasweet©, has come under fire lately, so Ajinomoto, the company that manufactures it has now changed the name to AminoSweet. Same thing, different name. It’s a marketing ploy designed to keep this insidious poison in a multitude of products. Aspartame—excuse me, AminoSweet—is found in soft drinks, diet foods, prepared foods, and gum. It’s also found its way into some multivitamins, supplements, and pharmaceutical drugs!

Aspartame was accidentally discovered in 1965 by Jim Schlatter, a chemist working at G.D. Searle & Co. on a project to discover new treatments for gastric ulcers. He spilled some on his hand, later licked his finger while reaching for a piece of paper, and found it to be sweet. Thus began the long and controversial-filled journey to the extensive use for which it’s employed today.

It was patented in 1969 and in 1974 was approved by the FDA for use in carbonated drinks and dry products. In 1975 an FDA task force concluded that some of the drug companies research conclusions were highly questionable and rescinded the approval. For the next few years there were more questions raised about the safety of aspartame. In 1981, in spite of recommendations by FDA scientists and an FDA appointed Public Board of Inquiry, FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., without board consent, approved NutraSweet (aspartame) for use in dry products followed in 1983 by an approval for use in carbonated beverages.

In 1992 the FDA released a list of ninety-two complaint categories filed against NutraSweet, with a total of over 8,000 complaints! These included symptoms such as anxiety attacks, binge eating, sugar cravings, vision problems, depression and emotional problems, fatigue, migraines, insomnia, heart palpitations, hyperactivity, and learning disabilities, to name just a few. Plus various illnesses can mask the effects of aspartame, such as Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy, Epstein-Barr virus, hypothyroidism, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and even multiple sclerosis.

Yet there was very little publicized over the next few years about these risks of using products containing aspartame, in spite of European studies from 2004-2007 proving aspartame’s dangers to human health. Still there was very little reported in the media about those dangers until 2008 when it became mainstream news.
Every single year the FDA reports that a whopping eighty percent of the complaints they receive are about the adverse reactions to this artificial sweetener. Although it doesn’t definitively prove that aspartame/AminoSweet is causal, it does imply a powerful link between ill health and this substance. To avoid ingesting these products be sure to read the labels! As informed consumers, this is a good practice to develop when you have any doubts

So what to do if you’ve been consuming products with these sweeteners? Go to www.sweetpoison.com or http://www.wnho.net/wtdaspartame.htm
for further information. Also, you can use “safe” sweeteners instead, such as regular brown or white table sugar, molasses, or honey, each of these only about four calories per gram. Other sugar alcohols derived from fruits or commercially made include sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, or maltitol. Remember also that any of these provide calories and can affect your blood glucose.

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