Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aspartame causes Cancer, so why is it so widely used?

I came across an article in the news today titled Harvard hospital admits it promoted weak science on aspartame; more specifically weak research on the safety of aspartame regarding the negative and harmful effects of  this artificial sweetener, and its link to cancer in humans.  The article goes as far as saying, "In other words, if you see a headline screaming, “Aspartame linked to cancer,” don’t believe it." 

Wow! I can just smell the corruption through my computer screen!

For those that don't know the history of this cancer causing sweetener, let me fill you in.  Since its discovery by GD Searle and Company in the mid 60's it has endured one of the toughest battles, as far as FDA approval goes, due to what has been called poor, sloppy, almost laughable research by Searle to show that it was indeed safe for human consumption.  In the early 80's the FDA actually concluded that aspartame might induce brain tumors following research by a committee comprised of 3 independent scientist, and actually banned it based on these findings.  So why then is it now not only an approved sweetener, but used in countless processed foods and soft drinks? 

Let's connect the dots shall we?  Here's an abbreviated timeline...

  • In 1981 following Reagan's inauguration, a man by the name of Author Hayes Hull Jr. was appointed commissioner of the FDA.  Around that same time, Searle reapplied for FDA approval for its artificial sweetener, aspartame.  A five person scientific committee was appointed to review the previous decision.   As it was becoming clear that the panel would uphold the FDA’s rejection by a vote of 3-2, Hull appointed a 6th member which conveniently caused a deadlock.  And with Hull then becoming the deciding vote, aspartame was approved 4 to 3.  
  • Two years later Hull left the administration eventually taking a job with Burston-Marsteller, a public relations firm for Searle and interestingly enough Monsanto. 
  • In 1985 Monsanto purchased GD Searle.

Didn’t take long to connect this cancer causing substance with the deep pockets of our nation’s factory farming processed food industry.   Click here for a full timeline.

To make things even more clear, in case you still doubt the corruption that takes place when it comes to the FDA and our food and drug industries, a recent study on the “industry’s” influence on so called scientific research headed by a professor of psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio University’s college of medicine, compared the outcomes of aspartame safety research based on who funded the research.  Surprisingly enough (or not) of the 164 studies performed, 74 were funded by the nutrasweet industry, all of which deemed aspartame safe, while of the 90 independent studies performed, 83 identified aspartame as UNSAFE!  A bit contradicting, wouldn’t you say? 

Here’s a link to a Mike Wallace interview summing things in a bit more detail.

Bottom line, when you read an article telling you that despite all of the research on a substance that has long been tainted as cancer causing, is all of a sudden ok for you… be suspicious!

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