Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, or Aminosweet

Can be found in over 6,000 processed products which line our grocery shelves from puddings, sodas, yogurts, ice creams and even in children’s vitamins, and we are currently consuming over one billion pounds of aspartame annually in the U.S. The problem with this sweetener is that there is enough scientific literature out there to dispute the approval of aspartame in the first place.  Some of this includes accusations of falsifying animal research, such as the removal of tumors from animals to cover up the possibility that the consumption of aspartame may have caused cancer, as well as storing test animal tissues in formaldehyde until they degraded so much they couldn’t be studied for further follow up, as well as not following up on research involving monkeys which had seizures after being fed aspartame.  Other concerns were raised by scientists in regards to aspartame consumption in infant mice and the subsequent development of brain tumors.

Aspartame is a combination of 2 amino acids (aspartic acid and phenylalanine) mixed with methyl ester.  Aspartic acid serves as a major excitatory neurotransmitter in your brain.  The chemical aspartic acid is frequently decreased in depressive peoples or in patients with brain atrophy and it can be increased in people who experience strokes and seizures.  In very high doses, aspartic acid also has the potential to cause brain damage.

aspartame The other amino acid, phenylalanine, is converted naturally within the body to tyrosine, and subsequently L-dopa, nor-epinephrine, and epinephrine. These important neurotransmitters play a significant role in moderating brain chemistry.  Excessive phenylalanine can alter the delicate balance of neurotransmitter ratios and therefore cause a variety of neurological symptoms such as depression, anxiety attacks, tremors, headaches, and seizures. Because it affects brain chemistry, aspartame interacts with psychotropic medications including antidepressants.

The third ingredient, methyl ester, is broken down by the body into methanol (wood alcohol, paint remover) The Environmental Protection Agency defines safe consumption of this dangerous substance at no more that 7.8 milligrams per day, and yet a single can of diet soda contains 16 milligrams. When aspartame-containing products are exposed to warm temperatures or to prolonged storage they may break down the methanol into the toxin formaldehyde, and the phenylalanine may break down into DKP- a known carcinogen. Furthermore this formaldehyde can accumulate within your cells and react with other cellular proteins which include enzymes and DNA.  This cumulative reaction may result in severe consequences for those who consume diet drinks and aspartame-containing products on a daily basis. Any cancer risk related to  formaldehyde will depend on the amount and the duration of exposure.

75% of all complaints to the FDA regarding adverse reactions to foods was related to aspartame ingestion and the list includes headache, mood changes, nausea, seizures, numbness of limbs, muscle twitching, hives, vision changes including blindness and shortness of breath.

In November of 1996, the ‘Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology’ published a scientific paper saying that aspartame might be responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of people who are developing brain tumors.  Reported in a CBS new/60 Minutes broadcast, this Swedish study found a link among elderly and middle aged people drinking diet soda and developing large brain tumors.

Another study from Spain in 1998, was conducted on rats which found that aspartame ultimately converts to formaldehyde in the body, and then tends to accumulate in the brain, liver and kidneys, and other tissues.

Watch the documentary Sweet Misery on aspartame

A Troubling Timeline of Aspartame’s Approval Process

The history of aspartame begins when a chemist, working at the G.D.  Searle Company, begins looking for a drug to treat peptic ulcer disease. He mixes asparatic acid and phenylalanine, both amino acids (building blocks for protein). During his work he happens to lick his fingers and finds the substance on them to be sweet.

In 1973, the company applies for FDA approval for a food additive.  Later that year the FDA ruled that the information Searle provided was inadequate to determine aspartame’s safety and requested more testing.   The subsequent data they provided was challenged by Dr. John Olney, who found that aspartame consumption was linked with the development of brain tumors in mice, and it triggered an investigation into the accuracy of the submitted materials.

In 1977, the FDA requested the U.S. attorney’s office to investigate Searle for alleged inaccuracies and inadequate testing procedures used in their studies. This was the first time in history that the FDA requested a criminal investigation of a food manufacturer.

In 1977, while a grand jury was investigating Searle, the very same law firm that was representing Searle began contract negotiations with Samuel Skinner (the lead investigator of the case) in order to hire him at their firm.  Skinner subsequently leaves his job at the U. S. attorney’s office and takes a position with Searle’s law firm.   His resignation stalled the proceedings long enough that the statute of limitations ran out.  As a result, the grand jury was forced to abandon its investigation.

In 1977, the Searle Company hires Donald Rumsfeld to head their company and help them through this approval process.

In 1980, A FDA Board of Inquiry voted unanimously against the approval of aspartame.

November,  1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president. The first thing he did when he took office was to issue an executive order limiting the power of the current FDA commissioner so that he could not unilaterally prevent aspartame from being approved. Within one month, he appoints a new FDA commissioner, Robert Hull Hayes Jr.,   Mr. Hayes then appoints an internal panel to review the issues raised by the board of inquiry.  Three of the five in-house scientists voted to uphold the ban on aspartame.  Dr. Hayes installs a sixth member who tied the vote, allowing him to cast the deciding vote and approve aspartame.

In less than 3 months on the job, Mr. Hayes ignored all of the previous findings from the FDAs own task force and immediately approves aspartame for use in dry goods, and  two years later it is approved for use in soft drinks.

Hayes later resigns before finishing his term after accusations that he had accepted gifts from the very same companies he was supposed to have regulated.  He then takes a job with J.D. Searle’s public relations firm as a senior scientific consultant.

In 1981, Sales of aspartame reach $600,000,000.00

In 1985 the company was sold to the Monsanto Corporation.


Foxnews report on aspartame


Experiment with rats that were fed aspartame


Links to the results of 2 recent studies of aspartame raising the risk of  leukemia and lymphoma

Artificial sweeteners are linked to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

splenda is toxicSPLENDA, also known as sucralose, is found in over 4,500 processed food products and is a chlorinated artificial sugar derivative which is up to 600 times sweeter than sugar with no calories and no carbohydrates. Its development started when Shashikant Phadris,(a graduate student), and his advisor were trying to make a new INSECTICIDE.  The experiments included taking sulfuryl chloride- a highly poisonous chemical and adding it drop by drop into a sugar solution.  Once again, an accidental tasting leads to a new sugar substitute discovery.

Four years later, the manufacturing rights were sold to Johnson and Johnson, and a new company was formed- McNeil Nutritionals LLC, which would take over the marketing of this new product.

Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” is their motto, but only after exposure to a slew of chemicals which leaves it so altered from its original state that it has no resemblance to a sugar molecule anymore.

Splenda manufacturing involves the artificial replacement of hydrogen atoms in sugar with chlorine atoms and then forces the chlorine atoms to form a covalent bond with carbon. Splenda manufacturers claim that chlorine is found naturally in the foods we eat and drink daily, so consuming splenda is no different.  However, chlorine is not founds in the foods we eat and drink-chloride is.  Comparing the two would be like comparing Dr Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. Chloride is mainly used in salt, and its main negative ion is found in sea water and body fluids.  It is non-toxic and essential to all life.  However, chlorine is a chemically-made element, not found in nature and is commonly used as a bleaching agent or disinfectant and is also one of the most toxic  man-made chemical.  Chlorine can be used in combination with other chemicals to create anything from pesticides to plastics. When you add chlorine to a carbon containing compound the result is organo-chlorides, and they have the potential to be converted into toxic pesticides which can cause severe and permanent neurological and immune dysfunction and even cancer.


Dr Mercola on splenda



  Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health

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