Aspartame Dangers – Part 2

aspartame products
In part 2 of Aspartame Dangers, we will look at the Bressler Report and then the shady attempts to get aspartame approved.  As we know these duplicitous tactics have worked and now aspartame is consumed by billions of people worldwide.  How many, I wonder, are suffering because of their instake of this chemical, not realising what’s making them sick.  Here is Part 1 and Part 3 

Yet another report

In 1977, over a period of 5 months, another report known as “The Bressler Report” was instigated to investigate procedures of Searle research because of inconsistencies found by the FDA.  The report was damning with 40 different parts of the research found to be lacking in areas of:

  1. Design & Conduct of Study
  2. Stability and Homogeneity of Diet Mixture
  3. Dosage, Body Weight and Food Consumption
  4. Gross and Microscopic Pathology
  5. Organ Weights
  6. Survival
  7. Clinical Laboratory Procedures
Affected animals excluded from study results
rat tumour
Before and after a tumour excision

For instance under Gross and Microscopic Pathology:  “Animal F6HF, a high dose female,was found dead at 787 days of treatment and the gross pathology sheet reported a tissue mass measuring 5.0 x 4.5 x 2.5 cm.  The submission to FDA reported no tissue mass and the animal was excluded from the study due to marked autolysis.” (postmortem changes after death).  A total of 20 animals were excluded from the study due to excessive autolysis.  Of these, 17 had been fixed in toto and autopsied at a later date.

Animals dying twice!

Under Design & Conduct of Study: “Observation records indicated that animal A23LM was alive at week 88, dead from week 92 through week 104, alive at week 108 and dead at week 112.”

Under Clinical Laboratory Procedures: “Some of the data sheets for urinalysis had erroneously labeled the phenylketones test values as “phenylalanine.” 

This is just an example of the sloppiness of the research done by GD Searle.  In the opinion of many critics, this was more to do with fraud.

Obvious attempts to massage results

The above comes from The complete Bressler Report and is worth looking at.  It is a little difficult to read in places because of the copying but you can see what’s going on here and how Searle attempted to ‘massage’ the research they did on aspartame, with these three different studies, one of rats and two others on mice.  These went missing for 3 decades.

Rumsfeld appointed President of Searle

In 1977 Donald Rumsfeld was appointed President of GD Searle.  Attorney James Turner Esq., alledged that this position given to Rumsfeld, was Searle’s attempt  to get aspartame approved through political means rather than scientific.  Rumsfeld was also on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Tribune.  The newspaper had recently written a glowing article on the Nutrasweet Company.

Grand jury investigation of Searle recommended

On January 10th 1977, a letter from FDA Chief Counsel Richard Merrill recommended to US Attorney Sam Skinner that a grand jury investigate Searle for “apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 USC 331 (e) and the False Reports to the Government Act, 18 USC 1001 for their willful and knowing failure to make reports to the FDA required by the act, 21 USC 355 (i) and for concealing material facts and making false statements in reports of animals studies conducted to establish the safety of aspartame.”

StatuteStatute of Limitations runs out

In July 1977 US Attorney Samuel Skinner who was supposed to instigate the grand jury investigation, was recruited by GD Searle’s law firm Sidley & Austin.   US Attorney William Conlon convened a grand jury but he let the statute of limitation lapse for the aspartame charges, thus the investigation was dropped.

5 person Task Force to review Bressler Report

After the Bressler Report, HR Roberts, Director of the FDA’s Bureau of Foods created a 5 person task force to review the report.  He would later leave the FDA to become vice president of the National Soft Drink Assn. in 1978.  Jacqueline Verrett was appointed the Senior Scientist for the review.  She later openly discussed the review and testified before the US Senate.  In one of her statements she said “It would appear that the safety of aspartame and its breakdown products has still not been satisfactorly determined, since many of the flaws cited in these three studies were also present in all of the other studies submitted by Searle.”

Searle pays $500,000 to validate research

Incidiously as time went by, reviews of Searle’s research started to tone down.  In December of 1978 UAREP ( Universities Associated for Research and Education in Pathology), stated that “no discrepancies in any of the sponsor’s reports that were of sufficient magnitude or nature that would compromise that data originally submitted.”     FDA toxicologist Adrian Gross stated that the UAREP review “may well be interpreted as nothing short of a whitewash”.  It is worth noting that Searle paid $500,000 for outside validation of their studies and it beggars belief that the FDA would allow such an action or take notice of the report results.

FDA acquiesces

In March 1979, the FDA seemed to change their tune and concludes that Searle’s aspartame studies were in fact acceptable!  Under pressure, they did decide however, to summon a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) which Dr John Olney and Attorney James Turner suggested 4 years earlier.

Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI)

Dr Olney, Searle and the FDA’s Bureau of Foods were to nominate scientists for the 3 person PBOI.  Note that the scope of the review was very limited and did not encompass all the various adverse reactions reported to the FDA.  Validity discussions were not allowed as the FDA had already accepted that the experiments had been validated.  Also consideration was to be for aspartame in dry goods only.

Dr Olney objects to Dr Young
Dr Young
Dr Vernon Young
Dr Olney
Dr John Olney

Dr John Olney objected to the panelists (Dr Vernon Young) because of a conflict of interest and lack of qualifications.  Dr Young had written articles working with Searle scientists.  Also that a neuropathologist was necessary to question aspartic acid’s neurotoxicity and Dr Young was unqualified in this field.  Dr Olney’s objections were overruled and Dr Young was assigned to study aspartic acid toxicity!

One of the three, Dr Nauta, stated that he would definately have considered other tests and research should be done if he had known that aspartame was planned for soft drinks usage.

PBOI rejects the use of aspartame

In 1980, the PBOI unanimously rejected the use of aspartame until additonal studies on aspartame’s potential to trigger brain tumors was done.  One experiment E33/34 of 320 rats receiving aspartame and the consequential high incidence of tumors, was of great concern.  As was the E70 experiment where 80 rats received aspartame but both the aspartame group and the control group had an unusually high number of tumors, leading to suspicions that both groups were actually given aspartame.

Although the PBOI did not consider that aspartic acid was a neurotoxic hazard, Dr Olney pointed out that “[Dr Young had a] lack of qualification” and that he “based his decision on a consideration of [aspartic acid] alone without regard to the real issue, ie. is it safe to add [aspartic acid] to the large amount of [glutamic acid/MSG] that were already adulterating the food supply?”  Also Dr Young used a conservative safety plasma level of aspartic acid that was the level at which half the rats developed brain damage.  Dr Young’s errors put the question of safety of aspartic acid into doubt.

ReaganRumsfeldSearle reapplies the day after Reagan takes office

On 20th January 1981, Ronald Reagan takes office as US President.  The day after, with Rumsfeld in charge, Searle reapplied for the approval of aspartame.  Rumsfeld’s connections with the Republican party was considered to be the reasoning behind this ‘political’ move.

Rumsfeld will “call in all his markers”ReaganRumsfeld

According to a former GD Searle salesperson, Patty Wood-Allott, GD Searle president Donald Rumsfeld told his salesforce that, if necessary, “[he would] call in all his markers and that no matter what, [he would] see to it that aspartame would be approved that year.”

5 member panel set up to review PBOI

In March 1981, Jere Goyan the FDA Commissioner set up a 5 member panel of scientists to review the issues raised by the PBOI.   In April 1981 Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. was appointed FDA Commissioner by Ronald Reagan.

3 panel members appose approval
FDA Commissioner
Commissioner Jere Goyan FDA

A letter was sent on 18th May 1981 by three of the scientists on this panel, Dr Satva Dubey (FDA Chief of Statistical Evaluation Branch), Douglas Park (Staff Science Advisor) and Robert Condon (Veterinary Medicine) to the panel lawyer Joseph Levitt.  One of the panelists Dr Satva Dubey said that the brain tumor data for the aspartame research was so worrisome that he could not recommend approval of aspartame.  In another study, Dubey said that key data appeared to have been altered.

5 members change to 6!

These three of the five scientists on the team opposed approval so it was decided to bring in a toxicologist for his opinion.  Reagan replaces Goyan with Arthur Hull Hayes.  Goyan said he would not have increased the team if the decision was up to him.  So now there was a 3-3 split.  Arthur Hull Hayes had the last word and made the split 3:4 in favour of approving aspartame.

Newly appointed  FDA Commissioner approves aspartame
Hill Hayes
Arthur Hull Hayes

On 18th July 1981, aspartame was approved for use with dry foods by the new FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes Jr.  This despite the PBOI and ignoring the law of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 348).  This states that a food additive should not be approved if tests are inconclusive.

Searle applies for additional aspartame approval

On 15th October 1982, Searle applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in soft drinks and children’s vitamins.

Mark Novitch
Mark Novitch

In 1983, Mark Novitch, acting FDA Commissioner, approved aspartame for use in carbonated beverages and carbonated beverage syrup basis.  Although FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes was out of town, he worked closely with Mark Novitch and ignoring the FDA’s own safety standards, they more than doubled the ADI (acceptable daily intake) of aspartame from 20mg/kg to 50mg/kg.

Arthur Hull Hayes left the FDA shortly after FDA approval for aspartame in carbonated beverages, under a cloud of improprieties.  He became Dean of New York Medical College and was hired as a consultant at $1,000 per Ches Powerday by Searle’s public relations firm, Burston Marsteller.

Part 3 of this extensive post will be explaining exactly what happens to your body when you ingest aspartame.

  1. Life-span exposure to low doses of aspartame beginning during prenatal life increases cancer effects in rats. Soffritti M1, Belpoggi F, Tibaldi E, Esposti DD, Lauriola M.  Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Sep;115(9):1293-7

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Aspartame Dangers Part 2
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Aspartame Dangers Part 2
In part 2 of Aspartame Dangers, we will look at the Bressler Report and then the shady attempts to get aspartame approved.
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23 thoughts on “Aspartame Dangers – Part 2

  1. Thank you Xaric and part three will be published tomorrow. This will give an insight as to how sick you can get with this toxin. You’re right, you can’t trust anyone. Because of that, we have to take things into our own hands and make sure we only ingest as much unprocessed, organic and wholesome foods as we can afford. 

    We need to check any drug that is prescribed by reading the information leaflet and examine the known side effects carefully. We need to insist on a copy of the information leaflet of ALL vaccines to check for poisons and toxins that will be injected directly into the blood stream of you and your infants and children.

    Why do we insist on handing over our bodies and the bodies of our youngsters to virtual strangers and trust that they will do their best for us. This knowing that doctors and nurses are under the thumb of the pharmaceuticals.

    We were born with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy body. What makes us think that our body is in need of a plethora of pharmaceutical drugs, alien to our system? What’s the first thing a baby has in the first 24 hours of life? A Hep-B vaccine!   

  2. I remember back in the day that everyone thought that aspartame was healthier than sugar 😛

    You can’t trust anyone and anything nowadays. Everything happens for one reason… To earn some people money. No matter what the cost.

    Anyway, thank you so much for the informative post on the dangers of consuming aspartame. Looking forward to part 3.


    1. Thank you Xaric and part three will be published tomorrow. This will give an insight as to how sick you can get with this toxin. You’re right, you can’t trust anyone. Because of that, we have to take things into our own hands and make sure we only ingest as much unprocessed, organic and wholesome foods as we can afford.

      We need to check any drug that is prescribed by reading the information leaflet and examine the known side effects carefully. We need to insist on a copy of the information leaflet of ALL vaccines to check for poisons and toxins that will be injected directly into the blood stream of you and your infants and children.

      Why do we insist on handing over our bodies and the bodies of our youngsters to virtual strangers and trust that they will do their best for us. This knowing that doctors and nurses are under the thumb of the pharmaceuticals.

      We were born with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy body. What makes us think that our body is in need of a plethora of pharmaceutical drugs, alien to our system? What’s the first thing a baby has in the first 24 hours of life? A Hep-B vaccine!

  3. Good afternoon Ches,

    This is one of those posts which makes your hair stand up on end. Once again it shows that our health is of no importance. Let’s face it, the sicker the nation the more money is earned. Whatever the FDA approves or does not to me is no guarantee as it is time ago I lost my faith in them. So many things were approved which were harmful to people and then again they refused to approve things like Curcumin. The only protection we have on a personal level is to be very well informed and not fall for propaganda which tries to brainwash.

    Yesterday we saw the film Vice. The story of Cheney together with Rumsfeld. It gives you the chills as it shows what is happening behind the scenes. 

    I banned artificial sweeteners from my house a long time ago. Honey, the good type of Stevia, coconut sugar, and seldom normal sugar, that is all. Thank you for this very good post. I hope lots of people will read it.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Hi there Taetske and of course you’re right. Our health is of little consequence to these large consortiums. The bottom line is their only concern. The FDA, the CDC and other government agencies are under the control of big business. The ‘revolving door’ goes back and forth moving influencial personnel from one agency to one large business and then back again to another agency. They are all in cahoots, colluding and collaborating for their own ends.

      Our only defence is to educate ourselves. Researching and sharing that research will slowly get the public informed of the truth and hopefully, one day, the scales will be tipped in favour of the people. The writing’s on the wall for these large companies. Sooner or later it will become apparent to much of the population just how ruthless and heartless they are towards the trusting public and the future population, our children.

  4. Never have  heard about this term  Aspartame, this is the first time I’m hearing about this. Most people don’t know exactly what they consume so long it’s edible they buy them, this post got my mouth opened till I was done reading because I was shocked at that despite the harm it cost they still use it in production. It’s really not fair.

    please keep sending the truth out there for people to know, thanks for the good work you are doing.

    1. Hello Seun, and now you know the truth, keep it in mind the next time you drink a diet coke, a yoghurt or some other supposedly ‘healthy’ product. These companies are relying on our ignorance. Don’t be a statistic and when you know something is toxic or dangerous, make sure you too spread the word to as many of your family and friends as possible. Thanks for your comments.

  5. Thank you for sharing with us this great article on aspartame.People are dying these days and when they go to hospitals doctors say that the cause was heart attack,diabetes,..but they never mention about the cause of those mortel diseases.

    Industries are the cause of the death of many people because they use bad ingredients which are not good to human body.

    I think it is time to stand up and fight against the use of those industries which are producing such products.

    1. I’m with you Julienne, we do need to stand up and be counted. We need to insist that our food is toxin free and safe to eat. We need to realise that the food industry ( ie. aspartame), the chemical industry (ie. roundup) and the pharmaceutical industry (ie. numerous dangerous drugs) are only in it for profits. Our health is of no importance to them and is classed as collateral damage if something they produce happens to makes us sick or even kills us. 

      We must do our own research and make sure anything we ingest, is injected into us or is put into our environment is safe for us and our children.

  6. You have made such an informative site. I was blown away by the knowledge an din depth analysis. I am all for being healthy and I command you for spreading the words. Nowadays people are so busy trying to get slim, loose weight and so on that they will replace natural aliments for dangerous things such as Aspartame is. Thank you for sharing and I will definitely share your knowledge with others

    1. Thanks Barbara, I’m very happy you find the site informative. I am grateful that you will be sharing the true story of aspartame. Check out Part 3. The only way to change these horrors is to become aware, do your research and then share your knowledge with your family and friends.

  7. The consequences of using aspartame are known for such a long time, but it is still used. I’m very careful when I purchase products and read the label. It’s a cruel truth that some companies are not displaying their product’s composition or let’s say better, they omit to display some of the nocive substances as aspartame.

    You as many others are out there to bring awareness and open the consumers’ eyes. Unfortunately, there are consumers which are confused with all the information and it’s hard to decide between spam and true. The more ‘health ambassadors’ the better.

    Thank you for an educational article.

    1. Hi Dany and thanks for your comments. I am gratified that you obviously already know about the dangers of this toxin and probably are spreading the word and advising others of aspartame’s risks to health. 

      You’re correct about the lack of information about a product’s ingredients. But what’s this about milk, not having to display Nutrasweet (aspartame) on labelling? Watch out for this!

  8. Wow – what an article! 

    Jaw-dropping content to be honest, just shows how things get swept under the carpet….

    Good for you for documenting it.

    I am impressed with how much work you put into all your website overall, the quality of content, and time you must spent researching and documenting – very well done and keep it up. 

    More people need to see this – have you tried promoting your content on Quora?

    1. Hi there Eran and thanks for your kind comments about my site. As for your suggestion to try and promote it on Quora, unfortunately I’m already bogged down, keeping the site going. At my age, learning new stuff is stressful so I plod along hoping the information I research and write about, helps people along the way.

      In fact, I’m a klutz at this website stuff. I can’t cope with social media. Facebook gives me a headache, it doesn’t work well for me ( putting spurious images into my articles). So much so, I’m thinking of closing it! 

      Now WP has ungraded and all my images have changed position and are the size of postage stamps. Aargh!!

      Thanks for your suggestion, perhaps when I’ve got used to the new WP…..

  9. It seems to me that the dangers of consuming aspartame have been public knowledge, or at least a public worry, for quite some time now – strange really that there’s no legislation put in place to stop it from being used in foodstuffs! 

    It really is frightening when you think about the things these food companies are hiding from us, and the effects these things could have in the long run. 

    1. Yes Chris, it appears in this day and age, you have to look after your own health. You cannot depend on the food industry to sell you nutritious food, the chemical industry to keep toxins out of your environment and the pharmaceutical industry to produce safe and efficacious drugs. When will we learn that money controls everything and it’s the prime driving force of industry and government, at the expense of the paying public’s health!  

  10. Hi Ches, this was a very informative post. I have heard about the dangers of consuming aspartame, I was not aware of the background on how it came to be on our food, this is a perfect example of politics and money being more important that public health. It is scary to think what else they are hiding from us, thankfully we have people like you giving awareness to these chemicals, thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comments Victor. The problem with politics, big business and those in power, is that they nearly always suffer from corruption and this was definitely the case with the passing of aspartame for public consumption by the FDA. I think it is wise to question everything and research what you don’t know. At least we have half a chance of avoiding the consequences of blindly trusting our governments and our big businesses, especially the pharmaceutical industry, which controls the medical profession and therefore controls our health.

  11. Thank you so much for this in-depth report! So often people are uneducated about the hazards of what they eat and follow marketing campaigns. Aspartame is a proven cancer cause and yet it is still widely used in foods today. Educating others is so vital. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Katie and thanks for your input. You are right, education is the key and we all need to be more diligent and research our own problems, at lease then we’ll have some idea of what the doctor is treating us with! Doctors can’t know everything so a little help from the patient would probably be appreciated by those medics open to suggestions by their patients.

  12. Aspartame is a very dangerous alternative sweetener and unfortunately as with many things it almost seems like the FDA doesn’t even care. I think as nutritionists we can start talking to people about soft drinks themselves and discuss healthier refreshment options. A lot of people may stop buying any products containing aspartame when coming across articles like yours, which could make the profit margin go down significantly, and that would really help to reduce the problem.

    1. Thanks for your input and comment Ririj. Yes, the more the public is informed the better. Nutritionists and naturopaths and other alternative medics need to be recognised as the doctors of the future, looking into what is put into the patient rather than pumping them full of drugs and adding more burden to an already sick body.

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