Aspartame and Formaldehyde (or not…)

A possibly easier to read version of this better for pinting is available at http://40two.org/Aspartame_Formaldehyde.pdf

There is also a separate entry which is a response to a Joe Mercola article posted to the Huffington Post which repeated some of the claims refuted here, as well as some additional ones.

Introduction

Aspartame, more commonly known as NutraSweet, is frequently claimed to have any number of ill effects in the body. This article will focus on the claim that aspartame contains formaldehyde, leading to toxic effects in the body (such as headaches), and will also touch on the claim that it is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent). There are additionally claims that aspartame leads to seizures, but this is a much less popular one (perhaps because the NutraSweet acknowledges the danger in the small amount of PKU sufferers for which it would affect). Hopefully the reader will be convinced it is true that one of the by-products of the breakdown of aspartame is formaldehyde, this does not represent any actual health hazard.

Just what is aspartame?

Aspartame is a low-caloric sweetener (i.e. alternative to sugar). Wikipedia describes aspartame as1

a methyl ester of the dipeptide of the natural amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine. Under strongly acidic or alkaline conditions, aspartame may generate methanol by hydrolysis. Under more severe conditions, the peptide bonds are also hydrolyzed, resulting in the free amino acids

Claims and Discussion

A common claim is that aspartame contains formaldehyde which builds up in the body and creates all manner of ills. Others have claimed that it is a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) despite there being no studies that really demonstrate that.
Mark D. Gold and Ralph Walton are two of the more prolific writers on this topic out there. Gold’s website has a section title “Formaldehyde Poisoning from Aspartame“, which has the following:

In 1997 there was an increase in aspartame users reporting severe toxicity reactions and damage such as seizures, eye damage and vision loss, confusion, severe migraines, tremors, depression, anxiety attacks, insomnia, etc. In the same years, Ralph Walton, MD, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine showed that the only studies which didn’t find problems with aspartame where those funded by the manufacturer (Monsanto).

Given the agreement amongst independent scientists about the toxicity of aspartame, the only question was whether the formaldehyde exposure from aspartame caused the toxicity. That question has now been largely answered because of research in the late 1990s.
The following facts shown by recent scientific research:

  1. Aspartame (nutrasweet) breaks down into methanol (wood alcohol).
  2. Methanol quickly converts to formadehyde in the body.
  3. Formaldehyde causes gradual and eventually severe damage to the neurological system, immune system and causes permanent genetic damage at extremely low doses.
  4. Methanol from alcoholic beverages and from fruit and juices does not convert to formaldehyde and cause damage because there are protective chemicals in these traditionally ingested beverages.
  5. The most recent independent research in Europe demonstrates that ingestion of small amounts of aspartame leads to the accumulation of significant levels of formaldehyde (bound to protein) in organs (liver, kidneys, brain) and tissues.
  6. Excitotoxic amino acids such as the one which is immediately released from aspartame likely increases the damage caused by the formaldehyde.

What the science says

While it is true that aspartame does break down into methanol then formaldehyde, it actually happens much more in fruit juices (about 2x in a banana, or 6x in an 8oz glass of tomato juice2). Gold attempts to address this in item 4, but simply waves his hand as an explanation for why it can be ignored. The fact is that it simply is not enough to do anything and your body easily disposes of it.
The above quoted article has one of the more untrue statements you can find. Not only do “non-independent” researchers find no problems, “independent” ones did not either. Instead what you will find are people making hypothetical claims which are not backed by anything. Gold and Walton are excellent at taking a statement by one scientist and using it as an explanation for why aspartame has been found to be bad, when in fact it has not. In other words, they start with the premise that aspartame is harmful then look for explanations for why it might be.

The Walton set of research is frequently cited, but let’s break it down a bit. It actually was already rebutted here:

Dr Walton’s paper reveals that of the 92 pieces of “research,” 85 (not 84) are said to identify an adverse reaction to aspartame. However, of the 85:

  • Ten studies actually involve aspartate and not aspartame. Aspartate is the salt of aspartic acid. Aspartic acid is a very common component of food. These studies are therefore irrelevant to aspartame safety.
  • 18 of the studies do not actually draw any negative conclusions about aspartame.
  • Five are review articles, not peer-reviewed studies.
  • Two are “brief reports” or “case reports”, not peer-reviewed studies.
  • Five are anecdotes, based on the writers’ observations of patients.
  • 11 are conference proceedings, which are not peer-reviewed studies.
  • 19 are letters to various medical journals.
  • Three are different reports of the same study.
  • Two are exact duplicates of other documents appearing in the list.
  • Three are different reports of the same allegations.

Overwhelming indeed. My own analysis is available here. What I found entertaining is how many of them (18 or 19) don’t even find anything negative… yet Walton, either brazenly or unknowingly, still includes them in his number. All in all, Walton is quite sloppy.
The only reasonable study (which I believe is also the one being referenced in #5 above), but still frequently questioned is:

  1. Trocho, C., et al., 1998. “Formaldehyde Derived From Dietary Aspartame Vinds(sic) to Tissue Components in vivo,” Life Sciences, Vol. 63, No. 5, pp. 337+, 1998
Note the misspelling as “Vinds”… when it should be “Binds”. It’s generally cited as “Vinds” though.. a good indication that most of the sites claiming to do research are simply copy/pasting from this one guy.

…The administration of labelled aspartame to a group of cirrhotic rats resulted in comparable label retention by tissue components, which suggests that liver function (or its defect) has little effect on formaldehyde formation from aspartame and binding to biological components. The chronic treatment of a series of rats with 200 mg/kg of non-labelled aspartame during 10 days resulted in the accumulation of even more label when given the radioactive bolus, suggesting that the amount of formaldehyde adducts coming from aspartame in tissue proteins and nucleic acids may be cumulative. It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts.

One of the primary responses is from Tephyl, quoted by Butchko et al3:

However, according to Tephly (1999), the dose of aspartame used in the study (20 mg/kg body wt=2mg of methanol/kg body wt) would not yield blood methanol concentrations outside control values. Further, the administration of aspartame at 200 mg/kg body wt (equal to that in a single bolus of about 25 liters of beverage sweetened 100% with aspartame) to adult humans results in no detectable increase in blood formate concentrations (Stegink et al., 1981). Administration of [14C]methanol itself at 3000 mg/kg body wt to monkeys produces no detectable [14C]formaldehyde in body fluids and tissues (McMartin et al., 1979)…The lack of formaldehyde accumulation at very high doses of methanol question considerably the conclusion that formaldehyde adducts are forming from low doses of methanol (derived from high doses aspartame). Thus, Tephly (1999) concluded, “the normal flux of one-carbon moieties whether derived from pectin, aspartame, or fruit juices is a physiologic phenomenon and not a toxic event.”

To break it down:
  1. Formaldehyde build-up has not in fact been detected even when 200mg/kg is given to humans (which is a huge amount)
  2. Even when large does of direct methanol (which is what breaks down into formaldehyde) were given to monkeys, it did not produce formaldehyde build-up
  3. There are other explanations for the labelled-carbon staying in the body, aside from formaldehyde build-up which will also occur with other substances (such as fruit pectin).
Going back to the original comments about Gold and Walton, we have a situation of someone trying to explain the build-up for formaldehyde, when no other scientists are able to actually see a build-up in the first place. Instead it seems that the labelled molecules are making their way through the basic chemistry of the process, but the full molecule is not.

Systematic Reviews

Let’s continue one with some of the large overviews which discuss the overall safety of aspartame in the broader scope, and occasionally look at studies purporting to show harm.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Both the FDA and the European Commission have determined that aspartame is safe. However they kicked off additional reviews in response to a study done by the European Ramazzini Foundation (linked here4) that claimed to demonstrate that aspartame was a carcinogen. The European review found this to not at all be supported by the data. The US FDA decided to do its own separate review of the study and had similar findings5:

FDA has completed its review concerning the long-term carcinogenicity study of aspartame entitled, “Long-Term Carcinogenicity Bioassays to Evaluate the Potential Biological Effects, in Particular Carcinogenic, of Aspartame Administered in Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats,” conducted by the European Ramazzini Foundation (ERF), located in Bologna, Italy. FDA reviewed the study data made available to them by ERF and finds that it does not support ERF’s conclusion that aspartame is a carcinogen. Additionally, these data do not provide evidence to alter FDA’s conclusion that the use of aspartame is safe.

….

Considering results from the large number of studies on aspartame’s safety, including five previously conducted negative chronic carcinogenicity studies, a recently reported large epidemiology study with negative associations between the use of aspartame and the occurrence of tumors, and negative findings from a series of three transgenic mouse assays, FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food.

Kind of interesting that the folks doing the study were not willing to actually submit it to a full review. If you take a look at the study’s tables (here and here), the bit that stands out to me is the lack of a consistent dose-response effect as you get higher doses of aspartame. They had to get up to an insane amount (2500mg/kg… or the equivalent of 500mg/kg for humans) to get a statistically significant effect.

European Commission – Scientific Committee on Food

For reasons unknown, people against Aspartame link to to the “European Commission updates their opinion” study as if the EC had determined that aspartame was now unsafe. The update was kicked off because of the Ramazzini Foundation study claiming carcinogenity. If you actually read the update, it is quite clear that they very much still find it to be safe.

Some important bits from the text (in all cases emphasis is my own)6:

The estimates of intake by mean and high level consumers are fairly consistent between European countries even though slightly different approaches were used. High level consumers, both adults and children, are unlikely to exceed the ADI of 40 mg/kg bw for aspartame. Special groups such as diabetics that are likely to be high consumers of foods containing aspartame are also well below the ADI. Therefore, from the available data it appears that no group is likely to exceed the ADI for aspartame on a regular basis.

All this is really saying is that the actual amount that most people would consume is well below the worldwide maximum level allowed (40-50 mg/kg).

If you view the table in the document, you can see that the mean is in the 2-3mg/kg bw/d, with high levels around 6-10.

Animal studies have demonstrated that the metabolic breakdown products of aspartame are absorbed and metabolised similarly whether they are given alone or derived from aspartame. The extensive presystemic metabolism of aspartame results in little or no parent compound reaching the general circulation.

This is in alignment to the Butchko/Tepyhl comments above: aspartame by-products (methanol, then formaldehyde) to not make it into the bloodstream.

And the key parts:

The aspartate component is rapidly metabolised and thus the plasma aspartate concentrations are not significantly elevated following aspartame doses of 34 to 50 mg/kg bw, whereas plasma Phe concentrations may increase depending on dose (Stegink, 1984). Methanol is also rapidly metabolised and blood levels are usually not detectable unless large bolus doses of aspartame (>50 mg/kg bw) are administered.

Trocho is discussed:

…Besides the fact that aspartame at high doses has never induced liver cancer in rats, Trocho’s studies did not identify the radioactivity found in the proteins and DNA. Consequently, the formation of adducts of formaldehyde on the proteins and nucleic acids from aspartame, in vivo, remains to be proved

French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA)

The AFSSA published its own systematic review (here hosted on the UK Food standards agency… FDA equivalent). They go over much of the same material as those above. On the subject of the aspartame leading to headaches, they have to say7:

Another study…was also a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over trial, concluded that aspartame was no more likely than placebo to trigger headaches (Schiffman et al., 1987). This study consisted of 40 subjects who complained of aspartame-related headachesWhile 35% of subjects developed headaches while on aspartame, 45% developed headaches while on placebo.

I found it interesting that the Shiffman study actually used people who were already pre-disposed to believe that they got headaches from aspartame, and even then it could not be demonstrated.

Conclusion

The fact of the matter is there is not a convincing body of evidence (or none at all depending on how you look at it) to indicate that there is any reason to be concerned with normal intake of foods and beverages containing aspartame–unless you somehow manage to consume 12 liters of soda in a single sitting, in which case you have worse things to worry about. If there is interest, another article could focus on the supposed “excitotoxin” aspects of aspartame and some of the other proposed effects.The problem with these claims is that there is a large amount of urban myth around aspartame which do not have any studies (or reproduced studies) to back them up. They are essentially made up from whole cloth, which actually makes them more difficult to disprove. If there are specific studies that you have found convincing, then they could serve as a new jumping off point for another essay. Until then, there seems no reason to not consume diet beverages and other “light” foods.
UPDATE July 15, 2012 – Corrected external link to rebuttal of Walton’s “independent” aspartame studies

References
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame – Wikipedia page on aspartame. Used for general overview. Visited 3/5/2010

2 Magnuson, B. “Straight facts on aspartame & health”. The Beverage Institute. http://www.thebeverageinstitute.com/healthcare_professionals/pdf/Aspartame_Magnunson.pdf. Visited 6/13/2010. The actual numbers quoted come from the peer-reviewed paper by the same author, but I was unable to find a working full text link.

3 Butchko, HH., Stargel, WW., Comer, CP., Mayhew, DA. “Aspartame: Review of Safety”. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 35, S1–S93 (2002)

4 Soffritti, M., Belpoggi F. et al. “First Experimental Demonstration of the Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame Administered in the Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats”. Environ Health Perspect. 2006 March; 114(3): 379–385.

5 US Food and Drug Administration. “FDA Statement on European Aspartame Study”. CFSAN/Office of Food Additive Safety. April 20, 2007. http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/FoodAdditives/ucm208580.htm. Accessed 6/13/2010

6 European Commission Scientific Committee on Feed. “Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food:Update on the Safety of Aspartame”. December 4, 2002. http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/scf/out155_en.pdf. Accessed 6/13/2010.

7 French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA). “Opinion on a possible link between the exposition to aspartame and the incidence of brain tumours in humans”. May 7, 2002. http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/afssaeng.pdf. Accessed 6/13/2010.

About these ads

198 Responses

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tech & Friki Stuff, gethealthnfit and Chaton Gauche, Hacker News. Hacker News said: Aspartame and formaldehyde: http://bit.ly/9UyTwI Comments: http://bit.ly/bPS6kn [...]

  2. You state that the FDA found that Aspartame was safe, but what you missed was that for 16 years before the FDA approved it, the FDA found that it was not safe from their own testing, and that it was only after political pressure it was approved.

    Was the FDA wrong for 16 years? Did they decide it was safe based on objective science or was the decision based on political and profit driven reasons?

    Google “rumsfeld and aspartame” you might be surprised.

    • The ‘just_a_guy” comment reflects widespread ignorance about the subject that continues without rhyme or reason. Those objecting to approval of aspartame did so originally on the basis of a few outlying points from Sprague-Dawley rat data. The error of their judgements are now clear.

      First, the fundamentals of toxicology (the science of poisons) say “everything is toxic” and dose alone separates a food/drug from a poison. For example botulinum toxin, perhaps the most toxic substance known, is used extensively in cosmetic procedures. High toxicity cyanide found in plant products we all consume is, however, innocuous at those doses. In contrast low-toxicity water drowns hundreds yearly. Any claim a chemical substance is “toxic” or poison is by itself is MEANINGLESS. Such claims MUST include a specific toxic response and specific dose. Aspartame critics cannot do this!

      Second, aspartame is GI-degraded to its three components, which are more abundant in common foods and two are even essential for life. Food-borne methanol whatever its source is oxidized to formaldehyde and then formate. Formate is recycled (reduced) by the folate-B12 vitamins to methyl groups used to synthesize (thymine, in DNA), methylate (regulate) DNA, and detoxify truly-toxic homocysteine. Phenylalanine is used to biosynthesize epinephrine, etc. These ingredients are simply not a toxicological issue at the allowed doses of aspartame.

      Third, aspartame has been extensively studied; adverse claims have been consistently disproven the latest in August in New Zealand. Anti-aspartame arguments fostered by internet conspiracy theorists, who profit from books, detoxification kits, etc., all predate 1998. In 1998 folate vitamin supplementation was mandated for cereal grain products, because of population-wide deficiency. [Reread the web controversy arguments and note all criticism of aspartame in that article originate before 1998. The reader should also be informed that all questions raised about aspartame approval stemmed from the now well-known folate deficiency in the Sprague-Dawley rats used in the earliest studies and more recently by the strongly repudiated Soffritti (Ramazzini) studies, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20716760.%5D

      Any disease connections, like this supposed new study raises, with diet drinks most likely reside in personal folate deficiency or related underlying biochemical issues (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2592326/pdf/0541545.pdf or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2329900/pdf/0540036.pdf). These personal problems are often mistaken for arguments against aspartame. But such arguments are like saying it was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back, not the tons of cargo already there.’ I didn’t see this forty year-old known folate issue even mentioned, much less-controlled, did you? That makes this poor science, doesn’t it? Why do we pay for garbage science? But worse, in this case that added ‘cargo’ could well involve both folate issues and the caffeine in diet Pepsi. Caffeine generates two equivalents of formate during degradation compared to one from aspartame’s methanol. But both caffeine and aspartame require folate for detoxification, so again any issue with ‘diet Pepsi’ likely reflects personal health problems with folate or folate-related biochemistry, not the soft drink itself.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  3. @just_a_guy – if you can find credible evidence of it, I would certainly be happy to take a look. All I can find are the standard hoaxes on the various conspiracy websites (rense, whale, wnho, dorway, holisticmed). If aspartame “beyond a shadow of a doubt” causes cancer… where are the studies that demonstrate that? If you think they were covered up, there’s nothing I can point to to convince you.

    Everything seems to hinge on this document (http://www.dorway.com/gross.txt).
    example: http://www.rense.com/general2/braint.htm. Betty Martini is a known hoax writer on this topic, sometimes writing using/with a “Nancy Markle”.

  4. Josh:

    It is good that you study the aspartame issue critically on your own. As a former university educator, I need to share with you still other facts about aspartame safety that further explain the continuation of this long-dead scientific controversy, but about which you may be unfamiliar.

    Let me note that I have no financial or any biasing connection with the aspartame or related sweetener industries. Although there are a few others involved too, what unfortunately many believe (@just_a_guy, for example) about aspartame comes out of Roberts’ and Blaylock’s misguided, ignorant, and dead-wrong internet arguments. People must know that they and many in this campaign make money selling books foisting this twenty-year old falsehood on the American people.

    There are three fundamental, documentable problems these and other physicians just can’t understand or seem to conveniently neglect. First, their inadequate understanding of pharmacology and toxicology is worth noting. In reality “everything is toxic”–only dose determines separates a drug from a poison (e.g. botulinum toxin used in cosmetic procedures is one of the most toxic substances known). So any suggestion that aspartame (or any substance for that matter) is a poison MUST include a dose and the specific toxic response or it is meaningless ranting by default. These physicians (many surgeons) seem to have no understanding of the relevant sciences, so they cannot understand why science authorities do not accept their arguments.

    Second, those people critical of aspartame fail to understand or simply ignore decades of science supporting the safety of this sweetener. Not only have there been many safety studies (aspartame is perhaps the most studied substance known), there has been nothing published that withstands scrutiny sufficiently to question aspartame safety ever. Studies expressing contrary facts were poorly designed (Soffritti et al) or errant in their conclusions (Trocho et al (Alemany)); these papers are open to serious scientific criticism, some of which is now known, but has not even been reported yet. In short there is NO scientific concern by FDA or other world’s regulatory agencies about aspartame; in fact the Europeans Food Safety Authority (EFSA) just again confirmed its safety. (You might be able to find my comments about why these papers are rejected posted to other antiaspartame blogs I have written-or write).

    Third, the critics just don’t understand or prefer to neglect the vital importance of folate biochemistry in aspartame processing. Certainly there are people who are sensitive to aspartame; the internet is full of people at least claiming they get sick immediately after using aspartame, etc. And headaches seem a consequence in some people. But a strong case can be made that any sensitivity to aspartame (headaches included) stems from any of a wide range of personal nutrition or biochemical issues that center mostly on the vitamin folic acid (folate), its frank deficiency, folate enzyme abnormalities, or the consequences of either, including accrual of homocysteine. (Walton’s paper on aspartame failed to understand or appreciate the role of folate in the very issue they studied, depression; patient folate status now known to be associated with depression was not only unmentioned, but their experiments were also totally uncontrolled for folate issues.)

    Critics continue to scream their concern about aspartame, because they also fail to understand that these same factors facilitating personal sensitivity to aspartame may well underlie susceptibility to many disorders associated with these folate issues, but that they instead attribute to aspartame. Aspartame is degraded to the all-natural substances phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol even before absorption. Both amino acids are abundant in the foods we normally eat at higher doses. People with the genetic condition phenylketonuria are unable to tolerate the vital, essential amino acid phenylalanine and are warned to avoid aspartame-containing products on the label. The other constituent of aspartame is methanol.

    While methanol isn’t really very toxic itself, some people are uniquely sensitive to methanol’s oxidation product formate. Formate and its removal is the real medical concern from methanol poisoning. However, low methanol and thus formate intake is also vital. That is because formic acid is recycled by the folate-B12 vitamin systems to methyl groups that perform two main functions. They detoxify the real excitotoxin homocysteine (Wikipedia: homocysteine) producing methionine or they form methylene groups that convert uracil to thymine. Uracil incorporation into DNA occurs in the absence of thymine; that causes unstable and breakable DNA and cancer not evident with thymine replacement. These folic acid transformations are absolutely vital to life and why folate and B12 are vitamins and why methanol at low doses, like those found in fruit juices or aspartame, is just as vital.

    Aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed, but still some people may show varying degrees of sensitivity (headaches, etc). These arise not from aspartame, but from the user’s underlying biochemistry. Some are ultrasensitive (allergic) to formate (perhaps from childhood insect stings). But most sensitive people are deficient in folic acid (a vitamin), have genetic folate abnormalities (called polymorphisms; Wikipedia: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), or have high blood homocysteine (Wikipedia: homocysteine). The latter may be the most potent excitotoxin and many people have high blood homocysteine most frequently because of folate issues. Other factors include ethanol (which strongly inhibits folate enzymes and that explains why it raises formate concentrations; fetal alcohol syndrome, etc.) and antiepileptic drugs. ALL aspartame “symptoms” may be seen as a direct consequence of underlying personal issues residing in formate sensitivity, whether through allergy, folate or other issues. None have anything to do with aspartame safety. But this formate sensitivity “straw that broke the camels back” issue is why aspartame-associated symptoms disappear after ceasing use. The bigger question is whether people who show aspartame sensitivity are still fundamentally at risk from many folate-associated diseases? That includes MS, lupus, diabetes, many cancers (brain and breast cancer) and other problems. Perhaps aspartame sensitivity is a marker for innate susceptibility to many diseases and cancers?

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    • @John – Wow, great comment, thanks!

      I actually did not find any studies that looked specifically into those who have folic acid/folate deficiencies (or at least none that I can recall). Would certainly be interesting, but I suspect that those who those already avoid soft drinks (regardless of the aspartame content).

      Blaylock and Roberts are indeed pretty scary, I ended up not actually including anything from them although they were in a previous draft (which had a section discussion the various “characters” of the anti-aspartame movement). Olney seems to be a legitimate researcher who unfortunately let his views overshadow some of his interpretations and I think that Wurtman has moved passed the anti-aspartame train (not that he was ever all that extreme).

      The whole history of the “controversy” (if it’s worth calling it that) is pretty interesting; I just ended up removing most of it to keep it to a reasonable length. I really just wanted to add another voice of rationality, as unfortunately it’s only those who are *against* aspartame that tend to be vocal.

      Again, thanks for the detail response.

  5. [...] and the claims relating to formaldehyde and other health hazards. Available on my other blog at: http://wp.me/pH6F5-S. In short, the consensus of science indicates that there is no reason to be concerned about any [...]

  6. Not sure if this is a dead thread, but some questions I have are :

    Were they using the 1969 Plasma tests or the more modern ones (1981 I think)?

    Also, do they mention anything about timing? Timing from what I understand is fairly important because of the conversion.

    Last but not least, have you seen the studies that show spikes from 6-8.7mg/kg? Supposedly levels actually doubled in that study and that was based on the proper timing. I think it’s Davoli 1986.

    • @merk -
      Hopefully the thread is never dead :)

      I couldn’t speak to which test they used (which study are you referring to). Most studies that I saw do indicate timings between when the bolus was received, when a spike may have occurred, and when things returned to “normal”

      Wrt Davoli (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3957170) … my reading of it was that it was just meant to show baseline, and the authors actually concluded that aspartame was safe. Methanol levels returned to normal after 2 hours from the 6-8.7mg/kg (equivalent to an entire day’s worth of aspartame).

      Even then it seems the rise was within what could be considered normal.

  7. Thanks for this blog post, I’m really sick of people thinking that scientific questions like the saftey of a chemical can be decided by collecting anecdotes or using “common sense”.
    Some time ago I wanted to review that spreadsheet Walton published, too, but gave up pretty quickly when the first three I found were two letters to the editor and that study on saliva. Judging from your analysis I didn’t miss out on anything important.

    • @Emily – Another big problem I’ve run into is equating “not nutritious” with being “bad” for you. I would never argue that aspartame is somehow “good” for you… but clearly I see no evidence that it is going to cause actual harm.

      Yeah his set of “studies” were tedious but somewhat fascinating to track down… if only to see how truly far the majority were from being “peer-reviewed” “independent” studies finding aspartame to be harmful.

      I think in the end my (perhaps tool liberal) estimate was that there were 5 peer-reviewed studies that could *potentially* be seen as demonstrating some harm. And they were mostly related to seizures, which NutraSweet acknowledges in those super super rare cases.

  8. Thanks for the in-depth article and comparisons of the facts of the various ‘studies’ that are often cited and regurgitated as evidence for whatever one’s chosen cause.

    I hadn’t thought about aspartame in a while. I’ve seen it bandied about in various conspiracy-oriented locales across the internet, usually in the form of ‘ZOMG my mother/grandmother/brother/aunt/uncle/former-roommate/ex-boyfriend/that-guy-who-works-at-the-mall-and-hands-out-fliers-about-sales-at-Penney’s used to drink 4 cans of Tab a day and then he stopped and now his headaches are gone forever!’.

    But just yesterday I heard the same sort of nonsense show up on a main-stream evening-commute local talk radio show. With a guest talking about how ‘aspartame breaks down into embalming fluid’, and how margarine is made of petroleum waste and fluoride is giving everyone cancer and soy makes you a woman and so do plastic bottles… oh, and he was selling a $100 book series detailing all this and you should buy it and a copy for your children unless you don’t love them…

    It seems to me that the anti-aspartame movement is a direct cause of the ‘culture of fear’ that’s been instigated into modern society. Everything is bad and causes cancer and this is just more of that, even if there’s no evidence.

    Thanks again for posting this!

    • Frighteningly, my wife just saw that now acesulfame potassium (“Ace K”) is making the rounds of the anti-sweetener crowd. Seems to be the same supposed “facts” (e.g. causes tumors in rats, etc).

      You also point out a great irony of folks like Joe Mercola and other “natural” purveyors… while they’ll constantly claim that Big Pharma and Big Business are just out for profit and we’re all shills… they almost without fail will be selling products and books and DVDs that will “cure” the ills of other products.

      My only hope is that my bit of pointing out some the (in my eyes) realities… as others have done (Stephen Novella, Brian Dunning).. and add some signal to the noise.

      Any how, really appreciate the readership and your great comment! I’ve been pretty busy lately, but I’m considering my next topic either on Flouride or on GE foods.

  9. You may be interested in this article:

    Medical Research Ties Diet Soda to Increased Stroke, Heart Attack Risks

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110211/hl_ac/7830826_medical_research_ties_diet_soda_to_increased_stroke_heart_attack_risks

    • Unfortunately they don’t link to the actual study, only a mention of the presentation of the conference paper which they admit has not been peer-reviewed or published.

      They also mention all of the “anecdotal” reports of aspartame side effects, which, as far as I can tell, have always been disproven by actual studies (as I hope that my research shows convincingly, but perhaps not).

      That said… I have heard of this report and will eagerly watching to see what comes of it… but I don’t think the author should have jumped to the conclusion that aspartame is the cause of this. There could be multiple causes (such as the fact that the type of people who would drink soda may already have risk factors).

      Thanks for the comment and heads up!

  10. “If you take a look at the study’s tables (here and here), the bit that stands out to me is the lack of a consistent dose-response effect as you get higher doses of aspartame. They had to get up to an insane amount (2500mg/kg… or the equivalent of 500mg/kg for humans) to get a statistically significant effect.”

    Was wondering if that’s all that stands out to you?

    ” the lack of a consistent dose-response effect as you get higher doses of aspartame”

    There may be reasons for this, but are you saying you do not see an increased risk at all, specifically in the female chart?

    • You make a good point, for the female population there does to be a *more* consistent dose-response (though it seems more logarithmic than linear). However, if I’m reading the table right, it was only statistically significant at the very lowest levels and at one of the higher levels. I’m not really qualified to fully interpret what that’s going to mean.

      For males, it’s all over the place which I think puts it all into question.

      In any case, all of the agencies that reviewed it found the results not be meaningful given the rats’ existing propensity to get tumors… I certainly wouldn’t go off of *my* interpretation, which is mostly just commentary.

  11. Concerning the stroke story, see http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2826.

    On nobody’s comment “If you take a look at the study’s tables (here and here),” to what are you referring by here and here?

  12. Wow! What a great article. There is a sea of pure garbage out there regarding this topic. Every site looked equally bad either for or against aspartame. It was a breath of fresh air to see this. Keep up the fantastic work!

    • Thanks! I really have made an effort to be objective about it. That said, I tend to drink 2 to 3 diet sodas a day, so I will admit that I probably have wishful bias toward them. That said, had I discovered that there was real evidence of harm, I would certainly be curbing that. So I think it would be in my best interest to look extra hard for evidence, and I really found none.

  13. Well at least you use it, so we won’t have to worry about your point of view much longer.

  14. What a terrible message to end with – ; “no reason not to drink Diet beverages” – are you aware of the size of the average American?? Drinking these drinks does not help people trying to control their weight or intake of chemicals – hence the govt. campaign in the US AGAINST them – shame on you!

    • More old wives tales!

      The fact is that artificial sweetners in diet drinks do NOT affect peoples weight. That old saying that “guns don’t kill people, but people kill people” is applicable here too. Diet drinks don’t make people fat, people do that on their own. Check out the latest (2011) CONTROLLED research at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21255472.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  15. Thank you for the time and effort you put into assembling this information. Wonderful! I am passing it on to those who may not listen anyway, but what a great “I-told-you-so!” Great job!!!!

  16. If you add powdered pectin to a diet soda will this neutralize the dangers of the aspartame?

    Thanks.

    • Kalilisa, there are no “dangers” of aspartame to begin with*, so there’s nothing to neutralise. You’d also need to warm up your diet soda to get the pectin dissolved (at least that’s my experience from trying to use it to thicken the juice of stewed fruit – I tried to solve it in some cold water first, but that didn’t work at all), so you’d end up with a flat diet soda.

      *other than not losing (or even gaining) weight if your only change in diet is drinking diet sodas. You’d think that’s trivial, but it seems like some people think that’s enough to lose weight.

  17. I really appreciate you taking the time to put together some concrete facts from good studies. People who are not familiar with research studies do not realize how poorly some studies are done! I myself had some misconceptions too (ie. how the formaldehyde breaks down).

    I myself am in the dental field and when the study came out a few years back about listerine being as effective as flossing had us in an uproar! Its like the whole fluoride controversy too! I heard a community in Florida recently is going to start taking fluoride out of the water to save money…horrible! BTW if you could cover that it would be great, I have some patients who need to hear from somebody not “biased” because according to them I am “biased” towards fluoride…it has nothing to do with the cold hard research! :rollseyes:

  18. Am I ever going to have fun showing my mother-in-law this.

    • My own mother-in-law was certainly in mind when writing this (and the follow-up). I’m not sure if it was before or after the writing that she referred to aspartame as “rat poison”. Oddly, I don’t even recall seeing that as an actual claim about aspartame…

  19. Interesting read, I must admit I stopped buying products with aspartame in due to reading on the the internet, I guess from my laymans perspective it seemed like something to avoid. Mind you I’ve pretty much quit all fizzy drinks as a result and feel better anyway and think I’ll still steer clear of it, just incase.
    In terms of fluoride being good, skeletal and dental fluorosis are pretty widely documented, obviously begging the question how safe is fluoride? Be nice to see some independent study, if there is any :)

  20. I am a herpes sufferer and am constantly watching what I eat as a consequence as many foods trigger an outbreak and I have discovered over the years that artificial sweeteners do it every time, even in quite small does, just one cup of coffee with it and 24 to 48 hours later up come the lesions. I know the people on here will say that it is unscientific, but I record what I eat if it is new and wait on the outcome, been doing it for years. Aspartame triggers it and so does Neotame. Any food additive that does that should be banned. What else does it cause, way too many unanswered questions for me. The stuff on here looks and reads like a manufacturers support i

  21. [...] Amazon, which does not allow outside links, you can find a much fuller refutation of this nonsense here) about whom I said more than enough in my 3-17-2004 review of Gittleman’s The Flat Flush [...]

  22. I always take folic acid through B100 vitamin B complex supplement. B-vitamins are really necessary to our body. .

    Most interesting short article on our blog page
    http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/st-johns-wort-side-effects/

  23. And why not just replacing N-(L-α-Aspartyl)-L-phenylalanine-methylester by N-(L-α-Aspartyl)-L-phenylalanine-ethylester?
    Then it would yield ethanol instead of methanol, wouldn’t it? Most discussions and studies would become unnecessary.
    Would the ethylester version taste different than the methylester version? Or would it be too difficult (thus expensive) to produce?

    • Nosey:

      Yours is a logical question. I have no first-hand knowledge, but I would bet that the ethyl ester was made and simply wasn’t as sweet or even sweet at all compared to the methyl ester. Taste is a very fickle process. I’m not sure ‘expensive’ per se is as much the case as the regulatory nightmare ethanol creates, but that ultimately translates into ‘expensive’ as you suggested..

      You must realize that methanol is converted to formaldehyde and formate, both of which are SUBSTRATES for and are recycled to methyl groups by the folate (and B12) vitamin systems. In contrast ethanol is converted to acetaldehyde and acetic acid. The acetic acid is rapidly oxidized for energy, but acetaldehyde is actually a powerful INHIBITOR of the folate process. In fact rodents given ethanol actually start excreting formate, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6634838, clearly indicating that inhibition. Also note the human connection, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18034701.There is a strong connection between ethanol and cancer, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22879847.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  24. I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet and was told by a specialist that I go to, that I had formaldehyde in my body. He said it normally comes from the break down of aspartame in the body. I confirmed that I did consume one diet soda per day at that time. I stopped drinking diet soda and the hot burning condition of my neuropathy stopped within several days when my body cleared out the formaldehyde. I have tried “light yogurt” which contains aspartame and sugarless gum and the hot burning sensation in my feet occurs within an hour of consuming these products. Formaldehyde attacks the neurological system in the human body. I read a lot of ingredient labels now to make sure I avoid aspartame and all other artificial sweeteners. I have tried stevia and it does not affect me like aspartame.

    • Greg, thanks for writing. I don’t doubt your analysis, but both you and your ‘specialist’ need to know the truth—your problem isn’t with aspartame, but it is an issue you both need to understand further.

      First, only methanol amongst aspartame degradation products presents any risk to people—phenylalanine and aspartate are found in greater concentrations in normal foods, like milk and meat. But risk is always dose-dependent and the risk from the amount of methanol produced from aspartame degradation is also non-existent. Moreover, just like the methanol found in fruit juice, that released from aspartame is a vital nutrient. Why? Methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formate–both are chemically directly converted by the (tetrahydro)folate vitamin system into very valuable methyl groups. These methyl groups detoxify the true excitotoxic homocysteine, protect DNA from strand breakage (by converting break fostering uracil into methyluracil (thymine)), and when systematically methylated, methylated DNA acts to prevent errant DNA duplication. For more on its cycle see the figure p 3000 here, http://download.cell.com/AJHG/pdf/PIIS0002929707614001.pdf?intermediate=true.

      Second, to make the point that these substances pose little risk note that formate and formaldehyde are [quoting another] “produced in the body during the endogenous demethylation of many compounds, including many foods [fruit juices] and drugs. For example, the demethylation of the caffeine found in one cup of coffee produces 30 mg of formaldehyde (Imbus, 1988). Formaldehyde is essential in one-carbon pool intermediary metabolism. The metabolite of formaldehyde, formic acid, is a substrate for purine nucleotide synthesis (Sheehan and Tully, 1983). It can be calculated that more than 50,000 mg [that's 50 g] of formaldehyde is produced and metabolized in an adult human body daily and that an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (Clary and Sullivan, 1999). Consequently, it is quite clear that the formaldehyde from aspartame provides a trivial contribution to total formaldehyde exposure and metabolism in the body” (p 18 in and refs from http://www.fte.ugent.be/vlaz/Magnuson2007.pdf).

      Do these facts not make clear that any perceived problem is not with aspartame, methanol, formaldehyde or even formate, but with personal metabolism issues in normal processing? With folate, homocysteine and B12, see that cited p 3000) these are potentially numerous. Many people are deficient in vitamins and up to 40% of some populations have folate polymorphisms that require even more folate, but most don’t even know it. It is very uncommon to even test for this. For more read http://download.cell.com/AJHG/pdf/PIIS0002929707614001.pdf?intermediate=true. And that doesn’t include people with high blood concentrations of the true excitotoxin homocysteine or low concentrations of vitamin B12 (again see that figure on p 3000).

      Metabolism of methanol’s oxidation products (formaldehyde and formate) requires folate/B12 vitamins. Sensitivity to aspartame stems from the fact that still many people are simply deficient in them. And forty percent of some populations have folate enzyme issues that require even more folate, see http://download.cell.com/AJHG/pdf/PIIS0002929707614001.pdf?intermediate=true.

      So all adverse side effects ever claimed from aspartame are really due not to aspartame but to PERSONAL issues revolving around the methylation vitamins folate and B12 and the true excitotoxin homocysteine, not this sweetener. And that probably includes migraines associated with enzyme linked issues (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11121176). The symptoms disappear when one stops using aspartame, but that likely is a sign of the underlying, and serious issue present always, not one of aspartame toxicity.

      In fact in 1998 folate was mandated to be added to grain products (flours) to reduce birth defects (spina bifida) in offspring of deficient mothers. Folate’s widespread deficiency in people and even in early rat chow explains the very existence of the aspartame conspiracy theory. Critics claim 92 symptoms for aspartame, which they blindly reiterate over the web. But all these “92 symptoms” are related instead to personal folate-B12-homocysteine issues not this sweetener. The arguments put forth against aspartame are about 20+ years old and have all been rejected by virtually all the regulatory agencies of relevance. But I understand your concern when you stop using aspartame and your symptoms disappear. Let me explain.

      So let’s consider how your observation really connects with peripheral neuropathy. Google PubMed, go there and type in the search line peripheral neuropathy,folate deficiency. After clicking the search button, you will discover 105 references connecting the two. Repeat with peripheral neuropathy,B12 deficiency and you will discover 154 citations. Repeat again with peripheral neuropathy,homocysteine to discover 64 references.

      Try the same with peripheral neuropathy,aspartame; only one report appears and that one citation, while actually confirming your report, of course neglects to consider the underlying issues about these vitamins/homocysteine. Robbins and Raymond (PubMed # 10390691) report on three patients whose extensive keyboard use-linked carpel tunnel syndrome likewise disappeared after removal of aspartame from their diet. However, the three patients have other issues all linkable to the folate-B12 methylation issues; “two patients described Raynaud’s phenomenon, and one (male) had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia.” Wikipedia ‘Raynaud’s phenomenon’ for more, but note that both it (enter Raynaud’s phenomenon,folate at PubMed for 4 homocysteine-linked reports) and fibromyalgia are linked to these same issues. [Although fibromyalgia is connected in a much more complex way, see connections at fibromyalgia,folate to iron (ferritin), and also see a PubMed post at fibromyalgia,homocysteine. Note too that a search of fibromyalgia,aspartame does turn up pertinent references, but none have or even can discount the role of these other issues being the real problem.]

      Take this back to your ‘specialist’: it is possible as with any drug some people may have trouble with aspartame. But that in no way indicates a problem with the safety of aspartame. And that is the case even should removal of aspartame from the diet quell signs and symptoms. ALL such aspartame issues are explained by PERSONAL (vitamin) health issues such as folate deficiency, folate enzyme issues (polymorphisms-Wikipedia ‘methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase’), homocysteine accrual, and/or B12 deficiency. For the UNDENIABLE truth Google ‘PubMed’, go there, and type of the each alleged ’92′ symptoms in its search line, a comma, and either folate, folate deficiency, homocysteine or vitamin B12. These factors can explain ALL such issues, not aspartame. But problems with any of these issues suggest serious short- and long-term issues like cancers are possible, whether or not one uses aspartame or not.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      • I guess what bothers me about when you compare fruits to diet soda is the fact that while fruits contain phanyalaline and aspartate, we are talking about the natural forms of these compounds compared to the manufactured forms contained in unnatural food and drink. I think there’s something to be said for natural food and drink being more healthy and easier for the human body to assimilate and gain the most nutritional benefit from. Now I know that is just an opinion based on how I feel but it seems like common sense to me. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows but we have (as humans) been eating and drinking natural ingredients for thousands of years and I would assume that genetically our bodies and digestive process have basically been taylored (evolved) to digest natural foods. In the past 60 years our food supply has been inundated with all sorts of chemical addatives, hormones, genetically modified or engineered sweeteners, antibiotics etc etc etc…. To me and many others it’s clear that artificial sweeteners like HFCS, aspartame and all the other additives and aforementioned stuff have played a major role in the epidemic of diabetes and cancer rates skyrocking in the past several decades. To ignore that correlation seems like pure ignorance backed by a corporate scientific agenda. I appreciate what you have written here Dr. Garst and I’m all for scientific research but you know at least some of what I am saying holds water. To the other people reading this thread remember to use you’re critical thinking skills and try to look at the bigger picture. None of us personally know this scientist mr. Garst and you do not technically know if he has an agenda (no offense intended Mr Garst). That being said the FDA approves drugs that are shown to be poisonous all the damn time. The FDA approves a company’s drug, food and/or additive based on the research that company performs and gives to the FDA. We are talking about a major conflict of interest with billions of dollars in profits and our health at stake. I’m sorry but I absolutely must be critical of any and all info that seems to fly in the face of common sense.

    • Ben -
      I have covered this list in two different articles on this blog:
      Extraordinary claims about aspartame
      And
      Sweet Misery Fact Check

      • The list comes with all the required and relevant stationary. I don’t see how it would be a hoax. Obviously it is obfuscated, though I was informed by the owner of dorway.com that it is obtainable via Freedom of Information Act requests.

      • Dear Ben, Thank you. Yes, that’s FDA stationery in a letter to me. Maybe the list would like to see the secret trade information which the manufacturer did give in congressional hearings. Even the hearings are on http://www.mpwhi.com http://www.mpwhi.com/trade_secret_information_on_aspartame.htm Notice the last paragraph where they admitted they had to conclude almost complete conversion to DKP, the brain tumor agent. What they are saying if they let the FDA they won’t get it approved. I flew to Barcelona to see Dr. Maria Alemany who did the Trocho Study showing the formaldehyde from the free methyl alcohol embalms living tissue. The first thing he said to me was that aspartame will kill 200 million people. People are even dropping dead from it. Go to http://www.mpwhi.com and read some of the doctor’s reports on sudden cardiac death. There are buttons at the top of the page.

        Also, if you read the United Press International 8 month investigation of aspartame you will see that it took Don Rumsfeld to get it on the market. Everything is a matter of public record if people would just read them.

      • Ben – Agree it’s not a hoax, if my article seems to claim otherwise, I can correct. Point is these are simply self-reported symptoms received by the FDA. The list is not from a set of controlled studies. In fact, when controlled studies are performed with people who self-report symptoms, the symptoms occur no worse than with a placebo.

        So what bothers me about it being continuously cited in the anti-aspartame community is that it’s presented as if aspartame is unique in having a giant list of complaints against it, but pretty much every single product on the market has a large number of people convinced that their consumption of it has led to issues, especially one has maligned as aspartame. But this is why AERS exists, so that people can report, and the relevant authorities can see if there is a trend and get the product off the market or add warnings for specific groups of people.

        But the anti-aspartame community doesn’t care about the fact that when the symptoms are looked at closely, they simply don’t exist in the general population. For some reason anecdote trumps science. I don’t doubt that there are people affected by aspartame (for whatever reason), but to make it out to be this evil that all people should somehow be afraid of is incorrect.

        What I am waiting for is for the anti-aspartame community to locate actual studies that demonstrate these problems. Walton’s list of studies (which I realize you did not cite, but it usually as as soon as the word “study” is brought up). It has been demonstrated by me, and others, to be only marginally even about aspartame, and even when it is, at best it shows a slight trend in specific populations of epileptics for seizure-like responses.

      • Dear Josh: Here is the manufacturer’s own study on aspartame and seizures: http://www.dorway.com/raoreport.pdf Note that 7 infant monkeys were fed aspartame. Five had grand mal seizures and 1 died. Go to peer reviewed research on http://www.mpwhi.com, at the top of the page and you’ll see that almost 100 per cent of independent peer reviewed studies show all these problems.

        Some years ago an organic market in Atlanta, “Return to Eden” put out a brochure called “Killer Kola” with 16 reports on aspartame. They were so bad that people who didn’t know it was the aspartame making them sick got off of it just because of the reports. Wendy Purcell, the owner at that time called me after about 60 days and said, “you won’t believe what is going on down here”. I said “Yes, I would Wendy because I opened the door and a woman fell in my arms and said, “I was blind and now I can see”. She said thousands were coming in, faxing, and calling saying problems they had for years that didn’t correlate with aspartame had disappeared. In fact, I wrote a report about it called “They woke up well”. That’s why we tell people to take the 60 day no aspartame test and see for themselves. Also, a doctor came in and said before Dr. Morgan Raiford died (a specialist in methanol toxicity) he said ‘if anyone ever does anything about aspartame give them these records”. Wendy gave me the records which I have on line now where he said if vision is still in the wet stage it can return once they get off aspartame’. Incidentally, it was taken to court to ban aspartame because so many people were going blind and having seizures. Four types of seizures are mentioned on the FDA report. It was before my time but I was told they got to a corrupt judge. The FDA then was ready to take it off the market.

        I’ve filed a Citizens Petition for Ban which the FDA is suppose to answer in 180 days. It’s been ten years. They know they can’t answer it because I have their records. They sent me a letter stating they had more important things to do. So an attorney told me to file an imminent health hazard amendment which means they had a week or ten days to answer. They didn’t answer except for the same letter, and that was in 2007. Then they called me and when I said I lectured all over the world and people were sick and dying he said, “So what, we need to depopulate.” They serve above the law. It’s like Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress on 8/1/85, Senate, that because aspartame caused cancer they shouldn’t have been able to set an allowable daily dose and it violated the Delaney Amendment. His last words were “and if the FDA violates its own laws who is left to protect the public?” The Congressional Records are on my web site. All you have to do is read them.

        Dr. Roberts writes on page 858 of Aspartame Disease about “The ReJection of Anecdotal Evidence”. He said, “Disparaging comments about “anecdotal evidence” by editors of medical journals and reviewers in academia have contributed significantly to the ongoing lack of awareness of aspartame disease. The great tradition of the clinical anecdote, dating back to Hippocrates, has been forsaken. Borgstein (1999) observed: “Have you noticed that the clinical anecdote has almost disappeared?….We have statistics now, and no case is worthwhile unless we can collect a series and apply some complex statistical formula to it to make it significant somehow.

        “Defining anecdotal evidence as “what really happens to real people and they tell you about it,” the editors of Diabetic Reader (Fall/Winter 1996) stated, “We find anecdotal evidence, especially in diabetes, is often ahead of the scientific pack and is often right!

        “Pro-industry physicians and investigators have consistently attempted to put a favorable spin on aspartame safety by denigrating published clinical observations as “merely anecdotes.” Corporate-sponsored critics reflexively scorn “anecdotal evidence” as invalid and unreliable.”

        To thousands of people who read “Killer Kola” who were using aspartame and got off of it, their story cannot be considered just an anecdote. It is their life. MS victims walked out of wheelchairs, blind people regained their sight, those crippled with fibromyalgia were able to walk, depression disappeared, and physicians started giving out pages to their patients.

        Many people wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for the Internet and the millions of reports showing them aspartame is a deadly poison.

        Betty

      • This is the article where Martini gets the upper hand. But first, regarding her being a “hoax writer” in the Markle case, the relevant response is here: http://www.dorway.com/nomarkle.html
        But here is the important article that ties everything together: http://bx.businessweek.com/pharmaceutical-approvals/view?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.opednews.com%2Farticles%2FFDA-HID-RESEARCH-THAT-DAMN-by-Dr-Betty-Martini-091103-94.html

      • Ben -
        I don’t see how that link clarifies the Markle issue, even there it says nobody knows who she is, and yet her claims are still cited as somehow relevant to the dangers of aspartame.

        The second link is also misleading. It appears to get credibility because it’s “from” BusinessWeek, but it’s simply an iframe of opednews.com, in a portion of the site that let’s anybody clip articles they think are relevant on a topic. The internal content is really just a blog entry, which is fine, but it is bothersome when it is presented as something else (though I suspect this is how you yourself came across this link). As to the content, I also discuss much of it in the Part I and Part II responses, but would have to look to see if there are new claims presented that need response.

      • Incidentally, Ben, you really have to laugh when they use the propaganda there is more methanol in oranges than in aspartame. What they don’t tell you is that in oranges there is also ethanol, the classic antidote for methanol toxicity which takes it out of your body. No ethanol in aspartame. Also in nature the methanol binds to pectin. Here Mark Gold of the Aspartame Toxicity Center, rebutted all the propaganda from a front group using industry’s misinformation. Here it is: http://www.dorway.com/offasprt.html

        You can also google, the medical journal “Aspartame, Methanol and the Public Health” by Dr. Woodrow Monte. It’s also on our site. It goes through the whole issue on methanol and what it triggers in aspartame.

        All my best, Betty http://www.mpwhi.com

  25. ASPARTAME FLACK TRIES TO MISLEAD NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE


    [Editor: Removed: Do not paste the entire content of other articles or web pages, instead link to them. While it most likely is your own content, this could be seen as plagiarism and is poor netiquette. This appears to be content from http://rense.com/general75/flak.htm ]

  26. Ben:

    All adverse aspartame claims are easily and completely explained by one simple concept that has been known far longer than aspartame has even existed, see the oldest entries here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=folate%2Cmethanol%2CTephly. And that is simply that PERSONAL health issues explain any sensitivity to aspartame. Originally these were just folate deficiency, but today they have expanded to include corollary issues like but not limited to folate enzyme issues (polymorphisms), B12 deficiency, methionine synthase enzyme issues, and/or homocysteine accrual. All these are functionally interrelated. They normally and naturally detoxify otherwise essential formaldehyde and formate produced from methanol by converting them into methyl groups vital to life itself. Problems with insufficient vitamins raise concentrations of the true and potent excitotoxin homocysteine. For more about the connections between folate, homocysteine, and vitamin B12, the ‘Metabolism of Folic acid’ figure under vitamin B12 at Wikipedia.

    Rather than deal with each of the 92 claims of critics separately, realize that these are just individual peoples complaints, not something that occurs amongst the masses of aspartame users. I will choose just four as teaching examples: heart disease, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, and autism (all taken from Monte’s ‘While Science Sleeps’). But everything I report is equally applicable to all 92 such claims.

    To teach yourself, Google the National Library of Medicine’s primary literature site ‘PubMed’. Go there, and type the alleged diseases in the search line, separated by a comma from one of the following: folate, folate deficiency, homocysteine or vitamin B12. For extra understanding the very interested person can also add folate polymorphisms to this list, but I only report its results below with the heart disease category. Find these results heart disease first: heart disease, folate (1405); heart disease, folate deficiency (252), heart disease, homocysteine (2364); heart disease, vitamin B12 (691) [heart disease, folate polymorphisms (171). Be sure to read these independent citations and you will quickly understand they are far, far more relevant than anything connected to aspartame. Repeat and compare that with heart disease, aspartame (7). Then analyze these–the first can be excluded, because a spell checker induced typo–there is no such thing as ‘aspartame aminotransferase’. Spell checking errors have shown up alot lately arising from aspartate, the amino acid. The other citations can all be dismissed because folate status and these related issues were completely ignored, but with the numbers shown, these issues far better explain their results than could aspartame.

    Repeat this process for multiple sclerosis and find the following numbers, folate (48); folate deficiency (20); homocysteine (41); vitamin B12 (134). FYI, multiple sclerosis fits with B12 far better than anything else. B12 deficiency is linked to vegetarianism and that must make one wonder about that a vegetarianism connection to multiple sclerosis. By the way there is only one connection between multiple sclerosis and aspartame; this same citation shows up frequently, but it is pure speculation, just like these unsubstantiated arguments.

    Repeat this process again for autoimmune diseases like lupus, for example: folate (84); folate deficiency (21); homocysteine (157), and vitamin B12 (53). Again those alleging aspartame involvement NEVER evaluate the person’s underlying folate, homocysteine, or vitamin B12 status, so the one citation listed (#2) is dismissible. The other two are speculative (#1, above paragraph) or irrelevant. Perhaps this is another spell check error?

    This issue explains the latest crazed speculation about aspartame. Consider anything critics can throw, like weight gain. Let’s consider a very recent rat study from which a better understanding of the real, measureable issues can be obtained. This report suggests weight gain from both aspartame and saccharin, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23088901. The problem with all these types of studies is that the experiments are designed and performed incorrectly (and that helps understand the flaw in all epidemiological arguments against aspartame too). Although in the following I concentrate on aspartame, the same flaws may occur with saccharin treatment too. Let me explain.

    Now let me address the experimental design failure in this PubMed citation and in fact all animal model aspartame experiments (none have been done correctly). Both formaldehyde and formic acid are substrates for the folic acid-vitamin B12 system; they are readily converted into methyl products by the recommended 400-800 micrograms of daily folate intake, assuming adequate B12. [Note that B12 is deficient in many people, especially in vegans, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22726312. But a very small amount of that already small required amount of folate also reacts differently with those substances; that converts this folate into an ineffective substance, effectively depleting functional folate. Normally, this is not an issue with any vitamin– because vitamins are in principle replenished daily; that lost folate is within that replenishment amount. These rat aspartame experiments, however, can deplete more folate than diet alone can replenish. Whether or not this is occurring is uncertain. But what is certain is that this depletion occurs only in the treated—aspartame—group; it has not occurred in the control/water group. That makes for a poor design and the entire comparison invalid; hence this a unbalanced and poorly designed, faulty experiment. To be done correctly, one must either confirm no depletion of folate has occurred (by comparing both groups), better administer an equivalent amount of methanol (present in that aspartame) to the water control, or best try other balancing approaches that ensure volatile methanol doesn’t escape the drinking water.

    While I cannot directly explain the weight gain reported with saccharin, as was done above with aspartame, a secondary explanation fits the same folate (methylation-vitamin) paradigm. High forced consumption of saccharin in weanling rat pups adversely affects iron and reduces folate, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8225126. That work also documented that iron supplementation corrected both the both iron and folate issues. This finding highlights another unique and not completely understood connection between iron and folate that might also impact human PERSONAL responses to aspartame should iron be deficient

    So suffice it to say both sweeteners used in this study may have caused the same changes, not because of either sweetener itself, but because of poorly designed experiments that adversely impacted folate or iron/folate nutrition. Epidemiology studies often do not take into any consideration folate, vitamin or iron status, which already being in widespread deficiency, can impact this problem greatly, yet have nothing to do with the real safety of aspartame.

    You can apply this same principle of vitamin-homocysteine explanations to birth weight or any other issue raised for aspartame. All involve a portion of the population that are nutritionally deficient, often through no fault of their own, but just the way the genetic dice of life falls.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  27. “What I am waiting for is for the anti-aspartame community to locate actual studies that demonstrate these problems.”

    Here’s a start: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/aspartame

  28. Ben:

    As I tried to explain to you there are at least three fundamental problems with anti-aspartame science.
    First
    Everything about toxicology is dose. Every substance is toxic; it is dose alone that allows for safe use of substances as drugs, sweeteners, etc. This means that whatever the substance, be it methanol, ethanol, botox, cyanide, or even aspartame, will have a toxic dose. But that also means that critics who claim aspartame is ‘toxic’ have no understanding whatsoever of science, because these science-deficient critics believe there is NO safe dose. In reality it is safe dose that FDA, EFSA, and all regulatory agencies investigate for any substance. If critics had a case, they would say that it presents a hazard at X dose because of Y issue. They cannot do that and never could! And there is no evidence that the current limit for safe dose presents any hazard given hundreds of even governmental studies. That means that those reporting or experiencing a problem likely have some personal issue that explains their reaction. I tried to make that point in my earlier writings. But that also means that high dose aspartame studies are absolutely meaningless to safety analysis, because everything is toxic. That fundamental error on the part of critics excludes many studies from even being considered as relevant.

    Second
    Another fundamental error involves faulty experimental design and in that regard, no studies from either side have actually been done correctly. But this means that many, many studies including those you cite can be dismissed outright. You simply cannot compare results using aspartame vs a water control in animal studies. A very small amount of formaldehyde or formic acid reacts with the folate abnormally and that causes folate loss. Such loss is normally compensated for by vitamin replenishment. But these poorly designed experiments fail to recognize or consider this flaw, so in these experiments the treated group and only the treated group is being deprived of folate. Simply put, the loss of folate from methanol exposure alone is not happening in the water control. That makes comparisons invalid and thus invalidates the work. A fundamental tenet of science is dose-dependency of effect. Unfortunately these papers often can demonstrate dose-dependency, but of course it is dose dependent—one is dose-dependently depleting vital folate. Examine the papers you offer and consider this issue for each one of them. Interestingly, this same flaw happened in the earliest company studies; various people at FDA saw the results and that led to this conspiracy theory (critics often cite these twenty year old conclusions as valid, but they aren’t because of this issue). What happened is that later works used corn based diets for their animals; these are very rich in folate and this issue was not seen reproducible again. The matter arose again with Soffritti’s 2006 and later work, because they used life-time (~3 year) studies with Sprague-Dawley rats known to become folate deficient by 1 year of age. But it is the fundamental design issue that explains most such errant science. Critics just have never understood the folate issue, but it is key to any understanding of aspartame safety and that brings me back to the point I tried to make before.

    Third
    All issues with aspartame can be explained by folate deficiency, folate enzyme issues (polymorphisms), B12 deficiency, methionine synthase enzyme issues, and/or homocysteine accrual. All these are functionally interrelated and involve not just the normal, natural recycling of otherwise essential formaldehyde and formate produced from methanol into methyl groups that are vital to life (DNA) itself. Ethanol (primarily through its antagonist metabolite acetaldehyde) is a natural inhibitor of the vital folate reaction; so alcohol consumption may be a prime factor explaining any sensitivity to aspartame as well. Realize ethanol, not methanol, is the cause of fetal alcohol syndrome, and is a documented factor in facilitating many cancer types.

    So in the end, I have examined aspartame literature for a decade now that even postulates a problem and the paradigm I have provided you above explains every paper either directly or indirectly (like the weight gain report I cited earlier). The fact is that aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed and EFSA, like every relevant regulatory agency in the world, has once again substantiated this point.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    • Dear John,

      So its all a matter of dose with aspartame? Well then you might want to read this article I wrote for the National Health Federation, Freedom Magazine. In fact, it was a cover story: “No Safe Dose of Aspartame”. http://www.thenhf.com/article.php?id=3442 Notice these are not my words but the words of Dr. Adrian Gross, scientist with the FDA that worked on aspartame. He is saying the FDA should not have been able to even set an allowable daily intake. Nobody who has read this congressional record on 8/1/85, Senate, will ever forget his last words, “and if the FDA violates its own laws who is left to protect the public?” That’s why we are here, John.

      It was Dr. Gross who tried to have the manufacturer indicted for fraud but as you know both U.S. Prosecutors hired on with the defense team and the statute of limitations expired. No matter how hard G. D. Searle tried they just couldn’t get aspartame to show safety so they used fraud and got caught. Searle didn’t even want the FDA to see the studies. I visited Jerome Bressler in a nursing home in Chicago several times with Lane Shore, Mission Possible Chicago, who lost 8 members of his family to aspartame and with someone from a newspaper once. He told me how he and Dr. Adrian Gross would try to get into Searle and they would lock the door and Dr. Gross would say, “Open the door or we will get a court order!”

      You need to read this book:

      While Science Sleeps by Dr. Woodrow Monte. Goes into the deadly free methyl alcohol in aspartame that converts to formaldehyde. You can get it at http://www.amazon.com/While-Science-Sleeps-Woodrow-Monte/dp/1452893675/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1325287403&sr=8-11 Discusses diseases caused by the methanol like MS, blindness and birth defects. Tells how FDA made a deal with G. D. Searle to hide the studies that showed aspartame causes birth defects, so the public would never know. Explains autism epidemic.

      Can you imagine the FDA making a deal with G. D. Searle never to let the public know about the birth defects. Over a decade ago when I first spoke with Jerome Bressler after he retired from FDA, I thanked him for the Bressler Report and telling the truth. He told me he was very upset that FDA had removed information on two studies from the report he authored and there was something the public had to know and to please find those studies. I didn’t want to be the only one who knew so I told Dr. H. J. Roberts and Dr. Russell Blaylock who called Jerome. It took me 8 years to find them. They had stripped the birth defect information, neural tube defects, cleft palate, etc. Dr. Roberts wrote his congressman who wrote the FDA and they told him the information was confidential.

      Then Dr. Woodrow Monte got four more of the studies on birth defects. I guess the FDA doesn’t care anymore today if you know. Here is the last chapter in his book on the association of neural tube defects and autism: http://www.whilesciencesleeps.com/While%20Science%20Sleeps%20-%20Chapter%2012%20(ref).pdf Neural tube defects and autism are both caused by methanol’s effect on different brains during different gestational times of pregnancy! Timing is a critical component of teratogenicity.

      Now John, do you want to give me the safe dose that is going to prevent birth defects? Be sure to read about how somebody tried to blow up his house with him in it.

      You do know who Dr. Monte is? Arizona DHS studies showed aspartame in beverages breaks down into free methanol or wood alcohol, formaldehyde, diketopiperazine, formic acid (among other toxins), and a ban of aspartame was being considered. In 1985 Dr. Woodrow Monte, Director of Food Science and Nutrition Lab, Arizona State University, petitioned for a hearing to ban aspartame, because high temperatures in that state accelerate methanol and formaldehyde formation. By an unusual maneuver the legislature altered the text in a Toxic Waste Bill so to ban regulation of FDA-approved food additives. This scuttled the hearing Dr. Monte had been promised.

      How are these abominations maneuvered? G. D. Searle lobbyists were Andrew Herwitz, Governor Babbitt’s former Chief of Staff, and other powerful hacks. Then Searle officials contributed to the campaign of Arizona House Majority Leader Burton Barr. The Committee to Reelect Barr gave campaign contributions to state representatives Don Aldridge, Karen Mills, & Jan Breuer. They all voted on the side of G. D. Searle. The legislators were bought and paid for, and cared not for Arizona citizens. (Gordon 1987).

      Today Dr. Monte is retired but still warning the public. Jerome Bressler has now passed away, but just prior to his death Lane Shore, Mission Possible Chicago, visited him in a nursing home and gave him his report back with the added information: http://www.mpwhi.com/complete_bressler_report.pdf Until the day he died he was telling people please don’t use aspartame, its poison!

      No matter the cover-up John, there is no way of getting around it. What science has had to say about aspartame is, “it’s a chemical poison”! Get it?

      Betty

  29. Ben, Betty or the interested reader:

    Yes, by her own admission, one of the most adamant critics of aspartame–Betty Martini (honorary doctorate) wrote an article saying there was ‘no safe dose’. As I said, critics just don’t understand toxicology! And certainly Gross didn’t or he wouldn’t have even claimed such an outlandish idea. There is always a safe dose, for everything even the most poisonous of substances! And Monte was a food scientist, not a toxicologist. All claims, including every one of his are more easily explained by the simplier folate-methylation paradigm, which has existed in its basic ‘folate deficiency’ form since long before aspartame. Millions of people have switched to aspartame sweetener since the 1980′s, but cancer rates have declined greatly – so where is the evidence for any health hazard?

    As cynical people reread Martini’s comments please note that her arguments were generated in an era long before the 1998 mandated folate fortification of feed grains. There has been nothing to change thinking since then. Folate was mandated because the population was so deficient in folate that women were giving birth to children with birth defects documentably caused by folate deficiency– note her comment about dropping “birth defect information, neural tube defects, cleft palate.” These are all folate issues and serve to document the underlying factor that critics never mention. She provides an interesting history lesson, but the safety of aspartame was never about some under the table graft, but it has always been about science so documentable that no relevant regulatory agency in the world even questions aspartame safety today; even EFSA reconfirmed its safety just several weeks ago.

    Now let me divert to the Trocho (Alemany study) that Martini mentioned earlier. This is on the one hand the best and on the other the worst aspartame study ever done. It is amongst the best because of what they did. They used radiolabelled 14C-methanol in aspartame and tried to follow the radiolabel. They found it bound to tissues. In other work they had already developed a 2D thin-layer chromatography (tlc) procedure to identify where the various amino acids resided after digestion, so they tested the aspartame binding tissue. Knowing where all the amino acids appeared under these 2D tlc conditions, they tried to determine which amino acids actually bound aspartame’s methanol’s carbon. But in spite of all this-at the time-great technology, they were unable to identify the binding amino acid. Still a great effort. I personally contacted Alemany and noted that, but I also urged him to repeat his study and identify his metabolite. He refused to do that; we all know that doing science is expensive and that would be understandable. But doing so would also document the safety of aspartame. One must wonder if they knew of their own problem. Then is when his work became amongst the worst. Did they have little interest in science that didn’t support the ‘toxicity’ line? I don’t know? But I have explained in excruciating detail to EFSA exactly what Trocho et al actually did, how their procedures paralleled important others, and consequently the likely identity of his abnormal amino acid metabolite. Those having any scientific background might be able to guess the chemical structure of that product, based (1) on it not being a normal amino acid that they had previously studied, and (2) my folate-methylation paradigm [Look up the structure of folate]. Having describing the matter in depth to regulatory agencies including EFSA, I am leaving the rest to a scientific article possibly titled the “Fallacies of the Aspartame Toxicity Conspiracy Theory”.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  30. Here is the rebuttal answered on brain tumors. http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/brain.txt Keep in mind that the manufacturers start rebutting as soon as a study is done.

    When the first Ramazzini study was done showing aspartame to be a multipotential carcinogen, EFSA was quick to rebut. Finally, Dr Herman, deputy executive director of EFSA resigned and confessed: “EU’s food agency battles attempts to hijack science.”

    http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?n=70720-efsa-health-claims-antibiotics

    It says: “Science and politics make poor bedfellows. Just ask Herman Koeter, deputy executive director at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which has felt the push and pull of national politics ever since the agency began operating four years ago.” Aspartame was mentioned when it said: “Hot decisions that had political repercussions included a review of a controversial aspartame study” .

    Dr. Morando Soffritti himself showed how absurd the EFSA rebuttal was and wrote: “First, the EFSA (2006) overlooked the fact that the study was conducted until the natural death of the rodents. IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT INFECTIOUS PATHOLOGIES ARE PART OF THE NATURAL DYING PROCESS IN BOTH RODENTS AND HUMANS.

    “Second, if the statistically significant increased incidence of lymphomas/leukemias observed were indeed caused by an infected colony, one would expect to observe an increased incidence of lymphomas/leukemias not only in females but also in males. The EFSA (2006) did not comment on this discrepancy in their logic.

    “Finally, in support of the hypothesis regarding the safety of aspartame, the EFSA (2006) cited the negative results of recent carcinogenicity studies carried out in transgenic mice by the NTP; the ESFA did not mention that, becauhttp://rense.com/general70/coca.htmse the NTP studies on genetically altered mice were performed using a new experimental model, the NTP subcommittee unanimously agreed “there is uncertainty whether the study possessed sufficient sensitivity to detect a carcinogenic effect” (NTP 2005).

    “Interestingly, the same scrutiny applied to our study has not been applied to a recent abstract published by Lim et al. (2006) from the NCI diet questionnaire survey (NCI 2006) in which self-reported aspartame consumption showed no increases in either leukemia/lymphomas or in brain cancer. These results have been used by industry, the EFSA, and others to argue that aspartame is not a risk for humans, in spite of our animal study results. Without specific information on each individual’s consumption rate and duration it is difficult to assess the power of the survey, in spite of the large number of participants. The second related issue is whether aspartame is an early- or late-stage carcinogen. If it is an early-stage initiator of cancer, then reporting the lack of effects in older individuals who have not consumed aspartame since early childhood would be expected to show little or no increased cancer (Hoel 1985).

    “The safety-in particular, the noncarcinogenicity-of today’s most widely diffused artificial sweeteners and their blends is largely based on studies conducted decades ago. I second Karstadt’s nomination of acesulfame K for further study; however, I add that it should be evaluated using a long-term mega-experiment.

    “The author declares he has no competing financial interests.”
    Morando Soffritti
    Cesare Maltoni Cancer Research Center
    European Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences
    “B. Ramazzini”
    Bologna, Italy
    E-mail: crcfr@ramazzini.it

    So what to do, what to do? They found a study from years ago that was simply a food survey form:

    • There is a very good reason that no relevant regulatory agency in the world believes the opinion of these critics. And it has nothing to do with Martini’s 20 year old conspiracy theory. Here are the facts about brain tumors, followed by a demonstration of the failure of all the Soffritti (Ramazzini) work. I encourage readers to think for themselves.

      Consider first, just for example, the basis of questions raised about aspartame and brain cancer. Olney et al (Pub Med PMID 8939194; throughout put this number in the search line at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/) conclude “the artificial sweetener aspartame is a promising candidate to explain the recent increase in incidence and degree of malignancy of brain tumors”. Hardly proof! Nevermind the abstract also reveals three papers that dispute this conclusion including even an increased incidence of brain tumors.

      Lim et al looked at this issue and found no support for any such conclusion. Samuels criticized Lim et al’s work and Davis et al also rebutted his comment suggesting harm (PMID 18483354; all papers can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/18483354). Whether Lim et al’s paper is valid or invalid, the problem with the Davis et al work is clear and stemmed from their use of epidemiology; that approach fails when you don’t know what you are doing, which is often the case with blind epidemiology work. Blind, because aspartame’s methanol is metabolized by the folate acid vitamin system, a fact well-known for fifty years. They failed to consider or even mention folate and related issues amongst their “users.” So was the Davis work intentionally biased too? She did acknowledge reviewing Soffritti’s work. One must ask where is the conspiracy theory after seeing the scientific criticisms of Soffritti’s work below.

      But first let’s see how brain tumors connect to folate deficiency. Folate is important, because it is required to metabolize and recyle methanol’s formaldehyde and formate metabolites to methyl groups. Folate deficiency and its many related issues are serious health problems. It is not aspartame safety, but these underlying PERSONAL issues and the disease they can cause, that underlie all issues with aspartame. Consider a different analysis. Besides associations between meningiomas and hormones-HRT [hormone replacement therapy], the documented association between folate issues and meningiomas or gliomas are very relevant (Bethke et al, 2008; PMID: 18483342). Bethke et al conclude that “the results of our study are consistent with an increased risk in subjects with reduced conversion of homocysteine to methionine due to either reduced MTRR enzyme activity or reduced activity upstream at the MTHFR enzyme [both folate enzymes], which could result in aberrant promoter methylation. The biological basis of PBT [primary brain tumors]; development is unclear. The role of aberrant methylation has, however, been documented in both gliomas and meningiomas (16-19). Given that studies have shown that the MTHFR 677TT genotype can be associated with decreased global DNA methylation and promoter-specific methylation in tumors (20), it is entirely plausible that the variants we have studied will affect the risk of PBT.” Semmler et al, 2008; PMID: 18447718 and Sirachainan et al, 2008; PMID: 18406541 both found similar associations.

      Now let’s consider the cited Soffritti et al papers. They have been dismissed completely by the scientific community. The regulatory agencies have their reasons (infection and much more), but the fact is new evidence may suggest intentional, premediated bias with these Soffritti et al papers. Would five fundamental scientific reasons to reject the Ramazzini work suffice?

      First, besides many other criticisms after their publication, an exceptional article and EDITORIAL appeared about their use of sick rats in all their experiments on aspartame or other chemicals (PubMed 19430000, 19429982).

      Second, in a yet unreported personal investigation, I found strong, documentable evidence that their rats were diet-deficient in folate even before the experiment. [As if this is really surprising; they never would share their diet information with EFSA.]

      Third, then they made more deficient by improperly designed experiments that did not provide the equivalent amount of methanol to control rats. Simply, methanol can deplete folate, if it is insufficiently supplemented. Although this not important until folate is already low (like in their rats as noted above and below too), methanol [and ethanol] and many, many other substances naturally deplete or affect folate. That natural depletion from many food sources is why folate is a vitamin required daily. Thus their treatment exacerbated the result, BUT THIS HAPPENED ONLY IN THE ASPARTAME TREATED ANIMALS. There was no similar methanol control; water does not deplete folate! (This fundamental failure is applicable to all their aspartame mouse work and even work on other folate-connected substances from that lab).

      Fourth, in another fatal error they used a strain of rat (Sprague-Dawley) independently already known to become age-deficient in folate by ONE-YEAR, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12042458). So Soffritti et al’s very unusual lifetime (~3 year) experiments guarantees that deficiency (and bias) only made their rats more folate deficient. Without proof folate status is unaffected, multiyear studies of aspartame and likely other substances must be invalidated.

      Lastly, I can demonstrate that the above cited “sick” rats problem stems directly from this folate deficiency issue. Moreover, folate was not mentioned in any Soffritti publication (aspartame, methanol, ethanol or other similar substances), yet methanol (formaldehyde/formic acid) metabolism has been known to be critically important for forty years (see Tephly’s 1991 review, PMID 1997785). How did they not know this? Or did they?

      Doesn’t it seem that this work was designed to discredit aspartame from day one? Is it any wonder why the FDA, the EFSA and all other relevant regulatory agencies have dismissed all the Soffritti et al papers?

      So in summary All issues with aspartame arise not from any aspartame safety issue, but from heightened PERSONAL sensitivities in some users caused by deficiency of the vitamin folic acid (folate deficiency; not uncommon and a big cause of birth and other defects), by genetic folate enzyme differences (called polymorphisms that require more folate for the same function; up to 40% of certain populations) or with related methyl cycle issues like low B12 (not uncommon), high homocysteine (not uncommon), methionine synthase enzyme issues, and ethanol abuse (potent inhibitor, ‘fetal alcohol syndrome’; not uncommon), etc (and that includes childhood insect stings (formate) that can make a person frankly allergic).

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  31. Dear John,

    First of all, the experts have answered you and you just run over it as if it didn’t happen. Nobody puts stock in things you say.

    You just go from forum to forum to mislead people. Note what Dr. Alemany says:

    [Editor: Removed body. This is simply the content from http://www.wnho.net/aspartame_flack_tries_to_mislead_nm_legislature.htm]

    • Ms. Martini, you and your questionable cohorts have perpetuated this aspartame myth for over twenty years. You have tried to get it banned for twenty years, but with NO success at every step both in and out of this country. I wonder, has it provided you income as it has for a legion of your cohorts?

      This website (http://whatdoesthesciencesay.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/aspartame-and-formaldehyde) documents the mistruths and failures of your quest. The evidence has never supported your point of view and the inaccuracies have been exposed here and elsewhere. Moreover, this web site and other locations on the web document the questionable characters of some of your antiaspartame cohorts.

      It is an understatement to say that science is actually solidly against your point of view. Some 99.99% of real scientists disagree with your opinion and that of “your experts”. And that includes again just a week ago the EFSA reiterating aspartame’s safety. You and yours are simply on the wrong side of this matter. Frankly, your quest has become as laughable as Don Quixote’s attack on windmills.

      Regardless though, the proof lies not in your opinion, nor in my explanation of the science, but in the facts that no relevant regulatory agency has banned aspartame. That is now 90+ countries and they have the best scientific talent anywhere. So I ask how many countries opposing your fallacious argument is enough? When are you going to wake up? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, Albert Einstein) or is Albert insufficient as an expert for you?

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  32. As I have reviewed this topic from page one I see a lot of misinformation. Even in Feb 2011 I see statements like “aspartame is GI degraded to its three components, which are more abundant in common foods and two are even essential for life.” (Garst). This is part of the propaganda by history. There are some amino acids that cannot be isolated such as aspartic acid which is an excitotoxin and phenylalanine which is a neurotoxin. Especially at 50% for phenylalanine as in meat or milk you might find 4% but not 50. Dr. Dick Wurtman from MIT testified in Congress about the phenylalanine. http://www.wnho.net/congressionalrecord.htm You will notice he says:

    Dr. Wurtman: “When you have aspartame, you are not obtaining any of the other amino acids…which are present in all proteins (aspartame is not a protein) that block Phenylalanine’s ability to pass from the blood to the brain. So even a small increase in blood phenylalanine will cause a very large increase in brain phenylalanine. To my knowledge, NO OTHER FOOD THAT MANKIND HAS EVER EATEN CAUSES THE CHANGES IN BRAIN CHEMISTRY THAT ARE PROVIDED BY ASPARTAME.”

    Considering the fact that you list medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and nutrition, you would be expected to have that knowledge. Furthermore, the molecule breaks down to diketopiperazine, the brain tumor agent. Dr. Wurtman, head of the brain lab at MIT, was a tiger in Congress. Here is the 8 month UPI investigation where Dr. Wurtman explains to Gregory Gordon at United Press International that he was threatened by by the VP of Searle that if he did studies on aspartame and seizures his research funds would be rejected. They were. http://www.mpwhi.com/upi_1987_aspartame_report.pdf Dr. Wurtman no longer speaks out about aspartame but he was so adamant against the poison that he left quite a paper trial.

    Now you want people just to accept your theories that none of the problems that have been seen continuously for three decades are due to aspartame. Dr. H. J. Roberts, FACP, He is a diabetic specialist and has produced over 20 books. His first text on medical diagnosis was used by 60,000 doctors to prepare for their Board examinations. In his response to Garst’s allegation that aspartame sensitivity reflects folate deficiency, he wrote to the members of the New Mexico Legislature:

    “You have received correspondence concerning folate deficiency as the purported cause of aspartame disease. While folate plays a role in the metabolism of methanol (methyl alcohol), the severity and widespread nature of reactions to aspartame products suggest that this assertion must be tempered by the following:
    · The methyl alcohol in aspartame is FREE (rarely found as such in nature.)
    · The assertion that methanol concentrations never are very high after aspartame ingestion is erroneous. I devoted an entire chapter to methanol toxicity in my text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic (pp 668-685), and show in Figure XXI-1 the dose-related blood levels of methanol lasting 8 or more hours.
    · The assertion that many New Mexicans suffer from a folate deficiency is challenged. While I discussed such a theoretical deficiency in my text, there is no evidence that folate deficiency is widespread among Americans. For example, a Mayo Clinic study involving thousands of blood assays concluded that it was rare. Garst ignores the major roles of phenylalanine and aspartic acid in aspartame disease. Enormous effort has gone into this constructive attempt to ban aspartame products. I believe that it constitutes an imminent health hazard for New Mexicans. You are to be congratulated for coming this far in the face of severe corporate resistance. H. J. Roberts, M.D., FACP, FCCP

    Also, Josh, since you make light of the experts calling them just critics, and say anyone can write a book, perhaps its you who hasn’t investigated. Dr. Roberts is a member or fellow (past) of the American Medical Assoc, Florida Medical Association, Palm Beach County Medical Society, lift member, Southern Medical Association (life member), American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Federation for Clinical Research, Endocrine Society, American Diabetes Association, Florida Diabetes Association, American Academy of Neurology, New York Academy of Sciences, American Association for Automotive Medicine, Physicians for Automotive Safety, International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council on Arteriosclerosis, American Heart Association, The Stroke Council, American Heart Association, American College of Legal Medicine (Associate-In-Medicine), American Society of Internal Medicine, American College of Nutrition, American College of Antilogy, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association, Council on Thrombosis, American Heart Association, Royal Society of Health, American Geriatrics Society, Association for the Psychophysiologic Study of Sleep, American Association for the Study of Headache, International Academy of Metabology, etc., etc.

    Dr. Roberts is in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology and Who’s Who in The South and Southwest, 1960 to present. In 1984 he was selected at the “Best Doctor in the US.” He is so brilliant he graduated medical school when he was 21 or 22. In 1958 he wrote “Difficult Diagnosis: A Guide to the Interpretation of Obscure Illness, W. B. Saunders Company. This first text on medical diagnosis
    was used by 60,000 doctors, especially to prepare for their Board examinations. Dr. Roberts was knighted by the Order of Saint George for his humanitarianism. He is corporate neutral!

    Now Josh, you want to tell me whether he is qualified to write a medical text. I have files on his CV. Is that enough for you or shall I continue. Furthermore Josh as to the “hoax writer” why would someone spend 7 days a week writing something false when everything is a matter of public record. No hoax, Crime of the Century! This is the modus operandi of Big Pharma. If they want to cover-up they cry hoax!

    Dr. Ralph Walton did the research for 60 Minutes on peer reviewed research and funding, Independent studies show that aspartame is unsafe. Only industry studies say its safe, and you can’t get aspartame to show safety. They couldn’t get aspartame to show safety in the beginning then and they can’t do it now. They are trying to protect their product. Now another cancer study showing lymphoma, multiple myeloma and leukemia. This confirms Dr. Soffritti’s study.I

    You want to know where the cancer studies are. http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/Jan03/012203/02P-0317_emc-000202.txt Read the Complete Bressler Report on my site on the banner. You will see from the history of aspartame the FDA caught G. D. Searle removing brain tumors from rats, putting them back in the study and then resurrecting them back to life when they died. From the Task Force records:

    A few of the conclusions of the FDA Task Force (Gross 1987a,
    page 2-3):

    “At the heart of FDA’s regulatory process is its
    ability to rely upon the integrity of the basic
    safety data submitted by sponsors of regulated
    products. Our investigation clearly demonstrates
    that, in the (case of the) GD Searle Company, we
    have no basis for such reliance now.”

    “We have noted that Searle has not submitted all
    the facts of experiments to FDA, retaining unto
    itself the unpermitted option of filtering,
    interpreting, and not submitting information which
    we would consider material to the safety
    evaluation of the product . . . Finally, we have
    found instances of irrelevant or unproductive
    animal research where experiments have been poorly
    conceived, carelessly executed, or inaccurately
    analyzed or reported.”

    “Some of our findings suggest an attitude of
    disregard for FDA’s mission of protection of the
    public health by selectively reporting the results
    of studies in a manner which allay the concerns of
    questions of an FDA reviewer.”

    “Unreliability in Searle’s animal research does
    not imply, however, that its animal studies have
    provided no useful information on the safety of
    its products. Poorly controlled experiments
    containing random errors blur the differences
    between treated and control animals and increase
    the difficulty of discriminating between the two
    populations to detect a product induced effect. A
    positive finding of toxicity in the test animals
    in a poorly controlled study provides a reasonable
    lower bound on the true toxicity of the substance.
    The agency must be free to conclude that the
    results from such a study, while admittedly
    imprecise as to incidence or severity of the
    untoward effect, cannot be overlooked in arriving
    at a decision concerning the toxic potential of
    the product.”

    A few of the relevant findings summarized from various
    documents describing the FDA Task Force Report:

    a. “Excising masses (tumors) from live animals,
    in some cases without histologic examination
    of the masses, in others without reporting
    them to the FDA.” (Schmidt 1976c, page 4 of US
    Senate 1976b) Searle’s representatives, when
    caught and questioned about these actions,
    stated that “these masses were in the head and
    neck areas and prevented the animals from
    feeding.” (Buzzard 1976a)

    “Failure to report to the FDA all internal
    tumors present in the experimental rats, e.g.,
    polyps in the uterus, ovary neoplasms as well
    as other lesions.” (Gross 1987a, page 8).

    b. G.D. Searle “stored animal tissues in
    formaldehyde for so long that they
    deteriorated.” (Gordon 1987, page 496 of US
    Senate 1987; US Schmidt 1976c, page 25, 27 of
    US Senate 1976b)

    c. “Instead of performing autopsies on rhesus
    monkeys that suffered seizures after being fed
    aspartame, the company had financed a new
    monkey seizure study with a different
    methodology that showed no problems.” (Gordon
    1987, page 496 of US Senate 1987)

    d. “Reporting animals as unavailable for necropsy
    When, in fact, records indicate that the
    animals were available but Searle choose not
    to purchase them.” (Schmidt 1976c, page 5 of
    US Senate 1976b)

    e. Animals which had died were sometimes recorded
    as being alive and vice versa. “These include
    approximately 20 instances of animals reported
    as dead and then reported as having vital
    signs normal again at subsequent observation
    periods.” (Gross 1985, page S10835)

    You can see from the Task Force findings Searle filtered out anything they didn’t want you to see including cancer. That is why Dr. Adrian Gross, Senior Scientist asked that a grand jury investigate Searle for “apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 SC 331 (e) and the False Reports to the Government Act 18 USC 1001, for their “their willful and knowing failure to make reports to the Food and Drug Administration required by the Act 21 USC 355 (i). Both U.S. prosecutors, Sam Skinner and William Conlon hired on with the defense team and the statute of limitations expired. Then the FDA Board of Inquiry revoked the petition for approval. The rest is history as Don Rumsfeld called in his markers to get aspartame on the market!

    John, you have shown your hand when you talk against Dr. Adrian Gross, lead senior scientist at the FDA. Critics don’t understand toxicology?! Dr. Gross led the investigation against aspartame, was there on site seeing the fraud with his own eyes. Now if Dr. Gross had said aspartame was safe he would be one of the good guys, but Gross exposed everything going on. Anybody who won’t say aspartame is safe to you is a critic without proof.

    You talk about the Ramazzini Studies by Dr. Morando Soffritti and I’ve already addressed the issue. I typed in Dr. Soffritti’s rebuttal that said it all. Respiratory disease is the dying process and since it was a life study the rats were dying. We had a good laugh over that one. The studies were so impeccable they couldn’t be answered. Dr. Soffritti even got an award. The next thing that industry came up with was a “study” from NCI, NIH and AARP. It turned out to be nothing more than an old food form. It asked such questions as “have you had a hysterectomy, do you eat oatmeal cookies”. So we nicknamed the study the brownie oatmeal study. While I was in New Zealand I spoke to a medical student who had heard about the study and said these big studies being needed. So I said, “look this one over for me”! He said, “this is a big nothing, where is aspartame even mentioned?” Other than in one number of the form they ask if you use a sweetener its no aspartame study at all. I wrote an article about it: “New Fed Aspartame Study Is Cockamamie Claptrap”: http://rense.com/general70/coca.htm As I mentioned in the report, “You like fairy tales? This is from the bowels of Ally Oop, Mickey Mouse & Mother Goose.”

    Don’t tell me Dr. Soffritti’s studies aren’t accepted. The only ones who didn’t want to accept them are the flacks, front groups and government groups like EFSA who works with industry. In fact, I asked EFSA how they could declare aspartame safe if almost 100% of independent, scientific peer reviewed research shows aspartame is not safe. They won’t answer that. They asked for the studies and I sent them. They eliminated the damning ones, of course. This is called politics but don’t ever say the scientific community doesn’t accept them. After the last review Parliament told EFSA to go back and do the review over, after all they are not one or two but three scientific peer reviewed studies. They were also concerned about the Denmark Study on 60,000 women. They should be concerned since the FDA made a deal with G. D. Searle never to allow the public to see the aspartame birth defect studies. I found two of them and Dr. Monte got four. Now we understand the autism epidemic.

    I have added Dr. Alemany’s answer to your misleading statements. You question Dr. Woodrow Monte since he’s been researching aspartame for decades and done his own studies. You’re trying to take down giants and you can’t do it. Even Dr. Olney is one of the most renowned neuroscientists in the world today. Take a look at his CV, and I haven’t as yet gotten a new one. http://dorway.com/doctors-speak-out/who-is-dr-olney/

    John, I use to wonder why you had no permanent employment. Actually, this is your job, isn’t it? We spread the word about the dangers of aspartame. I’m not paid and neither are activists around the world. We believe that sickness and disability are not acceptable costs of business.

    You simply can’t make people accept your theory.

    Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder
    Mission Possible International
    http://www.mpwhi.com, http://www.dorway.com, http://www.wnho.net
    Aspartame Toxicity Center, http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame

    • Ms Martini, your comment is pretty much tl;dr, I only read the first paragraph. Please, before you criticise a toxicologist, claiming he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, make sure your comments don’t sound like coming from someone suffering from Dunning-Kruger disease.
      Toxicity is dose dependent. Yes, aspartame has about 50% of phenylalanine, and I’ll take it from you that milk has only about 4%. That doesn’t mean that the dose of phenylalanine you ingest via an aspartame sweetened drink is higher than that from a glass of milk! A tablet of the sweetner I have in my kitchen has 25 mg of aspartame in it, for a cup of tea I take one tablet. A friend of mine needs her coffee incredibly sweet and takes four tablets, so she will have 100 mg of aspartame per cup of coffee. 50% is 50 mg, so that’s 50 mg of phenylalanine. A cup of milk is 200 g. 4% of 200 g is 8 g – so that’s 8000 mg of phenylalanine, 160 times as much as from one cup of incredibly sweet, aspartame sweetened coffee!

      • Dear Vicky,

        The point of this is that Garst claims to be a toxicologist so why doesn’t he understand the metabolism of aspartame. If you had scrolled down and read the whole email you would have seen the URL for Dr. Richard Wurtman, Professor of Neuropharmacology at MIT. When someone uses the propaganda of the manufacturer it identifies them.

        Since you did not read further, here is what Dr. Wurtman told Congress on this very point:

        “The Chairman: As I understand it, the amino acid components of aspartame occur naturally in foods. Therefore, why would not individuals show the same effects from consumption of aspartame as they would from consumption of these same amino acids in other food products?”

        “Dr. Wurtman: When you have aspartame, you are not obtaining any of the other amino acids…which are present in all proteins (aspartame is not a protein) that block phenylalanine’s ability to pass from the blood to the brain. So even a small increase in blood phenylalanine will cause a very large increase in brain phenylalanine. To my knowledge, NO OTHER FOOD THAT MANKIND HAS EVER EATEN CAUSES THE CHANGES IN BRAIN CHEMISTRY THAT ARE PROVIDED BY ASPARTAME.”

        “The Chairman: In view of the fact that phenylalanine occurs naturally in foods, does it follow, that you would recommend that these foods be labeled, also?” ” Dr. Wurtman: No, no. Because once again, the phenylalanine in foods has virtually no effect on brain phenylalanine levels because those foods also have the other amino acids that keep it from getting into the brain.”

        So when you hear all that poppycock about the building blocks of life know that is exactly what it is. The phenylalanine as an isolate goes directly into the brain as Dr. Wurtman told Congress..

        Phenylalanine is unique in terms of brain metabolism and neurotransmitter function. It has the highest affinity for crossing the blood-brain barrier of all the circulating amino acids. Furthermore, the exit time required for brain levels to decrease by half is longer for phenylalanine than for several other amino acids (Lajtha l962). From Defense Against Alzheimers Disease, H. J. Roberts, M.D., http:// http://www.sunsentpress.com

        Aspartame also interacts with all antidepressants as per Dr. H. J. Roberts in Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, http://www.sunsentpress.com And our kids are medicated instead of educated.

        So hopefully you see my point now. If John Garst has all these degrees and discusses aspartame all over the Internet why doesn’t he understand the metabolism? We have on line all the propaganda rebutted. Here are the real facts: http://www.dorway.com/offasprt.html

        Just so you understand my position, I’m a messenger. I bring the real facts to the public from experts on aspartame so the public who has been lied to, can be warned. Dr. Wurtman no longer speaks out on aspartame. He was threatened by the VP of Searle that if he did studies on aspartame and seizures his research funds would be denied. They were. Here is the whole story, 8 month investigation of aspartame, by Gregory Gordon of United Press International. upi_1987_aspartame_report.pdf It’s also on my web site, http://www.mpwhi.com , scroll down to the banners.

        The propaganda is very important to the manufacturers. When Dr. Peter Nunn announced a study on brain tumors immediately Monsanto said “it can’t cause brain tumors because it doesn’t get in the blood”. The true facts were in industry’s corporate book: http://www.mpwhi.com/answering_monsantos_denial.htm

        Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum 770-242-2599 http://www.mpwhi.com

        Addendum: May 28, 2005: The book on Phenylalanine mentioned in this post has now been withdrawn from the MIT Library since Wurtman no longer speaks out against aspartame. However, we maintain research on these studies and information. What a paper trail!

      • Ms Martini,
        your answer would mean a lot more if you actually answered to my comment instead of just reposting copypasta (it’s quite obvious that this is copypasta).
        When did Dr Wurtman speak before Congress? The study “Garst” links to below says that while phenylalanine levels rise when aspartame is ingested, this does not lead to neuropsychologic and neurologic symptoms, and Dr Wurtman is one of its authors. Could it be that he changed his view on aspartame?

      • I want to be sure Vicky you have your answer. Below is his testimony in Congress and he testified either in August, 1985 or in 1987. You can read both Congressional Records on the front page of http://www.mpwhi.com to get the accurate date. Scroll down to banners. You will note that victims, doctors, researchers all testified against aspartame. The company always uses the professional organizations that they fund to defend them. You’ll see that too. When you give false information to physicians it ties their hands to diagnose and treat anyone with aspartame disease. They would have no idea that aspartame is not an additive, for instance, but a deadly addictive excitoneurotoxic drug that interacts with other drugs due to damage of the mitochondria. Interestingly, this was just brought out this morning in an article I will paste it in. We have been exposing them for years. They have a choice, either lie and continue to receive funding, or tell the truth and lose funding. The people are sacrificed. This is why you always have to turn to “independent” scientific peer reviewed studies.

        Also, Garst is not going to quote all the independent studies that show the facts. He would only use something after the doctor changed sides. Now you know why the manufacturers set up ILSI, the research front group. You have to go along with what they say or no money for funding.

        See below. Betty

        Report Faults Food Group’s Sponsor Ties
        [Editor: Betty, how many times do I need to ask you not to simply copy/paste in content. Just link. If you continue to do so I will simply stop approving your comments. ]
        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/business/report-questions-nutrition-groups-use-of-corporate-sponsors.html

        CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, DR. RICHARD WURTMAN, ASPARTAME
        [Editor: Removed, and replaced with link]

        http://www.wnho.net/congressionalrecord.htm

      • Vicky, sorry for the misdirection to your comment, but I reply here in order to reply to and correct Ms Martini’s response to you. (There is no button at which to reply to her reply to you and I wanted to put it at the right spot.)

        Her reply to you pretty much supports your points–all of them. As I have said before these critics are overly fixated on the aspartame approval issue, which after 20 years is just not relevant to any measure of its safety. Her timeline distortion supports my point. Read carefully what she says about phenylalanine in her reply to you. Note in her own link here, http://www.wnho.net/congressionalrecord.htm, that Wurtman’s testimony to the Congressional committee actually appeared in the CR in 1985.

        She herself said Wurtman no longer speaks out aspartame. She argued it was because his funds would be removed and cited a Gregory Gordon of United Press International. But that was also claimed to be in 1987. Yet his rebuttal of his own earlier claim was dated 1998. Perhaps his paper 10 years later was just simply an admission he was mistaken. Realize no one twisted his arm 10 years later; HE actively participated in the paper that HE signed, which I cite here again, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9734727.

        It appears that the antiaspartame ‘house of cards’ has gone from crumbling to a Mayan ruins and it seems closer to the Mayan calendar everytime Ms Martini writes back? But this link is the proper place for this, since the science–either Wurtman or Martini’s own ridiculous timeline comments–refute her argument completely.

        John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    • Ms Martini:

      Maybe you ought to read more about twenty years of progress on the safety of aspartame. You seem to be working out of twenty year old data.

      First, in 1998 Wurtman completely refuted his own earlier allegation that phenylalanine or aspartame caused any problem with their conclusion: “Large daily doses of aspartame had no effect on neuropsychologic, neurophysiologic, or behavioral functioning in healthy young adults,” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9734727. (I posted this in response to your earlier diatribe about phenylalanine-aspartame here, http://beforeitsnews.com/health/2012/10/aspartame-damages-the-brain-2451934.html.)

      Second, I see no need to address your detailed criticisms about the approval process 20 years ago and frankly never have. My comments pertain to science and the complete refutation of all your cited experts by one simple paradigm (the folate, B12, and methylation paradigm) that was discovered for methanol and folate deficiency even before aspartame existed. That said, it would seem that, were there politics or fraud involved, it would have been retroactively disapproved by the FDA administrations of any of 5+ multiparty Presidential administrations and/or wouldn’t have been approved by the regulatory agencies of 90+ countries. That didn’t happen, did it?

      Third, as to your other comments, I invite the reader to peruse rebuttals or detailed comments about them at this very web site.

      FYI, I retired last year. I receive a nice academic pension along with SS, but no other income whatsoever. How about you? As to my writing I am motivated to counter you and your cohorts comments, lies, and mistruths with the facts purely by the same science as the regulatory authorities of 90+ countries. But, as I have written many times, I don’t care whether or not people use aspartame. However, I do object to the distortions of science that seem to emanate from aspartame critics. I am just trying to explain the science and the single paradigm that makes all aspartame criticism wither into dust. I am sorry if you or your cohorts can’t or don’t understand it.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  33. Dear John,
    I have 20 years of records and since Dr. Roberts sent me his research for 30 years it seems I msy have it all. You obviously don’t want people to know about the approval proess because aspartame was marketed because of the political chicanery of Don Rumsfeld. The approval process is very important so people will know it was never proven safe. The only thing that has changed has been the politics of getting it approved in more products. The FDA said if the complaints were lowered they could give blanket approval of aspartame in 1996. They told victims they were not taking any more cases. That assured the complaints were not being raised, but what I couldn’t figure out is how they would lower them. Turns out the FDA said they had to change their billing process, and that would require throwing away hundreds of complaints on aspartame. They must sit up all night figuring out how to deceive the public. Dr. Roberts said what they did was outrageous.

    As to the baloney about everything having a safe dose, I don’t buy it.
    What is the safe dose of cyanide? Furthermore, here is the senior scientist at the FDA, Dr. Adrian Gross, telling Congress there is no safe dose. http://www.thenhf.com/article.php?id=3442 Here he states the FDA should not have been able to set an allowable daily dose and that it violated the Delaney Amendment because it causes cancer.

    As to the science of the regulatory agencies, aspartame was approved in England because of a business deal. You can google how aspartame was approved in England. It has the article as well from the Guardian exposing it. When I was in New Zealand, Food Standards admitted they never did studies there but relied on the FDA. The FDA called it fraud. Likewise no studies were done in the UK as well. Aspartame was rubberstamped around the world. There is no way for a chemical poison to be tested safe. So you’re just copying industry propaganda.

    Aspartame critisim has not whithered in the dust. Instead there have been congressional hearings, documentaries interviewing the experts, and operations like ours around the world exposing the cover-ups Just read the cover of the Ecologist in 2005 about aspartame. It was once listed with the pentagon in an inventory of propsective biochemical warfare weapons submitted to Congress.

    Aspartame is banned in Romania because it causes cancer.

    Betty
    http://www.mpwhi.com, http://www.dorway.com
    Aspartame Toxicity Center, http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame

    • As to the baloney about everything having a safe dose, I don’t buy it.
      What is the safe dose of cyanide?

      Ouch, you really should have paid more attention in school. That “baloney” has been known since the middle ages (Paracelsus). Yes, there’s a safe dose for cyanide – a quick google session reveals that it is 0.05 mg HCN/kg body-weight.

      • Vicky: Thanks for your enlightening comment to Ms. Martini. She documents for the world to read that she has no understanding of toxicology at all. I have tried to provide to her the following two-paragraph short course before, but it is clear she cannot read, is blinded by her zeal, or has another problem. Nevertheless, I repeat it here.

        The fundamentals of toxicology (the science of poisons) say “everything is toxic.” And that everything includes aspartame and all its three decomposition products, aspartate, phenylalanine, and methanol. But where the aspartame critics fail to understand and then mislead the reader is that dose is paramount to effect. Everything about toxicology is dose; the words ‘toxic’ or ‘poison’ mean nothing without consideration of a specific dose for that substance. The words ‘toxic’ or ‘poison’ are used when the doses required for effect are very low and thus exposure represents a hazard.

        But dose alone separates a ‘poison’ from a food/drug. That there is a safe dose is the basis for the whole science of pharmacology (drugs). This is expanded upon in Adrien Albert’s classic 1985 book on “Selective Toxicity: The Physico-Chemical Basis of Therapy”, http://www.amazon.com/Selective-Toxicity-Physico-Chemical-Basis-Therapy/dp/0412260107/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358714557&sr=8-1&keywords=Selective+Toxicity. But, for example, the readers should consider that botulinum toxin (Botox), perhaps the most toxic substance known (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin), is also used extensively in cosmetic procedures. Highly toxic cyanide is found in plant products we all consume; however, cyanide at those doses is safe, because they are readily detoxified by the cyanide-specific enzyme rhodanese, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodanese. In contrast ‘low-toxicity’ water drowns hundreds of people yearly, but water isn’t considered either ‘toxic’ or a ‘poison’. So the informed reader should understand that words like ‘toxic’ or ‘poison,’ which fill the anti-aspartame literature are really irrelevant to any safety issue. Any claim that any chemical substance is ‘toxic’ or a ‘poison’ is by itself is absolutely MEANINGLESS. Any claim that there is no safe dose is equally absurd, whether it come from Ms. Martini or some past official at FDA. Any such claims MUST include a specific toxic response at a specific dose to even be investigated. Aspartame critics cannot now do this and never could! That is part of the reason why they cannot get any regulatory agency to even listen to their long-failed arguments.

        The reader must recognize that this hubbub about aspartame comes from people none of whom have toxicological training, very, very few of whom are even scientists, some of whom are physicians, who think they understand toxicological science, but do not, others of whom are conspiracy theorists, or some of whom simply have ulterior motives.

        Let’s consider Martini’s Dr. H.J. Roberts. He has reported, mostly in unreviewed letters to the editor where he could insert his agenda, some studies suggesting some people have reactions to aspartame that disappear when aspartame is no longer used.

        Actually, I don’t necessarily disagree with his observation, but I do disagree with his naive conclusion that the problem is aspartame. And that is unfortunate, because in all his (she said 30) years this MD has never done any internal control studies that even considered the possibility that such reactions stemmed from very vital, highly-documented, PERSONAL folate, B12, homocysteine or related issues. Real scientific objectivity has not been demonstrated by any of these critics!

        So let’s examine this point using just one of his more recent and outlandish claims. Roberts, (2007, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/17534100) presents the only claimed association between aspartame and thrombocytopenia. However, simple analysis reveals that a Pub Med search of “folate deficiency, thrombocytopenia (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=folate%20deficiency%2C%20thrombocytopenia) revealed 112 such citations on January 20, 2013. Analysis also revealed that a Pub Med search of folate, thrombocytopenia (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=folate%2C%20thrombocytopenia) revealed over 583 such citations on January 20, 2013. Given the alternative, depending on which citations one chooses, that would suggest he has a 1 in 112 or a 1 in 583 chance of being correct. And that doesn’t even consider the 102 B12, thrombocytopenia citations nor the 22 homocysteine, thrombocytopenia citations. Blaylock has never published anything in the primary reviewed literature about aspartame, but he writes books, based on anecdotal evidence from twenty-thirty years ago and completely ignores very relevant and very important alternative explanations.

        Realize the aspartame conspiracy theory originated well before the 1998 mandated folate fortification of grain products in the USA, Chile, and Canada that dramatically cut folate- deficient dependent birth defects, indicating the widespread folate deficiency problem. Relative to her discussion about New Zealand, Ms. Martini should know that Australia-New Zealand only in 2009 mandated the addition of folate to certain grain products. Most of Europe still doesn’t do it, but the EFSA in 2009 did recognize its importance, http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/supporting/doc/3e.pdf. See these free full text papers from the Canadian Family Physician about these issues, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19005123 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Ryan-Harshman%2C%20Aldoori%2C2008. If you want a cause for the many folate-deficiency and related PERSONAL issues like birth defects and cancers, blame the foot-dragging, not aspartame.

        John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      • Dear Vicki,

        Be assured while you believe there is a safe dose of cyanide I don’t think anyone would like to try it. The reason that Dr. Adrian Gross, lead scientist at the FDA, said aspartame has no safe dose is because not only is it cumulative, but it causes cancer and violates the Delaney Amendment. The formaldehyde embalms living tissue as the Trocho Study has proven. http://www.mpwhi.com/aspartame_and_preembalming.htm In fact, having met with Dr. Alemany in Barcelona he told me aspartame will kill 200 million people. Because of the chemical hypersensitivity from aspartame some victims while getting off the toxin have accidently gotten some without knowing it and had life threatening emergencies. If you saw the movie “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World” at the end you see the testimony of Cheryl Kemptner. She did tell the hospital not to give her anything with aspartame, it was added to her records and she was given a bracelet. Unfortunately she was also given “one dose” of aspartame and became a Code Blue. They were able to resuscitate her or she wouldn’t be here today. It’s outrageous that aspartame is still on the market all because of addiction, profit and greed.

        Ouch indeed. Two things that we don’t use is aspartame and cyanide. In fact, it was Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, in a lecture who said, “Realize that the reactions from aspartame are not allergic, but toxic like arsenic and cyanide. Aspartame is a chemical poison at any level.

        I’ve posted answers for John Garst but unfortunately it hasn’t appeared. I’ll try again.

        Regards,

        Betty

      • Ms Martini,

        why are you so confident that there’s no safe dose of cyanide? Bitter almonds have gone a bit out of fashion, but they have traditionally been used in baking; they contain a cyanogenic glycoside that upon ingestion releases cyanide, so only small quantities of bitter almonds can be used safely (like one bitter almond for a whole cake). Nowadays it’s cheaper to use bitter almond oil (extracted from apricot kernels) from which the cyanide is removed, but I can assure you that I wouldn’t mind eating cake that contains bitter almond as long as I trust the baker.
        Small (as in: so small that they’re safe) quantities of both arsenic and cyanide can be found in some drinking water, I assure you that I have no problem drinking such water.
        Whether you believe it or not, it is the dose that makes the poison.

  34. I am posting some of Betty Martini’s comments, as some of them were copied to me. I will let her respond. Before I do though, I would like to note that particularly of relevance is the following letter concerning what FDA studies were pivotal in the approval of aspartame: http://ia601602.us.archive.org/28/items/OnAspartameMsg/MullarkeyFda.pdf
    One of the studies used – a 52 week oral toxicity study that showed that monkeys in the medium/high group had grand mal seizures (see p. 38): http://ia601602.us.archive.org/28/items/OnAspartameMsg/monkey_study.pdf

    I will look over the others again, but I think some of these studies were mentioned in the Bressler report. Betty Martini can elaborate.
    I will post her comments in subsequent comments:

  35. Comment #1: reply to Vicky, on January 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm:
    Dear Vicki,

    If I have already researched an issue there is no need to do it twice. On http://www.mpwhi.com you will see the congressional records, scroll down to banners. One was 8/1/1985 and the other Nov 3, 1987. You can read all the testimony or simply do a search on Dr. Wurtmam while you have the document open. It’s all there.

    Regards, Betty

  36. Comment #2 – part 1:
    Dear John,

    So you admit it. You knew all along about the true metabolism of aspartame, and you knew about Dr. Wurtman. I said in the post that he was threatened by G. D. Searle and no longer speaks out about aspartame. He was told he wouldn’t get research funds if he did a study on aspartame. They were denied.

    Obviously the manufacturer knew if people had all these reactions there would be studies done, so they set up a front research organization, ILSI, which is funded by the manufacturer and industry. If they are not willing to say aspartame is safe, no research funds, Read the report: It says “In the summer of 1985, the firm flew Wurtman, Elsas, Matalon, Pardridge, several of their wives and other NutraSweet critics to a two day meeting at a luxurious home in Northeast Harbor, Maine. An afternoon was spent on a yacht, participants said. “This was industry wooing the concerned to shut up.”, said Elsas said.”

    “Pardridge said he was the only strong aspartame critic to accept an invitation in June 1986 to a heavily – attended Searle sponsored conference at a picturesque ski resort in Keystone, Colo. Pardridge said when he tried during the conference to raise his concerns about phenylalanine, the discussion was cut off. “It was just another typical industry whitewash,” he said.”

    Interestingly someone from ILSI in Atlanta called me, not as an informant, but as a very sick lady. I asked her how she found out aspartame was poison and she said from ILSI. Then before I could say anything she said, “This place is not independent, they know aspartame is poison, but they hold the money strings and if you’re not willing to say aspartame is safe you don’t get any funds.’ For years industry has tried to prevent independent studies. In fact, as victims continually complained congressional hearings were set up. Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote a bill to have independent studies done on the problems they were seeing in the public:

    SEC. 4 (a) The Secretary, through the Director of the National Institutes of Health, shall request proposals for, and make grants and enter
    into contracts for the conduct of, clinical studies on aspartame, including studies concerning–
    (1) the effect of the consumption of aspartame on brain chemistry;
    (2) the health effects of the consumption of aspartame on pregnant women and fetuses;
    (3) behavioral and neurological effects experienced by individuals who have consumed aspartame, especially by children who have consumed aspartame;
    (4) the interaction of aspartame with drugs, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors, alpha-methyl-dopa, and L-dihydroxphenylalanine; and
    (5) the effect of the consumption of aspartame in increasing the probability of seizures.
    (b) In making grants and entering into contracts under subsection (a), the Secretary shall provide for the completion of the studies required under such subsection with one year after the date of enactment of this Act.
    (c) To carry out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary.
    (d) The authority of the Secretary to enter into contracts under this section shall be to such extend or in suc…

  37. Comment #2 – part 2:

    If you had a product and you were telling people its safe, why would you care if more studies were done it? This was in 1985 after Monsanto bought them. The bill never got out of committee and some of the Senators like Orrin Hatch were paid.

    The problem with Wurtman is he left a paper trail that is massive including his book, “Dietary Phenylalanine and Brain Function.” He use to be a Searle consultant which he gave up when he realized how deadly aspartame is.

    Dr. Wurtman is a brilliant man and he was working with aspartame victims. Fortunately that gave me paperwork where he states he knew aspartame is the problem. When they broke Dr. Wurtman it must have been some package.

    As to regulatory agencies the FDA revoked the petition until Don Rumsfeld stepped in and “called in his markers”. It got approved in England through a business proposition: http://www.wnho.net/how_aspartame_got_approved_in_england.htm No studies were ever performed in England. When I was in New Zealand and visited Food Standards I was told no studies were done there either. They relied on the FDA. So what you’re talking about is a rubber stamp around the world. At an expo I ran into somebody from the FDA and gave him a hard time about aspartame. Finally he said, “Look, we did everything we could to prevent approval, from indictment to revoking the petition. We did what we could to prevent it ever being used for human consumption. Politics won. Now with it being approved what are we to say, “we know its deadly but we approved it?” He said further, “Your battle is with Don Rumsfeld who took it out of the hands of the FDA.”

    As I said before, I work free, nobody pays me. I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me and loves people as I do. He once told me, “If you really want the truth on any subject, you have to be willing to accept the facts no matter what the facts are.” That’s what I do, I go for the facts, and do not accept propaganda. You say you’re just trying to explain the science. By the fact you know the details about Dr. Wurtman, means you know the real metabolism and intentionally are putting out the propaganda. It’s a dead giveaway to anyone. Also, flacks always put down independent research and anyone disagreeing with them. In one way you give credit to the regulatory agencies but when documents come out like the ones on Dr. Adrian Gross, you are quick to rebut his knowledge even though he was the investigator in the case of aspartame. The other FDA toxicologist was Dr. Verrett. Here is her testimony: http:// http://www.mpwhi.com /J_verrett.pdf You will notice that when she testified in Congress in 1987 she said aspartame had still not been proven safe. Read how they were told not to comment on the validity of a study. So what are you going to do now, John, say she doesn’t know what she’s talking about either?

    Aspartame has been controversial since the day it was put on the market because of the sickness and disability. Jerome Bressler, Dr Adrian Gross and Dr. Jacqueline Verrett all worked on the aspartame issue. They are all dead now but they fought to prevent approval, the last hero’s of the FDA. If you say Dr. Verrett is wrong too, and she worked on the issue and is a toxicologist, then you have identified yourself .

    Dr. John Olney got so upset with the shenanigans pulled by G. D. Searle that he insisted they do studies in his lab. Indeed they showed that aspartame destroys the brain, so he thought it wouldn’t be approved. However, Searle failed to tell the FDA.

    Now your excuse is these studies were done 20 years ago. Nothing has changed, nothing. In fact, the National Soft Drink Association wrote a 33 page protest against putting this toxin in carbonated beverages. Here it is: http://www.mpwhi.com/open_letter_dick_adamson.htm Or you can read it directly from the congressional hearings. They are on my web site. Dick Adamson never answered my letter because nothing else happened. Because NSDA protested and then turned around and lobbied for NutraSweet, the protest was added to the congressional record You will note it discussed the breakdown products. There has been no change. In fact, Pepsi announced a sweetener change: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/12/17/diet-pepsi-sweetener/1774295/ Notice it’s admitted that aspartame breaks down!! That’s why the FDA said you could only put it in dry foods. I believe a child could explain if you put Equal in hot coffee its heated. Yet, in 1993 they approved it for baking! In 1996 they approved it for everything even though the company itself said it couldn’t be used for everything: http://www.mpwhi.com/trade_secret_information_on_aspartame.htm

    You “can’t dispute the real facts”!

    Betty
    http://www.mpwhi.com

    • I keep seeing this note: “Aspartame is claimed to have formaldehyde in it which causes toxicity and other manner of ills. The consensus is that the formaldehyde does not build up and certainly has no ill effects.” Aspartame has a methyl ester which immediately becomes free methy alcohol, unlike the methanol in fruits and vegetables where it is accompanied by ethanol, the classic antidote to methanol toxicity. Also in fruits and vegetables methanol binds to pectin. In using propaganda with the fruits and vegetables you immediately know either the writer is ignorant or using propaganda for a purpose. The free methanol converts to formaldehyde. The Trocho Study shows that the formaldehyde embalms living tissue and damages DNA. So the issue should be described factually. In Dr. Alemany’s study you could see the formaldehyde in the tissues. Industry used Tephly to rebut it who is a specialist in methanol. However, in the end even Tephly admitted he used the wrong test. Otherwise, he would look foolish as a methanol specialist not reporting it accurately. in Dr. Morando Soffritti’s studies there was so much formaldehyde it turned the fur of the rats yellow. I’ve already given this list the URL to the Trocho Study. http://www.mpwhi.com/aspartame_and_preembalming.htm

      Betty http://www.mpwhi.com

      Comment #2 part 2:

  38. That was in reply to John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition), on January 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Comment #3 – in response to John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition), on January 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm:

    We obviously know toxicology is the study of poisons, but we’re not talking toxicology. I’m talking about what Dr. James Bowen said is “mass poisoning” of the public. http://dorway.com/doctors-speak-out/dr-bowen/statement-fda-food-labeling/ Read it.

    One lady knew she was dying and went to her hometown to arrange her funeral. She got a call from her daughter in medical school who told her she had found the problem. In the lab was a bottle of aspartame and on the front was a skull and crossbones. Her mother got off aspartame and survived. Anything that has a skull and crossbones should not be consumed. You know exactly what I mean. Aspartame even triggers sudden cardiac death : http://www.wnho.net/aspartame_and_arrhythmias.htm It is illegal to approve a carcinogen for human discussion as it violates the Delaney Amendment. How many times has aspartame been found to be a carcinogen? Not only the original studies but three by Dr. Morando Soffritti, one oncogene study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17354619 and now one from Harvard. No telling how many have been done around the world.

    You try to downgrade eminent doctors because you can’t debate them. Once they tell you, you are wrong you don’t answer. Dr. Roberts has been researching aspartame for 30 years. He recently gave me all his records. He saw the victims in the trenches of medical practice, and got them well by removing aspartame. You’re not kidding anyone.
    Aspartame is no safe additive. Aspartame is an addictive, genetically engineered, excitoneurotoxic carcinogen that damages the mitochondria and interacts with drugs and vaccines. There are over 1000 pages in Dr. Roberts medical text. Busy physicians don’t have time to write medical texts on a conspiracy theory. A study Dr. Roberts did was in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, Volume 40, Number 2, 1988 – “Reactions Attributed to Aspartame-containing Products: 551 cases”.

    John Stauber wrote:
    Trust Us We’re Experts: How Industry Manipulates

    Science and Gambles with Your Future and Toxic Sludge is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry .Stauber explains the modus operandi of the manufacturer. They can’t debate eminent physicians and research so they call names and try to assassinate the character.

    I don’t see you writing some of the physicians and researchers who say emphatically you are wrong. Instead you back away and see how many others you can mislead. You must have some golden parachute. You’ll argue with me but the renowned physicians and researchers who have told you that you’re wrong you won’t touch because you know they know more than you do on the subject. I quote the experts and don’t play your game. I’m here for the ones who want to live and need further education to safeguard their health.

    There are laws that attempt to protect the public from such as this, but few are carried out. Aspartame is adulterating and even violates interstate commerce laws. It’s illegal anyway you look at it: http://rense.com/general67/aspar.htm

    Read on about California.

    She then copies from the following, search for – “Dear Ms. Oshita”: http://www.wnho.net/save_the_romneys.htm

  39. In case there are problems with the approval for moderation for some of the above

    I have posted some of Betty Martini’s comments (some of which have not yet been approved), as some of them were copied to me. I will let her respond. Before I do though, I would like to note that particularly of relevance is the following letter concerning what FDA studies were pivotal in the approval of aspartame: http://tinyurl.com/aegxp28
    One of the studies used – a 52 week oral toxicity study that showed that monkeys in the medium/high group had grand mal seizures (see p. 38): http://tinyurl.com/b6rfa8u
    I will look over the others again, but I think some of these studies were mentioned in the Bressler report. Betty Martini can elaborate.

    • The 52 week study is discussed in my article Sweet Misery Fact Check: Part 2

      • Can you approve Comment #2 – part 2:

      • Yep, when I got the email didn’t notice there were 3 comments submitted. All should be showing now

      • With regard to the 52 week oral toxicity study. The FDA actually allowed this study to be one of the pivotal studies that approved it. I sent a copy of it to Ben on FDA stationery because FDA tried to deny it was used as pivotal. There is more to this story and the NutraSweet company.

        A 12 year old child, Jennifer Cohen, decided to have a laboratory check out the breakdown of aspartame. http://www.dorway.com/jcohen.html Ten Diet Cokes were at room temperature, ten in an incubator and ten in the fridge. Even the ones in the fridge had broken down to diketopiperazine, the brain tumor agent. This was in the Food Chemical News that went to manufacturers and spread widely. Dr. Robert Moser defends NutraSweet. In this situation he couldn’t very well try to rebut a 12 year old child so he wrote her a letter and said he would be happy to answer any questions as long as she didn’t use the Internet. So Jennifer took him up on it and asked him to explain this 52 week oral toxicity study that showed 5 had grand mal seizures and 1 died, of the 7 infant monkeys used.

        Unprepared to answer this Moser told Jennifer he had to go to Europe and he would answer her on his return. Then he wrote and said the study never should have been done. Clip from another report: “Dr. Moser, the Nutrasweet spokesman, overstepped the boundary of truth on National TV when he stated that aspartame could not get into the blood and cause seizures. The RAO report, one of 15 (of seventy) G.D. Searlefunded tests, was called “pivotal” proof of the safety of aspartame by the FDA. The RAO report only proved that six of the seven monkeys fed aspartame-laced milk for a year developed seizures after every feeding, and the seventh one died (but all data on why was “lost”). Dr. Moser privately admitted to Jennifer Cohen (author of the diet coke report):

        “..the study should never have been undertaken, much less submitted as legitimate observation. This particular (RAO) experiment represents an unpardonable breach in methodology.” (H. Moser)

        Moser could not get out of this and you see his statement to Jennifer above. While he says it should not have been done it shows what we have known for three decades that aspartame is a seizure triggering drug. Four types of seizures are on the FDA list of 92 symptoms: http://www.mpwhi.com/92_aspartame_symptoms.pdf again on FDA stationery. The RAO study was part of the indictment because they did the protocol afterwards. So, they knew what they were doing when they used it as a pivotal study.

        When Monsanto bought Searle in 1995 they decided to show that aspartame doesn’t cause seizures. They were so afraid of someone having a seizure that in the Rowan Study they actually gave 16 of 18 people anti-seizure medication without telling anyone, for a “one day” study – one capsule! You will see the Rowan study and other Monsanto studies. http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/seizures.html While you see scientific abuse in these studies it shows you can’t do a study on aspartame and have it show safety. They are experts at getting the result they want.

        In 1986 the Community Nutrition Institute with attorney James Turner went all the way to the Supreme Court to get aspartame off the market because it caused so many seizures. It also interacts with anti-seizure medication as discussed in Dr. H. J. Roberts’ medical text, “Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic,” http://www..sunsentpress.com It was before my time but I was told they got to the judge. Power they have, but what would honesty and ethics. At the same time they tried to remove aspartame because so many are going blind from the free methyl alcohol.

        You also recall that Dr. Richard Wurtman was threatened by the VP of Searle if he did studies on aspartame and seizures his research funds would be rejected. They were. He has 250 cases of aspartame victims having seizures and said years ago it was enough to get aspartame off the market.

        It was on January 10, 1977 in a 33 page letter, FDA Chief counsel Richard Merrill recommended to U.S. Attorney Sam Skinner that a grand jury investigate Searle for “apparent violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. 331 (e), and the False Reports to the Government Act, 18 U.S.C. 1001 for “their willful and knowing failure to make reports to the Food and Drug Administration required by the Act 21, U.S.C. 355 (i), and for concealing material facts and making false statements in reports of animal studies conducted to establish the safety of (aspartame).” The FDA called special attention to studies investigating the effect of NutraSweet on monkeys and hamsters.”

        They were even filtering out things they didn’t want the FDA to see like cancer. Both US Prosecutors, Sam Skinner and William Conlon went to work for the defense attorneys, Sidley and Austin, and the statute of limitations expired. As it discusses in “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World”, Dr. John Olney had enough of Searle’s shenanigans and insisted the studies be done in his laboratory where he could oversee them. The studies showed aspartame destroys the brain so Dr. Olney thought it would never get approved but did not find out until it was too late that Searle had failed to tell the FDA. You simply can’t do an honest study on aspartame and have it show safety because it is a chemical poison. Aspartame was approved because of the political chicanery of Don Rumsfeld. For 30 years independent scientific peer reviewed studies have shown over and over again that aspartame is not safe, and is a multipotential carcinogen. The aspartame industry simply calls names and tries to assassinate the characters of researchers. As Dr. Roberts once said, “You can tell the pioneers by the numbers of arrows in their back”.

        Betty http://www.mpwhi.com >Josh DeWald commented: “The 52 week study is >discussed in my article Sweet Misery Fact Check: Part 2″ >

  40. Betty & Ben – I am collecting the comments and will respond in a separate posting to any actual claims being made. There is a lot of information — misinformation I would argue — being presented, some of it repeated, and I would prefer to respond in a systematic manner. The comment system is a bit haphazard (as you can probably tell!) and not great for long form responses. No doubt you guys will disagree with my response, but the discussion can continue on from there.

    Cheers,
    Josh

  41. Ben:

    First, I will provide a general explanation of why these and especially all pre-1998 experiments are invalid and second, I will demonstrate in detail the failure of the monkey study using the principles I provide.

    Realize that all these arguments and the entire aspartame conspiracy theory originated in the 1970-80′s well before the 1998 mandated folate fortification of grain products in the USA, Chile, and Canada. That fortification dramatically cut folate-deficiency-dependent birth defects, documenting the widespread problem with folate deficiency. That has helped greatly, but Australia-New Zealand only in 2009 mandated the addition of folate to certain grain products. Most of Europe still doesn’t do it, but the EFSA in 2009 did recognize its importance (link on their webpage).

    Perhaps the alarm bells raised originally were correct about their concern with formaldehyde/formate then, but research starting in 1976 by Tephly and continuing through 1996, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Tephly%2Cmethanol%2Cmonkeys%2Cfolate has shown the problem wasn’t with these substances, but insufficient vitamins to achieve their destruction. That vitamin problem is particularly true of primates, including monkeys, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6631717. Today we recognize that dietary sources still cannot provide adequate amounts of folate. It has be consumed as a 400 to a 800 microgram tablet, still a very small amount, because natural foods are inadequate. But vitamin B12 is important too. That is because, metabolism and recycling of formaldehyde/formate into methyl groups for many biochemical purposes requires both folate and B12 (and corollaries thereof like genetic issues involving folate enzymes, methionine synthase, etc. B12 comes from meat origin, so it is mostly deficient in vegetarians). But both function together to recycle those one-carbon groups, Wikipedia folate for more. Google PubMed and in the PubMed search line type cancer,folate deficiency for 837 citations. What twenty-first century science has shown is that it is not the formaldehyde/formate, but the consequences of this vitamin deficiency, such as unmethylated DNA and unmethylated homocysteine accrual (Wikipedia homocysteine), that account for much, if not most, cancer and disease.

    Now about your specific monkey study concerns, realize the paper was dated in 1972. They used Similac® for their formula nutrition. I was unable to obtain through Google folate and other vitamin content for the 1972 version of Similac®; I could eventually discover that information. However, odds are extremely high it afforded inadequate nutrition for moneys, because it afforded inadequate nutrition for humans. Three supporting references include http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6963545, which in 1982 indicated a recommended human folate intake only 1/4 of today’s adult levels. The same problem was still demonstrable in human premature babies as late as 1994, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7985636. As to the grand mal convulsions reported in monkeys peruse the PubMed entry about grand mal seizures,vitamin B6 for 572 entries, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=grand%20mal%20seizures%2C%20vitamin%20B6. A 1978 book indicating that human infants can develop convulsions, consequent to inadequate vitamin B6 is particularly relevant,
    http://books.google.com/books?id=yWYrAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA260&lpg=PA260&dq=Vitamin+B6+requirement,infants&source=bl&ots=7PYBeDOuFV&sig=gQjfXkVcivr39S-_LfLb9YZFGiQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GYcBUYmyL4fi2AXkk4DoDw&ved=0CEUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Vitamin%20B6%20requirement%2Cinfants&f=false. Today’s infant B6 recommendations are from the upper end to 3X that recommendation of the 6963545 reference, suggesting human B6 content would likely be deficient in that 1972 Similac®. Whether it would have been insufficient in monkeys too, I cannot say, but it certainly would seem likely.

    Suffice it to say, and I repeat it again, no studies of aspartame prior to 1998 are valid, because vitamin issues weigh heavily on any manifestation of methanol or aspartame toxicity. That said there is no assurance that any study takes into proper consideration the vitamin and related methylation variables. In fact the same problem exists for ALL aspartame studies (none have been done correctly), including specifically those 2006 and later from Soffritti’s lab, because of their use of long-term investigations, regardless of which animal species was being investigated. Dietary folate deficiency can be documented in all his animals, but there are a host of even more folate relevant fatal errors that make such studies irrelevant to the safety of aspartame.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    • If there was any truth in anything you have said, there would be a dramatic change since 1998. The studies still show aspartame to be unsafe. Victims are still having grand mal seizures and birth defects are skyrocketing. Pregnant women are told to take folic acid, but it hasn’t made a difference in all these autistic babies and today the cases are epidemic:

      Autism Occurrence

      * New Rate of Autism 1 in 88 (March 2012) * Pediatrics Reports One in 91 Children in the United States Has Autism (October 2009) * CDC: One in 110 American Children has Autism (December 2009) * AUTISM OCCURRENCE: One in every 88 children in the US has autism (read CDC March 2012 Study). It is estimated that approximately 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. has autism. (Note: This number and the following statistics below do NOT include: PDD, Aspergers and other spectrum disorders.) These statistics are endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, and other federal agencies.

      Now you say studies prior to 1998 are invalid, and then say ” in fact the same problem exists for ALL aspartame studies (none have been done correctly), including specifically those 2006 and later”}

      So what you’re saying is nobody is right but you, none of the aspartame studies are any good, and you want people to believe this poison is a safe additive. People are sick and dying all over the world and you want people to believe its from a vitamin deficiency?

      As Dr. H. J. Roberts said: “The assertion that methanol concentrations never are very high after aspartame ingestion is erroneous. I devoted an entire chapter to methanol toxicity in my text, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic (pp 668-685), and show in Figure XXI-1 the dose-related blood levels of methanol lasting 8 or more hours.”

      He also said “The assertion that many New Mexicans suffer from a folate deficiency is challenged. While I discussed such a theoretical deficiency in my text, there is no evidence that folate deficiency is widespread among Americans. For example, a Mayo Clinic study involving thousands of blood assays concluded that it was rare. Garst ignores the major roles of phenylalanine and aspartic acid in aspartame disease. Enormous effort has gone into this constructive attempt to ban aspartame products. I believe that it constitutes an imminent health hazard for New Mexicans.”

      This, of course, is when you tried to mislead the New Mexico Legislature. So the Mayo Clinic did a study and found that folate deficiency is rare. Yet you want to blame all the symptoms and disease precipitated by aspartame on this rare deficiency.

      If anyone believes this nonsense come to Atlanta where I have the Brooklyn Bridge to sell. No one can take you seriously. You’re just taking up people’s time. Who is paying you, John? I see where you got on another forum having to do with cancer, and the people didn’t like it there either realizing this is absurd. Betty.

      .

  42. Josh,Humans don’t need vit.C because most animals make their own in metabolic process. Re.aspartame. y.owen

    • Close, but no cigar. Wikipedia says, “Ascorbate (the anion of ascorbic acid) is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and plants. It is made internally by almost all organisms; the main exceptions are bats, guinea pigs, capybaras, and the Anthropoidea (i.e., Haplorrhini, one of the two major primate suborders, consisting of tarsiers, monkeys, humans and other apes). Ascorbate is also not synthesized by some species of birds and fish. All species that do not synthesize ascorbate require it in the diet. Deficiency in this vitamin causes the disease scurvy in humans.[1][4][5]“

  43. If I have one item that controverts established notions on aspartame, it is this – the contents of the CDC report go against their stated recommendations, and the summary on their website: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000426.htm

    Is modified from the original, more condemnatory summary: http://ia801602.us.archive.org/28/items/OnAspartameMsg/1994_cdc_report_on_aspartame.pdf

    • I’m not sure what part of the “more condemnatory summary” you’re referring to? This seems totally consistent with the CDC version.

      • Sorry, I should have said overview. A plethora of negative symptoms are described in the investigation, and do not fit in with the “mild nature” described in the CDC summary. See paragraph 2 p. 127

  44. [...] is the first in a series of responses to comments that were recently posted on my Aspartame and Formaldahyde entry, the bulk of them by Betty Martini. I am placing the responses here to create a new place [...]

    • Josh, the last comments I did never got on the web site. Why?

      One of your attacks was against Dr. Walton. Here it is answered by Mark Gold and a copy is going to Ben in case you don’t allow it. I did one also showing you aspartame is a chemical poison. Even when I read one FDA employee the riot act when I met him at an expo he told me that my argument was with Donald Rumsfeld because they did everything they could to indict the manufacturer and revoke the petition for approval. At least he did admit to me aspartame is a chemical poison. He said “we’ve always known that” and then to make it not quite so harsh said, “at least it doesn’t do anything but harm anyone who uses it”. I never forgot that.

      Anyway, here is Mark Gold response about Dr. Walton’s research. He was showing that basically any study done by unbiased researchers and not industry paid researchers would show the harm which it did. He said 92% but he also said if you eliminate 6 studies the FDA had something to do with this because of the controversy and 1 pro industry summary 100% of independent studies show the problems aspartame cause. And that’s the way it has been since, the last few studies have shown depression, obesity, the rise of fasting blood sugar, heart attack and strokes, and a couple of days ago one that showed aspartame can precipitate diabetes which we have always known. Then there were four studies showing aspartame causes cancer and that doesn’t include FDA toxicologist , Dr. Adrian Gross, who said aspartame caused cancer in original studies and violated the Delaney Amendment. He also told Congress that FDA should not have been able to even set an allowable daily intake. Also, you have the Denmark Study showing aspartame can jump preterm births by 78%. So every single study coming in shows the problems we have known for over 30 years, yet they are ignored.

      Betty

      Here is Mark Gold’s information from the Aspartame Toxicity Center:

      Hi! I responded to some of the text that was in the email below. Please let me know if it answers any of your questions:

      ============================
      Specifically, it seems that only five of the mentioned studies could be considered to be peer-reviewed and directly relatable to aspartame:

      When someone is not familiar with the research, theyre prone to making things up. Anyone who takes the time to look at Dr. Waltons
      preliminary review of aspartame research will see that many of the studies mentioned on both sides of the issue were peer-reviewed
      and directly relatable to aspartame. Of course, once you list examples of other studies that were deliberately left of the list, the person
      will come up with other criteria not mentioned above. A few examples of other studies include:

      Coulombe (Toxicol Appl Pharmacol), Roberts (J Appl Nutr), Pinto (Neuropharmacology), Dow-Edwards (Neurotoxicology & Teratology),
      Gulya (Amer Journal of Otology), Walton (Biological Psychiatry), etc., etc.

      Another thing this author appears to be unaware of is the some, but certainly not the majority, of the research listed on both sides of
      the issue was presented at a conference that was specifically about aspartame and phenylalanine. The top researchers in the field
      were invited to present research and that research has been cited by both industry and independent researchers.
      The conference was: Dietary Phenyalalnine and Brain Function held in 1987 and published by Birkhauser in 1988.

      Another example of what can happen when one cites research that is one has not read (especially industry research):

      The Camfield study (as mentioned in the title) only applies to children with a specific form of epilepsy. As noted in an American Academy of Pediatrics article reviewing inactive ingredients in various pharmaceuticals, they simply recommend that children who have untreated epilepsy avoid aspartame in large doses (AAP 1997 [8]). A later study by Rowan and Shaywitz was unable to reproduce seizure activity in a controlled study of 16 adults and 2 children.

      The author mentioned a later study by Rowan and Shaywitz that was unable to reproduce seizure activity. What the author neglected to mention was:
      1. The subjects were taking anti-seizure medication during the Rowan and Shaywitz study! (See column 2 of page 272 of Epilepsia, Volume 36(30), 1995)
      2. The Rowan and Shaywitz study was funded by NutraSweet. (See acknowledgements at end of publication, before the references).
      3. Aspartame was only given for one day in the Rowan and Shaywitz. (See column 2 of page 271 of Epilepsia, Volume 36(30), 1995)
      Anyone who cites industry-funded aspartame studies on seizure is clearly either unfamiliar with the research or an industry flack.
      Who would trust anything from a manufacturer who funds seizure studies where subjects are on anti-seizure medication during the study?!
      More importantly, who would link their reputation with some of the most dishonest and deceptive research ever produced.
      More information on independent research related to aspartame and seizures can be found at:

      http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/seizures.html

      Here is another quote was demonstrates lack of knowledge of the research:

      The Trocho study is about the formaldehyde/methanol concentrations. I discuss this in my first aspartame article . But in short, Tephyl et al notes that this study does not really apply to actual animals.
      Formaldehyde has never been demonstrated to build up on the body (and is a normal metabolic byproduct throughout the day from fruit juices), even when large direct doses of methanol are given to monkeys.

      The Trocho study was on done on actual animals, so saying it does not really apply to actual animals is ridiculous. Formaldehyde has been demonstrated to accumulate in animals and in humans.
      Formaldehyde can bind to DNA and form adducts which cause damage. For example, here is research showing the formation of such adducts in human smokers: Clear differences in levels of
      A formaldehyde-DNA adduct in leukocytes of smokers and nonsmokers, Cancer Research, 69(18):7170-7174. Monkey metabolize methanol somewhat differently than humans which is why monkeys
      can receive many times more methanol than humans without adverse effects. (See, for example, Species Differences in Methanol Poisoning, CRC Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Oct 1982, 275-286).
      The rest of the Monsanto / Ajinomoto PR about aspartame and methanol (including that about fruit juices) as well as deceptive industry research can be found at:
      http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/methanol.html . What is really interesting about the author referring to Tephyl (meaning Tephly) is that he is citing a letter to the editor by an
      industry-funded researcher rather than any actual published, peer-reviewed research that refutes the Trocho study.

      ==============================

      Cordially,

      Mark Gold
      mgold@tiac.net

      • There are no pending comments, I have no idea why any comments of yours wouldn’t have shown up. The most recent comment from yours was 2/4 and I edited it to remove the section that was a copy/paste of multiple articles. I’m in the process of a move to another city, but will try to respond in full soon.

        I will note however that Mark Gold’s comment about the peer-reviewed research is already incorrect, and it’s obvious that he has not actually looked at the spreadsheet where I tracked down each of the “studies” and pointed out where they were contained and what type of article they were. Many were simply letters to the editor. The claim by Walton was that there were 92 independent peer-reviewed studies. The list is not in fact 92 independent peer-reviewed studies. Hopefully the rest of Gold’s comments are more accurate.

  45. Good write-up. I certainly appreciate this site. Thanks!

  46. [...] tillegg er det slik at aspartam brytes ned så fort at så godt som ingenting av denne metanolen eller nedbrytningsproduktene havner i blodet. Det går rett ut av kroppen igjen. Man må opp i aspartamdoser på over 50 mg/kg/dag, altså [...]

  47. Your article and the passage I’ve included below makes me ask a couple questions.

    I will let you know beforehand that I am not a doctor but simply a curious student, concerned about their family’s well-being.

    Could It be true that HUMAN peroxisome does not go about breaking down aspartame’s formaldehyde into formic acid as it does in fruits and vegetables due to other chemicals in such foods? (I understand if we go by the passage below it would include fruit and vegetables too as it only address formaldehyde in general, so that is why I ask about the OTHER constituents that may be in fruits and vegetables to help see the process through [My Reasoning: Our bodies evolved to be well by consuming fruits and vegetables, but what about the quickly engineered aspartame?] This is obviously reasoning that could be used for industrializing society as a whole but I still feel as if it something we should take into consideration.)

    (again, I am not a toxicologist, please address any ignorance if needed, I wish to learn.)

    If yes, then;

    Could this be why a formic acid deficiency was addressed AFTER aspartame hit the shelves? Because the intake of aspartame could cause an imbalance of formaldehyde (high) to formic acid (low)?

    “Here’s how it works: Both animals and humans have small structures called peroxisomes in each cell. There are a couple of hundred in every cell of your body, which are designed to detoxify a variety of chemicals. Peroxisome contains catalase, which help detoxify methanol. Other chemicals in the peroxisome convert the formaldehyde to formic acid, which is harmless, but this last step occurs only in animals. When methanol enters the peroxisome of every animal except humans, it gets into that mechanism. Humans do have the same number of peroxisomes in comparable cells as animals, but human peroxisomes cannot convert the toxic formaldehyde into harmless formic acid.

    So to recap: In humans, the methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas, such as your brain, that are loaded with ADH, which converts methanol to formaldehyde. And since there’s no catalase present, the formaldehyde is free to cause enormous damage in your tissues. ”

    Source:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/13/unlabeled-aspartame-use.aspx

    • Reasonable question. I think this comes up a lot and frequently pectin is claimed to be that “other” magical ingredient. John could probably go further, as I’m also not a toxicologist.

      Keep in mind that there’s no real scientific justification for looking for a “reason” that aspartame is more dangerous, because the scientific studies do not demonstrate that danger as existing in any significant part of the population that can be detected.

      So it may be putting the cart before the horse a bit.

      • I believe to understand what you are saying about the scientific justification. To me it seems that the alleged symptoms are ones that could be attributed to other possible aggressors, in turn making it illogical to target aspartame itself as the only culprit (although a possible culprit). I think we need more research on humans to be more thoroughly educated on the different detoxification processes of formaldehyde, the roles of other important chemicals in the process; such as pectin, and studies to pinpoint the underlying causes of our formic acid deficiency (because it is possible aspartame would only be one facet, if any, to the big picture.) I shall be patient and wait for more conclusive results. In the meantime I shall stay skeptical and mindful of ingesting controversial foods.

        If you find any more information to help, please share.
        Thank you for the quick response and food for thought.

    • Mindfulight:

      Thanks for writing back. Sorry for my delayed response. I don’t believe the oxidation details are really important to toxicity issues, because all issues experienced by aspartame-susceptible people can be explained by PERSONAL folate and related folate-methylation science issues. None remain to be explained by consideration of oxidation processes.

      Methanol is converted to formaldehyde and formate, by various mechanisms including direct air oxidation. What is important is that their detoxification is achieved by folate for both formaldehyde and formate. True methanol poisoning (~10 ml) simply overwhelms the ability of folate to handle that formate. That leads to formate accrual, which causes acidosis. Physicians have discovered if one stops the acidosis, it stops the poisoning. But that also explains why the much lower intakes with food-borne methanol (aspartame) is easily handled and not an issue given adequate folate. No surprise then that formate acidosis can be prevented by administering folate or folate derivatives to enhance folate detoxification [remember, it doesn't take much normally; daily folate needs are only ~400 microgm; folate doses countering poisoning are in mg quantities]. Formate accrual can also be reduced by administering ethanol. Ethanol is oxidized preferentially over methanol forming acetaldehyde, allowing methanol to be better excreted by the kidneys, and reducing formate formation. However, the use of ethanol presents more problems than it solves; that is why other inhibitors of alcohol/aldehyde oxidation processes have supplanted ethanol in cases of frank methanol poisoning.

      The problem with using ethanol, however, is that it can actually foster disease and cancer, actually in at least two apparent ways. The acetaldehyde is a proven antagonist to normal folate detoxification of formaldehyde: “Urinary levels of formic acid, which is eliminated by oxidation by a folate-dependent pathway, were significantly increased by ethanol administration…” And, it appears that ethanol, independently of metabolism, facilitates folate loss, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6634838 for both matters.

      Since the folate process is involved in making methyl groups that actually prevent cancer and disease, ethanol use actually enhances cancer and disease, for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22218157 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16508294 and this recent popular US press article, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57569649/alcohol-causes-20000-cancer-deaths-in-the-u.s-annually/. Realize also that ethanol, not methanol, is the cause of fetal alcohol syndrome.

      I suggest readers disregard Mercola and most antiaspartame websites; their twenty-year old, failed arguments are dismissed by regulatory scientists in over 90 governments worldwide. Moreover, most critics run websites that sell something; conspiracy theories attract readers, even if they are completely wrong and. But most critics have other serious issues.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercola

      http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/mercola.html

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Joseph_Mercola

      As to the others often cited as aspartame critics, consider this post, http://quackfiles.blogspot.com/2005/06/dr-jim-bowen-on-nutra-sweet-politricks.html.
      Let’s examine what physician/surgeon and MD HJ Roberts claims; he is author of a book on aspartame. But one must wonder if he has ever even heard of folic acid or what it does? After all none of his work has ever even entertained folate-methylation issues in his own patients, but his “aspartame toxicities” (thrombocytopenia, for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17534100), are often claimed in letters to the editor and often the only time the issue has even ever associated with aspartame, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=aspartame%2Cthrombocytopenia. But let’s look at his thrombocytopenia claim in detail. While his is the only claim of association, a search of thrombocytopenia reveals over 110 references connecting it to folate deficiency, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=folate%20deficiency%2C%20thrombocytopenia. A search of thrombocytopenia even reveals 4 references connecting it to folate polymorphisms, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=folate+polymorphhisms%2C+thrombocytopenia. A search of thrombocytopenia reveals 22 citations connecting it to homocysteine, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=homocysteine%2C+thrombocytopenia. And a search of thrombocytopenia reveals 103 references connecting it to vitamin B12 issues, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=B12%2C+thrombocytopenia. I could go on and on with virtually any of the purported 92 aspartame symptoms; they all are better explained by the folate-methylation paradigm than by aspartame per se.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  48. They can provide you good counseling, address your spiritual wants,
    give many types of therapy, provide a anxiety free atmosphere and should 0be caring.
    Of course, the person may not even be aware that they have an addiction issue.
    I watched my alcoholic at family functions. It often
    is due to depression and a feeling of lack of control.
    If this is the case for you, then you should strongly
    consider those drug or alcoholism rehab centers that are connected
    with psychiatric hospitals or clinics. Richie Zambora has been linked to some
    of the famous actresses of Hollywood. In a hurting family, that is the last thing that is
    needed, hurt compounded upon hurt. If your loved ones has also become the victim
    of such a torment, the best thing you can do for him her is to get him her acknowledged in alcoholism rehab center with this faith that dipsomania or some
    other drug rehab will sure work for them to return to their normal
    life.

  49. Very interesting read. I’ve been reading a few things lately on both sides of the argument. I think I’ll stay away from artificial sweeteners for now, even if there’s not yet any evidence to link them to cancer. Besides the fact that I don’t like the taste, I don’t think it can be beneficial to put more artificial things in your body than necessary. That’s not saying that I’m convinced artificial sweeteners are the worst things for you, but I don’t think I would recommend them.

    I think it’s safe to say that it would definitely be a good idea to keep researching this chemical. More long and short term studies should be done…no harm in being safe, right?

    If I were you though, I’d stay away from those diet sodas (or any sodas, truth be told), regardless of aspartame is as bad as they say or not :P

  50. This is from Martini’s website, but it is a new contribution. It brings up some interesting points, and is an important counterpoint: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/methanol.html

  51. ^Or, rather, an affiliated article from Mark Gold.

    • Ben:

      First, know who you are writing about. Consider this post about Mark Gold here,
      http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2011/02/154-mark-gold.html. You can also find Betty Martini and other anti-aspartame critics here too.

      Second all comments about inhaled formaldehyde are irrelevant to the risk assessment of aspartame. Ingested methanol regardless of its source and any metabolically produced formaldehyde or formate from it are detoxified by the folate-B12 vitamin and related methylation enzymes, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Tephly%2Cmethanol%2Cfolate .

      Here are the facts. Formate and formaldehyde pose little risk at the aspartame doses involved; note that these substances are [quoting another] “produced in the body during the endogenous demethylation of many compounds, including many foods [fruit juices] and drugs. For example, the demethylation of the caffeine found in one cup of coffee produces 30 mg of formaldehyde (Imbus, 1988). Formaldehyde is essential in one-carbon pool intermediary metabolism. The metabolite of formaldehyde, formic acid, is a substrate for purine nucleotide synthesis (Sheehan and Tully, 1983). It can be calculated that more than 50,000 mg [that's 50 g] of formaldehyde is produced and metabolized in an adult human body daily and that an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (Clary and Sullivan, 1999). Consequently, it is quite clear that the formaldehyde from aspartame provides a trivial contribution to total formaldehyde exposure and metabolism in the body” (p 18 in and refs from http://www.fte.ugent.be/vlaz/Magnuson2007.pdf).

      Clearly from the above ANY issue with aspartame is a purely PERSONAL issue. ALL issues with aspartame can be explained by PERSONAL matters like folate deficiency and corollary issues (both known and some likely yet unknown) like genetic folate enzyme issues (polymorphisms, Wikipedia: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), B12 deficiency (often vegetarian-related), (genetic) methionine synthase enzyme issues, and/or (genetic) homocysteine accrual.

      Folate, B12, and homocysteine are all functionally interrelated (see the metabolism of folic acid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12). All involve not just the normal, natural recycling of otherwise essential formaldehyde and formate produced from methanol into methyl groups, but the availability of these methyl groups regulate vital-to-life (DNA) itself. Ethanol (primarily through its antagonist metabolite acetaldehyde) is also known inhibitor of these vital folate reactions. So in these borderline cases of aspartame sensitivity, alcohol consumption may be a prime factor explaining any increased sensitivity to aspartame as well. Realize ethanol, not methanol, is the cause of fetal alcohol syndrome, and ethanol is a documented factor in facilitating many cancer types, for example for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22218157, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16508294 and this popular press story: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57569649/alcohol-causes-20000-cancer-deaths-in-the-u.s-annually/.

      Consider aspartame’s most widely reported issue, migraine headaches. Migraines have been linked directly to the MTHFR C677T folate polymorphism (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19619240 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265). Both papers report complete resolution of these migraines with added folate alone. These investigations revealed that more than the normal daily recommended amounts are needed (2+ mg), but in these papers increased folate doses ALONE solved the migraine problem [and aspartame was not even involved]. That alone suggests a human sub-population that is even more deficient in folate for which resolution of their symptoms requires even more folate. And that is confirmed by science; up to 40% of some populations have these genetic folate polymorphisms that require even more folate, but most don’t even know it. For more read http://download.cell.com/AJHG/pdf/PIIS0002929707614001.pdf?intermediate=true.

      Critics suggest aspartame causes about every ill effect known to man claiming some 92+ symptoms, the latest being autism. Analysis of these, however, directly links every issue to the above described personal issues. In what I have written above I note that various folate, B12 and related issues better explain any problems with aspartame. Noting that autism has been connected to use of the antiepileptic drug valproic acid (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57581230/anti-epilepsy-drug-valproate-during-pregnancy-linked-to-higher-rates-of-autism/) removes many cases. But this year’s Norwegian autism study, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23403681, not only confirms the current importance of the deficiency issue, but those results may also reflect the fact that most of Europe still has not mandated folate fortification. This isn’t particularly surprising both in view of methanol’s requirement for folate for metabolism, but also because folate uptake into brain has been linked to childhood autism, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23314536.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      • John, you liked to a site (American Loons) that uses appeal to ridicule, appeal to authority, poisoning the well, and appeal to popularity to make its points. These are logical fallacies (from the latin fallere – to lie), and are characteristic of sophists. For more, you may want to see the following: http://www.triviumeducation.com/

      • 90+ independent worldwide regulatory agencies have approved aspartame and I haven’t seen any retracting anything about it for twenty years. That alone makes the odds that these mostly non scientist critics know anything about toxicology, muchless about aspartame about as great about 90 to 1. Get the picture? When it walks like a loon, talks like a loon, then maybe it is a quack, quack.

        John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      • Almost 100 per cent of independent scientific peer reviewed research show the problems with aspartame that industry rebuts or ignores as do the regulatory agencies around the world who work with industry. When I was in New Zealand, I went to Food Standards and had a meeting, they had seriously false information and propaganda. Fortunately I had brought FDA documents with me and other documents. In the end he said, “well, we have been misled and no studies were done in New Zealand. We relied on the FDA”. That’s the way its done, John, and you know it.

        Fortunately, Chris Wheeler, Mission Possible New Zealand, former editor of an environmental magazine was with us and he’s writing a book and even took pictures of the meeting. So it may be in his book and you can read all about it.

        I also wrote to EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority and told them if aspartame was so safe explain how they can say that when almost 100 per cent of independent studies, and many recent proving cancer, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, kidney damage, etc., all show the problems. They couldn’t answer. Over half their committee have conflict of interest and that has been in the UK newspapers.

        John, I don’t have to teach school. You know it. You say you have all these degrees – you would know it first!

        Betty

      • More Martini BS

      • [ed: I've removed the email addresses, please do not include other people's email addresses in comments. I have no way of knowing if you've obtained permission to publish them]
        I didn’t think you could answer it because you’re defending the manufacturer. BS? Really. This is copied to Chris Wheeler, [ed: email redacted] Write him. Or, he can write you, [ed: email redacted] Jenny Scott and Abby Cormack were also at the meeting with Food Standards, and Chris has pictures. It was Abby who has suggested that the Trocho Study be repeated in New Zealand and if done in countries around the world would show the same damning information. Abby was one sick lady on aspartame. That’s why I went to New Zealand and Dr. Roberts sent through me the 1000 page medical text so she would know the mechanism by which aspartame triggers or precipitates symptoms and disease. Today what Dr. Roberts knew, and he saw aspartame victims in medical practice, has now been proven by peer reviewed studies showing aspartame precipitates diabetes, causes myocardial infarctions and strokes, obesity, diabetes.

        Here is the peer reviewed research: http://www.mpwhi.com/peer_reviewed_research.htm If someone rebutted one or two studies maybe someone would investigate and say maybe this study wasn’t done right. However, to rebut hundreds of independent scientific peer reviewed research around the world is proof of defense of this poison. Anyone agreeing with such is identifying himself. Yes, and flacks do say things like BS when they can’t answer. When I was in the UK lecturing to the press and others the lady who headed it called Monsanto to come and debate me. She said, “I like to show both sides of the issue.” She told them “you disagree with Martini, come down and debate her.” They refused. Monsanto told people in the UK who called, “Martini is only here for one reason to put us out of business.” They told that to so many people I said at the lecture, “Well, you know sometimes they tell the truth.” It is my personal opinion that anyone who with full knowledge and agreement poisons the people should not be in business. However, I’m highly complimented they thought one person could put them out of business. The truth and the facts do have a way of exposing. Yet, Monsanto was afraid to face me because I have the government documents and other material.

        Dr. H. J. Roberts spent 30 years exposing aspartame and wrote the medical text and many other books confirming the facts. He died in February at the age of 88. You’ll be glad to know that he gave me before he died his 30 years of research in crates to carry on his work and I’ll be putting it on web.

        Betty

      • However, to rebut hundreds of independent scientific peer reviewed research around the world is proof of defense of this poison.

        Betty – Did I understand that correctly? Are you saying that if all the research you cite is poorly done and is able to be refuted, that the mere act of refuting it is “proof of defense of this poison”? What’s the point of claiming it’s “peer-reviewed” or “independent” if you really don’t care what anyone has to say on the research? Especially when actual scientists have refuted the research.

      • Josh,

        What I’m saying is all independent studies can’t be wrong. They are done by different and many times world renowned researchers like Dr. Soffritti who got an award for his first study on aspartame that had only been given two times in history. Dr. Walton’s study was so damning against aspartame that after the administrator of the hospital who took part in it lost the sight in one eye from the retinal detachment from aspartame during the study, the institution stopped the study. Others said they were being poisoned. Dr. Walton said he used less aspartame than the ADI allows.

        When the aspartame industry through EFSA rebutted Dr. Soffritti they said the rats had respiratory disease. Experts were laughing in disbelief since it was a life study of the rat and respiratory disease is the dying process as Dr. Soffritti told them. These are impeccable studies. Dr. Soffritti did two more studies showing more cancer and they were just ignored. Then along comes Harvard on aspartame and cancer and admits its one of the strongest and longest and more studies should be done. After that admission you knew industry got to them because they turned around and said just the opposite and apologized for promoting it, weak science. So many doctors said that was simply inexcusable. Even FDA toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross, told Congress on 8/1/85, Senate, that FDA should not have been able to set an ADI because aspartame violated the Delaney Amendment because it caused cancer. So aspartame is illegally on the market to begin with.

        Yet on the other hand, industry’s studies are a joke. Mark Gold of the Aspartame Toxicity Center shows on his web site how they do the studies. When Monsanto did the Rowan Study on aspartame and seizures they were so afraid someone would have a seizure because it is a seizure triggering drug as G. D. Searle’s original study showed, they gave the subjects anti-seizure medication without telling anyone, and only did a one day study, giving them one capsule.

        Independent studies that are peer reviewed are done by expert researchers from around the world like Dr. Alemany, and the FDA, EFSA and aspartame manufacturers simply rebut or ignore.

        With the evidence so damning that aspartame is a deadly chemical poison and the FDA years ago admitting it is illegally on the market for anyone to ignore independent scientific peer reviewed research shows their defense for the aspartame industry and you have to question if they are paid. Otherwise, you can’t even use the excuse of ignorance because almost ALL independent studies show the problems.

        You know what I said, Josh. The original manufacturer tried and tried to get aspartame to show safety and couldn’t do it, so they used fraud, and that’s why the FDA tried to have them indicted for fraud. G. D. Searle was powerful. Both United States Prosecutors hired on with the defense team and the statute of limitations expired. The original aspartame manufacturer couldn’t show safety then and they can’t show safety now. We are on to the way they do studies and we know those in their employ. Shame, shame.

        Don Rumsfeld’s part which is in exposed in books and hundreds of thousands of articles and videos is well known. The rest is history. There has been controversy from day one, congressional hearings and operations the world over alerting the public. It doesn’t happen with a safe product. I see some comments are missing from the list.

        Translation, just so you understand. The aspartame industry couldn’t get aspartame to show safety in original studies no matter how hard they tried, and they can’t do it now. Independent, unbiased scientists on the other hand have shown in scientific peer reviewed research that aspartame is a killer. As discussed in Dr. Monte’s book that after aspartame was approved through the political chicanery of Don Rumsfeld, in stopping the FDA from signing their revoked petition into law, they made a deal for the public never to see the birth defect studies. It took years to find them as Jerome Bressler begged me to do (Retired Compliance officer of FDA who died a couple of years ago – author of the famous Bressler Report). As Dr. Monte points out in the last chapter of his book, “While Science Sleeps” it is the reason for the epidemic of autism. No warning for pregnant women. I have the FDA memo’s where they ADMIT aspartame causes birth defects. What a heinous crime they committed.

        Betty

        Betty

    • Josh,

      I just returned from Barcelona where Dr. Alemany did the Trocho Study. Aspartame doesn’t have formaldehyde in it, it has a methyl ester which becomes free methyl alcohol. This converts to formaldehyde. The Trocho Study shows the formaldehyde embalms living tissue and damages DNA. I’ve told you this before. For some reason you don’t want URL’s used where I could add the entire study to this forum. Dr. Alemany says you can see the formaldehyde in the tissues. There was so much formaldehyde when Dr. Soffritti did the studies that showed aspartame causes cancer that the rats hair turned yellow. Please make sure this gets on the list and anyone can go to my web site, http://www.mpwhi.com and at the top of the page under embalming you can read the entire Trocho Study. Aspartame turns the tissues to plastic as written by Dr. James Bowen many times.

      Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder Missi

      • Betty, I specifically requested that you use links rather than full article pastes. I’m not sure where you get the impression that I didn’t want you providing links.

        That said, both studies have been refuted by the scientific community. I’ve covered the Soffritti study a couple of times already.

      • Then why did you not publish on the list when I used URL’s. Sorry I misunderstood.

        Are you aware that every single study, scientific peer reviewed, on aspartame is refuted by industry and those they pay? Almost 100% of ALL independent research shows the problems with aspartame. It was Tephly they used to refute the Trocho Study. It was so stupid in the end he admitted he used the wrong test. So it was unrefuted. Mark Gold has all the information, Aspartame Toxicity Center. Furthermore, I know Dr. Alemany. I met him years ago after his study when I was in Barcelona the first time. Before we got around to “anything” and as I came in the door he said, “Aspartame will kill 200 million.” He told me how it embalms living tissue and said you could see all the formaldehyde. I find seeing is believing. Also he is a man of incredible. integrity. He said the study was so damaging that the NutraSweet Company tried to assassinate his character and his research funds were reduced. He told me more than this and it was horrible. There is no way to refute it, Josh, because you can see the formaldehyde in the tissues.

        Also, somebody has to use common sense. The industry propaganda is “there is more methanol in oranges than in aspartame”. What in the world has that got to do with anything except to mislead the people. In nature like in oranges or tomatoes, methanol is “always” accompanied by ethanol which is the classic antidote for methanol toxicity. What do you think they give you if you come in the hospital with methanol poisoning like another victim of the methanol in aspartame, “Merry Kay”? The police were going to go after her husband until she told them she found out it was aspartame. She did die about a year later from the complications caused by aspartame. Methanol also in nature binds to pectin!! No ethanol in aspartame.

        Also toxicologist Dr. George Schwartz, author of “In Bad Taste” on MSG went through this methanol bit and tomatoes, and since you probably don’t want his whole commentary to NutraSweet pasted in, here is what he says about more methanol in tomatoes. “As another example, you claim that tomato juice contains methanol.commonly known as wood alcohol. ‘Team NutraSweet’ says in their response “there is four to five times more methanol obtained from a serving of tomato juice than from an equivalent volume of beverage sweetened with aspartame.” I challenge your make-up artists to scientifically demonstrate that wood alcohol is present in tomato juice at the levels you allege. On the other hand, upon chemical analysis, methanol will be found in aspartame, …” If you want to read the whole thing you can google, doctors speakout, http://www.dorway.com,

        The Chairman of the Board of the American Anti-Cancer Institute (I’m on the advisory board) told me she had been talking to funeral people who admitted the bodies are coming in with so much formaldehyde they are now using 25% less formaldehyde. Furthermore do you know there is a department in the EPA that works on this issue. I thought it was all under the FDA. Surprise, Surprise. I met Reginall Bundrage, a pathologist, who worked in that department for years just on the aspartame issue. He told me that there was so much formaldehyde he told his superiors there is no way for this to be on the market when it is killing so many people. He said further his superiors said not to be concerned because FDA would have to take it off the market. I met him in 2010 and he said, “Betty, that was in the early 90′s, and here it is 2010 and its still on the market!!” I kept telling him things about aspartame I thought he wouldn’t know that are so horrible but he did know and said, “I know more than you do.” I’m sure if he works on the bodies of aspartame victims he does…

        Just so you can’t say this is hearsay, talk to him yourself. His number is 678-466-5406. He gave me permission to use it and give the information out with the hope it would save more lives and get the real facts out on the formaldehyde. This is a 2010 number but I hope you can get him and hear some of the things the formaldehyde does.

        You don’t want whole articles but I can send it to you information privately by the woman who wrote “Blinded Sight”. I probably should put it on web. Her husband who was of a religion that doesn’t drink alcohol but used Equal and diet pop, etc. went blind. The physician at the hospital said it has to be methanol. So she told her father-in-law that since his son went blind on aspartame he should give it up. He said he was too addicted. When Jeanette Soto’s father-in-law, Santiago Echiverria died it had to be a closed casket, the formaldehyde from the free methyl alcohol was oozing out of his skin. Would you also like to talk to Jeanette because she is now our Mission Possible Brookview, Florida?

        Here is the link to the peer reviewed research: http://www.mpwhi.com/peer_reviewed_research.htm Consider hundreds of damning scientific peer reviewed studies on aspartame, most so bad, it would only take one to take it off the market yet “ALL” are ignored or rebutted by industry or those in their employ. Consider the FDA made a deal with the manufacturer never to allow the public to see the original birth defect studies and the FDA memos claiming aspartame causes birth defects. Dr. Woodrow Monte and I finally got them years too late. There is no warning for birth defects. Everything is in the book, “While Science Sleeps” by Dr. Monte on methanol and formaldehyde is verified. Now FDA is no doubt going to allow aspartame in dairy products unlabeled which is against the law because it requires a PKU warning. That is, unless we can stop this mass poisoning. That also means since dairy is an ingredient you can get aspartame too, Josh. Bon Appetite! Those who have such serious chemical hypersensitivity because of aspartame may just die because so many go in anaphylactic shock or have to be resurrected like Mrs. Kemptner in the movie, “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World”!

        I certainly hope to see this on the list, Josh.

        Sincerely, Betty http://www.mpwhi.com,

      • Betty -
        The only things I have ever edited are when you paste entire existing articles in rather than linking to them.
        If you feel that I have not published others, I’m sorry, but I have actually approved every thing you have written here.

      • Ms Martini,
        “peer reviewed research” – I do not think it means what you think it means.
        Definition of peer review
        I cannot take you seriously when you publish a list entitled “Scientific peer reviewed independent aspartame studies”
        that features
        - studies that don’t deal with Aspartame (like: “High Blood Alcohol Levels In Women: The Role Of Decreased Gastric Alcohol Dehydrogenase Activity And First-Pass Metabolism”)
        - studies(?) that aren’t published in the peer-reviewed literature (like: “ABSTRACT, Norway Study”)
        - news articles (like “Does Aspartame Cause Pre-Term Babies? Some EU Politicos Think So”)
        - a DIY animal “study” done by a victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect (“Are Your Diet Sodas Killing You? Results From My Aspartame Experiment”).
        You seem to have problems with identifying relevant research, let alone interpreting it.

      • Dear Vicky,

        Some studies that were added came from Dr. Roberts records he sent me with all the studies on aspartame, and some were added that had reference in some cases to what the components do. He recently died but was quite a researcher and he looked at every avenue. There is even one on the effect of the methanol in aspartame that is important for people to see because it is also warning them about getting DUI’s because they are say drinking diet pop. We’ve had some of those cases. People even slur their words on diet pop as a pilot from LA to Atlanta and my aunt crying: “the pilot was drunk”. I said, “Aunt Virginia, he was probably drinking Diet Coke. They are not allowed to drink and fly.

        I have an excellent webmaster and keep getting compliments on his work. I may have added some of Dr. Roberts studies and he may have added some things because there are certain data that people need to know to save their life. I know exactly what peer reviewed research is. Simply disregard anything we may have added for better understanding. I may have to go through it all, add some more and delete anything that may not should have been added. It’s just time consuming. Dr. Roberts before his death in February shipped me his 30 years of research on aspartame in four crates. I want to add it all on web.

        One of the posts I just did Josh did not add. In fact, Dr. Alemany has been in touch with him about his study. So now he has closed the discussion on the Trocho Study and now allowed my post to him and Garst. I’ll have to send it separately to many on the list. I have some of the emails. I don’t have yours. However, I always send blind copies to most so the information is known. Incidentally, notice I have added under Peer Reviewed Research all the studies , Rich Murray, has added who has researched aspartame over the years. He is a Scientist who went to Harvard. Sometimes he too adds other studies that are relevant for understanding.

        Sorry for the delay in answering, as I had been out of the country over two weeks.

        All my best, Betty

  52. Here are the facts: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9714421

    “…the amount of formaldehyde adducts coming from aspartame in tissue proteins and nucleic acids may be cumulative. It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts.’

    • Mick: That Trocho et al paper is on the one hand one of the more useful aspartame papers, but on the other hand one of the most misleading of papers. It was completely dismissed by Tephly here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10503962, but perhaps you haven’t seen that.

      Having adducts is nice, but these Trocho et al protein and other adducts are meaningless for risk assessment. First, what are they? Second, how are they really formed? Alemany (the principal investigator did raise doubt, but also didn’t provide sufficient information to impact risk assessment at all. Trocho et al documented that their protein adducts, for example, aren’t obtained from binding to any normal amino acid, so are they and what do they even offer risk assessment but mud. One cannot base any risk assessment on this kind of mud.

      Moreover, there is no proof these adducts are formaldehyde residues at all–remember the known function of folate/B12 is to transform (chemically reduce) methanol generated formaldehyde/formate into methyl groups that can bind protein (N,N,N,-trimethyllysine) and exert powerful anticancer action on DNA (stable DNA containing methyluracil (called thymine) vs friable DNA containing uracil and directly methylated DNA that silences the copy function). This adducts could just as easily be reduced methyl groups on any of many substances rising consequent to normal function. They made a good start, but in the end they offer little for aspartame risk assessment.

      Here is something else you missed, which better puts the whole issue into perspective. Formate and formaldehyde at the doses involved with aspartame pose little risk; note that these substances are [quoting another] “produced in the body during the endogenous demethylation of many compounds, including many foods [fruit juices] and drugs. For example, the demethylation of the caffeine found in one cup of coffee produces 30 mg of formaldehyde (Imbus, 1988). Formaldehyde is essential in one-carbon pool intermediary metabolism. The metabolite of formaldehyde, formic acid, is a substrate for purine nucleotide synthesis (Sheehan and Tully, 1983). It can be calculated that more than 50,000 mg [that's 50 g] of formaldehyde is produced and metabolized in an adult human body daily and that an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (Clary and Sullivan, 1999). Consequently, it is quite clear that the formaldehyde from aspartame provides a trivial contribution to total formaldehyde exposure and metabolism in the body” (p 18 in and refs from http://www.fte.ugent.be/vlaz/Magnuson2007.pdf).

      Clearly from the above any issue with aspartame is a purely PERSONAL issue. ALL such issues can be explained by PERSONAL matters like folate deficiency and corollary issues (both known and some likely yet unknown) like genetic folate enzyme issues (polymorphisms, Wikipedia: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), B12 deficiency (often vegetarian-related), (genetic) methionine synthase enzyme issues, and/or (genetic) homocysteine accrual. Folate, B12, and homocysteine are all functionally interrelated (see the metabolism of folic acid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12). All involve not just the normal, natural recycling of otherwise essential formaldehyde and formate produced from methanol into methyl groups, but the availability of these methyl groups regulate vital-to-life (DNA) itself. Ethanol (primarily through its antagonist metabolite acetaldehyde) is also known inhibitor of these vital folate reactions. So in these borderline cases of aspartame sensitivity, alcohol consumption may be a prime factor explaining any increased sensitivity to aspartame as well. Realize ethanol, not methanol, is the cause of fetal alcohol syndrome, and ethanol is a documented factor in facilitating many cancer types, for example for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22218157, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16508294 and this popular press story: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57569649/alcohol-causes-20000-cancer-deaths-in-the-u.s-annually/.

      Critics suggest aspartame causes about every ill effect known to man claiming some 92+ symptoms. Analysis of these, however, directly links every issue to the above described personal issues. In what I have written above I note that various folate, B12 and related issues better explain any problems with aspartame. This year’s Norwegian autism study, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23403681, only confirms the current importance of the deficiency issue, but those results may also reflect the fact that most of Europe still has not mandated folate fortification. This isn’t particularly surprising both in view of methanol’s requirement for folate for metabolism, but also because folate uptake into brain has been linked to childhood autism, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23314536.

      As another example consider aspartame’s most widely reported issue, migraine headaches. Migraines have been linked directly to the MTHFR C677T folate polymorphism (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19619240 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265). Both papers report complete resolution of these migraines with added folate alone. These investigations revealed that more than the normal daily recommended amounts are needed (2+ mg), but in these papers increased folate doses ALONE solved the migraine problem [and aspartame was not even involved]. That alone suggests a human sub-population that is even more deficient in folate for which resolution of their symptoms requires even more folate. And that is confirmed by science; up to 40% of some populations have these genetic folate polymorphisms that require even more folate, but most don’t even know it. For more read http://download.cell.com/AJHG/pdf/PIIS0002929707614001.pdf?intermediate=true.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  53. What does the science say on aspartame and Formaldehyde (or not..)
    After reading this whole discussion I would say the jury is still out, the balance is 50/50 for and against with vehement entrenched supporters on each side; In my book and in accordance with the Scottish legal definition, the case is certainly “not proven” therefore, applying the precautionary principle for food items aspartame should not be in our food. I am not qualified to enter the detailed scientific quarrel so will confirm my submission to accepted public scientific data.
    I am co-founder of the UK Aspartame Awareness Campaign (UKAAC) our mission is “to have Methanol banned from all manufactured food products and any artificial method by which pure methanol is caused to enter our bodies and to mount a campaign to inform all our medical practitioners, that their patients have been consuming increasingly small amounts of pure methanol daily in their diets for the last 30 years” – Aspartame and its derivatives are the only artificial sweeteners which release pure methanol directly into our bloodstream.
    Why methanol? After 35 years in the methanol industry I fail to understand why, for over 100 years, industry has regarded methanol as a deadly poison specific to humans and always warns in its MSDS – “Don’t eat it” – “Don’t breath it in” /“Don’t get it on your skin” – and yet for the last 30 years Food safety authorities, aware that aspartame contains 10% methanol, have consistently considered that aspartame is safe to consume every day in our diets at ADI’s of 40mg/kg (UK) 50mg/kg (US) and that methanol is “Not of Concern” at these levels.
    Disappointingly, in the literature supporting the safety of aspartame, I can find no evidence that the original basis for establishing these ADI’s by Searle in the 1970’s has ever been challenged or reconfirmed as sound; EG Searle used the whole aspartame molecule fed to rats, assuming the results would be directly transferrable to humans. They justified this approach by stating “Any problems with the individual components or breakdown products would show up in the testing” No account was taken of the fact that rats are 15 times more resistant to methanol than humans. No ADI’s were established for Methanol, Phenylalanine or Aspartic Acid so Searle had no idea just how toxic each component was, nor were they concerned with the AMOUNT of each in aspartame.
    I think we should look at that now; I presented the following information to a scientific meeting on aspartame held by EFSA on the 9th of April 2013 in Brussels, my paper was called “How safe is Aspartame’s ADI” EFSA’s ANC committee is currently considering this along with other presentations and will report their conclusions on the 15th June. My presentation and that of all other speakers can be found here: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/events/event/130409.htm#documents
    NOAEL of aspartame 4000mg/kg:-
    Methanol 10% (400mg/kg) – Phenylalanine 50% (2000mg/kg) Aspartic Aid 40% (1600mg/kg) these are the amounts of each aspartame constituent Searle fed to their rats with No Observable Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) the most dangerous of these is Methanol, we will be concentrating on that.
    400mg/kg of methanol means nothing in toxicology terms for humans unless you know the ADI of Methanol, there is no such thing in the literature so we calculated our own, using publically available data in the MSDS of Methanol. The acute blinding dose of methanol is 10ml (114mg/kg) and the fatal dose is 30ml (343mg/kg) these are conservative figures but can be used to illustrate the point that methanol is a very toxic substance in man. One does not need a PhD to see that had Searle fed humans with their 400mg/kg of methanol it would have killed them.
    Conclusion: An ADI of Aspartame in rats – is NOT an ADI of Methanol in humans.
    For example; using 10% of the blinding dose of methanol as an NOAEL (11.4mg/kg) the ADI of methanol would be (0.114mg/kg) Therefore the ADI of Aspartame based on its Methanol should be (1.14mg/kg)
    The ADI of Aspartame at 40mg/kg is 35 times too high in UK and at 50mg/kg is 44 times too high in the US.

    The LD50 of Methanol in rats is 5628mg/kg if it takes all this Methanol to kill a rat, feeding it 400mg/kg is like food to them, rats would not react adversely to that amount of Methanol, which is why aspartame “passed” Searle’s 4000mg/kg ADI test.
    Aspartame carries Methanol into our bodies – chronic methanol poisoning: Methanol is present in aspartame as methyl ester; its role is to provide sweetness and bind the Phenylalanine and aspartic to it. In the gut at 86degrees f the methyl ester converts back to pure Methanol breaking the bond and freeing the Phenylalanine and aspartic Acid to metabolise separately.
    Methanol is the smallest of all the alcohol molecules and easily passes all our biological barriers. Once free from its other constituents it rapidly enters the bloodstream and within minutes, can reach far into our cells anywhere in the body, including the brain and all our vital organs. The Methanol molecule as such is harmless to us, the body does not see it as a threat so does not trigger any reaction from our immune system, it remains in the bloodstream until cleared naturally through the breath, urine or sweat, this is a very long procedure following zero order of kinetics – irrespective of the amount ingested it takes the same time to clear – Methanol must be regarded as a cumulative poison in humans.
    The threat to health comes when the Methanol metabolises into its 1st metabolite Formaldehyde, this occurs when it contacts the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) The largest supply of ADH in the body is in the liver with supplies in 10 other vital sites including the brain and heart and lungs. For Methanol to metabolise it is dependant entirely on the presence or not of Ethanol in the blood – Ethanol and Methanol “fight” for the attention of ADH.
    ADH is designed to metabolise Ethanol to acetaldehyde, it will always give preference to metabolising Ethanol until the proportion Methanol to Ethanol exceeds 16/1. Ethanol is continuously being produced in the large intestine and Methanol must wait until all the Ethanol has been metabolised before it changes to metabolising Methanol.
    When the Ethanol is exhausted the ADH switches to metabolising methanol, producing Formaldehyde in the most sensitive parts of our bodies brain, kidneys, heart etc, the presence of formaldehyde immediately triggers our immune system which mobilises to fight it.
    Formaldehyde is present in the bloodstream for only a few minutes then it disappears, being extremely reactive it attaches to protein, DNA or any other available tissue close at hand and proceeds to change or destroy it. It is at this stage the immune system kicks in causing its own problems. As the Methanol molecule, Formaldehyde reaches sensitive parts of the body it would not normally be able to reach.
    In order to render the Formaldehyde safe it must come into contact with another enzyme Aldehyde Hydrogenase (ADH III) which metabolises the Formaldehyde to harmless Aspartic Acid. (ADH III) is not well distributed in the body. Since Formaldehyde does not travel very far only Formaldehyde in close proximity to a source of (ADH III) can be metabolised into Formic Acid. The Formaldehyde produced in our sensitive areas is the real danger of chronic Methanol Poisoning which over time results in serious neurological organ and tissue damage.
    In the case of acute methanol poisoning the Methanol swamps the liver (ADI) which immediately starts to metabolise it to Formaldehyde the (ADH III) present in the liver converts what it can to Formic Acid, but the bulk of the methanol will bypass it and enter the general circulation to be converted to formaldehyde and disappear.
    Not all cases of Methanol poisoning results in Acidosis which can be the simple result of stress to the body, if haemodialysis is the answer to Methanol poisoning why do we need to inject carefully measured amounts of Ethanol, sometimes over several days to save a poisoned person’s life? – We are raising the proportion of Ethanol to Methanol in the patient’s bloodstream above the critical 16/1, preventing the Methanol metabolising to Formaldehyde thus giving the body time to clear the methanol naturally.
    This explains in outline how small chronic amounts of Pure Methanol released form aspartame can cause long term harm to us (Anecdotal evidence) and why we must stop eating it NOW. The Detailed Science behind this submission can be read in a new book “While Science Sleeps” by – W. C. Monte PhD, Emeritus Professor of Nutrition and Food Science, Arizona State University, Monte has a library of over 600 references on Methanol and Formaldehyde poisoning available free on his web site.
    I feel obliged to say something about the erroneous claim that because methanol is found in some fruits and vegetables in greater amounts than in aspartame, the methanol from aspartame is “Not of Concern” and the only important issue is that of the amount ingested. Where Methanol is concerned this is an assumption without a shred of science to substantiate it.
    We all know without a pile of scientific books to prove it, that in our normal diet any methanol present in fruits and vegetables, irrespective of the amount claimed to be present, is disposed of by our bodies safely even Vegetarians or vegans do not suffer methanol poisoning symptoms – anyone interested in the ADI of carrots?- no need is there. To make a case for consuming Methanol from aspartame on an assumption based on quantity, without first establishing the true poisoning power of methanol is a very unsatisfactory non scientific practise.
    To Claim that the body handles methanol from aspartame in the same way as for fruits and vegetables, is another myth without a shred of scientific support. Pure Methanol released from aspartame goes directly into the bloodstream from the small intestine and metabolises as I have indicated above dependant on the Ethanol present.
    The Pure methanol which is could be harmful to us from fruits and vegetables is part of the plant structure and requires several processes to release it into the bloodstream. It is always accompanied by inhibitors some of which we are aware of but there may be others, Ethanol and pectin we can talk about. Vegetables are more often than not cooked in some way before we eat them, cooking releases methanol during this process. Fruits are chewed and ingested their methanol is always accompanied by Ethanol which prevents the Methanol metabolising; some may be attached by a strong bond to pectin. All these natural products have to be ingested which takes time and allows the body to excrete or clear any Methanol naturally. There is no comparison here to the Pure Methanol released by aspartame directly into the bloodstream.
    I expect this submission will be new to some of your previous contributors and doesn’t always adhere to the generally accepted views of mainstream science, I make no apologies for that but hope it will broaden the discussion and widen minds from the microscopic scientific analysis of a product (aspartame) which EFSA have just admitted does not exist after totally hydrolysing in the GI tract.
    Jim McDonald
    UK Aspartame Awareness Campaign
    (UKAAC)

    • NOAEL of aspartame 4000mg/kg:-
      Methanol 10% (400mg/kg) – Phenylalanine 50% (2000mg/kg) Aspartic Aid 40% (1600mg/kg) these are the amounts of each aspartame constituent Searle fed to their rats with No Observable Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) the most dangerous of these is Methanol, we will be concentrating on that.
      400mg/kg of methanol means nothing in toxicology terms for humans unless you know the ADI of Methanol, there is no such thing in the literature so we calculated our own, using publically available data in the MSDS of Methanol. The acute blinding dose of methanol is 10ml (114mg/kg) and the fatal dose is 30ml (343mg/kg) these are conservative figures but can be used to illustrate the point that methanol is a very toxic substance in man. One does not need a PhD to see that had Searle fed humans with their 400mg/kg of methanol it would have killed them.

      I guess that might be one of the reasons that when animal studies are used, ADI is determined by dividing NOAEL by an uncertainty factor of 100 (so, hypothetically, methanol would have an ADI of 4 mg/kg).

      Conclusion: An ADI of Aspartame in rats – is NOT an ADI of Methanol in humans.
      For example; using 10% of the blinding dose of methanol as an NOAEL (11.4mg/kg) the ADI of methanol would be (0.114mg/kg) Therefore the ADI of Aspartame based on its Methanol should be (1.14mg/kg)

      Why would you assume NOAEL is 10% of the blinding dose? 10% of the lethal dose I could understand – that’s about the range you get for ethanol. 30 mL is a very conservative estimate (the figure usually cited is 100 mL), but we’ll use it anyway – so if we assume NOAEL is 34.3 mg/kg, “ADI” would be 3.4 mg/kg. 15 % lower than the “ADI” from rat studies, but three times as much as what you calculated.

      We all know without a pile of scientific books to prove it, that in our normal diet any methanol present in fruits and vegetables, irrespective of the amount claimed to be present, is disposed of by our bodies safely even Vegetarians or vegans do not suffer methanol poisoning symptoms – anyone interested in the ADI of carrots?- no need is there.

      Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways – either we need objective evidence to prove something is causing no symptoms or we don’t. Millions of people drink diet sodas with no symptoms at all.*
      ADI is for food additives – is “carrot” a food additive?

      [...] widen minds from the microscopic scientific analysis of a product (aspartame) which EFSA have just admitted does not exist after totally hydrolysing in the GI tract.

      WTF? Yes, aspartame is broken down, but it’s not like EFSA ever denied that (nor did any other regulatory agency AFAIK). It’s also not different from other substances we ingest – that’s the GI tract’s job.

      *Appeal to intuition is a pet peeve of mine.

    • James is but another of a long line of non-toxicologists arguing for a safety issue with aspartame that mainstream science and toxicology completely dismissed twenty years ago. It is too bad he was exposed to industrial methanol by the megaton. I don’t doubt he has suffered consequences, but the reader must realize that his health situation likely reflects a completely different story than does the safety of aspartame. Aspartame is ingested orally, not through inhalation or skin exposure, both of which afford non-liver pathways that are irrelevant to the case at hand. To say otherwise is to compare virtually non-toxic potassium supplements taken orally with the same potassium injected used for prisoner execution.

      His argument for “applying the precautionary principle” with aspartame only further reflects this inexperience and naiveté. This principle is only invoked when science has no facts upon which to make an education decision. That is, in cases where there is NO valid study indicating any human harm. For aspartame, however, we have 100′s of published and unpublished governmental and non-governmental studies documenting its safety. In contrast we have half a dozen flawed (and dismissed) studies from one lab (Ramazzini Institute) starting in 2006, the first paper of which contained no less than five fatal flaws. Most other papers suggesting any issue are flawed by their failure to consider folate status; this flaw nearly always explains their results as I have demonstrated time and time again. In fact all US science (including even FDA studies) arguing any safety issue with aspartame, which predate the 1998 date when US authorities recognized folate deficiency in a substantial part of the US population and mandated folate fortification, are equally null and void.

      Critics like James need to understand that because some people may experience a problem with any drug or chemical including aspartame, no more means there is a safety issue with them, than it means there is a safety issue with milk or peanuts. It simply means that that user has a susceptibility to this substance. Realize that millions of people have no reaction whatsoever to aspartame. Realize too there is no gun to your head making anyone use aspartame, so, as I have suggested in my latter paragraphs in the above post, if you develop headaches from aspartame stop using it. But people that have such a sensitivity should realize that to be a wake-up call; they may have real underlying health issues that need to be evaluated, because many people have issues with formaldehyde/formate detoxifying folate/B12–ranging from outright deficiency (Europe has still not fortified grain products with folate, so there is a documented problem with folate deficiency in Europe) to genetic issues (~40%) with folate polymorphisms that require double to quadruple the amount of folate or numerous other related methylation issues.

      McDonald’s argument that methanol intake from aspartame is different than methanol intake from fruit juice is ridiculous, if not ludicrous. First, any GI absorption of methanol goes directly to liver via the blood. There it is readily oxidized to formaldehyde and that to formate. The only time this is presents a problem is in poisoning where the capacity of the liver to oxidize swamping amounts of methanol is exceeded. Formaldehyde is transformed to formate; it is liver that uses the most formate to make methyl groups used for its many detoxification processes. Normally any excess formaldehyde is bound to albumin, where it is exported in the blood so every tissue can receives access to formaldehyde so that every tissue’s folate can make its own local supplies of these methyl groups. James is correct that the rate of transformation of methanol to formaldehyde can be reduced in the presence of ethanol in fruit juices, but there are serious flaws to this argument. First the amounts of methanol from aspartame or from fruit juices are both small compared to a toxic dose of methanol (~10ml). Secondly the rate of transformation of formaldehyde is fast (“an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (Clary and Sullivan, 1999)”, see the 4th paragraph of my prior response). Third, one doesn’t guzzle aspartame drink after aspartame drink and with that rate of transformation it is never faster than it is metabolized anyway. Moreover, the amounts of ethanol required to make ethanol a relevant inhibitor of methanol oxidation are far higher than that from simple fruit juices (it requires added beer, booze as any hospital can testify). But even then ethanol and its acetaldehyde metabolite only affect rate of formaldehyde formation, not total formaldehyde processing (which is estimated to be ~50g/day, see the 4th paragraph of my prior response). Given these numbers, don’t people realize that any susceptibility to aspartame reflects not a problem with aspartame, but a problem with the personal systems that metabolize aspartame?

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  54. Can someone explain the reasoning behind ingesting anything voluntarily when there’s this much controversy regarding its safety?

    • Because there is no actual scientific controversy over it. The “controversy” exists purely on the Internet.

      Please take a look at the “Aspartame” link at the top of the page which has some other references other than my own. It also has some links to my pages where I’ve looked at the supposed evidence that those against aspartame bring to bear. And its just amazingly unconvincing.

      The bulk of the time references to “independent” studies are actually to news stories or other self-published items masquerading as evidence (the Trocho and Soffriti studies are virtually the only two relevant studies which get cited again and again, despite their not being accepted by the scientific community-at-large). Please feel free to browse Betty Martini’s site. Follow the links as deep as you can. Keep track of how many times the same item is called by different names. Keep track of how many pages are actually the same content copy/pasted in. See how convincing evidence you find that can be legitimately distilled from all the content there.

      In reality, there are very very very few studies which could are both peer-reviewed and could in any sense be argued to be “against” the safety of aspartame. But they are very limited and not reproduced.

      That all said… it’s up to each person. As “Jim McDonald” said above… perhaps you may still decide that you’ll “play it safe” and not partake of aspartame because there is a perceived controversy in your mind. That is absolutely up to you. But there are MANY foods that have aspartame in them that you’d be limiting yourself from.

      I don’t know your personal stance on the “consensus” as it stands… but I don’t think I’m qualified to pick and choose a few studies and disregard the massive amount on the other side, separate from the plausibility in the first place.

      Where do you draw the line?

      • This is not so Josh. Nor just on the Internet. Millions of articles, congressional records, FDA records. Go to my web site and read the UPI Investigation which I put on the Internet. Common Cause Magazine in 1984 wrote the best. I also put the revoked petition for approval and Dr. John Olney’s testimony to the FDA Board of Inquiry on the Internet. When I got on the Internet in the early 1990′s there was nothing except Mark Gold’s site as far as anti-aspartame, Aspartame Toxicity Center. Today there are millions of web sites and articles along with DVD’s we put on the Internet. The controversy was in newspapers, government documents, etc. It was scientific controversy and not on the Internet, also in books. Your statement is simply not true. Go to a University and get newspaper articles going all the way back about the aspartame wars and scientific controversy. It’s all a matter of public record.

        The FDA even tried to have G. D. Searle indicted. The controversial scientific records I added to the Internet, even three congressional hearings over the controversy with scientists speaking out. I put them on the Internet. Look at the banners on http://www.mpwhi.com What I didn’t put on the Internet Mark Gold did. As people became to know the facts from the Internet they began to add their cases and informants came forward ad movies were made. See some on http://www.mpwhi.com click on aspartame videos.

        Betty

      • Believe it or not Betty, I do follow the references you (repeatedly) put.

        Two or three months ago I already responded to the content that you’re discussing here:

        http://whatdoesthesciencesay.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/response-to-some-aspartame-related-comments-part-i/

      • I should also say that Lane Shore, Mission Possible Chicago, for the last few years has achieved the incredible feat of reading documents from libraries, universities, you name it on aspartame and scanning them in. Lane has lost 8 members of his family so far. You can click on aspartame news on http://www.mpwhi.com and go back years picking up newspaper articles, government documents and other material on the scientific controversy. We won’t stop until its off the market.

        Betty

  55. Betty, assuming that Lane has lost 8 members of his family to aspartame, it sounds to me that there is a familial genetic issue with regard to folate deficiency, folate polymorphisms, related methionine synthase, or a whole string of medical issues come to mind far before aspartame. Realize aspartame has been used by millions and millions of people without so much as a headache. Perhaps he should visit a physician and be tested for these many issues.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    • Sometimes John you say things that are so absurd I wonder if should take the time to answer. However, because everything is a matter of record I like to set the record straight. Here is the FDA report of 92 symptoms from aspartame. Notice headache is #1!!!!!!!!! I’ve taken 50 or 60,000 case histories and most have headaches which disappear as soon as we get them off.

      Lane Shore is a victim himself and had cancer from it. His wife who is diabetic and said she can’t get off of it because of addiction has probably had 50 operations. A surgeon told her, “you can’t heal with aspartame, get off of it and we can probably save your foot.” She said the addiction was too strong and to chop it off and they did. Then went the other foot. Then went the legs. The methanol, of course, did great damage to her eyes and she has had many operations there. A study has now proven what we have always known that aspartame can precipitate diabetes.

      When a relative was pregnant with twins Lane gave her evidence aspartame causes birth defects and which we have now in FDA’s own records. She too was so addicted she refused. One born with birth defects died and the other with so many problems almost didn’t live.

      Shall I go on? You say: “Realize aspartame has been used by millions and millions of people without so much as a headache. Perhaps he should visit a physician and be tested for these many issues.” Lane did visit his physician and when he saw Lane get off aspartame after he found out, and “all” the problems disappear such as peripheral neuropathy, his doctor realized it was all aspartame.

      Betty

      • Every one of the 92+ symptoms alleged by you or your “Mission Ridiculous” cohorts can be directly or indirectly associated with a folate, B12, or homocysteine issue. Now, I don’t doubt that some people’s symptoms disappear when they go off aspartame, but this occurs is because they are so borderline deficient in folate or have some related enzyme issue that is all it takes. Aspartame, like ethanol, can deplete folate, but only micrograms of this vitamin are needed unless you have a problem. And one of those problems is (unsurprisingly) migraine headaches. All there problems are directly linked to that folate or related issue, not to aspartame. Aspartame is no more toxic than milk or peanuts to the millions of unsusceptible people.

        Citing the birth defect issue as involving aspartame clearly demonstrates your absolute ignorance of this matter. Folate is now mandated, because it was folate deficiency that caused the birth defects in women that prompted the mandate.

        By the way there is NO valid study [valid mans using a proper folate, B12, and/or homocysteine control], because these unexamined factors are directly linkable to insulin resistance] that shows any connection between aspartame and diabetes.

        John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      • Dear John,

        This is the FDA Report, not Mission Possible alleged symptoms as you call them. Did I leave off the URL so you could read them. Here they are: http://www.mpwhi.com/92_aspartame_symptoms.pdf So you’re saying the blindness cases, the deaths, the male sexual dysfunction, psychiatric problems, etc. were due to not enough folate. The CDC investigated these symptoms and granted they added a summary that contradicted the report, then didn’t put the actual investigation on their web site, only the summary, it’s very damning. Here it is: http://www.mpwhi.com/damning_cdc_investigation_on_aspartame.htm They never wanted anyone to see it. Actually the first time I read it was when Barbara Mullarkey, an anti-aspartame journalist in Chicago showed it to me.

        Want to know how I obtained it? I filed through Freedom of Information and the CDC told me they couldn’t find it. I said, “Really? Well I have seen it if you don’t let me have a copy I’ll get it elsewhere and might put it all over the Internet.” Without hesitation he said to call “such and such” and tell him it’s in file number whatever, and he will send it to you. Later, I wrote to David Satcher who became Surgeon General of the US but at the time was head of the CDC and told him, “You are either going to take this phony summary off the site or I’ll just have to put it on the Internet for the world to see!!” He didn’t and I did.

        Then a journalist called me saying what we provided was not on the CDC web site. I said, “Of course not, they don’t want you to see it. Go to the CDC Web site and you’ll see only the summary: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000426.htm Why is it so phony? Notice he says the symptoms were of a “mild nature”. I spoke with CDC about this and explained: “You know never in my entire life and I’ve spent a lot of time in medicine have I ever seen a mild case of cardiac arrest or a mild case of grand mal seizures. Emphatically I’ve never seen a case of mild death!” The CDC told me: “There is nothing we can do about this summary because the one who wrote it retired and there is no way to take it up with him as to why he wrote the comments.” Could he have been paid???

        This is why I showed the original CDC investigation in “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World”. I suggest everyone get a copy. You can get it from cori@sweetremedyradio.com Josh got upset when I added the URL and that’s how I got confused about him now allowing URL’s. You see he was attempting to take down the experts in the movie and I certainly wouldn’t allow that. These experts and renowned researchers have devoted their life to warning the world aspartame is a chemical poison. They are a group of the most dedicated humanitarians I’ve ever known. If there were any documents I couldn’t find they provided them.

        Incidentally, eventually I made sure Satcher when he was Surgeon General got my messages and the information he needed to know by attending a conference sponsored by CDC. They did try to block me from giving him the records in person. I’m petite and couldn’t reach as he tried to leave. A very nice 6′ 2″ scientist said, “May I help you dear, took the packet out of my hands and handed it to Satcher.” How did they know about aspartame. While Satcher was speaking I went to each aisle with a report I had written exposing the CDC and said, “Take one and pass them on.” By the end of the meeting scientists from 90 countries had the information! The tall scientist told me how glad he was I had given out the information and said in his country people were sick everywhere from aspartame.

        Incidentally, Josh, when you don’t put out the information I give you with the facts I just send it to researchers and doctors and people who would be interested around the world. That’s why Jim McDonald wrote. That’s why you got a couple of emails from Dr. Alemany. I’m so happy to know the papers Garst has written but I’m sure you probably sent him a copy.

        You keep talking about the Trocho study and trying to discredit it. Now you have received information from Dr. Alemany himself!!

        So let’s see which side you’re on Josh. If you’re so interested in the Trocho Study and Tephly you’ll certainly want to put Dr. Alemany’s correspondence on this forum since he did the study. Only someone who wants to hide the truth wouldn’t. I look forward to your next email. Do you really want to show both sides. Let’s see who you are?

        Oh, and John, about the birth defects. Every pregnant woman is today told to use folate. They wouldn’t think not to. So why when they use it, but still use aspartame do they give birth to autistic children? Goodness gracious, John, you mean they didn’t give the rats folate? I can’t help but laugh at your silly comments. You know the experts have already thrown out your theory. People are sick and dying all over the world from aspartame. The medical texts give the mechanisms by which aspartame triggers or precipitates symptoms and diseases. After 30 years we know it all. I know you have read this many times as everytime you get in a forum and see something that the experts say is not so I put out their paper: http://www.mpwhi.com/aspartame_flack_tries_to_mislead_nm_legislature.htm Also, be sure to check out Dr. Blaylock on aspartame and pregnancy. http://www.soundandfury.tv/pages/blaylock.html

        Betty

    • I highly appreciate your objective thoughts and conclusions.

  56. Hi Vicky,

    I guess that might be one of the reasons that when animal studies are used, ADI is determined by dividing NOAEL by an uncertainty factor of 100 (so, hypothetically, methanol would have an ADI of 4 mg/kg).
    1) Your hypotheses that the methanol ADI is 4 mg/kg; is only true if the ADI of Aspartame is 40mg/kg. My challenge to you is our hypotheses that the current ADI of aspartame 40mg/kg is unsafe and 35 TIMES too high, because the actual ADI of Methanol is 0.114mg/kg.
    2) Yes it looks and sounds a good idea to provide a safety factor of 100 except it is fundamentally flawed. Within the 100 factor is; an allowance of 10% for inter species differences and a further 10% for inter personal differences; this pales into insignificance when you consider that the rat is 15 times more resistant to methanol than man, the rabbit 42 times more resistant and the mouse 21 times more resistant. This data is based on the LD50’s in the Methanol MSDS.
    3) Any study results on an animal, without taking all the facts into account then assuming the results can be directly transported to man is surely a very dangerous assumption.
    4) Thank you for highlighting that particular paragraph. Regrettably you did not comment on the most important point – that the methanol in the current NOAEL of aspartame (400mg/kg) would kill a human. Would you like to do so now please?
    “Why would you assume NOAEL is 10% of the blinding dose? 10% of the lethal dose I could understand – that’s about the range you get for ethanol. 30 mL is a very conservative estimate (the figure usually cited is 100 mL), but we’ll use it anyway – so if we assume NOAEL is 34.3 mg/kg, “ADI” would be 3.4 mg/kg. 15 % lower than the “ADI” from rat studies, but three times as much as what you calculated”
    1) Correction: If the NOAEL is 34.3mg/kg the ADI would be .343mg/kg.
    2) The reason we have to make assumptions is there is little or no literature on chronic methanol consumption in man, this is not surprising since we should not be eating it anyway – The only safe ADI for Methanol is 0.0mg/kg.
    3) We were looking to establish an NOAEL (No Observable Adverse Effect Level) this would be the lowest level according to the knowledge we have available; starting with the death of a subject would be inappropriate, when we already have a level for the blinding dose. We did consider Using the MLD from the literature but considered it too low.
    4) So why 10%? Of the blinding dose; Why not, it is probably still much too high but the objective is to just illustrate, the severe toxicity of methanol in humans using the human data available. Since no one else in science has bothered to do so believing methanol to be “Not of Concern” it seemed the obvious thing to do. What I am looking for now is for science to consider where they have never been before and accept that Methanol is of very great concern and to reconsider the safety of aspartame again.
    “Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways – either we need objective evidence to prove something is causing no symptoms or we don’t. Millions of people drink diet sodas with no symptoms at all.*
    ADI is for food additives – is “carrot” a food additive?”
    Neither can you guys have it both ways. The Null Hypothesis is a crummy blunt scientific instrument totally inappropriate for deciding what we eat. Ignoring Anecdotal evidence as unreliable, because it doesn’t fit into the neat scientific data gathering module, is an insult to all the sufferers out there who are genuinely sick and can positively prove medical evidence of harm from aspartame. Where in science has this been objectively examined or seriously taken into account. Scientists seem to believe they and only they can provide the ONLY answers through science. Science is but one tool in the box and certainly does not have all the answers.
    Your analogy of millions of people drinking diet sodas is a perfect example of the “objectivity“ of science or the ignorance of what we are dealing with here. Your bald statement makes no room for consideration for the hundreds of thousands of diet drink, tabletop sweetener, Chewing gum addicts and everything society has to deal with in between,
    “WTF? Yes, aspartame is broken down, but it’s not like EFSA ever denied that (nor did any other regulatory agency AFAIK). It’s also not different from other substances we ingest – that’s the GI tract’s job.”
    Ah, the difference now is EFSA is admitting it positively and declaring “aspartame does not enter the bloodstream so per sae, cannot be responsible for any adverse effects found” Aspartame is a Trojan Horse, after tricking our brains into thinking we have consumed sugar/glucose when we have not It discharges its toxic waste into our gut for our bodies to get rid of. Is EFSA now denying responsibility for that?? It was in aspartame’s interest in the past for EFSA and other regulatory bodies not to be clear on this when everyone was busy conducting animal studies using the whole aspartame molecule as Searle did.

    .

    • Mr McDonald,
      I’m happy to discuss this subject, but in order to do so you need to engage with arguments, not just repeat yours.

      Your hypotheses that the methanol ADI is 4 mg/kg; is only true if the ADI of Aspartame is 40mg/kg.

      No, it’s true if the NOAEL for methanol identified in animal studies is 400 mg/kg (which is what you proposed – according to EPA, the NOAEL (oral, rats) is at 500 mg/kg, so 400 mg/kg is, again, a conservative estimate). You may have arrived at this dose by calculating backwards from Aspartame’s ADI, but that would be your fault, not mine.

      My challenge to you is our hypotheses that the current ADI of aspartame 40mg/kg is unsafe and 35 TIMES too high, because the actual ADI of Methanol is 0.114mg/kg.

      That’s what you said, but you didn’t provide a valid rationale for your calculation of the “actual ADI”, and the rationale you gave in your last comment isn’t valid either. If there’s no direct data for a substance, the strategic way is to look for a similar substance (like ethanol in this case) and base your assumption on that – not to make up your figures.

      Yes it looks and sounds a good idea to provide a safety factor of 100 except it is fundamentally flawed. Within the 100 factor is; an allowance of 10% for inter species differences and a further 10% for inter personal differences; this pales into insignificance when you consider that the rat is 15 times more resistant to methanol than man, the rabbit 42 times more resistant and the mouse 21 times more resistant. This data is based on the LD50’s in the Methanol MSDS.

      It’s not an idea I propose but how ADI is defined. Also please note that the uncertainty factor is 10-fold, not 10 %. As I’ve said in my last comment, the figure commonly cited as lethal dose for humans is 100 ml (so if we account for intra-species differences with a 10-fold uncertainty factor, we expect that in rare cases even 10 mL of pure methanol could be lethal). As there’s no LD50 available for humans, what do you base your figures on? LD50 would be somewhere between 10 and 100 mL for humans (dose/response is not a linear function so there’s no way to know where it lies).

      Any study results on an animal, without taking all the facts into account then assuming the results can be directly transported to man is surely a very dangerous assumption.

      All these factors are taken into account in the 100-fold uncertainty factor.

      Thank you for highlighting that particular paragraph. Regrettably you did not comment on the most important point – that the methanol in the current NOAEL of aspartame (400mg/kg) would kill a human. Would you like to do so now please?

      What else is there to say besides pointing out that the lethal dose is closer to 100 mL? In some cases less than the lethal dose is needed to result in death (that’s what the intra-species uncertainty factor is there for, see above), but you’re trying to turn the exception into the rule.

      The Null Hypothesis is a crummy blunt scientific instrument totally inappropriate for deciding what we eat. Ignoring Anecdotal evidence as unreliable, because it doesn’t fit into the neat scientific data gathering module, is an insult to all the sufferers out there who are genuinely sick and can positively prove medical evidence of harm from aspartame. Where in science has this been objectively examined or seriously taken into account. Scientists seem to believe they and only they can provide the ONLY answers through science. Science is but one tool in the box and certainly does not have all the answers.

      I’m sorry but use of the scientific method is non-negotiable. Anecdotal reports aren’t ignored, but you have to understand that once they have been examined and no correlation has been found, the logical thing to do is to identify the real culprit, not insisting that you’re right anyway. Human exposure studies have found aspartame safe in doses higher than the ADI. It’s your right to avoid it, but you cannot expect it to be banned because you still „feel“ it is unsafe.

      Your analogy of millions of people drinking diet sodas is a perfect example of the “objectivity“ of science or the ignorance of what we are dealing with here. Your bald statement makes no room for consideration for the hundreds of thousands of diet drink, tabletop sweetener, Chewing gum addicts and everything society has to deal with in between,

      Fortunately the human exposure studies I mentioned above were done with a variety of formulations, not just diet soda.

      Your comment about the EFSA makes no sense at all – aspartame has always (i.e. since its approval) been known to break down rapidly in the small intestine, and safety evaluations haven’t been based on the hypothesis that aspartame is stable. It breaks down in the test animals’ GI tracts, too.

  57. John E. Garst,

    I object to most strongly to your suggestion that I am in some way suffering from industrial methanol exposure and therefore incapable of adding anything to this discussion; you do not know me and are in no position to judge. You owe me an apology sir.
    ……
    I also object to your patronising style, you may be a PhD in several.. ology’s but if you discounted arguments 20years ago which are still an issue today you can’t be too smart.

    You ramble on endlessly about aspartame when clearly the main thrust of my post was on the danger of METHANOL in aspartame, I showed that the current ADI of aspartame to be 35 Times too high in the UK and 44 times too high in the US and that the amount of Methanol in the current NOAEL’s of aspartame would kill a human. If you missed that please read my post again, I would like your considered opinion.

    Please note I am not easily intimidated and will not be blinded with science. I am aware of the current position of general scientific community on the question of Methanol metabolism and the discounting of the role of formaldehyde in methanol poisoning. If your mind is made up and will accept no more new scientific evidence on this fascinating subject then stop reading now. If you are prepared to be objective and willing at least to consider alternatives I comment to you Woodrow C. Monte’s book “While Science Sleeps”

    James McDonald
    UKAAC

  58. Vicky,

    “MrMcDonald
    I’m happy to discuss this subject, but in order to do so you need to gage with arguments, not just repeat yours”

    My apologies, I thought I was debating an issue with you therefore putting forward my point of view, if you require more clarification I am happy to help.

    “No, it’s true if the NOAEL for methanol identified in animal studies is 400 mg/kg (which is what you proposed – according to EPA, the NOAEL (oral, rats) is at 500 mg/kg, so 400 mg/kg is, again, a conservative estimate). You may have arrived at this dose by calculating backwards from Aspartame’s ADI, but that would be your fault, not mine.”

    I am actually agreeing with you here, it not my proposal it is a fact. The current ADI of aspartame is 40mg/kg based on two studies where rats were fed 4000mg/kg of aspartame. 10% of the aspartame molecule is Methanol (400mg/kg) my point is – an NOAEL of aspartame in rats, is NOT an NOAEL of methanol in humans.

    “That’s what you said, but you didn’t provide a valid rationale for your calculation of the “actual ADI”, and the rationale you gave in your last comment isn’t valid either. If there’s no direct data for a substance, the strategic way is to look for a similar substance (like ethanol in this case) and base your assumption on that – not to make up your figures”

    1)There are no assumptions or made up figures in my work. The rational for the calculation of my “actual ADI” of methanol comes from scientifically accepted data, collected from the many cases of accidental / deliberate methanol poisonings of humans, not animals. The vast differences in human tolerance of methanol provides a wide range of results but I use these well known reported levels: Blinding dose – 10ml (114mg/kg) and Fatal dose 30ml (343mg/kg)
    To set an NOAEL I used 10% of the blinding dose (11.4mg/kg) (you may choose your own) divided by 100 we get and ADI for methanol of (0.114mg/kg) Based on the methanol toxicity, as 10% of the aspartame molecule the, ADI of Aspartame should be (1.14mg/kg) 35 times lower than the current ADI!

    2) There is no way any knowledgeable person would substitute Ethanol data for methanol.

    “It’s not an idea I propose but how ADI is defined. Also please note that the uncertainty factor is 10-fold, not 10 %. As I’ve said in my last comment, the figure commonly cited as lethal dose for humans is 100 ml (so if we account for intra-species differences with a 10-fold uncertainty factor, we expect that in rare cases even 10 mL of pure methanol could be lethal). As there’s no LD50 available for humans, what do you base your figures on? LD50 would be somewhere between 10 and 100 mL for humans (dose/response is not a linear function so there’s no way to know where it lies)”
    I stand corrected the factor is Tenfold not 10 %.The rest of this comment I have answered above.

    “All these factors are taken into account in the 100-fold uncertainty factor)

    I can show here how a factor of 100 is inadequate in the case of methanol and why it is wrong to assume animal results can be transferred to humans, by quoting the LD50 for three common lab animals compared to humans:
    Humans oral – Lethal dose 343mg/kg
    LD50 oral Rat – 5628mg/kg x 15
    LD50 oral Mouse – 7300mg/kg x 21
    LD50 oral rabbit – 14200mg/kg x 42
    I would suggest these figures seriously interfere with the safety of relying on the current system.

    “What else is there to say besides pointing out that the lethal dose is closer to 100 mL? In some cases less than the lethal dose is needed to result in death (that’s what the intra-species uncertainty factor is there for, see above), but you’re trying to turn the exception into the rule.”

    Your answer really concerns me. I am suggesting that the amount of methanol in the NOAEL of aspartame (400mg/kg) used to establish the current 40 year old ADI of aspartame is enough to kill a human ( An NOAEL of Aspartame in rats is NOT an NOAEL of methanol in humans)and you apparently cannot se how this might affect the safety status of aspartame. It means the ADI of aspartame is seriously wrong and has been for the last 40 years. A review/ reassessment of aspartames ADI is urgently required.

    “I’m sorry but use of the scientific method is non-negotiable. Anecdotal reports aren’t ignored, but you have to understand that once they have been examined and no correlation has been found, the logical thing to do is to identify the real culprit, not insisting that you’re right anyway. Human exposure studies have found aspartame safe in doses higher than the ADI. It’s your right to avoid it, but you cannot expect it to be banned because you still „feel“ it is unsafe”

    Well that says it all non-negotiable, even if it is wrong or not in the best interest of the long suffering public whom we forget are the innocent victims of this policy. Anecdotal evidence is regarded by scientists as unreliable and as such is given no priority at all, whilst scientists dream up all the confounding factors they need to dismiss it out of hand. I do not believe you understand anything at all about the effects of long term chronic methanol ingestion from aspartame. If you like I am willing to give you the lowdown under separate cover if it will help.

    “Fortunately the human exposure studies I mentioned above were done with a variety of formulations, not just diet soda.
    Your comment about the EFSA makes no sense at all – aspartame has always (i.e. since its approval) been known to break down rapidly in the small intestine, and safety evaluations haven’t been based on the hypothesis that aspartame is stable. It breaks down in the test animals’ GI tracts, too”

    1) And I am saying the flipside, which is not anecdotal but you are still quite happy to ignore, is serious addiction from Diet drinks, Tabletop Sweeteners and chewing gums. Just ask your doctor (not mentioning aspartame) if they have any patients like that. It normally takes from 4 – 8 years to get addicted unless you are particularly sensitive.

    2) OK, we have all known from day one that aspartame breaks down completely in the GI tract, yet Searle FDA EFSA and all for 40 years have been conducting scientific studies using the whole aspartame molecule and declaring results attributed to aspartame which of course has disappeared, thus muddying interpretation of the results. They probably should have been testing specifically with the component parts and breakdown products to be exact.

    EFSA are making a great HOO Ha that after total hydrolysis, aspartame disappears so cannot be responsible for any adverse effects found. What I am saying is are they now trying to absolve themselves from any responsibility for dumping aspartames toxic waste into our gut for our bodies to get rid of.

    Please note our Campaign is not to ban aspartame but to ban methanol from all manufactured food products and any method by which methanol is introduced into our bodies.

    • I am actually agreeing with you here, it not my proposal it is a fact. The current ADI of aspartame is 40mg/kg based on two studies where rats were fed 4000mg/kg of aspartame. 10% of the aspartame molecule is Methanol (400mg/kg) my point is – an NOAEL of aspartame in rats, is NOT an NOAEL of methanol in humans.

      I think we have different definitions of “agreeing“.
      The NOAEL I cited (500 mg/kg) is based on EPA studies where rats were fed methanol. You’re correct in saying that a NOAEL in rats is not a NOAEL in humans; the thing is: it’s not treated like a NOAEL in humans.

      1)There are no assumptions or made up figures in my work. The rational for the calculation of my “actual ADI” of methanol comes from scientifically accepted data, collected from the many cases of accidental / deliberate methanol poisonings of humans, not animals. The vast differences in human tolerance of methanol provides a wide range of results but I use these well known reported levels: Blinding dose – 10ml (114mg/kg) and Fatal dose 30ml (343mg/kg)
      To set an NOAEL I used 10% of the blinding dose (11.4mg/kg) (you may choose your own) divided by 100 we get and ADI for methanol of (0.114mg/kg) Based on the methanol toxicity, as 10% of the aspartame molecule the, ADI of Aspartame should be (1.14mg/kg) 35 times lower than the current ADI!

      There are several assumptions in your work. The lethal dose you use for humans is not the LD50, but the LDLo, so your assumption is that in this case LD50 = LDLo.
      The second assumption is that a hypothetical NOAEL for humans is 10 % of the dose for a serious effect (blinding) – when I asked for your rationale it was “Why not?“
      Your third assumption is that the usual safeguard used when calculating ADI from a NOAEL from human studies (10-fold) isn’t enough but instead 100-fold should be used.

      2) There is no way any knowledgeable person would substitute Ethanol data for methanol.

      I didn’t suggest to substitute any data, what I suggested was to base your guesstimate on some scientific rationale. For ethanol, the NOAEL is about 10 % of the lethal dose, so it would be plausible to apply this to a guesstimate for the NOAEL of methanol in humans. That’s definitely a better rationale than “Why not?“

      I stand corrected the factor is Tenfold not 10 %.The rest of this comment I have answered above.

      See my comment regarding LDLo.

      I can show here how a factor of 100 is inadequate in the case of methanol and why it is wrong to assume animal results can be transferred to humans, by quoting the LD50 for three common lab animals compared to humans:
      Humans oral – Lethal dose 343mg/kg
      LD50 oral Rat – 5628mg/kg x 15
      LD50 oral Mouse – 7300mg/kg x 21
      LD50 oral rabbit – 14200mg/kg x 42
      I would suggest these figures seriously interfere with the safety of relying on the current system.

      LD50 is not the same as LDLo

      Your answer really concerns me. I am suggesting that the amount of methanol in the NOAEL of aspartame (400mg/kg) used to establish the current 40 year old ADI of aspartame is enough to kill a human ( An NOAEL of Aspartame in rats is NOT an NOAEL of methanol in humans)and you apparently cannot se how this might affect the safety status of aspartame. It means the ADI of aspartame is seriously wrong and has been for the last 40 years. A review/ reassessment of aspartames ADI is urgently required.

      Your lack of understanding concerns me. If you base your calculations on false assumptions you’ll get wrong results. You’ve linked to EFSA so you’re aware that the safety and hence the ADI of aspartame is currently reviewed, so what’s your point?

      Well that says it all non-negotiable, even if it is wrong or not in the best interest of the long suffering public whom we forget are the innocent victims of this policy. Anecdotal evidence is regarded by scientists as unreliable and as such is given no priority at all, whilst scientists dream up all the confounding factors they need to dismiss it out of hand. I do not believe you understand anything at all about the effects of long term chronic methanol ingestion from aspartame. If you like I am willing to give you the lowdown under separate cover if it will help.

      There is no reason to assume it is wrong except for your “gut feeling“. Anecdotal evidence is regarded as a starting point, not an end point of scientific work, and if you’re unwilling or unable to accept that there’s really not much to talk about here.

      1) And I am saying the flipside, which is not anecdotal but you are still quite happy to ignore, is serious addiction from Diet drinks, Tabletop Sweeteners and chewing gums. Just ask your doctor (not mentioning aspartame) if they have any patients like that. It normally takes from 4 – 8 years to get addicted unless you are particularly sensitive.

      I’d really like to see some source for the claim that aspartame is addictive.*

      2) OK, we have all known from day one that aspartame breaks down completely in the GI tract, yet Searle FDA EFSA and all for 40 years have been conducting scientific studies using the whole aspartame molecule and declaring results attributed to aspartame which of course has disappeared, thus muddying interpretation of the results. They probably should have been testing specifically with the component parts and breakdown products to be exact.

      That would be a very dubious approach – these substances might already react with substances in your saliva or gastric acid. I am sure if Searle had dared to do that you’d argue that an ADI derived this way cannot be trusted because they never checked if the whole molecule wasn’t worse than the breakdown products.

      Please note our Campaign is not to ban aspartame but to ban methanol from all manufactured food products and any method by which methanol is introduced into our bodies.

      Please note that banning aspartame vs. banning all products containing aspartame (and carrots? – but wait, carrots are a natural source of methanol, so I guess they’re OK to use) isn’t much of a difference.

      *scientific sources, peer-reviewed and published, of course

  59. I am considering closing comments (or at least not “Approving” any new ones) unless they offer substantial new information. Unless you are DIRECTLY RESPONDING to another comment with information DIRECTLY RELEVANT to the comment you’re responding to, please review other comments and simply reference them if you plan on repeating yourself (e.g. “See above where I discuss…”).

    Anybody who visits this site and reads the comments will be confronted with the same information repeated over and over and over again. It’s obvious we are all talking past each other and almost nothing constructive is being added.

    Portions of comments which discuss the following will be redacted or just ignored:
    1 – “92 symptoms” – There are multiple references to this, and I also have multiple rebuttals on this same site.
    2 – The Soffritti study
    3 – The Trocho study
    4 – The UPI “investigation”
    5 – Formaldehyde and/or Methanol poisoning (unless it’s from a truly new and PEER-REVIEWED study)
    6 – Formic acid/formate processing – This obviously all relates to the methanol stuff. I think we’ve covered it well enough at this point.
    7 – Non peer-reviewed “independent” studies – Please only offer studies (not letters to the editor or case reports) published in legitimate, and relevant, peer-reviewed journals.
    8 – The Sweet Misery documentary – I have responded in two parts on this blog to that documentary. You may disagree with my response. But merely citing is not the same thing as saying you have evidence against aspartame. If you *do* mention it, I will edit the comment (obviously, noting where my edits are) to include a link to my own rebuttal.

    Please don’t consider this censorship as one only need read the 130+ comments to see that I have allowed almost anything through and have certainly not blocked merely for disagreeing with me (the bulk of the comments, aside from those of Vicky and John) disagree with the premise of my article or aspartame safety in general.

    The real frustration, frankly, is that so many of the claims in the comments are literally directly responded to in the article being commented on (or somewhere on my “Aspartame” page). And yet the comments are happily made any how is if it is new and groundbreaking information.

    At this point I don’t think we’re really having a constructive conversation.

    I even saw someone post a reference to the Mark Gold methanol poisoning page… which is the page that sparked this post in the first place 3 or so years ago.

    Thanks,
    Josh
    P.S. I welcome any emails about this if you feel it is unfair or if I am overreacting. It is not my intention to halt commenting, but to halt useless comments that are adding nothing to the conversation. I’m uncomfortable with redaction per se, but I also don’t want to simply ignore entire comments.

    • My last one Josh which mentions information from Dr. Alemany himself on the Trocho Study, new information. No one ever had information from him directly. So I really expect to see my last post on this forum, otherwise it would explain you don’t want the facts and that would be unfair.

      Betty

      • Betty -
        Since January you have been mentioning that you just went and saw Dr. Alemany and have linked to related content as well as discussing. Is this above and beyond what you’ve already stated 4 or 5 months ago?

        Also, please stop accusing me of censoring you or your information. You’ve done that repeatedly, and yet the bulk of the content on the comment section is from you. If there’s anybody who’s given you a forum outside of your own site, it’s me. .

    • Josh, It is interesting to read your comments. However, instead of an article that addressed my scientific page on aspartame and methanol, your article addressed a page that has a short summary without references. At the bottom of that summary I urged readers to “follow up by printing and reading the extensive and heavily-referenced discussion related to aspartame and methanol/formaldehyde poisoning (suitable for scientists and laypersons) at: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/. ” I also note that your response referenced only one study on the effects of aspartame (which found it can cause cancer), two reviews by authors funded by the aspartame manufacturer, three statements by government agencies (one of which plagiarizes text by authors funded by the manufacturer) and Wikipedia(!). Those industry reviews sound very convincing until one reads the research they’re citing and speaks with independent scientists. I hope you would consider doing just that. I don’t research by Monsanto or Ajinomoto — because I read it and seen the deceptions.
      On the other hand, there is some decent independent research if you’d look for it.

      • Mark -
        I stand corrected if your page has since been updated with new research. But I have not yet seen any convincing “independent” research. Every time I have been linked to “independent” research, it turns out not to be research at all… but things like letters to the editors, blog articles, or studies published in vanity journals. Walton’s list of 90 or so “independent” studies are quite obviously not.

        If you had to pick the single most convincing independent, peer-reviewed study which demonstrates some danger (to the general population) of aspartame, what would it be?

        And I don’t mean a study that shows that methanol or formaldehyde can cause issues, that is obviously good science when taken in context, but does not just crossover and apply to aspartame.. Aspartame != methanol.

  60. Vicky

    “I think we have different definitions of “agreeing“.
    The NOAEL I cited (500 mg/kg) is based on EPA studies where rats were fed methanol. You’re correct in saying that a NOAEL in rats is not a NOAEL in humans; the thing is: it’s not treated like a NOAEL in humans”

    “I think you may be right”
    1) I did not comment on your EPA NOAEL of methanol in rats, which I am well aware of; since it has no relevance in our discussion on the methanol content of aspartame. It is the NOAEL of methanol in humans that is important.
    2) Please don’t misquote me; what I said was “a NOAEL of aspartame in rats is not a NOAL of methanol in humans.
    3) Please explain “It’s not treated like a NOAEL in humans”
    ————————————————————————————-

    “There are several assumptions in your work. The lethal dose you use for humans is not the LD50, but the LDLo, so your assumption is that in this case LD50 = LDLo.
    The second assumption is that a hypothetical NOAEL for humans is 10 % of the dose for a serious effect (blinding) – when I asked for your rationale it was “Why not?“
    Your third assumption is that the usual safeguard used when calculating ADI from a NOAEL from human studies (10-fold) isn’t enough but instead 100-fold should be used.

    1) You are misquoting me again. Nowhere do I suggest that the Lethal dose of methanol is an LD50 I am well aware of what that and LDLo
    Means; the assumption in this case is yours.
    2) I did explain that there is little data on chronic ingestion of methanol in man. Based on the known blinding effect setting a NOAEL would be more of an educated guess, I chose 10% why not. You could call that an assumption I suppose.
    3) I don’t understand this; to my knowledge a safety factor of 100 is always used but there is provision to alter this if the circumstances warrant it. When Searle set the ADI of aspartame in 1974 a safety factor of 100 was used. I don’t know what I have assumed here.

    “I didn’t suggest to substitute any data, what I suggested was to base your guesstimate on some scientific rationale. For ethanol, the NOAEL is about 10 % of the lethal dose, so it would be plausible to apply this to a guesstimate for the NOAEL of methanol in humans. That’s definitely a better rationale than “Why not?“

    Please see 2 above. Using a known quantity of methanol in man and applying an educated guess for illustrative purposes is far and above safer than involving
    any other substance, especially Ethanol.

    “See my comment regarding LDLo”

    Irrelevant – misquoting me again; it is you who refers to an LD50 in humans not I.

    “See my comment regarding LDLo”

    Irrelevant – See 1) above you are repeating yourself; the assumptions on this is subject all yours. I have supplied you with unimpeachable date to support what I say if you do not understand it I am quite happy to explain it further.
    ————————————————————————————————

    “Your lack of understanding concerns me. If you base your calculations on false assumptions you’ll get wrong results. You’ve linked to EFSA so you’re aware that the safety and hence the ADI of aspartame is currently reviewed, so what’s your point?”

    1) Rather than debating the strength of your argument or weakness in mine, you are now resorting to insults, your references to assumptions and wrong results do not become you, however it might suggest you have run out of ideas.

    2) The current EFSA review has not yet concluded and a final decision, due on the 15th of May is likely now to be extended till OCT. /Nov.

    3) My point is; show me in the Draft Opinion of Jan 2013 where the ADI of aspartame has been specifically reviewed and shown to be safe.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    “There is no reason to assume it is wrong except for your “gut feeling“. Anecdotal evidence is regarded as a starting point, not an end point of scientific work, and if you’re unwilling or unable to accept that there’s really not much to talk about here”

    1) Here we go again; where do you get “gut feeling” from if you mean intuition, Observation and common sense backed by hard facts then I am guilty.

    2) I am perfectly willing to accept that anecdotal evidence is not an end point in science, what I don’t accept is the reluctance of science to engage with the overwhelming evidence of suffering involved and to devote a proportional amount of time and resources to properly investigate it.
    You may not be aware of the UK Hull Pilot Study funded by the FSA in 2009, to test the claims of individuals who professed a reaction from aspartame, to see if they were telling the truth. The 18 month study is now 2 years late and 200% over budget yet they are very reluctant to produce a report telling us what the results are??
    ————————————————————————————-
    “I’d really like to see some source for the claim that aspartame is addictive”* *scientific sources, peer-reviewed and published, of course”
    1) I did suggest you ask your doctor but unfortunately I see that does not meet your control criteria.
    2) Correction: Aspartame as EFSA have now confirmed, does not enter the bloodstream therefore per sae cannot be the cause of any adverse reactions.
    3) For your information; Like Ethanol, Methanol is an addictive alcohol might that just be relevant.
    ——————————————————————————————

    • I did not comment on your EPA NOAEL of methanol in rats, which I am well aware of; since it has no relevance in our discussion on the methanol content of aspartame. It is the NOAEL of methanol in humans that is important.

      Since we both know that there is no and will be no study that identifies a NOAEL of methanol for human subjects there’s really no point in repeating this over and over again. Every toxicologist (and most other people I would argue) know that for many substances it is not possible to do such studies, so we have to rely on animal studies. You argued that it was wrong to approve aspartame based on studies that used the whole molecule instead of its breakdown products (of which methanol has undoubtedly the most potential for ill effects), so I thought I’d mention this such studies have been done, and not even by the evil company that wanted its product to be approved but by an independent government agency.

      Please don’t misquote me; what I said was “a NOAEL of aspartame in rats is not a NOAL of methanol in humans.

      How did I misquote you?

      Please explain “It’s not treated like a NOAEL in humans”

      I’m sure if you think about it a bit you’ll find out yourself.

      You are misquoting me again. Nowhere do I suggest that the Lethal dose of methanol is an LD50 I am well aware of what that and LDLo
      Means; the assumption in this case is yours

      Huh? Let me remind you:

      the rat is 15 times more resistant to methanol than man, the rabbit 42 times more resistant and the mouse 21 times more resistant. This data is based on the LD50’s in the Methanol MSDS.

      and

      Humans oral – Lethal dose 343mg/kg
      LD50 oral Rat – 5628mg/kg x 15
      LD50 oral Mouse – 7300mg/kg x 21
      LD50 oral rabbit – 14200mg/kg x 42

      As I pointed out, 343 mg/kg is the LDLo. For your calculation to be valid you have to assume that LDLo = LD50, otherwise you’re comparing apples to oranges. Whether this is an assumption you’re aware of or one that you didn’t think about does not matter.

      I don’t understand this; to my knowledge a safety factor of 100 is always used but there is provision to alter this if the circumstances warrant it. When Searle set the ADI of aspartame in 1974 a safety factor of 100 was used. I don’t know what I have assumed here.

      You (almost correctly) explained above:

      Within the 100 factor is; an allowance of 10% for inter species differences and a further 10% for inter personal differences

      There is no inter-species difference to account for when you use human study data, thus there’s no need for a inter-species uncertainty factor. Perhaps some of your confusion stems from this misunderstanding?

      Based on the known blinding effect setting a NOAEL would be more of an educated guess, I chose 10% why not.

      To differentiate between “guesstimate“ and “educated guess“ is nit-picking, same goes for calling your opinions/gut feeling “common sense“.

      Rather than debating the strength of your argument or weakness in mine, you are now resorting to insults, your references to assumptions and wrong results do not become you, however it might suggest you have run out of ideas.

      It’s unfortunate that you don’t realise you rely on assumptions. Do I need to point out that your appeal to emotions (invoking “victims“ when the research tells us that there’s no connection between aspartame consumption and their symptoms) is not a valid argument, but again a total reliance on assumptions (post hoc ergo propter hoc)?

      You may not be aware of the UK Hull Pilot Study funded by the FSA in 2009, to test the claims of individuals who professed a reaction from aspartame, to see if they were telling the truth. The 18 month study is now 2 years late and 200% over budget yet they are very reluctant to produce a report telling us what the results are??

      I’m aware of this study, but since it’s not published yet there’s no point in theorising about its results. Let me just say this: it was not done to see if these individuals were “telling the truth“, but to see if their suspicion – that their reactions are caused by aspartame – are correct. If they aren’t, that doesn’t mean that these people are lying or imagining things, it just means that their symptoms are not caused by aspartame.

      For your information; Like Ethanol, Methanol is an addictive alcohol might that just be relevant.

      This is a) not sourced, and as such just another assertion, and b) as you well know “alcohol“ is a vast group of substances; just because methanol is an alcohol it needn’t be addictive.

  61. Josh,

    I agree entirely with what you say about repetition, my main problem is getting straight comments or discussion on the new evidence I am presenting.

    I come into the discussion from a completely different direction, to the blitzkrieg scientific analysis of entrenched scientific opinion we see here; I am amazed after 30years science has not managed to convince everyone that aspartame is safe.

    In my initial contribution on the 7th May, I laid out evidence gleaned from accepted scientific sources together with new scientific data not yet well known. They confirm aspartame is not safe and never has been. I am quite happy to be proved wrong by having my work honestly and intelligently scrutinised, without room for sneering, patronising ill informed commenting.

    I would like to bring your readers up to date with events in Europe which could have a significant bearing on aspartame’s future.

    I have already mentioned my attendance as an expert, at the EFSA scientific meeting in Brussels on the 9th of April; to discuss the EFSA Draft Opinion on aspartame (January 2013) the opinion recommended that aspartame was still safe at 40mg/kg.

    EFSA’s final decision on the Draft Opinion was due to be made public on the 15th of May; the decision will not now be available until November 2013 quoting as the reason; new information, the expression of uncertainties’ the safety of the metabolites of aspartame – here is a link to the EFSA press release. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/130508a.htm

    Along with 7 other speakers, I had the opportunity to present our new evidence; the title of my presentation was called “How safe is aspartame’s ADI” transcripts of all the presentations can be read here: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/events/event/130409.htm – please tab down to the bottom.

    This is the latest up to-date position of aspartame in Europe, EFSA require a further 6 months to consider their position. I would suggest aspartame’s safety claim is in serious jeopardy.

    James McDonald
    (UKAAC)

    • James -
      I agree that updates on the EFSA review are relevant :)

      • Josh, I could not find the “Reply” link to your comment above. Here is my response:

        > I stand corrected if your page has since been updated with new research.

        Hi Josh, thank you for your response. I just checked on archive.org and the detailed discussion of aspartame, methanol and formaldehyde has been on my web page since before May 8, 1999. But that link to http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/abuse/ on the formaldehyde article you cited may not have been easy to see. I apologize if that’s the case. Since, 1999, there has been additional information that I have included in other articles.

        > Every time I have been linked to “independent” research, it turns out not to
        > be research at all…but things like letters to the editors, blog articles, or
        > studies published in vanity journals. Walton’s list of 90 or so “independent”
        > studies are quite obviously not.

        Please keep in mind that one of your main arguments to published experimental research showing formaldehyde adducts accumulating throughout the body from aspartame ingestion was a ***Letter to the Editor*** by Tephly. Given experimental findings of negative effects of long-term, low-level formaldehyde exposure (including one study showing irreversible genetic damage), I’d be concerned if I were ingesting aspartame, just on that basis alone. But I think there is more to aspartame toxicity than just the methanol/formaldehyde metabolite.

        Dr. Walton was just one of many people, like myself, who read all of the scientific literature related to aspartame and saw, almost without exception, that industry-funded studies and researchers always had positive things to say about aspartame and the independently funded studies and researchers found problems. Dr. Walton’s list was simply a preliminary list of what was available in scientific journals at the time. In order to understand whether an article had an adverse finding, one has to understand the context of the aspartame debate as it was happening in the scientific journals. The listing was not meant as a list of papers that found or did not find physical symptoms from aspartame ingestion.

        > If you had to pick the single most convincing independent, peer-reviewed study
        > which demonstrates some danger (to the general population) of aspartame, what
        > would it be?

        A request for only a list of studies is not appropriate to a science web site. I discuss and reference hundreds of studies on my web site. But the discussion is crucial — just like reviews in scientific journals are not solely a list of references. Yes, there are independent studies showing adverse effects from aspartame ingestion, but that has to be combined with a discussion of reported adverse effects, what industry studies show and why, what was found in pre-approval studies, what the studies of aspartame metabolites show, comments from independent and industry researchers, etc. I would be interesting in seeing any published journal articles that say, “Here is a list of studies: …[and then just lists studies]” or even a published Letter to the Editor (in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal) that asked for the published author to just list studies.

        > And I don’t mean a study that shows that methanol or formaldehyde can cause issues,
        > that is obviously good science when taken in context, but does not just crossover
        > and apply to aspartame.. Aspartame != methanol.

        I would agree that there is more to aspartame toxicity than just the methanol alone. But independent and industry reviews of aspartame often discuss methanol and formaldehyde toxicity (acute and long-term), so it is obviously an important part of the discussion — at least that is what scientifics seem to agree on.

        Cordially,

        Mark

  62. […] av metanol, og både formaldehyd og fenylalanin brytes ned i kroppen i løpet av minutter og forsvinner ut av systemet igjen i sin helhet. Man må innta mange titalls liter lettbrus på en time for å i det hele tatt komme opp i målbare […]

  63. Vicky,

    What can I say; I’m out of here; a bit of advice first.

    You appear to have no knowledge of this subject outside the biased “scientific Proof” of industry sponsored studies and your background seems to limit you to a slavish reliance on science only, anything else has no value – big mistake.

    This is a very important subject we are debating here which has serious consequences for people worldwide; the product aspartame does not interest me, apart from the fact that it delivers methanol daily into our bloodstreams.

    The artificial sweetener aspartame has been in existence since 1965 and has never been free of controversy; if your science is the answer, why has it not been able to irrefutably convince other scientists and the general public that aspartame is safe. I urge you take a more objectionable approach and consider the whole picture, ask yourself WHY more often.

    You have been debating here with individuals who have spent half a lifetime in opposition, they have large databases of information you can access free, why not use them.

    The most important advice I can give at this juncture is to recommend a new book (2012) by W. C. Monte PhD, Emeritus Professor of Food Science and Nutrition, Arizona State University. The book deals specifically with aspartame, methanol and human health and has over 600 free references. Monte has been an aspartame campaigner for 30 years I make no apologies for that, his book is the culmination of a lifetimes work on methanol/ Formaldehyde and human health.

    The book is called “While Science Sleeps” and is available on Amazon; (£6.80 for a kindle version.) Perhaps we can contact again once you have read it.

    James McDonald
    (UKAAC)

    • All I’m going to say is this: if someone spends decades of their life campaigning, they are not unbiased.

      I’ll rather rely on the EFSA committee’s expertise – if they should decide to ban aspartame, I’ll read their report and expect it to change my mind about aspartame’s safety (though their press release doesn’t read like they’re considering that); if they change the ADI I’ll accept that the previous ADI was set too hig, even though it most likely won’t be of any consequence to me (there hasn’t been a single day in my life where I’ve ever come close to reaching ADI, let alone exceed it).
      Meanwhile I’m looking forward to the FSA sponsored pilot study.

  64. Josh,

    As an ardent defender of aspartame (I don’t believe it when you say you are independent) I would have expected you to react to my last paragraph:
    “I would suggest aspartame’s safety claim is in serious jeopardy”
    In case you did not understand me I will explain it.

    Contrary to previous EFSA opinions on aspartame safety, where they have concluded aspartame is safe to consume at 40mg/kg, following the meeting of the 9th of April this year, they have postponed announcing a final opinion on their current Draft Opinion by 6 months.

    The 8 meeting presentations can be read here – they are important:

    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/events/event/130409.htm

    The reasons given for the postponement is unprecedented in EFSA history they include – new information – the safety of the metabolites of aspartame – how best to express uncertainties highlighted in the draft opinion – see here the EFSA press release:

    http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/130508a.htm

    I say again; “I would suggest aspartame’s safety claim is in serious jeopardy”

    James McDonald
    (UKAAC)

    • I wouldn’t consider myself an ardent defender of aspartame, I just believe the arguments against it have not been based on the best scientific evidence. As a lay person, I can only go off the current consensus and report on that. I’m not qualified to take the word of individual scientists or studies and hold them up as proving anything (even if they turn out, in the end, to be right).

      If the EFSA (and perhaps later the FDA) does in fact find that the current limits for aspartame are too high (which in practice people aren’t going to reach in any case), or otherwise the current standards don’t match the safety/dangers, that’s ok by me. That would certainly case my to reconsider my position. I assume they’ll cite the new evidence that changed their mind, and report on it as such. I certainly have no dog in this show. It would be really irresponsible for me to say that the major scientific/health bodies support the safety of aspartame, if that changes. But that’s just how science works.

      I think it’s pretty exciting actually.

      But by that same token, if the EFSA continues to find for the safety of aspartame, are you going to call it a day and accept their ruling? Or will you say that they were bribed or otherwise cajoled to rule?

      • Josh,

        The EFSA has had conflict-of-interest scandals since its inception. There have been several reports proving undeclared conflicts-of-interest of committee members.

        But they took the conflict-of-interest to a new level recently in their aspartame draft report where large sections of the report were plagiarized (word for word in many cases) from manufacturer-funded reviews. (Feel free to ask for a few examples.) It is no secret now as I made sure that most relevant NGOs in Europe and some in the U.S. are well aware of this latest EFSA debacle. What will be interesting to me is which people and organizations demonstrate a “Pro — science by plagiarism” bias by reporting EFSA findings of aspartame “safety.”

        Beyond the conflict-of-interest and plagiarism of manufacturer-funded scientists, it is clear from their draft report that they are only marginally familiar with the human studies on aspartame. To anyone who has actually read the research, many of their statements are ridiculous and not backed by the studies they are citing. But I admit it is convincing-sounding to people unfamiliar with the research.

        I wanted to add a more fun and interesting bit of information that most are not familiar with. As some know, the main aspartame manufacturer (at this time) also makes and sells another product throughout the world. Years ago, that product was discovered to “cause holes to develop in the brains of infant rodents” — really it was a specific types of irreversible damage to specific areas of the brain unprotected by the blood brain barrier. There were a lot of studies by industry scientists magically finding no damage to the rodent brains. Fortunately, research on rodents is relatively inexpensive and numerous independent scientists confirmed the findings.

        Eventually, there was a U.S. government hearing as to whether to ban the ingredient in infant formulas. One of the industry representatives argued that he knew someone who had been shot in the head and was living fine. That was one of their arguments! The ingredient was eventually banned in infant formula. By the way, one of the metabolites of aspartame has been shown to have the same effect in infant rodent brains as the ingredient that was banned from infant formula.

        If scientists and science web sites don’t very forcefully speak out against conflict-of-interest, plagiarism, scientific fraud and deception that is common in aspartame industry research (and other research for that matter), then people will lose faith in the scientific method. By supporting manufacturers that are essentially destroying the scientific method, it is driving people away from using science as one important tool (at least as far as health issues go).

        Cordially,

        Mark

      • With regard to EFSA the head of the committee, Dr. Herman Koeter, said: “We were pressured by industry to hijack science.” I think that puts the issue of creditability to rest.

        Betty http://www.mpwhi.com

  65. Vicky,

    I would like to comment once more, you have made some interesting points.

    a) “All I’m going to say is this: if someone spends decades of their life campaigning, they are not unbiased”

    Having no financial incentive the question must be –WHY? – I can answer that; like me they are all victims or know someone close who is or has been a victim of aspartame consumption; Anecdotal evidence I know, but without scientific recognition of the condition there is no support so we organise our own.

    b) “ I’ll rather rely on the EFSA committee’s expertise”

    It is not EFSA’s role to ban anything; it carries out Risk Assessment for the EC and recommends an Opinion to the AF (advisory Forum) of member states, It up to individual member states whether to accept their opinion or not. EFSA is a very inefficient scientific tool pandering to the will of industry.
    c) “(there hasn’t been a single day in my life where I’ve ever come close to reaching ADI, let alone exceed it)”

    The EFSA Draft pinion states that typical consumption of aspartame today is 35mg/kg!!

    d) “Meanwhile I’m looking forward to the FSA sponsored pilot study”

    I hope you will not be too disappointed, FSA have shown a distinct reluctance to divulge anything of the results of the Hull Pilot Study. At a meeting with the FSA Chief Scientist and another senior scientist Stephen Johnson in London on the 6th of February this year, they again refused our request for information although they confessed they had shared the results with EFSA. Initially scheduled to be an 18 month study it is now 2 and a half years late and 200% over budget. The results are now due in June.

    James McDonald
    (UKAAC)

    • Having no financial incentive the question must be –WHY? – I can answer that; like me they are all victims or know someone close who is or has been a victim of aspartame consumption; Anecdotal evidence I know, but without scientific recognition of the condition there is no support so we organise our own.

      I don’t doubt that you (as in: all of you who campaign against aspartame) are sincere in your belief that you/your family or friends have been hurt by aspartame, but that’s a bias, too. You’re not asking “does aspartame cause [X]“, you’re asking “how can we prove that aspartame causes [X]“.

      It is not EFSA’s role to ban anything;

      Setting a very low ADI is a de facto ban.

      The EFSA Draft pinion states that typical consumption of aspartame today is 35mg/kg!!

      No, they were saying:
      “Conservative estimates of exposure to aspartame made by the Panel for the general population were
      up to 36 mg/kg bw/day at the 95th percentile.”

      meaning that 95% of the general population uses 36 mg/kg bw/day or less. The actual consumption is very likely to be lower.

      I hope you will not be too disappointed, FSA have shown a distinct reluctance to divulge anything of the results of the Hull Pilot Study.

      There’s nothing to be disappointed about – I’m interested in the outcome. I don’t think the FSA is allowed to comment on the results before the study is published or at least about to be published. I suspect Hull University gave EFSA access to their material but “embargoed” it, and that this is the reason behind the delay of EFSA’s final report – but that’s just my guess.

  66. Josh,

    I am almost convinced. I too am a lay person and whilst reading the hundreds of scientific studies on both sides of the argument, I fall back on three disciplines we all possess – Intuition, observation and common sense.

    I’m pleased you are at least open to reconsidering your position, my worst fear always is that EFSA would do as it always has done – listen to all the public consultation then simply declare that having considered it all, their opinion is that aspartame is still safe at 40mg/kg, no scientific or other explanation – that is not the position this time.

    I will answer your question:-

    “But by that same token, if the EFSA continues to find for the safety of aspartame, are you going to call it a day and accept their ruling? Or will you say that they were bribed or otherwise cajoled to rule?”

    We have presented EFSA with new evidence which directly challenges the veracity of the ADI of aspartame. If EFSA can provide satisfactorily scientific evidence which refutes our new evidence I will be content.

    James McDonald
    (UKAAC)

    • Oh boy… where to start!

      ” I too am a lay person and whilst reading the hundreds of scientific studies on both sides of the argument, I fall back on three disciplines we all possess – Intuition, observation and common sense.”

      Not a single one of those is a ‘discipline’. Let me explain why:

      Intuition is an ability to acquire knowledge based neither on inference nor reason. Because the knowledge obtained in this way is absolutely not justifiable either empirically or rationally, it is not a discipline.

      Observation is the act of using the senses to detect events or phenomena external to oneself. The problem is that the senses are not very good for many things, and their input can be influenced one way or another quite easily. In science, we use systematic observation in which, rather than using our senses, we use carefully calibrated instruments in order to collect data (because we know that our senses can deceive us pretty wildly). If we do use direct observation by our own sense, we have to control for that both methodologically (by having at least two different observers) and analytically (by using Cohen’s kappa statistic for two observers and Fleiss’ kappa statistic for three or more observers). Given the problems that our senses can cause in deceiving us, it may be that systematic observation is at least disciplined if not a discipline, observation otherwise is neither disciplined nor a discipline.

      Common sense is a weird thing. It is said to be a “basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things which is shared by (‘common to’) nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate”. But herein lies a serious problem: there is an understanding that, in common sense, new ideas look like old ones. In other words, it doesn’t change in the light of new evidence (all of which should be gained from systematic observation and analysis of data – things not really a part of ‘common sense’). Science, on the other hand, is constantly improving the body of knowledge we have about everything we do science on, by checking and rechecking constantly. This checking and rechecking of what we hope we ‘know’ is a very disciplined approach, which is why we describe sciences as disciplines. Common sense is not disciplined in this regard, and it has no place amongst any epistemological system as a discipline. In other words, you call it one, but it isn’t.

      Therefore, without an understanding of the disciplines of science, the chance of being able to glean much from presentations of scientific research is very low indeed.

      • Hello David,

        Thanks for your comment and your explanation in pure scientific terms of why you think the word “discipline” is not appropriate; I think most everyone else will get my meaning
        .
        The context in which I use it goes something like this:-

        Intuition: That ice looks a bit thin. Observation: looks like someone has tried it already. Common sense: we’ll walk round the lake – No science needed.

        Where it applies with regard to aspartame is after the fact; all the science has been done we are looking at the results. Question – does it all make sense?

        Intuition: I’ve read all these studies and on both sides of the argument and am not convinced aspartame is proven safe.

        Observation: Many of the studies are very old (circa 1974) and industry sponsored; Test results on animals are used to assume the same results for humans?:EFSA has not demonstrated that our challenge – Aspartame’s ADI is 35 times too high and there is enough methanol in the NOAEL kill a human. Is false;. Etc. Etc.

        Common sense: The precautionary principal should apply – this product containing 10% methanol should not be in our food until unequivocally proven safe.

        Regards,
        Jim

  67. Vicky,

    You make too much of your argument up.; good by.

    PS, Don’t forget to read the book

    James McDonald
    (UKAAC)

    • It’s a quote from the draft opinion, an explanation of what it means and some “educated guesses”. Seems like you’ve run out of ideas.
      Goodbye!

  68. Hi Josh,

    Things seem to have come to a natural conclusion with the issue unresolved; presumably until the EFSA final opinion comes out in November. Whilst we are waiting I would like to make a suggestion.

    I have to say I am always a bit embarrassed with this and would like to state, I have no financial or other pecuniary connection with the person below; other than the highest regard for the lifetime dedication, professionalism, single minded focus and commitment in pursuance of the truth, of answering the unanswered questions, sometimes in contradiction of popular scientific opinion.

    I am describing here a man I first encountered (for I have never met him) 4 years ago when I first discovered on my own, the reasons why the ADI of aspartame is 35 times too high and why it should never have been approved in the first place.

    Having contacted several UK scientists looking for confirmation of my work and getting nowhere (they had no idea or interest in methanol) through betty Martini I “discovered” professor Woodrow Monte. I sent him my work and his reply was “Excellent work Jim keep it up” a few hrs later I realised I had all the science I was looking for and was no longer alone in the world.

    Woodrow C. Monte PhD, Emeritus Professor of food science and nutrition, Arizona State University, published his first book “Aspartame: Methanol and the Public health” in 1984 it is available to download from his website:

    http://thetruthaboutstuff.com/pdf/(1)%20Aspartame%20Methanol%20and%20the%20Public%20Health%201984.pdf

    All the science in his document is relevant today and his prediction at the very end has proved so prophetic.

    Woodrow has devoted his life and work in exposing the exquisite deadly relationship of methanol and formaldehyde in man. His work has been vilified by traditional science when it did not accord with popular thinking, he has always been anti aspartame, simply because it carries methanol into our bloodstream and is poisoning us.

    Woodrow has published a new book “While Science Sleeps” carrying on from his 1984 one above. It describes his scientific journey over nearly 30 years and how he has answered all the questions he found on his journey (some of which popular science today have never even considered) The culmination of his work is his hypotheses that: Formaldehyde is the etiological agent which causes of all our diseases of civilisation (DOC) including, MS, Alzheimer’s Disease, breast Cancer, lupus, Erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, melanoma, and autism.

    My suggestion is that you and anyone else interested in discovering the real threat from methanol’s formaldehyde or would like something to measure the current methanol /formaldehyde knowledge against; please read ;

    “While Science Sleeps” – Kindle version available from Amazon (less than $10)

    I would be grateful for any comments.

    Best Regards,
    James McDonald
    (UKAAC)

  69. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about ligretto. Regards

  70. Thank you. Its about there was a site that actually showed the studies and elaborated on the findings. Do you know if there is anything like this about GMO’s. That is something I would like more information on. I hear a lot of people spewing bad and good things about them. I just want to see the data and the facts about them.

  71. I’m not trying to reignite this discussion, but as there has been some speculation about the outcome: EFSA’s Scientific Opinion has been published on Tuesday.
    Link

    • Thanks Vicky :)
      I know the anti-aspartame folks were excited about hearing the results of this, so I think it’s totally relevant.

      For those who don’t want to quit, the summary is that the EFSA has reviewed the existing evidence and found that the current aspartame consumption (and ADI) levels are not a safety concern. And even if it was a concern, it’s only for those with PKU via the phenylalanine.

      So, again, there is no evidence that the methanol is an issue.

      • Hi Josh, I hate to disappoint you but the decision of EFSA was not unexpected they had nowhere to go. They had public details of our challenge that the ADI of aspartame is 35 times too high for safety because of its methanol content but did not demonstrate this to be untrue, so it is still a live challenge. Their deliberations did not include all the potential hazards in the risk assessment so the opinion is unsafe. Finding they have no answer to our challenge they are trying to ignore it.

        On the same day as the EFSA opinion came out at a meeting of the House of Lords Parliamentary Food and Health Forum, A scientist from EFSA and I commented on the EFSA opinion, the minutes and presentation slides are here for your perusal – you can ignore the rubbish from the EFSA scientist he was a lightweight handed the poison challis. http://www.fhf.org.uk/meetings.php?meeting_id=27

        You might also be interested in this magazine article.

        http://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Ingredients/Aspartame-sparks-methanol-row-at-food-forum

        Where aspartame is concerned COT, FSA and EFSA are not fit for purpose and don’t deserve your unstinting support; you must know that the existing evidence you refer to are 80% Searle studies going back to he 70’s and 80’s which they review every time, is it any wonder they come up with the same result on every review. The ADI they rely on was set using the same dodgy Searle studies the FDA rejected whilst keeping aspartame out of the market for 16 years. The ADI has never been re-affirmed nor reviewed by COT, FSA or EFSA in the 32 years aspartame has been in our food. EFSA are ignoring clear evidence that methanol is very dangerous.

        Here’s what Monte says:
        Something is wrong in our world today; good people are becoming sick and dying from a range of diseases collectively called “Diseases of Civilisation” (DOC) the names of which are on 75% of today’s death certificates; they include – MS, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, Lupus, erythematous, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, melanoma and autism. All these with obesity and diabetes are currently at epidemic proportions and our scientists have no idea what the cause is – I offer for your consideration you Monte’s hypothesises;

        “Methanol is the etiological cause of all the DOC’s”

        Regards, Jim

  72. JMcD

    “Thanks for your comment and your explanation in pure scientific terms of why you think the word “discipline” is not appropriate; I think most everyone else will get my meaning”

    If they do, they’d be more likely to agree with me than with you.
    .
    “The context in which I use it goes something like this:-”

    “Intuition: That ice looks a bit thin. Observation: looks like someone has tried it already. Common sense: we’ll walk round the lake – No science needed.”

    Intuition fail. “That ice looks a bit thin” is an inference from an observation, which does not occur in intuition. Even when I explain to you what intuition actually means, you go ahead and do what?: you make a definitional error like that. Plus – thin ice and fallacious views that aspartame is not safe are worlds apart.

    “Where it applies with regard to aspartame is after the fact; all the science has been done we are looking at the results. Question – does it all make sense?”

    Well, given the research that I have seen, and the polemics (and absence of research) on the part of the anti-aspartame people, I can say that what I’ve seen supporting the conclusion that aspartame is safe when used properly makes sense.

    “Intuition: I’ve read all these studies and on both sides of the argument and am not convinced aspartame is proven safe.”

    Only because you don’t understand the science.

    “Observation: Many of the studies are very old (circa 1974) and industry sponsored; Test results on animals are used to assume the same results for humans?:EFSA has not demonstrated that our challenge – Aspartame’s ADI is 35 times too high and there is enough methanol in the NOAEL kill a human. Is false;. Etc. Etc.”

    If you think that industry-sponsored always means false, then you shouldn’t be running an organisation. That falls under any thought disorder from overgeneralisation to paranoid delusion, depending on the extent to which you take that attitide..

    “Common sense: The precautionary principal should apply – this product containing 10% methanol should not be in our food until unequivocally proven safe.”

    That last sentence tells that you have no understanding of science, and especially of toxicology. We no longer have a conversation. You do not have a high-enough level of scientific understanding to debate this with and I really am not sure that you are intellectually up to it either.

    • David,

      I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous, take your head out of your scientific bag and get a life – you are right in one thing though; people will make up their own minds.

      Observation: When people end a discussion by throwing insults at people they really don’t know, they have generally run out of sensible things to say.

      Goodbye

      JMcD

      • Hint: It was not an insult. It was merely an observation.

        By the way, I have a life. Not a happy one, I’ll admit. But it is not being wasted trying to argue that black is white (which is, essentially, what you are trying – and failing – to do).

        Two things:

        “take your head out of your scientific bag ”

        Someone who can say that to someone when the matter of debate is very much a scientific matter is evidently not up to dealing in science.

        “people will make up their own minds”

        Indeed. But it makes bugger all difference. Because, if (as you very clearly do) people make up their minds against the conclusion supported by the scientific evidence, they are still wrong. That is how science works. And, if someone is incapable of understanding that, they have absolutely no business trying to discuss matters of science with those who do. As Richard Feynman said: “If you don’t like it, go somewhere else!”

        I suggest you do as Feynman says. Because all you’re doing here is showing how little you actually understand. And, by doing that, you’re making yourself and your organisation look ridiculously stupid. It really isn’t doing you any good. I’m being as nice as I can about this.

      • Look in the mirror pal.

  73. @JMcD:

    Yawn.

    You lost the minute you kept repeating your arguments to Vicky. She pulled you up on that and you tried to sidestep. You are not intellectually equipped for this. If you were, you would provide proper evidence – and you’d know what sort of evidence is proper.

    Hint: anecdote is poor evidence, and letters to journal editors are not good evidence either. Nor are ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ associations or letters/posts telling of such associations between events. Good evidence somes in the form of random-controlled double-blind trials, random-controlled single-blind trials, N + 1 A-B-A-B-design trials (and variations thereof), and direct systematic observation trials with two or more observers and Cohen/Fleiss kappa scores above 0.60. No room for vague things like ‘intuition, non-systematic observation and ‘common-sense’ in the good stuff. And for bloody good reason.

    By the way, when I look in a mirror, know what I see?
    A man – probably quite ugly – but sercure in the knowledge that when he opens his mouth on some issue, he’s bloody sure about what he’s saying – not one who cannot hold a rational scientific argument (which has to be what you see, given that you evidently don’t unserstand how science works and have no interest in finding out).

    • * N = 1

      * understand

    • David
      I decided I would not converse with you anymore because you are an idiot.You have insulted me twice again.

      Have you any idea what this forum is about? No one is interested on your opinion of my intellectual ability or otherwise we are supposed to be debating “aspartame formaldehyde or not” -I don’t see any contributions from you by the way. All you are doing is trying to impress me with you silly little scientific references that science IS and there is nothing else. If science is the answer to everything, why has aspartame been on the market for 32 years and science has still not convinced everybody nor unequivocally proven aspartame to be safe?

      You obviously know nothing about the subject of the forum nor are you willing to take a subjective look at it. When you have spent more than 200hrs researching both sides of the argument and can make constructive well balanced argument about the purpose of this forum; welcome – otherwise I suggest you shut up.

      Don’t bring Vicky into this ridiculous discussion; at least she took time to debate the real issues,

      • “Don’t bring Vicky into this ridiculous discussion; at least she took time to debate the real issues,”

        Yes, and you pissed her off, too.
        You are not capable of discussing this issue. That is my point. And ultimately, the science is absolutely the most important bit. And the anti-aspartame ‘side’ really has never been able to get any kind of evidence together to support its claims. Not surprising really since it was that other idiot, Betty Martini, who – allegedly under the name of Nancy Markle – set the whole bullshit-ball rolling.

        “If science is the answer to everything, why has aspartame been on the market for 32 years and science has still not convinced everybody nor unequivocally proven aspartame to be safe?”

        Because some people, like you, are stupid and paranoid.

      • Josh I’m disappointed.

        How long are you prepare to tolerate this twat? He clearly has nothing to offer you in sensible debate, has resorted to name calling (the last resort for his kind) and is now besmirching other serious contributors to your forum.

        This plonker has obviously no idea the important work Betty Martini has been doing for the last 25years, helping people science does not even acknowledge exist – and that is disgusting – yes I am talking about anecdotal evidence. Betty has in excess of 50,000 people in her files now, what has this numpty ever achieved, he does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath.

        This is not what I joined the forum for; I see it as a serious subject that for years has been hijacked by bad science; It is not the total number of scientific papers that “proves “ the point, it is the correct science that answers all the questions.

        Jim

    • Dear David,

  74. @JMcD:

    “He clearly has nothing to offer you in sensible debate¹, has resorted to name calling² (the last resort for his kind³) and is now besmirching other serious contributors⁴ to your forum.”

    ¹ On the contrary, I have plenty to offer. I’m actually offering it now: the whole thing about what is and is not a discipline, for one thing.

    ² Actually, the first epithet slung was ‘idiot’, and you slung it.

    ³ So it’s actually the last resort for your sort, isn’t it?

    ⁴ No, I’m not. Josh’s contribution is serious; Vicky’s is serious; Dr. Garst’s contribution is phenomenal; and so is mine.

    Appropos Dr. Garst, I quote this from his last contribution here, directed at you:

    A- “Citing the birth defect issue as involving aspartame clearly demonstrates your absolute ignorance of this matter. Folate is now mandated, because it was folate deficiency that caused the birth defects in women that prompted the mandate.”

    Compare that with what I have told you:

    B- “That last sentence tells that you have no understanding of science, and especially of toxicology. We no longer have a conversation. You do not have a high-enough level of scientific understanding to debate this with and I really am not sure that you are intellectually up to it either.”

    What is so different between A and B that makes B insulting and A not worth calling ‘insulting’? Let’s face it: even the information provided by Dr. Garst – explained at a level suitable for anyone with a Wechsler IQ between say 90 and 110 would be able to understand and learn from. The fact that you seem totally unable to learn from that, and move on, suggests that you haveneither the scientific understanding nor intellectual wherewithal to engage in serious scientific debate. If, however, you do have the intellectual ability to understand what Dr. Garst has explained here and you still insist that you, a layman, understand it all better than doctoral-level medicinal chemist/toxicologist, then you deserve the ultimate in derision, and that is at the very least.

    “This plonker has obviously no idea the important work Betty Martini has been doing for the last 25years,”

    Right… Betty Martimi is the originator of all this crap. Not a single scientific publication in 25yrs, and yet ‘helping’ what people exactly?

    “… helping people science does not even acknowledge exist …”

    Ah – that’s right… yes, except science has, if Dr. Garst’s contributions here are anything to go by, been helping them: by finding out what the problem really is, rather than falling vitim to the ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ fallacy of logic.

    “… yes I am talking about anecdotal evidence …”

    Which has never been systemised. Anecdote is not sufficient. Which is why we always do systematic investigation in science, but you seem to think that science is ignorable as a way to gain the maximum certainty in what we know – preferring … what was it? Oh, yes … ‘intuition, observation and common sense’ – which I’ve already shown good reason for placing little creedance on. Remember – it was you who said: ‘take your head out of your scientific bag and get a life’. Evidence, I would say, that you lack the necessary understanding of science for debates of this nature.

    “It is not the total number of scientific papers that ‘proves’ the point, it is the correct science that answers all the questions.” And the man saying this also said: “Betty has in excess of 50,000 people in her files now, what has this numpty ever achieved.”

    So, an appeal to number is valid on your part, yes?

    Actually – no. And, as for achievements, people who know me well know exactly what I have achieved. And it pisses all over what you think you have achieved.

    “I see it as a serious subject that for years has been hijacked by bad science”

    Well, sadly for you, you’re entirely wrong. There is no science demonstrating support for the idea that aspartame is the threat to health that Dr. Betty Martini – or to give her her proper medical/scientific title Betty Martini – claims it to be. Which is why this discussion should not have to be had. It is just people like you who cannot and/or will not learn from the science (for whatever insane paranoid reasons you all might have). Science does demonstrate support for the claim that aspartame is safe at the sorts of doseages we’re exposed to, with the exception that phenylketonurics should not use it because they lack the enzyme that breaks down the aminoacid phenylalanine. All other instances of reactions to aspartame have been explained adequately by Dr. Garst as deficiencies in folate, or as other biochemical deficiencies personaly to the consumer. End of story.

    Vicky said this, and I am going to quote her verbatim:

    “I’m sorry but use of the scientific method is non-negotiable. Anecdotal reports aren’t ignored, but you have to understand that once they have been examined and no correlation has been found, the logical thing to do is to identify the real culprit, not insisting that you’re right anyway. Human exposure studies have found aspartame safe in doses higher than the ADI. It’s your right to avoid it, but you cannot expect it to be banned because you still ‘feel’ it is unsafe.”

    Here, Vicky is absolutely correct. She’s already stated the role of anecdotal report as an initiator of a process and FFS even I would agree that, at this stage, your ‘intuition, observation and common sense’ may be useful (bearing in mind Pasteur’s point on the importance of the prepared mind!). The point is this: the science is in on this one. If you cannot handle that, that is for you to deal with. And campaigning against aspartame – especially without having prepared you mind first – is not dealing with the issue. All that does is to make you look stupid.

    • First of all, it’s obvious to me that this blog is set up to take up people’s time. Garst was so happy he got the information to Dave Rietz’ daughter, and bragged how he stopped the New Mexico legislature for doing anything about aspartame. http://www.mpwhi.com/aspartame_flack_tries_to_mislead_nm_legislature.htm Tanya had just lost her dad, Dave Rietz, to aspartame cancer. He has the web site http://www.dorway.com, and is being kept up by his daughter in his memory.

      Second, with regard to scientific peer reviewed studies it has been shown that almost all independent studies show the problems aspartame causes. Scoffing about the fact aspartame caused birth defects and blaming it on folate hits the bottom of the pond scum. The FDA themselves admitted aspartame causes birth defects. We added the information back to the Bressler Report. If they were not considered very important then why did G. D. Searle make a deal with FDA that they would never release these studies? It took me 8 years to get them. If you have to give an animal folate before consumption, and it causes birth defects the case has been lost by the pro-aspartame manufacturer. I can just see the waiters serving dinner, “Here take this folate, and then you can use Equal in your coffee.” You can’t approve an additive or drug that causes birth defects – that’s why it was covered up. Neural tube defects are very serious – autism, spina bifida, cleft palate, etc.

      So much so, that Dr. Woodrow Monte wrote a book on the methanol issue and the fact that it has caused an epidemic of autism. You can read the last chapter on http://www.whilesciencesleeps.com The book is “While Science Sleeps: A Sweetener Kills”.

      You have full knowledge that methanol converts to formaldehyde. Who are you trying to kid? Dr. M. Alemany did the Trocho Study: http://www.mpwhi.com/formaldehyde_from_aspartame.pdf This proves pre-embalming. It damages DNA as well. I was in Barcelona and spoke with him. He said aspartame will murder 200 million people.

      I did wonder how EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) would get around all these studies where aspartame was shown to cause cancer, heart attacks, strokes and even diabetes. They couldn’t so they threw them all out, 82 scientific peer reviewed studies from researchers who are independent, not funded or controlled by industry.

      Jim McDonald happens to have 35 years experience working with methanol. The modus operandi of the manufacturers is to lie because they can’t debate the issue.

      Lets face it, the aspartame manufacturers have no defense because all these studies and the history of how aspartame got approved through the political chicanery of Don Rumsfeld are a matter of public record. EFSA couldn’t answer all the legitimate studies so they chose to ignore them and say all 82 studies are unreliable.

      You’re only there to take up people’s time, and know that all studies have proven what Dr. James Bowen told FDA: “This is mass poisoning of the American people and over 70 countries of the world.” (now over 100).

      Shame on you people, and your disgusting tactics. Dr. Betty Martini, D.hum, founder Mission Possible Intl

      t 10:43

      • Despite my better judgement, I’m approving this comment even though it is explicitly against what I said before: new comments should add information. It’s hilarious to me that you’re citing the Trocho study in the comments to an article that discusses the Trocho study ;)

        You’ve literally (as usual) restated information that this blog has already gone over in detail (the Bressler report, the claim of “independent studies” finding harm, etc).

        I’m not sure who you’re saying is just to “take people’s time”. I wrote this article years ago, and people have chosen comment, especially you Betty. I don’t know in what way it’s me that is wasting anybody’s time. If anything, it’s you who keeps taking my time with long link-filled comments (which repeat things you’ve said at least 5 times before already in the comments) which I need to login to Moderate so everyone can see.

  75. Jim -
    I agree with you on the point that it’s best if the discussion not resort to personal attacks, as they have no real bearing on the arguments. Note that you used the terms “twat” and “plonker” :)

    That said, I also don’t believe that Betty Martini’s anecdotes contribute anything to the discussion of the general safety of aspartame. As far as I’m concerned, all they mean is that if FOR A GIVE PERSON they feel “odd” after drinking a diet soda (or whatever source), then they should stop consuming it. But that doesn’t happen to me, so why would I apply her anecdotes? The rest of the anecdotes about MS or heart attacks or fibromyalgia simply do not hold up.

    I also agree with David’s statements that the anti-aspartame movement simply has not brought into the picture solid studies backing up their claims. This has clearly been my contention as well.

    I realize your primary concern is with methanol, but what you haven’t explained is why you think that studies testing aspartame as a whole aren’t sufficient to test the safety of aspartame. Why is it that you think that the methanol component needs to be isolated?

    Aspartame != methanol.

    –Josh

    • *nods in deference to Josh*

      (To JMcD) “Note that you used the terms ‘twat’ and ‘plonker’”

      Indeed he did, and ‘idiot’ too. Not that I care. I’m used to it after years of pointing out to people what’s wrong with what they say about stuff. Doesn’t bother me. Three things I don’t like going on: bad science, pseudo-science and non-science being used in important issues.

      Essentially, this is what I do as a job. I have a BA-equivalence which is mostly in applied sciences (psychology, mathematical sciences, archaeology, Finnish language). After getting a master’s degree (psychology of special education, specialised in autism across the life-span), I was then employed by my unviersity for a couple of years reviewing course materials and revising them, using up-to-date science, as well as teaching/tutoring in research methods and data analysis for a student of the university doing her master’s on a distance education basis. I was also her thesis supervisor. I also did a graduate CPSE in educational & organisational ethno-psychology. I tackle things in an evidence-based manner, and know how to assign priority to various types of evidence: there is definitely a hierarchy. Anecdote is somewhere close to the bottom. Analyse the anecdotes to see if there’s any kind of pattern: if there is, then you maybe have a research question to answer. There is no clear pattern in the anecdotal evidence put forward by the anti-aspartame bunch. For that reason, any ailments/discomforts need to be dealt with locally by a visit to the person’s GP/FP in the first instance, and then for testing on the issues raised by Dr. Garst.

      I am currently involved in the debunking of Facilitated Communication, a very-much discredited method of (allegedly) helping autistic people to communicate. All the science from the early-to-mid-1990s has clarified the point that it does not work. Proponents are still advancing fallacious arguments in farour of it, mostly appealing to emotion or number, but never to actual high-quality controlled experimental studies. Hardly surprising, since it is the high-quality controlled experimental studies that demonstrated the inefficacy of the method and also its many dangers.

      “I also agree with David’s statements that the anti-aspartame movement simply has not brought into the picture solid studies backing up their claims. This has clearly been my contention as well.”

      Thank you, and yes – exactly.

    • Jim -
      I agree with you on the point that it’s best if the discussion not resort to personal attacks, as they have no real bearing on the arguments. Note that you used the terms “twat” and “plonker” :) ——— idiot also – I think you have to agree I was provoked.

      That said, I also don’t believe that Betty Martini’s anecdotes contribute anything to the discussion of the general safety of aspartame. As far as I’m concerned, all they mean is that if FOR A GIVE PERSON they feel “odd” after drinking a diet soda (or whatever source), then they should stop consuming it. But that doesn’t happen to me, so why would I apply her anecdotes? The rest of the anecdotes about MS or heart attacks or fibromyalgia simply do not hold up ——————How widely have you explored the aspartame specific anecdotal evidence?

      I also agree with David’s statements that the anti-aspartame movement simply has not brought into the picture solid studies backing up their claims. This has clearly been my contention as well
      ——-Well lets be specific here. We are talking about a single group of food scientists who just happen to be responsible for the health of about 500 million people (EFSA) It is an organisation that doesn’t do science, they have never funded or carried out themselves any studies to validate their decisions. All their reviews are LITERARY reviews on studies going back to the 1970’s, of which 80% were provided by the manufacturer of aspartame. No one checks what these people do and they select what studies suit them also they manage to exclude on the flimsiest of pretences any independent studies which disagree with their point of view. That is why you don’t see any alternative studies taken seriously.

      COT FSA and EFSA made a serious error of judgement in approving aspartame for use in our food in 1982 and in every review since, by not properly assessing the dangerous metabolic toxicity of aspartame’s methanol.

      I realize your primary concern is with methanol, but what you haven’t explained is why you think that studies testing aspartame as a whole aren’t sufficient to test the safety of aspartame———-

      Very simple the methodology used by EFSA is fatally flawed:-

      1) Check out EFSA’s final opinion. At last they confess that aspartame per se is totally hydrolysed in the GI tract, does not enter the bloodstream so cannot cause us any harm, so any adverse effects observed must be due to its components Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, or methanol.

      2) Methanol is by far the most dangerous component of aspartame; the other two are amino acids.

      3) If aspartame cannot harm us why all the studies quoting it does not cause all the things they claim, surely this is seriously misleading, The “reasoning” behind the use of aspartame is “If there is anything wrong with the components it will show up in the testing” – When they do have a reaction, how do they know which component is causing it?

      4) EFSA have never attempted to assess the relative toxicity (ADI’s) for aspartame’s constituents; they are working in the dark. Animals are used in most of the studies relied on, without taking account of the difference in the methanol toxicity of animals to humans E G rats are 16 times more resistant to methanol than humans.

      Why is it that you think that the methanol component needs to be isolated? ————-
      Methanol is a severe metabolic poison in humans. EFSA have demonstrated a distinct lack of interest in its presence describing it as” not of concern” – (COT report 1992) This has led to serious miscalculation and unsafe conclusions “proving” aspartame “safe”.

      Aspartame != methanol———–I did not think I would have to explain the metabolism of aspartame to you but here goes.
      Aspartame is 10% w/w industrial methanol which is released directly into our bloodstream. When the Ethanol in our blood drops to zero and the methanol contacts the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH I) it metabolises to its 1st metabolite Formaldehyde; every molecule of methanol from aspartame has the potential to become a molecule of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a class one carcinogen ——-There’s more.
      Josh/ Jim

  76. @Jim – ‘Formaldehyde is a class one carcinogen’. I checked on the IARC site and it is indeed, as are contraceptives, ethanol and solar radiation amongst many other substances. Also the reason formaldehyde appears to be listed is because of airborne ingestion and the EPA has been concentrating on increasing protection against such contact either in specific occupations (e.g. embalmers) or for the population in general (through exhaust emissions).

    Interestingly I see from the National Cancer Institute site that it is associated particularly with an increase in myeloid leukemia, which infers some sort of contact with cells in the blood (though I may be wrong). I realise that formaldehyde is quickly broken down in the body but if this is the case what is the difference between formaldehyde ingested from the air and formaldehyde created from methanol? Is this because less makes it’s way into the bloodstream as it is broken down earlier, is in different concentrations or is bonded differently or some other factor? I am not a biochemist so would appreciate knowing a bit more about this.

    • Graham,

      Many thanks for your sensible question. I have to confess I am not a biochemist either, I glean my information from someone who is;

      Professor Woodrow Monte PhD who has spent the last 30 years studying Aspartame: Methanol and the public health. Please visit his website http://www.whilesciencesleeps.com where you will find invaluable independent information and a library of 700 free study references substantiating his work, together with his hypotheses – “Methanol is the etiological cause of all the diseases of civilisation” – That is a statement not to be treated lightly.

      Meanwhile to your question; yes there is a huge difference between formaldehyde already formed and the formaldehyde formed from aspartame deep within our bodies.

      In my reply to Josh I show how methanol is metabolised to formaldehyde. Only a small percentage of our cells contain the enzyme (ADH I) which turns methanol into formaldehyde but they are in our most sensitive organs, Monte identifies 11 of them: Brain, Eye, Blood vessels, Skin, Breast, Kidney, Bone, Pancreas, Lung, Fetus and liver.

      The location of the ADH I where the formaldehyde is formed is the cytosol in the cells of our sensitive organs; also within these cells are peroxomes containing two other enzymes that are necessary to metabolise the formaldehyde to its 2nd metabolite the safe formic acid – they are the Catalase and Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ADH III) enzymes.

      Unfortunately for humans; unlike any other animal, our Catalase enzyme is faulty preventing the formaldehyde from “finding” the (ADHIII) therefore the formaldehyde molecule is free to attach itself to the nearest cellular protein or even DNA damaging it in the process. Formaldehyde formed from methanol in the body has only one objective – to destroy our cells and damage our DNA.

      Acting as a Trojan horse for formaldehyde, the little methanol molecule can by-pass all our biological barriers and in the bloodstream can be carried to literally anywhere in our bodies down to our DNA.

      When a formaldehyde molecule attaches itself to its target it has left the bloodstream and is deemed to have disappeared? This is not so, the formaldehyde attack on or protein or DNA is detected by our autoimmune system which is triggered to attack and destroy the “intruder” – but that is another important story.

      If you can imagine the DNA damage that can be (is being) caused by this formaldehyde in the context of the ICA thoughts on cell damage in myeloid leukemia; Could formaldehyde be the culprit? – check what Monte says.

      NOTES: – The messages from IARC and the National Cancer institute are the same, formaldehyde in the human body is dangerous – Formaldehyde formed from methanol within our body is particularly dangerous – Aspartame is the only significant source of unnatural methanol in our diet – without the presence of unnatural methanol (from aspartame) there would not be any dangerous formaldehyde in our bodies – The only feedstock used for the manufacture of industrial formaldehyde is industrial (unnatural) methanol – Industrial METHANOL to FORMALDEHYDE outside our bodies – industrial METHANOL metabolised to FORMALEHYDE inside out bodies ?? Not good.

      Jim

      • Hi josh,

        I have presented in your forum, my own and Woodrow Monte’s logical scientific based reasons why unnatural methanol and its formaldehyde should not be allowed to enter our bodies. I have also stated that the only significant source of unnatural methanol in our diet today is that released from aspartame and have openly challenged the food scientists of COT, FSA, EFSA and the FDA – without reply -that using publically available data of methanol in humans their ADI’s of aspartame are at least 35imes too high.

        The scientific stance of these institutions – against the interests of the people they are duty bound to protect – Is to pretend they are unaware of our data and ignore it. They are afraid it will expose their GROSS NEGLIGENCE, in allowing aspartame and its methanol to be used in our food since 1982. Until they demonstrate our new information to be false, they cannot continue to claim aspartame safe. These people have never heard of the precautionary Principal and we are all suffering because of it.

        Ours is a case for seriously reconsidering the practise of consuming methanol in our food claiming it does no harm. With all this juicy anti methanol/aspartame science available for them to prove wrong where are all your pure scientific critics? see no sign of them.

        With little opportunity for senseless clinical character assassination I must deduct that your other contributors, who shall remain nameless, have absolutely no idea nor have any interest in the real flipside of the rubbish spewed out by EFSA – Where aspartame is concerned EFSA is not fit for purpose.

        JMcD

  77. […] in the world is Dr. Mark Gold? Quick google search shows him as a conspiracy theory loon Aspartame and Formaldehyde (or not…) | What does the Science say? Encyclopedia of American Loons: #154: Mark Gold I'd rather with the studies performed by FDA […]

    • More ridiculous character assassination; you know nothing of Mark Gold – Name one study on aspartame and or formaldehyde that was “performed” by the FDA????

  78. Each show is different and it really depends on whos booking it and for the bigger shows with celebrities and bands they
    need a lot of lead-time. If I knew how to bake cookies, I would do
    that and send over a care package but Im much better at
    telling jokes so I go there and entertain, shake hands and thank the
    men and women who serve our country. These surgeries are a matter of personal
    preference, peer pressure from fellow entertainers and the need to
    maintain an unrealistic image that is associated with them.

    • Just I want ask only one question please reply me human ever like use gold or silver paper on sweets did its not any side effect for the human body?

  79. What’s up Dear, are you in fact visiting this web site regularly, if so after that you
    will definitely take nice experience.

  80. I hope you received alot of money for this trash, there are people who would still hold a person accountable for their words. Would you say the same if you knew someone was now keeping track and every person you mislead would be added to your growing list of crimes against humanity that you will answer for? I consider you complicit now in the affairs of Monsanto, a company that feels they need offer no explanation for their decisions about the direction of humanity and I personally see this as a direct and intentional threat against me and my loved ones. As such a threat identified, it is my moral imperative and within my legal rights to respond with whatever force is necessary to eliminate the threat. I think being a greedy corporate whore is forgivable when done in ignorance. Being a piece of shit, unfortunately, is not. I guess now you know. Have a great day! :)

    • Seth, what’s up with your attitude? Are you unaware that Monsanto didn’t discover aspartame, but in 1985 bought out its discoverer the pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle? The US patent for aspartame ran out in 1992, Monsanto sold the company in 2000, and the aspartame market is now divided amongst at least three other companies worldwide?

      As to aspartame itself, are you also unaware that aspartame is approved for use as a sweetener by the regulators of virtually every relevant country in the world? Maybe you should know the facts, before writing such wild and false accusations? Aspartame is perhaps the most-studied substance in history. In fact the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reinvestigated it again in December, 2013 and came to the same conclusion that it was safe.

      Now that is not to say people don’t response to aspartame with headaches or other issues. It is a drug; like any other drug it has the potential for side effects. If you or your family believe you have any consequence after aspartame use, I strongly suggest you carefully read my comments above or write back to understand better that those problems reside not in aspartame, but in the adequacy of personal vitamin nutrition or genetic issues related to that processing by the vitamins folate or B12. Some 40% of people have these genetic issues and with or without aspartame, they can have real consequences. Those vitamin issues are what are linked to many health issues, but this problem is very poorly communicated to most people.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

  81. […] and balance there are well respected researchers who say that all of the above is a lie. Snopes and what does the science say present their […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 272 other followers

%d bloggers like this: