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Aspartame-Sugar Free
is poison.

  • Interview in 1995 with Mary Nash Stoddard, expert witness about aspartame
  • Published article in October 2000 by Nancy Markle based on published report by May Stern—University of Illinois Dept of Psychology

Trademark owned by Nutrasweet company; shown here without permission.

Mary Nash Stoddard on Aspartame
from Dr. Jonathan Wright, M.D., newsletter:
“Nutrition & Healing,” November 1995

Mary Nash Stoddard is founder of the Aspartame Consumer Network, and author of Deadly Deception, a fact-filled source book concerning the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). She started ASCN's Pilot's Hotline, which has taken over 500 pilot-related calls about aspartame-related flight-safety impairments, including gran mal seizures in the cockpit, as well as loss of vision, vertigo, and heart problems.

Stoddard has qualified as an expert witness in aspartame-related courtroom proceedings and is a board member of the National Nutritional Foods Association. From 1977-1983 she was appointed judge on the State of Texas Board of Adjustments. In the 1960's she was the first woman disc jocky in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and operated AKSAM productions, an audio-visual production studio from 1965 through 1987.

Your important consumer education work on the sweetener aspartame is well known and we are delighted to speak to you. Is it true that the large majority of non-drug complaints to the Food and Drug Administration are about adverse reactions to aspartame, also called NutraSweet or Equal?

Currently, it's about 78% of all complaints. At one time, the figure was 85%! Yet this isn't reported in the newspapers or announced through other media. It's a well-hidden secret.

Imagine if it were a vitamin or herbal product, we'd have the federal pill police swarming like angry bees. Would you please list for us some of the symptoms caused by aspartame.

Aspartame not only causes individual symptoms, it can mimic entire syndromes! For example, the CFIDS (chronic fatigue and immune deficiency syndrome) newsletter calls it the sweet poison, NutraSweet, because it can mimic the symptoms of CFIDS.

It can also cause grand mal seizures. According to H.J.Roberts, M.D., it can cause decreased vision, pain in the eyes, decreased tears, ringing in the ears, hearing impairment, headache, dizziness and unsteadiness, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, sleepiness, slurring of speech, numbness and tingling, tremors, depression, irritability, aggression, anxiety, insomnia, phobias, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, itching, hives, menstrual changes, weight gain, hair thinning and hair loss, urinary burning and frequency, excessive thirst, fluid retention, bloating, increased infection, and even death.


Five deaths reported prior to 1987. We don't know the number since then.

What's in this stuff?

Among other things, it's about 10% methanol (wood alcohol), famous for causing blindness in alcoholics. In the body, methanol metabolizes into formaldehyde, a neurotoxin; formic acid, a venom in ant stings; and diketopiperazine, which causes brain tumors in animals. It's so bad that in 1985 the National Soft Drink Association presented official objections to putting aspartame in beverages. I'll read you one of their objections: It is well established under Section 40283 that a food which contains a decomposed substance ... is subject to seizure by FDA. It's thoroughly established that after a number of weeks and at temperatures over 85 degrees there's no aspartame left in a soft drink, only breakdown products. So why isn't FDA seizing it under Section 40283?

Your book Deadly Deception reports that initially FDA had started investigations of the G.D. Searle Company, makers of aspartame.

Yes. In 1977 an FDA task force submitted a 15,000 page document covering their investigation. Here are two quotes:We have uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle's integrity... The cumulative findings of problems within and across the studies we investigated reveal a pattern of conduct which compromises the scientific integrity of the studies.

These are from FDA's own task report on Searle's aspartame research?

Exactly. Your readers may not know that aspartame was originally approved in 1974, but when the brain-tumor issue arose the approval was withdrawn.

Tell us about the brain-tumor issue.

Many of the test animals fed aspartame developed large tumors. These were actually cut out, and the animals returned to the study. In some cases, the tumors weren't even examined for malignancy, and the tumors weren't reported to FDA. In several cases, animals were reported as dead and later reported as alive again.

No wonder FDA's task force uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle's integrity!

The results of the task force investigation of aspartame and other Searle drugs were presented to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Labor and Public Welfare. Senator Edward Kennedy said that the extensive nature of the almost unbelievable range of abuses discovered by the FDA on several major Searle products is profoundly disturbing.

So how did aspartame ever get approved and progress so far into our food supply?

Well, for one thing, a former member of Congress and Chief of Staff in the Ford Administration, Donald Rumsfeld, was hired as President of Searle in 1977. Rumsfeld was paid $2 million in salary and $1.5 million in bonuses between 1979 and 1984.


Also in 1977, Senior Assistant U.S. Attorney William Conlon was assigned to the Searle case. He took no action, despite repeated prodding by Richard Merrill, Chief Counsel to the FDA. One year later, Conlon took a position with Sidley and Austin, the law firm representing Searle.

A pattern seems to be emerging.

Rumsfeld, now Searle president, hired: John Robson as Executive Vice President, he had been a spokesman of the Civil Aeronautics Board; William Greener as Chief Spokesman for Searle, he had been a spokesman in the Ford White House; and Robert Shapiro as General Counsel, who later became head of Searle's NutraSweet Division- he had been a Special Assistant in the Department of Transportation. But here's the pay-off...

Pun intended?

The facts are interesting, aren't they? In 1983, the Commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes, approved NutraSweet for soft drinks two months before leaving office. Two-to-three months later, he accepted a position as Senior Medical Advisor to Searle's public relations firm, Burson Marsteller. He was paid $1,000 per day as a consultant.

Really, $1,000 a day? this is a matter of public record?

A matter of public record. And Michael Taylor was also involved in the approval of aspartame.

Michael Taylor, the Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) man, who worked for FDA, lawyered for Monsanto to get BGH approved, then went to work for FDA writing the BGH regulations?

The very same. Didn't you know that G.D.Searle is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monsanto?

What a surprise. And a not unfamiliar pattern. But tell us about aviation and aspartame.

The official Air force safety magazine, Flying Safety, and the Navy's flight magazine, Navy Physiology, have both published warnings about using aspartame and flying.

Will you give us an example?

A pilot called ASCN's Pilot Hotline two nights ago and told me about his experience. Flying for Peninsula Airlines in Alaska, he had a seizure in flight at 10,000 feet and was grounded. He had been drinking eight to ten cups of coffee a day sweetened with Equal, another aspartame compound. Since he quit aspartame, he's been seizure-free, but he hasn't been allowed to fly.

We need to know more about this.

In my book Deadly Deception there's a reprint of a scientific paper showing that aspartame aggravates abnormal brain waves in children with epilepsy (Neurology 1992;42:1000-1003).

Maybe airline passengers should question pilots about aspartame use before boarding! What about those U.S. Senate hearings during which pilots testified about the adverse effects of aspartame on their flying abilities?

There have actually been three hearings.

But nothing's been done?

On Page 15 of Deadly Deception list several members of Congress who've received campaign contributions from Searle...

Here we go again!

Speaking of contributions.. watch out diabetics! The NutraSweet company has given money, money, money to the American Diabetic Association. and remember when you hear a registered dietitian say aspartame is safe for pregnant women, children, and everyone else, the Registered Dietitian's professional association has been given $75,000 to expound on the virtues of aspartame. The American Dietetic Association has even stated that the NutraSweet company writes their Fact Sheets!

So there's money everywhere... to members of Congress, former regulatory bureaucrats, professional associations...

Absolutely. Aspartame approval and persistence on the market has everything to do with money and politics, and almost nothing to do with science and reason. Even the FDA's own reviewers were against aspartame until those political/financial events I've mentioned.

Is there any hope to reverse all this?

Each of us will have to do it ourselves, one at a time and by spreading the word. Fortunately, it appears that the public pays more attention to this issue when they're given access to the information I've been outlining. The last TV show I appeared on about this issue received 100,000 calls over the next three days.

Thank you so much for devoting your time and energy to spreading the word about the hazards of aspartame.

Your readers can call the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network at 214-352-4268 for more information as well as many suggestions for helping to make known the truth about aspartame.”

[Ed. Mary Stoddard told me in a telephone interview that she was nearly killed by this stuff herself. Her daughter suffered seizures and was treated for epilepsy. Then they discovered the real source of their troubles. This outraged her and started her on her crusade. Dr. Robert Atkins, M.D., interviewed her on his New York City radio program on station WOR in spring 1994. He was shocked and angrily upset, for he had been telling his patients and readers to use the NutraSweet poison as a sweetener. Atkins' denounced aspartame in a special supplement to his newsletter devoted solely to this subject. Burton Linne]

What are the dangers of Aspartame?
by Mary Nash Stoddard; Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN).
POBox 780634, Dallas TX 75378

Aspartame was discovered by GD Searle & Co. as a drug for peptic ulcers. Searle and the NutraSweet Co., are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Monsanto Chemical Co. of St.Louis, MO. Ajinomoto Co., Inc. is the Japanese licensee of the Aspartame patent and is reported to ship the main chemical ingredients of Aspartame to Searle for manufacturing. Their patent expired in 1992.

Brand name Aspartame products include NutraSweet (food additive), Equal (sugar substitute), Spoonfuls and Equal Measure. It is also found in many chewable vitamins, chewable pain relievers, and most sweet tasting products labeled sugar free.

Synthesized components of Aspartame include:
Phenylalanine (50%) This component facilitates seizures and can cause mental retardation in PKU individuals 20 million carriers of this gene are also at risk and do not know it. Toxic effects are cumulative and do not show up in short-term testing. It can also lower or block production of serotonin, thus causing a number of symptoms including increased craving for carbohydrates, PMS, insomnia, mood swings, aberrant behaviors and severe depression;

Aspartic acid (40%) This is a neuroexciter which has caused holes in the brains of lab animals and created a silent lesion that caused genetic damage in mice;

Methanol (10%) Methyl (wood) alcohol is poisonous to man when it stands alone. As a constituent of other foods in nature, it is in combination with ethyl alcohol, which neutralizes the methanol as it is metabolized. However, there is no ethyl alcohol in aspartame so the methanol is in free form and is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. Signs of methanol poisoning include lethargy, confusion, leg cramps, back pain, severe headache, abdominal pain, impaired articulation, fainting, visual loss, labored breathing and more.

Breakdown products of Aspartame are formaldehyde, formic acid and Diketopiperazine (DKP, a substance proven to cause brain tumors.) These products can break down into many by-products, accounting for other metabolic substances in larger than usual amounts.

Diet Drinks: Desert Storm Syndrome in a Can!

When stored or heated above 85 degreesF, as in desert heat, aspartame in diet drinks breaks down into neurotoxic substances: methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid and DKP (brain tumor agent). All the soft drink companies shipped free diet drinks to our Desert Storm troops, where they broke down in storage into highly toxic substances.

The symptoms reported by the sufferers of Desert Storm Syndrome mimic the ones reported by those reporting the problems associated with diet drink use here. But the military personnel symptoms are greater because they were drinking-eating expired Diet Pepsi and then some! Aspartame was also liberally served to them in their MREs* as well.

Since Aspartame is capable of changing the DNA in lab tests, birth defects in offspring can be readily addressed. Family members are also experiencing illness, probably from their continued use of these products. Let's try to find the real reason behind Desert Storm Syndrome. Based on our research, we believe it was what they were eating and drinking in extreme desert heat.(End)

*MRE means Meal Ready to Eat, a combat ration killed of all living things by cobalt irradiation for unlimited, unrefrigerated shelf life. Minimal nourishment, substantial malnourishment with serious toxins. Intended only for maximum crisis usage during a one or two days battle by otherwise superbly healthy young warriors with a short life expectancy while in battle. Never meant for routine rations.

World Environmental Conference and The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation — FDA Cited for Collusion With Monsanto

By Nancy Markle

Devastating Results of Aspartame, better known as Nutrasweet, Equal, Spoonful.

Trademark owned by Nutrasweet company; shown here without permission. Subject: LUPUS And Aspartame.
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 02:30:29 -0700

Concerning LUPUS & Aspartame


Connection between multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and systemic lupus with Aspartame. According to May Stern, Coordinator of Research Projects, University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Psychology, many cases of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms in reality are experiencing methanol toxicity. When this is removed the symptoms disappear.

If it says Sugar Free on the label-Do not even think about it! says Senator Howard Metzenbaum who wrote a bill that would have warned all infants, pregnant mothers and children of the dangers of aspartame.

When Dr. Espisto was lecturing on aspartame, one physician in the audience, a neurosurgeon, said “When they remove brain tumors, they have found high levels of aspartame in them.”

A safe alternative to aspartame is available in Stevia. Stevia, a sweet food, not an additive, which helps in the metabolism of sugar, would be ideal for diabetics, has now been approved as a dietary supplement by the FDA.

“I have spent several days lecturing at the World Environmental Conference on ASPARTAME marketed as Nutrasweet, Equal, and Spoonful. In the keynote address by the EPA, they announced that there was an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus, and they did not understand what toxin was causing this to be rampant across the United States. I explained that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject.

When the temperature of Aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F (our bodies are 98.6 degrees F !!) , the wood alcohol in Aspartame converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. (Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants).

The methanol toxicity mimics Multiple Sclerosis, thus people were being diagnosed with having Multiple Sclerosis in error. Though multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, methanol toxicity is. In the case of systemic lupus, we are finding it has become almost rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers. With methanol toxicity, the victims usually drink three to four 12 oz. cans of them per day, some even more.

In the cases of systemic lupus, which is triggered by Aspartame, the victim usually does not know that the aspartame is the culprit. The victim continues its use aggravating the lupus to such a degree, that sometimes it becomes life threatening. When we get people off the aspartame, those with systemic lupus usually become asymptomatic. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse this disease.

On the other hand, in the case of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (when in reality, the disease is methanol toxicity) most of the symptoms disappear. We have seen cases where their vision has returned and even their hearing has returned. This also applies to cases of tinnitus.

During a lecture I said “If you are using Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal, Spoonful, et alia) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory loss, you probably have Aspartame Disease! ” People were jumping up during the lecture saying “I've got this, is it reversible?”

It is rampant. Some of the speakers at my lecture were even suffering from these symptoms. In one lecture attended by the Ambassador of Uganda, he told us that their sugar industry is adding aspartame! He continued by saying that one of the industry leader's son could no longer walk - due in part by product usage!

We have a very serious problem. Even a stranger came up to Dr. Espisito (one of my speakers) and myself and said, “Could you tell me why so many people seem to be coming down with MS?” During a visit to a hospice, a nurse said that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke drinkers, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence.

Here is the problem. There were Congressional Hearings when Aspartame was included in 100 different products. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, but to no avail. Nothing has been done. The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets. Now there are over 5,000 products containing this chemical, and the patent has expired! At the time of this first hearing, people were going blind. The methanol in the aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the retina of the eye.

Formaldehyde is grouped in the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic--- deadly poisons!! Unfortunately, it just takes longer to quietly kill, but it is killing people and causing all kinds of neurological problems. Aspartame changes the brain's chemistry. It is the reason for severe seizures. This drug changes the dopamine level in the brain.

Imagine what this drug does to patients suffering from Parkinson's Disease. This drug also causes Birth Defects. There is absolutely no reason to take this product. It is not a diet product!!

The Congressional record said, “It makes you crave carbohydrates and will make you fat.” Dr. Roberts stated that when he got patients off aspartame, their average weight loss was 19 lbs per person. The formaldehyde stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs. Aspartame is especially deadly for diabetics. All physicians know what wood alcohol will do to a diabetic. We find that physicians believe that they have patients with retinopathy, when in fact, it is caused by the Aspartame.

The Aspartame keeps the blood sugar out of control, causing many patients to go into a coma. Unfortunately, many have died. People were telling us at the Conference of the American College of Physicians that they had relatives that switched from saccharin to an aspartame product and how that relative had eventually gone into a coma.

Their physicians could not get the blood sugar levels under control. Thus, the patients suffered acute memory loss and eventually coma and death. Memory loss is due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenyalanine are neurotoxic without the other amino acids found in protein. Thus it goes past the blood brain barrier and deteriorates the neurons of the brain. Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, said, “The ingredients stimulate the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees.”

Dr. Blaylock has written a book entitled Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills (Health Press, 800-643-2665). Dr. H.J. Roberts, diabetic specialist and world expert on aspartame poisoning, has also written a book entitled Defense Against Alzheimer's Disease (800) 814-9800).

Dr. Roberts tells how aspartame poisoning is escalating Alzheimer's Disease, and indeed it is. As the hospice nurse told me, women are being admitted at 30 years of age with Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Blaylock and Dr. Roberts will be writing a position paper with some case histories and will post it on the internet. According to the Conference of the American College of Physicians, “We are talking about a plague of neurological diseases caused by this deadly poison.”

Dr. Roberts realized what was happening when aspartame was first marketed. He said his diabetic patients “presented memory loss, confusion, and severe vision loss.” At the Conference of the American College of Physicians, doctors admitted that they did not know. They had wondered why seizures were rampant (the phenylalanine in aspartame breaks down the seizure threshold and depletes serotonin, which causes manic depression, panic attacks, rage and violence).

Just before the Conference, I received a FAX from Norway, asking for a possible antidote for this poison because they are experiencing so many problems in their country. This “poison” is now available in 90 plus countries worldwide. Fortunately, we had speakers and ambassadors at the Conference from different nations who have pledged their help. We ask that you help too. PRINT THIS ARTICLE and warn everyone you know. Take anything with aspartame back to the store. Take the “no aspartame test” and send us your case history.

I assure you that MONSANTO, the creator of aspartame, knows how deadly it is. They fund the American Diabetes Association, American Dietetic Association, Congress, and the Conference of the American College of Physicians.

The New York Times, on November 15,1996 ran an article on how the American Dietetic Association takes money from the food industry to endorse their products. Therefore, they cannot criticize any additives or tell about their link to MONSANTO.

How bad is this? We told a mother who had a child on Nutrasweet to get off the product. The child was having grand mal seizures every day. The mother called her Physician, who called ADA, who told the doctor not to take the child off Nutrasweet. We are still trying to convince the mother that the aspartame is causing the seizures. Every time we get someone off of aspartame, the seizures stop. If the baby dies, you know whose fault it is, and what we are up against. There are 92 documented symptoms of aspartame, from coma to death. The majority of them are all neurological, because the aspartame destroys the nervous system.

Aspartame Disease is partially the cause to what is behind some of the mystery of the Desert Storm health problems. The burning tongue and other problems discussed in over 60 cases can be directly related to the consumption of an aspartame product. Several thousand pallets of diet drinks were shipped to the Desert Storm troops. (Remember heat can liberate the methanol from the aspartame at 86 degrees F). Diet drinks sat in the 120-degree F in the Arabian sun for weeks at a time on pallets. The service men and women drank them all day long. All of their symptoms are identical to aspartame poisoning. Dr. Roberts says “Consuming aspartame at the time of conception can cause birth defects.” The phenylalanine concentrates in the placenta, causing mental retardation, according to Dr. Louis Elsas, Pediatrician Professor - Genetics, Emory University, in his testimony before Congress. In the original lab tests, animals developed brain tumors; phenylalanine breaks down into DXP, a brain tumor agent.

When Dr. Espisto was lecturing on aspartame, one physician in the audience, a neurosurgeon, said “When they remove brain tumors, they have found high levels of aspartame in them.” Stevia, a sweet food, not an additive, which helps in the metabolism of sugar, which would be ideal for diabetics, has now been approved as a dietary supplement by the FDA. For years, the FDA has outlawed this sweet food because of their loyalty to MONSANTO.

If it says SUGAR FREE on the label-DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote a bill that would have warned all infants, pregnant mothers and children of the dangers of aspartame. The bill would have also instituted independent studies on the problems existing in the population (seizures, changes in brain chemistry, changes in neurological and behavioral symptoms). It was killed by the powerful drug and chemical lobbies, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on the unsuspecting public. Since the Conference of the American College of Physicians, we hope to have the help of some world leaders. Again, please help us too.

May Stern, Coordinator of Research Projects University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Psychology 1007 West Harrison, (M/C 285) Chicago, IL 60607-7137 (312) 413-1012 (312) 355-0559

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