• Aspartame

last modified July 1, 2016 by strypey

Uncontested Facts about Aspartame

Claims and Counterclaims about Aspartame

Health and Safety 

 1.Aspartame is harmful to consumers

2007: Michael F. Jacobson (Center for Science in the Public Interest), 'New Aspartame Safety Review "Perfectly Predictable"'

 1. Aspartame has been thoroughly tested and no credible evidence has been found of negative health effects

2007: Magnuson e tal (Burdock Group), 'Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies.'

 2. Aspartame has been shown to cause cancer in rats

2006: Soffriti et al, 'First Experimental Demonstration of the Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame Administered in the Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats

2007: Soffriti et al, 'Life-span exposure to low doses of aspartame beginning during prenatal life increases cancer effects in rats

2 The study alleging that aspartame causes cancer in rats is flawed and its conclusions unreliable

2006: European Food Safety Authority, 'Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in contact with Food (AFC) on a request from the Commission related to a new long-term carcinogenicity study on aspartame'

3. Aspartame is produced using genetically engineered E.Coli bacteria, increasing its riskiness 3. Genetically engineered E.Coli is no riskier than conventional bacteria.

4. Aspartame causes blood cancers

2012: Schernhammer et al, 'Consumption of artificial sweetener– and sugar-containing soda and risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women'

4. The study by Schernhammer et al concludes that results varied between men and women, and the results "do not permit the ruling out of chance as an explanation"
5. Sugar substitues like aspartame can confuse the body, which responds to sweet flavours by expecting an energy kick, and secreting insulin, which can result in great appetite and weight gain  5. There is no solid evidence of a causal relationship between any body confusion relating to sugar substitutes and weight gain

6. Aspartame is an exitotoxin

6a. Some studies purporting to show that other exitotoxins are not harmful have used aspartame as the placebo, thus invalidating the results

6. Aspartame is not an exitotoxin

6a. The invalidation of some studies is not evidence of anything in particular. 


Regulation and Conflicts of Interest 

1. In 1977, former Secretary of Defence (Ford Administration) Donald Rumsfeld was hired as CEO of Searle Laboratories, manufacturer of aspartame, in the hopes his Washington connections could help get aspartame approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. 1. Searle's decision to hire Donald Rumsfeld as CEO had no connection with aspartame.   
2. Aspartame was approved by the FDA in 1981. 2. Aspartame was initially approved by the FDA in 1974, one year after Searle applied, but this approval was blocked by various scientific controversies.

3. When Rumsfeld became part of Regan's administration in 1981, he hired Arthur Hull Hayes

Jr. as Commissioner of the FDA. After Hayes approved Aspartame in 1981, he left the FDA in 1983 to become senior scientific consultant to PR firm Burson-Marsteller, who did work for Searle.

3. Hayes decision to approve aspartame was based on good science. There's no evidence that Hayes appointment had anything to do with Rumsfeld, or that he worked for Burson-Marsteller after leaving the FDA.


Points of Interest