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Aspartame, Monsanto, Plus Rumsfeld Equals A Recipe For Killer Coffee

Updated on July 20, 2012

The year was 1965. Chemist James Schlatter was testing a new chemical in his search for an anti-ulcer drug, when he accidentally discovered aspartame. As the story goes, he was recrystallizing aspartame from ethanol when some of the mixture spilled onto the outside of the flask. Unknowingly, some of the powder got onto his fingers, and when he licked his thumb to pick up a piece of paper, he noticed the extremely sweet taste. Realizing the sweet taste was likely to have come from the compound he had been working over, and believing it not likely to be toxic, he took a bit and tasted it. Though the discovery was reported in 1966, there was no mention of the sweetness. It wasn't until 1969 that the discovery was reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Concern for a growing rate of obesity among adults in the 1950's and 60's had brought forth a new market, that of diet products. The US drug giant Searle, recognized the enormous financial gains to be had by marketing their newly found sweetener to the masses. It was 200 times sweeter than sugar but contained no calories. It was a Capitalist's dream come true!

Today, the NutraSweet “swirl” can be found on numerous food and beverage products stored in every household in America. Hundreds of millions of people world wide, consume products containing aspartame, also known as Equal, NutraSweet, Spoonful, etc..

The three components making up the compound are methanol, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Methanol is a poisonous and flammable liquid used for making formaldehyde, gas additives, paint strippers, and carburetor cleaners for car engines. It's the kind of alcohol that causes blindness if one should choose to drink it. Poisoning from the breakdown of methanol causes devastating and debilitating effects, even in small amounts. It's especially damaging when introduced with free-form amino acids (excitotoxins) such as the phenylalanine present in aspartame.

When methanol is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine it is converted to formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen. Following this conversion, the formaldehyde is converted to formic acid. Both of these metabolites are toxic and cumulative, meaning they will be stored in the body.

Amino acids are good for us EXCEPT when they are separated from their protein chains, and used alone which is how the phenylalanine (another excitotoxin) is used in aspartame. The third component of the compound, Aspartic acid, is a substance that over-stimulates nerve cells. It occurs in the brain, as well as peripheral nerves. When aspartic acid is used in free form, it accelerates absorption and very easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Nerve cells become so overly excited that nerve function literally breaks down, and the cells die.

Aspartame is a true toxin and can not be construed as simply an allergic reaction. There is no other name to accurately describe it other than POISON. Excitotoxins are known to play a key role in diseases that affect the nervous system such as Lou Gherig's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's diseases. During critical periods of brain development, an imbalance of these excitotoxins can result in malformation of brain pathways, leading to behavioral problems such as ADHD, ADD, aggression, and poor learning abilities. In addition, there may be a lifetime of endocrine problems such as menstrual difficulties, premature puberty, and even infertility.

The question begs to be asked: If this is so, then how did it come to be permitted on the market by the FDA? The answer, of course, is pure unadulterated greed.

Originally approved by the FDA in 1974, based on studies provided by G. D. Searle and Company, concerns regarding other Searle drugs, Flagyl and Aldactone, prompted the FDA to review 25 studies submitted by the manufacturer. Eleven of the studies were on aspartame. The task force responsible for the reviews reported “serious deficiencies in Searle's operations and practices”. Four years later, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition concluded that the studies could be used to assess aspartame's safety.

A study began on January 15, 1970 and terminated April 25, 1971 provided evidence of the dangers of aspartame. Seven infant monkeys consumed milk laced with aspartame. In less than a year, one of the monkeys was dead, while five others had suffered grand mal seizures. The true results of this study were hidden from the FDA when Searle submitted their initial applications. Though Searle denied knowledge of or involvement in any way with the study, they submitted false results bearing a Searle Pathology-Toxicology project number.

Another earlier study conducted by John W. Olney found that oral intake of aspartame caused brain damage in mice. Researcher Ann Reynolds was hired by Searle and asked to confirm Dr. Olney’s tests. She confirmed aspartame's neurotransmitter in infant mice. Searle failed to inform the FDA of this study until after aspartame had been approved. None of the other tests submitted by G.D. Searle contradicted these findings.

A 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry confirmed that aspartame “might induce brain tumors”. When the FDA banned aspartame based on the finding, G.D. Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld vowed to “call in his markers” to get approval. Rumsfeld had been a US Representative and the Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, as well as an Ambassador to NATO. He held positions as the White House Chief of Staff and the Secretary of Defense under Ford. During the Reagan administration, he acted as a Presidential envoy to the Middle East.

The day after Reagan's inauguration in 1984, Searle reapplied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener. Upon this application, Arthur Hayes Hull, Reagan's newly appointed FDA commissioner, assigned a 5 person Scientific Commission to review the Board of Inquiry's decision. The panel appointed came to a 3-2 decision to uphold the Board's decision. Apparently not happy with the outcome, Hull then assigned a 6th person to the commission which deadlocked the vote 3-3. Hull personally cast his own vote in favor of aspartame's approval.

Following Hull's departure from the FDA under allegations of impropriety, he eventually took a position with Burton-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both G.D. Searle and Monsanto, who would come to purchase Searle in 1985.

60 Minutes - Aspartame

The initial approval for aspartame opened the doors to other regulatory bodies to copycat the decision. By 1985, when Monsanto acquired G.D. Searle, aspartame had become the market leader in diet products. With widespread use of the toxic substance came widespread chronic health symptoms. That same year, the FDA received reports attributing 92 different symptoms to the human consumption of aspartame. They included headaches, skin problems, gastro-intestinal problems, poor vision, depression, carbohydrate cravings, panic attacks, irregular heart rhythms, behavioral problems and seizures.

Ralph G. Walton of Northeastern Ohio University's College of Medicine took a look at 166 peer-reviewed studies on aspartame which were undertaken 1980-1985. He discovered that 74 industry funded studies found no adverse effects from consumption of aspartame. However, 84 out of the 92 independently funded ones DID find health risks.

Yet another study undertaken in 2005 has provided evidence that daily consumption of the chemical causes unusually high rates of lymphomas, leukemia, and other cancers in rats. In 2010, the FDA made a statement dismissing the Ramazzini findings as bad science. Executive Vice President of the Calorie Control Council, Lyn Tabors claims the study isn't valid because the rats used in the study had been permitted to live longer than the 2 year standard established by the US government's National Toxicology Program. The Calorie Control Council is a trade group for manufacturers of artificial sweeteners.

The same group has come out with a follow up study. This one fed aspartame in small doses to mice throughout their entire life cycle. The findings? That even small doses consumed throughout the life cycle, beginning with the prenatal stage “induces cancer of the liver and lungs.”

Methanol toxicity imitates diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and Tinnitus. Fairly recent studies have indicated that MS is on the rise and that it is affecting more women than men at a 4:1 ratio in 2000, as opposed to the 2:1 ratio of the 1940's.

According to the Mayo Clinic Rochester Epidemiology Project, the incidence rate of Systemic Lupus have risen from 1.5 cases per 100,000 between 1950 and 1979, to 5.6 cases per 100,000 between 1980 and 1992. The Center for Disease Control has noted a 6.25 % increase in deaths with lupus as the underlying cause from 1979 to 1998, with women being 5 times more likely to die than men.

The World Health Organization (WHO) experts have developed a epidemiological data on Fibromyalgia, and according to them, the disease affects between 2% and 5% of the population with over 70% of the detected cases being attributed to women. Due to its rarity and the failure to understand the nature of the disease, fibromyalgia was diagnosed as a psychiatic illness prior to 1987 when the American Medical Association recognized it as a debilitating disease. The WHO continued to classify the disease as a psychiatric illness until 1992. Since 1995, and especially since 2000, there has been a resurgence of the syndrome with more and more people under 30 being diagnosed. More men are being affected, too, though the ratio is presently at 1 man out of every 10 cases.

Even tinnitus has a higher incidence rate in women compared to men. One has to wonder how these numbers might actually be inflated by misdiagnoses of the diseases. The increased incidence in women may serve as a clue. When it comes to dieting, men and women have very differing approaches. Most men are more likely to initiate an exercise program while women will resort to counting calories, which inevitably results in diet products such as artificial sweeteners.

This information serves us well in allowing us to guard against consumption of products which may cause us illness. But what about the bigger picture? How long are we going to continue to allow the collusion between our government and corporate America to bring us harm? This issue isn't simply an inconvenience to our otherwise busy lives. The information is a direct indication that we are being fed drugs and chemicals with the ability to kill us, and our government officials are giving their stamp of approval.

Sweet Misery - A Poisoned World part 7 of 9

As much as I hate to turn this article into another piece in the fabric of the Conspiracy Theory surrounding our government's intentions regarding the creation of a New World Order, I can't ignore the implication. Reducing the world's population to a more manageable level has been one of the goals listed. The UN's 1994 Global Biodiversity Assessment Report envisages a 70% reduction in the world population to 2 billion people.

Dr. Sam Keen, a New Age writer and philosopher spoke at the 1996 Gorbachev Conference held in San Francisco. “We must speak far more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control the population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren't enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”

The Georgia Guidestones were commissioned and set up by anonymous sponsors representing “a small group of Americans who seek the Age of Reason.” The very first guide out of the ten inscribed states: “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.” To do so would require a reduction of 5 billion people. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the stones. Further information can be found here:

Whatever the reason for encouraging the feeding of poison to the populace, Americans can direct their protests to the FDA, to their government representatives, and even to their grocer. If you return enough products for refund, your grocer will soon get the message that you aren't going to be spending your money on poison. Tell everyone you know and pass the information on. First and foremost, we need to stop using anything that contains aspartame.

A little parting advice for you dieters who will choose to risk illness in favor of being slim; aspartame does absolutely nothing to help you lose weight. It causes you to crave carbohydrates which is exactly why so many people have trouble maintaining sensible eating habits. The inflamed joints, muscles, and excessive fatigue caused by aspartame poisoning will only cause water retention and a reduction in physical exercise causing you to actually gain weight even when reducing calories.

Are you a willing participant in the destruction of your children? If you feed them sugar free products laced with NutraSweet, you're poisoning them. If you have a child who is hyperactive, suffers ADHD or ADD, or has other behavioral problems, substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar is only making the symptoms worse. Aspartame causes the very problems you are trying to prevent.

Now that you've been informed, what will you do?

Please pass this information on by clicking the Tweet, Like, or +1 buttons provided at the top of the page. You may be saving the life of someone you love!


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    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for coming by. I've become so careful about what I'm eating and where it's coming from that I no longer use store-bought bread. I make all my own breads, rolls, etc. I stopped going out for the occasional pizza too and just make my own. I've begun to make home made jelly and even my own syrups for pancakes and waffles. Everything is made from scratch. I don't do processed. In another month the canning processes will begin!

    • Lohrainne Janell profile image

      Lohrainne Janell 

      7 years ago from Fairfield, IA

      Very thorough and informative Hub. I eat only organic food and am very careful what I put into my body. Thank you for giving so much history and facts in a very well written way.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Terri...not at all. Your info and help is important and appreciated....I just wanted to assure you that I'm up on supplements. But, there's a whole lot I don't know!lol.....when we refuse to keep listening and's ALL over!! (you weren't "preaching" anyway)

    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      sorry for preaching to the choir! :D

    • fpherj48 profile image


      7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      oh, thanks Terri...I'm pretty knowledgable on dietary supplements...owned a GNC franchise at one I guess I BETTER know.

      It's not that I have "strong" sweet cravings. It is because anything I choose to use sugar in or on, I do not want the calories. Basically, I'm preparing myself to acquire a taste for coffee w/o sweetner and ZERO "diet" beverages. I'll get use to it. Mind over matter, I suppose. Thanks again.

    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      fpherj48: I'm glad to have been an instrument in helping you to see the "light". :) I think all of us have at least a slight tendency to ignore that which seems inconveniencing. But most of us are intelligent enough to recognize that inconvenience is nothing in comparison to slow, painful deaths. Eating a sensible diet will satisfy those "sweet" cravings once you break the habit of giving in to the unreasonable cravings produced by consumption of artificial sweeteners. It's only a matter of a few weeks before the induced cravings disappear altogether. I can tell you from experience that once I removed aspartame from my diet, I eventually stopped having intense sugar cravings. You might also want to check your zinc levels. Are you getting enough in your diet? Zinc levels affect our taste buds. Lower levels will cause us to not get the full flavor of our food, which is why so many people can over compensate with spices and sweeteners. There are supplements available at most health food stores and vitamin sellers.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Terri...What does it take for people to listen & heed?

      A HUB such as yours! Yes, I've "heard" and even read, here and there about the horrors of Aspartame...I refuse to focus when I "don't want to hold myself accountable"..ah....DUH! and shamefully, have put my brain on hold to satisfy my sweet-need & aversion to weight gain.

      Today, it's "short and sweet," for me! I am DONE with those pink, blue & yellow packets!

      Two simple words. Thank you. Up++

    • rudrakshabenefits profile image


      7 years ago from

      I know you are telling us true and I have not used with that sweetener.

    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Hey there Wesman! I don't know if I could say which is worse. They're both horrendous! I wish I had the background necessary to be involved in the clinical research. I'd like to see how the substances affect people as far as predilection to addiction. My daughter has ignored my warnings when it comes to using the sweetener for her coffee, but she has trouble with her children staying out of her supply. They are not small children who don't understand the meaning of no. These kids will eat the stuff by the packets, risking all manner of punishment. It's a very strange phenomenon.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas


      I hope to convince my parents to quite drinking that horrific diet coke. Aspartame or MSG - which is worse, do you think?

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Or maybe they can no longer think clearly because of the effects of the additives in their systems?

    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for taking a moment to comment!

      Ghost32: Wow! That goes to show, people are individuals and everyone has their own threshold of tolerance. Erythritol actually occurs naturally in some foods such as grapes and pears. Usually there are no side effects unless consumed in large quantities. This serves to prove that if it isn't occurring naturally, it might just be wise not to consume it as an additive!

      JamaGenee: I know what you mean about trying to tell people! My boyfriend has serious joint trouble and many of the other symptoms listed as side effects of additives, yet he acts like I have two heads when I try to tell him what I know. He thinks because he does't use sweeteners in his coffee, or when he's cooking that it doesn't apply to him. I think when our messages seem to be falling on deaf ears, it's because the scope of change that would be required for many to change their eating habits, is overwhelming for them to think about.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I won't buy, let alone eat or drink, ANYTHING that contains artificial sweeteners. No decaf coffee either. To my way of thinking, Mother Nature knows best. To remove a natural ingredient in a food item like coffee requires chemicals. Which chemicals? Doesn't matter. Don't want it in MY body.

      Artificial sweeteners are a whole different ball game. Not even a product from which the "bad" stuff has been removed. Every ingredient in them is bad for humans.

      I've grown hoarse trying to get friends and family to grasp that anything with "diet" on the label is NOT healthy. Or that sugar and caffeine by themselves are NOT bad *when used in moderation*. When will people wake up that natural - truly natural - is the only way to go?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      One of the alcohol-based fake sugars, in this case erythritol, came close to killing my wife a few weeks ago. It was tucked into Sobe's Life Water in cherry pomegranate flavor.

      We know (Pam and I) that any form of fake sugar is not a good idea for her, but the flavor was excellent (or so she thought at the time). Erythritol was not the highest-volume sugar ingredient listed on the label...and we made the foolish (for us--we're usually extremely on top of this sort of thing) decision to go ahead and buy her a supply of the drink..

      Only the fact that we're close to broke saved her. She limited herself to 2 bottles per day PURELY for fear of spending more $$.

      When we got her to the clinic, her doc said the thrush in her mouth had gone farther, gotten into her bloodstream--and that if she'd waited one more day, it would have meant the hospital...IF she made it that far.

      We (the doc, Pam, and I) hit her big time with four prescriptions, flushed her body and a very violent and uncomfortable (not to mention messy) fashion. She's okay today.

      But: No more fake sugars. Period.

    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      There is no reason to be found that would warrant putting ANY kind of sweetener in a pill to be swallowed. These are the types of events that really send me over the edge. Most people wouldn't even think to check out the ingredients of a prescribed medication, believing that the medical profession would have no reason to add anything beyond the substance that is expected to aid in healing, etc. Good for you for being so diligent! I've always refrained from taking even an over the counter pain medication unless I felt like I was dying. I'm a firm believer that the less chemicals and drugs we put into our bodies, the healthier we will stay. I never cease to be amazed at the lack of logic maintained in this country. Though I don't personally indulge, I've always been puzzled that we would outlaw the marijuana uses, but advocate the poisoning of our offspring by things such as vaccinations, and chemically altered food. Thanks for the facebook support. We really need to keep this information front and center!

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Voted up and awesome. Many years back I ignored warnings about the muck and was using chewing gum with it in but I have paid the price with floaters in my vision. I quit the stuff when I realised but it was too late. I was and am disgusted to find aspartame in every sort of chewing gum readily on sale so I gave up chewing it. My son who is epileptic once had 13 fits the same day after ignoring my warning and using body-building powder that contained aspartame. I had an argument with a dentist too who prescribed antibiotics for me that contained the stuff and I refused to take them. What logical reason can anyone give me why a sweetener is in a tablet you swallow? Sharing this on my Facebook wall!

    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      My daughter has Lupus...she's now monitoring her sweeteners and the rest of her food. We have a good suspicion that she may not really have Lupus. She is the mother of 11 and 10 year old daughters, and 9 and 7 year old sons. The oldest suffers some problems with depression, the 2nd daughter suffers from Aspergers Syndrome, the 9 yr. old suffers from ADD, and the youngest seems to be ok, though there's some suspicion that he may have juvenile diabetes. My daughter is in the medical profession, herself. She has always been very careful about her children not eating sugar and junk. Now we're thinking that all their problems may be stemming from aspartame poisoning, since there's been a lot of sugar-free products in their home. I just spoke with her this past weekend to make sure she checks everything before giving it to the kids. I'm hoping people will get angry enough to go after these clowns.

    • mslizzee profile image


      8 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      This is a fabulous hub. For a very long time I have been reading about Aspartame and Genetically altered Soy and other hideous additives in our food. We have Monsanto to thank for poisoning most of our food. It is almost impossible to find any product that does not contain Soy. I no longer eat anything that has more than 2 ingredients listed on the label and I shudder to think the illness being caused to babies and children by the food they eat, believing it is healthy when actually it is poisoning our kids.

      There is widespread use of hexane in the processing of Soy. Hexane is strictly prohibited in organic food processing, but is used to make “natural” soy foods and even some that are “made with organic ingredients,” Hexane is a neurotoxic petrochemical solvent that is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

      This entire subject gets me into an absolute rage. I'm an old grandma now, but if I had little kids, I would not allow them to eat anything that came in a jar or a can from the market.

    • Terri Meredith profile imageAUTHOR

      Terri Meredith 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      All we can do is put out the information and hope that a few intelligent people will read it, take it seriously enough to do some of their own research, and then take action. Thanks for stopping by.

    • BobbiRant profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      Being informed and making people believe the information is entirely two different matters. I know you are telling us true and I have not used that sweetener in a Very long time because I agree about the facts. But as we all know these days, few want to believe we are sent down river for the almighty dollar. Oh, killing our children is wrong? I guess no one told THEM that. Very good hub.


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