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Give an old killer a new name, and you still have the same killer.

That’s exactly what’s happened with aspartame, a sugar substitute sold under the names Nutrasweet and Equal. Aspartame also shows up in more than 6000 products, and it has a long history of causing severe personal injuries and wrongful deaths.

The product’s new name is Amino Sweet, and the new manufacturer is a huge corporation company called Ajinomoto. The name has changed, but the destructive effects of this deadly chemical compound are still the same.

Since its highly contested approval by the FDA commissioner in 1981, Aspartame has generated more complaints than all other food additives combined. In 1995, an FDA report listed 92 separate symptoms linked to aspartame. They included wrongful death, headache, dizziness, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps, changes in vision, seizures and convulsions, hives, and changes in heart rate.

None of those symptoms should come as any surprise because for years the FDA properly refused to approve this dangerous drug that masquerades as a food additive. In 1965, a chemist at Searle & Company was working on a new drug to treat ulcers when he accidentally noticed the sweetness of aspartame. Seeing the potential for a sweetener without the calories of sugar, the manufacturer simply changed the FDA paperwork from drug to food additive, but it did not change the substance itself.

A look at aspartame’s chemical makeup shows clearly why it’s so harmful. Aspartame has 3 ingredients – methanol, aspartic acid and phenylalanine.

Methanol also goes by the name wood alcohol. It’s a deadly poison that often kills people who consume homemade liquor. In 1927, when Prohibition made alcohol illegal, almost 12,000 deaths nationwide were attributed to alcohol poisonings. Methanol also shows up in products such as antifreeze, paint removers, varnish, and windshield washer fluid.

In Virginia, a woman is in jail for allegedly poisoning her husband with windshield washer fluid. Her husband, who was 37 at the time of his death, drank at least 10 aspartame-sweetened sodas every day, and he died of methanol poisoning.

In Kansas, a man rushed his wife, who was a heavy drinker of diet sodas, to the hospital when she became confused and lethargic. Doctors suspected that her husband had poisoned her with antifreeze. Fortunately, she recovered from her bout with methanol poisoning.

Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are amino acids, and when they occur naturally in foods, they’re completely safe. However, isolating them from their natural protein chain changes them completely. Aspartic acid is an excitotoxin, which means that it can cause neurons within the nervous system to become overexcited to the point that they die, and that’s not good for a person’s health, even if it does save a few calories.

The Amino Sweet Information Service website provides this completely misleading description of the product:

AminoSweet is a low calorie sweetener that tastes exactly like sugar. It is made from two building blocks of protein just like those found naturally in many everyday foods such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs and milk. AminoSweet is digested by the body in exactly the same way as these other protein foods and so does not bring anything new to the diet.

The site seems to have forgotten to mention methanol. It also seems to have neglected to say that when phenylalanine is isolated, it becomes neurotoxic and causes a wide list of personal injuries.

The site also neglects to mention that years of testing have proved conclusively that Aspartame is dangerous. Despite all the evidence, millions of weight-conscious consumers eat it every day, believing that it’s both safe and a more healthful source of sweetness than sugar. In truth, Aspartame is so dangerous that the Pentagon listed it as a biochemical warfare agent, and in 1980 an FDA board unanimously voted against its approval.

Then, in 1981, Ronald Reagan became president, and he installed a new FDA commissioner, Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes. The Board emphatically said to the new commissioner: “Do not approve aspartame”.

Despite that advice from the people who had studied the substance, Dr. Hayes overruled his own Board of Inquiry, and people who consumed Aspartame began to report health problems almost as soon as it went on the market.

In 1999, WTTG, Channel 5 in Washington DC, filmed an excellent documentary on the problems caused by Aspartame, and when a reporter asked Dr. Hayes about his approval, he was completely evasive.

The obvious explanation behind his decision to approve Aspartame and his later refusal to talk about it is money. If Aspartame would disappear overnight, many big companies would lose a lot of income. The companies that make it would stop selling it. The companies that use it instead of sugar in products such as diet sodas and cookies would lose their sales, and the media outlets that carry the deceptive ads for those products would also lose a big chunk of their income.

So Aspartame remains on the market, even though many individuals and organizations have tried to protect consumers from it. The Hawaii House of Representatives issued a resolution that asked the FDA to rescind the approval for Aspartame. The FDA deferred the resolution, which means that the agency that’s supposed to protect American consumers did what it almost always does and sided with the big money.

The people who sell Aspartame can try to hide behind their “FDA approved” label but FDA approval doesn’t give them a right to sell a product that they know is dangerous. The people who sell Aspartame can give their product a catchy new name, but a new name doesn’t make a hazardous product safe.

Aspartame has harmed tens of thousands of consumers, and it will continue to do so until government authorities do the right thing and ban it.

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Richard Alexander