The ingestion of the widely used sweetener called aspartame, better known as Nutra Sweet or Equal, may just be responsible for what the authors say is a dramatic increase in the number of people who develop brain tumors. Consumer advocates and researchers have become more vocal about what they say may be aspartame’s adverse effects. They asking the Food and Drud Administration, the FDA, to take another hard look at aspartame.
Better known by its brand names Nutra Sweet or Equal, aspartame is the most popular sugar substitute in the world. Since the FDA approved it back in 1981, aspartame has become a multi billion dollar industry. What most consumers don’t know is that aspartame’s approval was one of the most contested in FDA history. Consumers have reported more than 7000 adverse reactions to the FDA ranging from dizziness to headaches to seizures. But the makers say it is the most tested food additive ever, and that it’s safe for the tens of millions who use it worldwide.
Aspartame was discovered in the mid-60s at GD Searle, the Chicago drug company. So it was bought by Monsanto and then was spun off to form the Nutra Sweet Kelco Company. The FDA originally approved aspartame back in 1974, but FDA investigators soon found serious problems in some of the studies that Searle had submitted to the FDA and so a task force was able to investigate many of Searle’s tests.
Dr. Erik Millstone is a food safety expert at the University of Sussex in England. He’s been a critic of Britain’s approval of the sweetener for over a decade. He says that Searle’s tests are so flawed there’s simply no way to be sure that aspartame is safe.
Some scientists allege that the industry tries to influence research. Dr. Ralph Walton, a professor of psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine, recently did a survey of aspartame studies. He found, that the results of industry sponsored research turned out very differently from the non industry sponsored studies.
I looked at the medical literature, addressing the safety of aspartame. I found 164 studies. 74 were funded by the Nutra Sweet industry. Every single one of them attested to the safety of aspartame. Of the 90 independently funded studies, 83 identified a problem.