Aspartame was condemned as dangerous and potentially toxic in
a report compiled by some of the world's biggest soft-drink manufacturers.
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other manufacturers produced the report
in the early 1980s before the sweetener had been approved for use in the U.S.
The report warned that it can affect the workings of the brain, change behavior,
and even encourage users to eat extra carbohydrates, destroying the point of
using diet drinks.
The documents were unearthed under the freedom of information
legislation. It follows a decision by researchers at King's College in London to
study suspected links between aspartame intake and brain tumors.
Britons drink more than nine billion cans or bottles of soft
drinks a year -- and Americans many times that amount -- of which about half
contain aspartame. There has always been concern about its tendency to break
down, producing methanol, which is both toxic in its own right and which breaks
down further to produce formic acid and formaldehyde.
The 30-page aspartame report was drawn up under the auspices
of the U.S. National Soft Drinks Association (NSDA), whose governing body at the
time included senior Coca-Cola and Pepsi executives. It says: "We object to
the approval of aspartame for unrestricted use in soft drinks." It then
lists ways in which aspartame was believed directly to affect brain chemistry,
including the synthesis of vital neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
Other papers obtained with the NSDA documents show that the
FDA also had misgivings, listing 92 symptoms from aspartame
poisoning, including death. Despite this, it approved aspartame.
Action to take:
Read labels, avoid anything that contains
"artificial sweetener." Consider a natural sweetener such as Stevia,
Xylitol, or Excella..
Ref: British Press, February 27, 2000