Artificial Sweeteners: How Bad Are Saccharin, Aspartame?

By | October 21, 2009

Claire Suddath, writing for Time claims that “fear-mongering and misinformation plaguing the faux-sweetener market”. Claire describes a real banned cancer causing artificial sweetener, then, it seems to me, sets up and knocks down a straw man to make the chemical sweeteners currently on the market seem safe, claiming that those who oppose artificial sweeteners do so because we say it causes obesity. Obesity is not one of the symptoms reported to the FDA attributed to aspartame.

Too much sugar will make you fat, but too much artificial sweetener will … do what exactly? Kill you? Make you thinner? Or have absolutely no effect at all? This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to ban cyclamate, the first artificial sweetener prohibited in the U.S., and yet scientists still haven’t reached a consensus about how safe (or harmful) artificial sweeteners may be. Shouldn’t we have figured this out by now?

… when cyclamate came on the market in 1951, food and beverage companies jumped at the chance to sweeten their products with something that tasted more natural. By 1968, Americans were consuming more than 17 million pounds of the calorie-free substance a year in snack foods, canned fruit and soft drinks like Tab and Diet Pepsi. (See nine kid foods to avoid.) But in the late 1960s, studies began linking cyclamate to cancer. One noted that chicken embryos injected with the chemical developed extreme deformities, leading scientists to wonder if unborn humans could be similarly damaged by their cola-drinking mothers. Another study linked the sweetener to malignant bladder tumors in rats. Because a 1958 congressional amendment required the FDA to ban any food additive shown to cause cancer in humans or animals, on Oct. 18, 1969, the government ordered cyclamate removed from all food products. …

The fear-mongering and misinformation plaguing the faux-sweetener market seems to be rooted in a common misconception. No evidence indicates that sweeteners cause obesity … The general consensus in the scientific community is that saccharin, aspartame and sucralose are harmless when consumed in moderation. And while cyclamate is still banned in the U.S., many other countries still allow it; it can even be found in the Canadian version of Sweet’n Low.

via Artificial Sweeteners: How Bad Are Saccharin, Aspartame? – Yahoo! News.

Scientific studies require funding. Because industry pays only for scientific results that increase profits, I believe people are suffering and dying needlessly due to misleading claims and false-sense-of-safety-mongering. There are doctors and informed scientists who say, “avoid artificial sweeteners!”  That’s good enough for me.

There are over 92 different health side effects associated with aspartame consumption. –

Aspartame use has been reported to trigger symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia among other conditions can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame.Aspartame use has been reported to trigger or mimic symptoms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Aspartame use has been reported to trigger or mimic symptoms of Post-Polio Syndrome. … Aspartame use has been reported to trigger or mimic symptoms of Meniere’s Disease.

A double blind study on the effects of aspartame on persons with mood disorders was conducted by Dr. Ralph G. Walton. Since the study wasn’t funded/controlled by the makers of aspartame, The Nutrasweet Company refused to sell him the aspartame. Walton was forced to obtain and certify it from an outside source. The study showed a large increase in serious symptoms for persons taking aspartame. Since some of the symptoms were so serious, the Institutional Review Board had to stop the study. Three of the participants had said that they had been “poisoned” by aspartame. Walton concludes that “individuals with mood disorders are particularly sensitive to this artificial sweetener; its use in this population should be discouraged.” …

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, brain tumors can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame. …

In 1981 Satya Dubey, an FDA statistician, stated that the brain tumor data on aspartame was so “worrisome” that he could not recommend approval of NutraSweet. In a two-year study conducted by the manufacturer of aspartame, twelve of the 320 rats fed a normal diet and aspartame developed brain tumors while none of the control rats had tumors. Five of the twelve tumors were in rats given a low dose of aspartame. The approval of aspartame was a violation of the Delaney Amendment which was supposed to prevent cancer-causing substances such as methanol (formaldehyde) and DKP from entering our food supply.

The late Dr Adrian Gross, an FDA toxicologist, testified before the US Congress that aspartame was capable of producing brain tumors. This made it illegal for the FDA to set an allowable daily intake at any level. He stated in his testimony that Searle’s studies were “to a large extent unreliable” and that “at least one of those studies has established beyond any reasonable doubt that aspartame is capable of inducing brain tumors in experimental animals…” He concluded his testimony by asking, “What is the reason for the apparent refusal by the FDA to invoke for this food additive the so-called Delaney Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act? … And if the FDA itself elects to violate the law, who is left to protect the health of the public?”

In the mid-1970s it was discovered that the manufacturer of aspartame falsified studies in several ways. One of the techniques used was to cut tumors out of test animals and put them back in the study. Another technique used to falsify the studies was to list animals that had actually died as surviving the study. Thus, the data on brain tumors was likely worse than discussed above. In addition, a former employee of the manufacturer of aspartame, Raymond Schroeder, told the FDA on July 13, 1977 that the particles of DKP were so large that the rats could discriminate between the DKP and their normal diet.

It is interesting to note that the incidence of brain tumors in persons over 65 years of age has increased 67% between the years 1973 and 1990. Brain tumors in all age groups has jumped 10%. The greatest increase has come during the years 1985-1987.

In his book, Aspartame (NutraSweet). Is it Safe?, Roberts gives evidence that aspartame can cause a particularly dangerous form of cancer – primary lymphoma of the brain. – diagnoseme

… everyone should hear James Turner, Atty, explain how Don Rumsfeld called in his markers to get aspartame, a deadly chemical poison approved when the FDA said no: rense

“Aspartame was a Cold War drug, intended to affect Russian food supply’s (i’m not 100% certain, but i think it was to poison them). The US made sh*t loads of it and at the end of the war didn’t know what to do with it. Since Aspartame is sweet but has no sugar, they decided to sell it as a sweetner to the public. …” – incrysis

One thought on “Artificial Sweeteners: How Bad Are Saccharin, Aspartame?

  1. Yoda Smith

    Thank you for replying to the Time article! I have seen it least two or three times just this week, and I don’t think they told the whole story. The dangers of aspartame are very clear to me and science is behind the dangers.

    Actually, it has been documented that can enable weight gain because it increased cravings for fatty foods and sweets. It also consists of 10% methanol (in the body), which is known as a toxin that poisons metabolism, and it may cause a condition known as “fatty liver.” All these conditions would make it difficult to lose weight.

    There are many doctors, Ph.D’s, who say that we should not ingest aspartame, and this is also good enoough for me.

Leave a Reply