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Apsartame, better known as Nutrasweet, or AminoSweet, and its new cousin, Neotame, a much larger, much sweeter, and potentially even more toxic update of the Aspartame molecule, are all over the place. Virtually everything you put in your mouth labeled ‘sugarless’ or ‘diet’ contains these pernicious, toxic substances.

Nutrasweet’s original manufacturer was Searle corp. They tried to get Nutrasweet declared safe for consumption, but the body of evidence against it was too strong. In the lab, it caused the following forms of cancer tumors in cellular cultures: brain, pancreatic, breast and uterine. In more recent tests, leukemia, lymphoma and kidney cancers were discovered.

If one examines the structure of the Aspartame molecule itself, it’s easy to see why it could be so deadly. The molecule mates what is essentially a precursor to wood alcohol, the type of alcohol that causes blindness and seizures, to two amino acids, so that your body readily recognizes it as a nutrient. During digestion, this deadly methanol and also formaldehyde form from these precursor chemicals.

I happen to know a researcher who worked in Cornell’s neurochemistry program when Searle came calling with their new product. They asked the chairman of the department what percentage of people would be adversely affected by ingesting their new sweetener. When he replied that he thought that 15% could suffer ‘irreversible neurological damage’, the Searle people actually smiled. 15% was a reasonable number to these people, given that the Cyclamate artificial sweeteners had just been pulled from the market, and there was pressure to do the same with saccharine. There was just too much money to be made to let the health of a few million people get in the way.

Since those early studies were not encouraging, (and in fact the FDA was set to rule against them), Searle started paying for their own studies, and to increase their chances of getting to market even more, they hired consummate Washington insider Donald Rumsfeld as CEO. The day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, the FDA (with the hasty addition of a 6th voting member) abruptly reversed course, and legalized Nutrasweet.

Nutrasweet, Neotame and the venerable Monosodium Glutamate are all classified as Excitotoxins, toxic compounds mated to amino acids in such a way that the body sees them as nutrients and absorbs them readily. It’s like some kind of diabolical Trojan Horse, ushering in the most potent poisons masquerading as nutrients.

Many people know of the MSG headache, or the fuzziness that can accompany a Nutrasweet binge, but are unaware what these warning signs really attest too. They portend potential cellular changes, neurological destruction, endocrine imbalances, and immune system chaos.

There is striking evidence that Nutrasweet can also cause or help cause Macular Degeneration, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease (it’s been shown to produce pinholes in the brains of rats), Graves Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and several other neurological and autoimmune conditions, as well as the numerous, aforementioned cancers.

Both Searle, and their later parent purchaser, Monsanto, vociferously fought any attempts to get this highly-toxic substance off the market. Their only concern is shareholder equity; Profits, growth and dividends trump any moral qualms.

If the FDA really cared about you and I, every cow would be tested for mad Cow disease, factory farms would be forced to deal with their huge waste lagoons, cruelty to animals, and antibiotic and steroid use. Nutrasweet, Neotame, and a host of other dangerous chemicals including trans fats, Olestra, and genetically-modified crops would be illegal. Instead, we have all become unwitting lab rats, with a stew of biochemical experiments and genetically modified substances combining and recombining in completely un-knowable ways in our guts, our bloodstreams, our nerves, and in our brains.

There was a hoax on the Internet that Neotame would be allowed, unlabeled, in Organic foods. I’m very relieved to know that this is not true. But beware: Monsanto, and all of the big agribusiness companies are constantly working to weaken the USDA Organic standard to the point that it’s as utterly meaningless as the word ‘natural’ has become on food labels.

Rid yourself of these toxins. Grow your own food and get involved with your local organic food growers and purveyors, and petition the federal government to maintain and enhance the integrity of the USDA organic standard, and to return the FDA to its mandate: serving and protecting the people, instead of furthering corporate interests at the people’s expense.

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