For years, it seems, opinions have flared over whether NutraSweet (the brand name for aspartame) is toxic or safe. So when I recently came across an article about a new lawsuit that has been filed against NutraSweet, I was very curious.
The article claims, "the FDA denied approval of aspartame [for 16 years] because of compelling evidence of its contributing to brain tumors and other serious disabilities."
Furthermore, the article claims that Donald Rumsfeld, President Reagan's FDA Commissioner Arthur Hayes, U.S. Justice Department Attorney Sam Skinner, plus three FDA commissioners and eight other officers all had financial stakes in the aspartame industry. (Hmm... Can you say "conflict of interest?")
I decided to see what else I could find about aspartame and came across a web site that appears to be a public relations front funded by the aspartame industry.
In an article on this web site, David G. Hattan, Ph.D., who in 1999 was the Acting Director of the Division of Health Effects Evaluation in the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, claims that aspartame is safe. After he "debunks" the adverse affects of aspartame, he says:
"The USFDA continues to consider [aspartame] to a be among the most thoroughly tested of food additives and that this information continues to confirm the safety of aspartame."
Even though the FDA discounts all the anecdotal evidence and non-FDA studies pointing to the toxicity of aspartame, I believe there are some serious negative side-effects to consuming it.
I recommend common sense in this debate: avoid aspartame.