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Banning Aspartame and MSG from the Safe List on FDA
Petition Background (Preamble):
Remember: By FDA definition, all MSG is "naturally occurring." "Natural" doesn't mean "safe." "Natural" only means that the ingredient started out in nature.
What the FDA actually stated in 1995 about Monosodium Glutamate:
"A 1995 report from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), an independent body of scientists identifies two groups of people who may develop a condition the report refers to as 'MSG symptom complex.' One group is those who may be intolerant to MSG when eaten in a large quantity. The second is a group of people with severe, poorly controlled asthma. These people, in addition to being prone to MSG symptom complex, may suffer temporary worsening of asthmatic symptoms after consuming MSG. The MSG dosage that produced reactions in these people ranged from 0.5 grams to 2.5 grams...
"The agency believes that the report provides the basis to require glutamate labeling. FDA will propose that foods containing significant amounts of free glutamate (not bound in protein along with other amino acids) declare glutamate on the label. This would allow consumers to distinguish between foods with insignificant free glutamate levels and those that might contribute to a reaction...
"Among the report's key findings:
An unknown percentage of the population may react to MSG and develop MSG symptom complex, a condition characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
burning sensation in the back of the neck, forearms and chest
numbness in the back of the neck, radiating to the arms and back
tingling, warmth and weakness in the face, temples, upper back, neck and arms
facial pressure or tightness
bronchospasm (difficulty breathing) in MSG-intolerant people with asthma
"In otherwise healthy MSG-intolerant people, the MSG symptom complex tends to occur within one hour after eating 3 grams or more of MSG on an empty stomach or without other food. A typical serving of glutamate-treated food contains less than 0.5 grams of MSG. A reaction is most likely if the MSG is eaten in a large quantity or in a liquid, such as a clear soup.
"Severe, poorly controlled asthma may be a predisposing medical condition for MSG symptom complex...
"The level of vitamin B6 in a person's body plays a role in glutamate metabolism, and the possible impact of marginal B6 intake should be considered in future research...
"While technically MSG is only one of several forms of free glutamate used in foods, consumers frequently use the term MSG to mean all free glutamate. For this reason, FDA considers foods whose labels say 'No MSG' or 'No Added MSG' to be misleading if the food contains ingredients that are sources of free glutamates, such as hydrolyzed protein...
"In 1993, FDA proposed adding the phrase '(contains glutamate)' to the common or usual names of certain protein hydrolysates that contain substantial amounts of glutamate. For example, if the proposal were adopted, hydrolyzed soy protein would have to be declared on food labels as 'hydrolyzed soy protein (contains glutamate).'" ...
Unfortunately, for those with asthma, migraine, and atrial fibrillation, MSG as free glutamate remains a hidden food ingredient. This FDA labeling proposal was killed by a powerful food lobby.
Nutrasweet (brand name for Aspartame) was not approved until 1981, in dry foods. For over eight years the FDA refused to approve it because of the seizures and brain tumors this drug produced in lab animals. The FDA continued to refuse to approve it until President Reagan took office (a friend of Searle) and fired the FDA Commissioner who wouldn't approve it. Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed as commissioner. Even then there was so much opposition to approval that a Board of Inquiry was set up. The Board said: "Do not approve aspartame". Dr. Hayes OVERRULED his own Board of Inquiry.
Shortly after Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he left for a position with G.D. Searle's Public Relations firm.
Long-Term Damage. It appears to cause slow, silent damage in those unfortunate enough to not have immediate reactions and a reason to avoid it. It may take one year, five years, 10 years, or 40 years, but it seems to cause some reversible and some irreversible changes in health over long-term use.
METHANOL (AKA WOOD ALCOHOL/POISON) (10% OF ASPARTAME) Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison. People may recall that methanol was the poison that has caused some "skid row" alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounter the enzyme chymotrypsin.
The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade). This would occur when aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g., as part of a "food" product such as Jello).
Methanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol "is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic." The recommend a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day. A one-liter (approx. 1 quart) aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.
The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, and causes birth defects. Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans. As pointed out by Dr Woodrow C. Monte, Director of the Food Science and Nutrition Laboratory at Arizona State University, "There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic, or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol."
It has been pointed out that fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol. It is important to remember, that the methanol in natural products never appears alone. In every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts. Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.
The troops of Desert Storm were "treated" to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened beverages which had been heated to over 86 degrees F. in the Saudi Arabian sun. Many of them returned home with numerous disorders similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown products ofaspartame such as DKP, may also have been a factor.
In a 1993 act that can only be described as "unconscionable", the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86°degrees F (30°Degrees C).
Much worse, on 27 June 1996, without public notice, the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame allowing it to be used in everything, including all heated and baked goods.
The truth about aspartame's toxicity is far different than what the NutraSweet Company would have you readers believe. In February of 1994, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the listing of adverse reactions reported to the FDA (DHHS 1994). Aspartame accounted for more than 75% of all adverse reactions reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS). By the FDA's own admission fewer then ONE PERCENT of those who have problems with something they consume ever report it to the FDA. This balloons the almost 10,000 complaints they once had to around a million.
However, the FDA has a record keeping problem (they never did respond to the certified letter from the WEBMASTER of this site a major victim!) and they tend to discourage or even misdirect complaints, at least on aspartame. The fact remains, though, that MOST victims don't have a clue that aspartame may be the cause of their many problems! Many reactions to aspartame were very serious including seizures and death.
Those reactions included:
Bloating, Edema (Fluid Retention)
Blood Sugar Control Problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia)
Brain Cancer (Pre-approval studies in animals)
burning eyes or throat
can't think straight
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
flushing of face
Hair Loss (Baldness) or Thinning of Hair
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Impotency and Sexual Problems
inability to concentrate
"like thinking in a fog"
Marked Personality Changes
Menstrual Problems or Changes
Migraines and Severe Headaches (Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake)
Nausea or Vomiting
Numbness or Tingling of Extremities
Other Allergic-Like Reactions
Rapid Heart Beat
Seizures and Convulsions
Slurring of Speech
Also Aspartame Disease Mimics Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
We want the FDA to Look at the facts and see that they have falsely claimed these poisons as being safe.
At the very least these companies should write a label on anything with aspartame in it that says "can kill approx 200-300 people in 1 yr".
The Banning Aspartame and MSG from the Safe List on FDA petition to THE FDA NEEDS TO BAN THESE POISONS was written by FRAN and is in the category Health at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: aspartame, msg, poisons, toxic, toxins, monosodium glutamate, sweetners, nutri sweet