Aspartame changes its name to AminoSweet

2015 Research

Mired in controversy, (often linked to possible brain tumours, at CANCERactive, we published research about its links to increased risk of multiple myeloma, leukaemia and lymphoma in Cancer Watch – twice.) this chemical compound is to have a name change to improve its image!

It is now going to be called AminoSweet. Beware – Monsanto will soon be telling you it’s natural.

Created by scientists at G D Searle and Company in 1970  as an anti-ulcer drug, it was accidentally found to taste sweet. It was then rushed through the company’s testing regime, and launched after gaining FDA approval. One test seemed to have been somewhat overlooked: Dr. Harold Waisman, a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin, conductsed aspartame safety tests on infant monkeys but of the seven monkeys that were being fed aspartame mixed with milk, one died and five others had grand mal seizures.

A few years later in 1980, when serious health problems were noted, the FDA banned aspartame and instigated a criminal review against the company.  The FDA actually cited the risk of brain tumours, amongst other concerns.

In 1981, after Reagan’s appointment to the White House,  the CEO of the Searle (none other than former US defence secretary, and reputed CIA leader, Donald Rumsfeld) decided to ‘call in his markers’ to get it approved. Yet still it was rejected 3-2 by the FDA’s investigating panel.

FDA chairman Arthur Hull, then appointed a sixth member of the committee. Now a 3-3 draw, he used his casting vote to give it approval. He later went to work at PR firm, Burson- Marsteller, who work with both Monsanto and Searle. Monsanto went on to buy the sweetener from Searle, after two rival sweeteners in the market were each linked with cancer.

Aspartame has also been linked to seizures, headaches and epilepsy.

As AminoSweet it may well be marketed as some sort of natural sweetener – it contains aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. One research study showed it caused holes in the brains of mice.

2015 Research
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