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Original Message A new million-dollar study by Dr. Morando Soffritti and co-workers found a DRAMATIC INCREASE in malignant lymphomas and leukemias in female rats consuming even LOW doses of aspartame - doses known to be consumed by millions of children, pregnant women and others. Their carefully done study concluded that most likely it was the formaldehyde breakdown product from the aspartame that was causing the cancers, which confirms what Trocho and co-workers had found earlier. Formaldehyde is known to be a powerful toxin and carcinogen, even in low concentrations.

Of great concern was the finding by Trocho, that formaldehyde tends to accumulate in the DNA and is difficult to remove. THIS MEANS THAT DRINKING EVEN A SINGLE DIET COLA SWEETENED WITH ASPARTAME CAN EVENTUALLY PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT DNA DAMAGE to raise one's risk of cancer and other diseases. Today, over 5000 products contain aspartame.

There are sufficient studies on the effect of aspartame on the developing fetus to draw serious concern about the safety of this product. For example, it has been shown that aspartame in the dose of 50 mg/kg/day (accepted as safe by the FDA) can produce phenylalanine levels in a large number of women and their babies during pregnancy - large enough to produce abnormal development of the baby's brain. This is because phenylalanine interferes with the normal migration and connections of the developing brain.

There is also evidence from the studies done by Dr. Ralph Walton, indicating that depressed people are especially sensitive to the toxic effects of aspartame and that this is especially true of those with suicidal tendencies. In a separate study he has shown that virtually all of the independently conducted studies done on aspartame safety have found problems with the product, yet not a single study funded by the makers of aspartame (now Monsanto) reported even minor problems.

This is especially puzzling when you consider that among all the food-related complaints registered by the FDA, 75 to 85% are related to aspartame. This alone should tell us there is a problem.

There are sufficient independent studies to show that aspartame is a dangerous product and that it should have never been given approval. In fact, it was approved using the same shoddy studies alluded to by Dr. Adrian Gross in his letter to Senator Howard Metzenbaum.

Today's news is that the recent Italian study found cancer in lab animals after feeding of aspartame in doses consistent with human intake, and also that the original studies that were submitted to the FDA for approval have shown the same result! The studies, and a subsequent review, convinced the FDA to withdraw its first aspartame approval, until Donald Rumsfeld, associated with Searle Co. who makes aspartame, called in his markers and demanded it be approved. Yet, worldwide approval of aspartame rests largely on the FDA's word - a disturbing thought.

The 1974 approval was withdrawn after the results of these investigations were reviewed privately, but aspartame was given approval once again in 1981. Ironically, it was approved using the very same studies that resulted in it being banned as too dangerous for human consumption in 1975.

In 1981, Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed commissioner of the FDA and in 1983 he approved aspartame for use in beverages. Three months later he left the FDA and accepted a position as the Senior Medical Advisor to Searle's PR firm of Burson-Marsteller.

Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
Neurosurgeon (retired)
Visiting Professor of Biology
Belhaven College
Jackson, Mississippi
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