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Originally published September 13 2007

Aspartame manufacturer funds junk science that declares aspartame to be safe (opinion)

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Ajinomoto, a top manufacturer of aspartame, has announced that aspartame is completely safe. This conclusion was reached by a panel of industry-friendly "experts" hired by Ajinomoto, who did no new research but, instead, selectively reviewed previous studies on the safety of aspartame (many of which were funded by aspartame manufacturers in the first place).

The panel of experts was called together by the Burdock Group, a consulting firm that earns its money from food and grocery manufacturers like Ajinomoto. The Ajinomoto company was reportedly not allowed to actually choose which panel members would be part of the aspartame safety review, but industry critics like Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), responded by saying, "They say Ajinomoto paid for the study but researchers didn't know who paid. Well, they knew it was industry. And some of these people are longstanding industry consultants."

What we have here is a case of yet more pro-aspartame propaganga being paraded around as legitimate science. It's really more of a junk science fraud fest designed to prop up the aspartame industry a little longer even as new science keeps coming out showing the chemical sweetener to be potentially quite dangerous to health.

For the Ajinomoto company to fund a review by paying money to an industry-friendly consulting group that coincidentally happens to find aspartame to be perfectly safe strains credibility to such a degree that only a fool would put any weight in this announcement. It's like the R.J. Reynolds company announcing nicotine is not addictive, or Coca-Cola declaring that high fructose corn syrup does not promote obesity.

Of course aspartame is dangerous to human health. The chemicals it breaks down into (which includes small amounts of formaldehyde) are documented as nervous system toxins. In the natural health industry, aspartame is well known to be an "excitotoxin" -- a substance that harms and kills nerve cells. On top of that, there are literally hundreds of thousands of accounts of people suffering blindness, seizures, blurred vision, migraine headaches and other neurological problems associated with aspartame consumption. No other food or beverage ingredient has generated more consumer complaints to the FDA than aspartame.

People who stop drinking aspartame often experience astonishing improvements in vision, mental clarity and neurological function. It is, in fact, common knowledge among natural health practitioners that aspartame is a neurotoxic substance.

Read more NaturalNews articles on aspartame's safety problems by clicking here.

Trying to prop up a chemical that will soon be illegal

The days of aspartame's dominance as a sweetener are nearly over. Sucralose is far more popular today (even though it has its own health concerns), and recently, Coca-Cola teamed up with Cargill in an effort to legalize stevia in the United States as a GRAS sweetener (meaning they could use it in foods). Once stevia is legalized, you will see a swift and industry-wide shift away from aspartame and towards stevia-based sweeteners.

The Ajinomoto company, of course, wants to keep the aspartame business going for as long as possible, and that involves campaigns of disinformation like you're reading about here -- hiring "experts" to declare the ridiculous. Remember: No new research has been conducted at all. Instead, this group of experts simply reviewed previous studies, many of which were no doubt distorted and scientifically invalid because they were funded by aspartame in the first place. Looking at bad science a second time does not transform it into good science.

Consider some of the biggest food and medicine lies we've seen over the last few years:

• Nicotine is not addictive.
• Fat-free foods won't make you fat.
• Margarine is healthier than butter.
• Eggs cause high cholesterol.
• Vioxx is perfectly safe.
• Monosodium glutamate is safe for infants.
• Everyone should drink fluoride to have healthy teeth.
• Thalidomide harms no one.
• High fructose corn syrup doesn't cause obesity.
• Tens of millions of children need to be on Ritalin.
• Food coloring chemicals are safe for children to consume in unlimited quantities.
• Pesticides are not harmful to humans.

...And aspartame is safe.

Yeah, sure. And the emperor's clothes are invisible, too.

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