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Interesting Information: Devra Davis Lecture: NEW Urgent Warning To All Cell Phone Users

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Interesting Information:  July 19, 2014

Devra Davis Lecture:  NEW Urgent Warning to All Cell Phone Users

 

I really like my cell phone.

Most of you do, too.  And many of you are dropping your land lines and relying, now, solely on your cell phone connection to the world.

What’s not to like?  This little gadget connects us to the internet, to our mail, to all our phone functions, to Facebook, to a GPS function that can direct you anywhere, and on and on.

AND, dropping your land line means you are only paying for ONE phone, not two.

 

BUT, what’s not to like?  In a nutshell, they are dangerous.

It is increasingly clear that cell phones are dangerous as they can impact your body at the cellular level AND THAT THIS INFORMATION IS WELL KNOWN BY CELL PHONE COMPANIES AND IS BEING SUPPRESSED.

Here’s a lecture by the premier scientist Devra Davis.  You may recall that she wrote THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER, in which, at the end, she begins to realize the dangers of cell phones and how industry was hiding those dangers.  And I can tell you her book, which I have not yet read, details the science that shows cell phone danger:  DISCONNECT:  THE TRUTH BEHIND CELL PHONE RADIATION.

Here’s a quote from the article setting up the lecture whose url is below:

In her lecture, Dr. Davis explains how the biological impact of your cell phone is not related to its power, which is quite weak, but rather to the erratic nature of its signal and its ability to disrupt resonance and interfere with DNA repair. This is now believed to be the most plausible theory for understanding the wide array of health impacts discovered, which includes cancer… – See more at: http://www.healthfreedoms.org/new-urgent-warning-to-all-cell-phone-users/#sthash.4QHw6Rsw.dpuf

 

Please slow down and pay attention and put into place the measures that can protect you.  For instance:  DON’T CARRY YOUR CELL PHONE ON YOUR BODY.  And, don’t stay on it too long.  You’ve noticed the heat it generates, right?  Well, that heat hurts.

Health Freedom Alliance » NEW Urgent Warning To All Cell Phone Users.

Here’s another quote from this article:

 Experts in the area of the biological effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and wireless technologies believe there’s virtually no doubt that cell phones and related gadgets are capable of causing not only cancer but contributing to a wide variety of other conditions, from depression and diabetes to heart irregularities and impaired fertility. Researchers have now identified numerous mechanisms of harm, which explain how electromagnetic fields impact your cells and damages your DNA.

One such expert is Dr. Martin Blank, PhD, one of the most experienced researchers of the cellular and molecular effects of electromagnetic fields in the U.S. He gave an informative speech at the November 18, 2010 Commonwealth Club of California program, “The Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields,” co-sponsored by ElectromagneticHealth.org. In it, he explained why your DNA, with its ‘coil of coils’ structure, is especially vulnerable to electromagnetic fields of all kinds.

– See more at: http://www.healthfreedoms.org/new-urgent-warning-to-all-cell-phone-users/#sthash.4QHw6Rsw.dpuf

CHILDREN ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE:  it’s a VERY BAD IDEA to give them cell phones.

 

Mainely Tipping Points 25: TAPPED: Bisphenol A

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Mainely Tipping Points 25

This essay is the final essay in a series of three essays around the documentary TAPPED.

 

TAPPED:  Bisphenol A

 

In the documentary TAPPED, Dr. Frederick Vom Saal says Bisphenol A, or BPA, is “one of the most toxic chemicals known to man.”  BPA, explains Vom Saal, is “the poster child chemical that is going to dismantle the entire regulatory process and demand a re-analysis of all chemicals.”  “BPA,” says Vom Saal, is “frightening to the regulatory community because of the magnitude of the error they have made.”    

BPA leaches into water from water containers made of hard, polycarbonate plastic, stamped with #7 on the bottom of the product.  Examples of problem water containers are the five-gallon hard plastic water jugs used with water cooler systems, baby bottles, and sports bottles. 

Other examples in the general food system include containers for liquid baby formula and the linings of beverage and food cans.  Elaine Shannon of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that because plastics made with BPA “break down easily when heated, microwaved, washed with strong detergents, or wrapped around acidic foods like tomatoes, trace amounts of the potent hormone leach into food from epoxy lacquer can linings, polycarbonate bottles and other plastic food packaging” (Shannon, “What the Chemical Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know,” September 2008, http://www.ewg.org/report/what-chemical-industry-doesnt-want-you-know).  Wikipedia notes that as of April 2010, General Mills had developed a BPA-free alternative can liner that works even with tomatoes.  But, writes Wikipedia, General Mills is only planning on using this new liner with their organic food subsidiary, Muir Glen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bispjhenol_A).   

Polycarbonate plastics are ubiquitous today.  BPA, explains Wikipedia, is used in “sports equipment, medical and dental devices, dental fillings and sealants, eyeglass lenses, CDs and DVDs, and household electronics”—like, notes, computers and cell phones.  BPA, details Wikipedia, is used to make other plastics; it’s a “precursor to the flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol A”; it was “formerly used as a fungicide”; it’s the “preferred developer in carbonless copy paper and thermal paper,” including sale receipt paper; it’s used in foundry castings and to line water pipes”   

BPA mimics estrogen in the body, which is something scientists have known since 1930.  Regulatory bodies have determined what they believe to be safe levels for humans by using an idea, explains Vom Saal, dating from the sixteenth century:  “the dose makes the poison.” 

However, Vom Saal says this premise is false for any hormone and explains that  recent studies are showing that even minute levels of BPA are unsafe. 

Vom Saal says in TAPPED that 700 peer-reviewed, published studies show BPA to be dangerous.  He explains that the 38 internationally recognized scientists who served on a 2006 National Institutes of Health panel (Chapel Hill) determined that current levels of BPA pose risks for humans.  Shannon notes in “What the Chemical Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know,” that The National Toxicology Program accepted much of the Chapel Hill panel’s thinking and wrote that low doses of BPA may affect development of the prostate gland and brain and may cause behavioral effects in fetuses, infants, and children.

Shannon notes that Vom Saal, working with Wade Welshons at the University of Missouri-Columbia, “turned up the first hard evidence that miniscule amounts” of BPA “caused irreversible changes in the prostates of fetal mice” in 1997, or 14 years ago.  By 2008, writes Shannon, the global chemical industry was producing 6 billion pounds of BPA annually, which generated “at least $6 billion in sales” 

In order to protect its BPA turf, the chemical industry has followed the very successful tobacco industry model, which Devra Davis details in THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER (2007).  The tobacco industry spent astonishing amounts of money to advertise tobacco use, to delay negative decisions, to hide negative science, to craft favorable legal decisions, to obfuscate science with problematic studies from paycheck scientists, and to fire or discredit anyone saying tobacco use was unhealthy.  The chemical industry is currently running what Shannon calls a “scorched earth” campaign that includes such actions as an “industry email to food banks charging that a BPA ban would mean the end of distributions of canned goods for the poor.”  

Vom Saal describes in TAPPED how a representative from Dow Chemical Company showed up in his and Welshons’ Missouri lab to dispute the data and to declare “`we want you to know how distressed we are by your research.’”  Vom Saal revealed that Dow tried to stop papers critical of BPA from being published.  Shannon describes how the American Chemistry Council attempted to prevent Vom Saal from speaking at a convocation at Stanford University because his work was “`very controversial, and not everybody believes what he’s saying.’”  Shannon quotes Welshons as saying that chemical industry officials made “` blatantly false statements about our research’” and “`they were skilled at creating doubt when none existed.’ “

TAPPED shows footage from a Senate hearing investigating the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) use of biased studies produced by the chemical industry’s paycheck scientists.  Senator John Kerry castigates FDA’s Dr. Norris E. Alderson for not asking for independent studies.  Senator Kerry concludes that the FDA is not protecting citizens, and TAPPED concludes that industry has captured the FDA and other regulatory agencies. 

Lyndsey Layton of “The Washington Post” reported that as of 2009, 93 percent of the U.S. population had detectable levels of BPA in their urine (“High BPA levels linked to male sexual problems,” November 11, 2009, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111017411).  Layton’s article discusses a November 2009 study of 634 male workers from four factories in China showed that exposure to high levels of BPA caused erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems after a few months on the job. 

Vom Saal, in TAPPED, links the following health problems to BPA:  childhood diabetes, obesity, prostate and breast cancers, brain disorders like ADHD, liver disease, ovarian cancer, uterus disease, and low sperm count in men.  Layton lists infertility in general and early-onset puberty. 

Shannon discusses some of the dozens of other scientists who are also studying BPA and who concur with Vom Saal and Welshons.  Patricia Hunt, a reproductive scientist (molecular biologist) from Washington State University, was stunned by what she saw under her microscope after a caustic floor detergent used to clean her lab released BPA into her animals’ food and water.  Hunt said “`Like most Americans, I thought, my government protects me from this kind of stuff.”  She began studying BPA, and, after a decade, determined that “exposure to low levels of BPA—levels that we think are in the realm of current human exposure—can profoundly affect both developing eggs and sperm.” 

A Yale University medical school research team led by Csaba Leranth discovered that BPA affects the neurological system in African green monkeys.  In humans, reported team member Tibor Hajszan, the devastating effect on synapses in the monkey brain could translate to memory and learning problems and depression.      

In September 2010, Canada banned BPA as a toxic substance.  Eight states have banned BPA in children’s’ products:  California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.  In October 2010 the Maine Board of Environmental Protection held hearings on a ban on BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.  The Board postponed any decision until it studied expanding the ban.

Here’s what you can do:  don’t wait for our government to protect you.  Don’t buy canned foods or beverages unless the container says “BPA free,” avoid the combination of plastic and foods, don’t heat plastic, and don’t reuse plastic containers.  Do buy, cook, and preserve locally grown, organic, nutrient-dense whole foods available in your region.

Mainely Tipping Points 23: TAPPED: Bottled Water

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Mainely Tipping Points 23

Note:  This essay is the first in a series of 3 essays on water, which started with viewing the documentary TAPPED and reading Elizabeth Royte’s BOTTLEMANIA.

TAPPED:  BOTTLED WATER

The movie TAPPED demonstrates that drinking water and bottled water are much more complex issues than I had realized.  I had been somewhat aware of industry’s ongoing attempts to commodify water.  I was aware that an argument was raging about whether access to drinking water is a human rights issue.  (Only one percent of available water worldwide is drinkable.)  Apparently the World Bank places the global water market’s value at $800 billion. 

I was beginning to hear more arguments about local watersheds being part of the public “commons.”  Indeed, TAPPED  begins with the history of Nestle massively pumping water from local springs in the Fryeburg, Maine, area, bottling it, and selling it under the Poland Springs label.  This pumping is draining the local watershed.  The Fryeburg municipal water system has experienced periods when its system goes dry suddenly.  And, the property values of local people living alongside a steadily diminishing lake have dropped.  Nor is Fryeburg benefiting financially as Nestle’s business is wholly private. 

Battles like the one between Nestle and the citizens of Fryeburg are happening in small communities all across the United States as industry tries to legally define its control of local water.  Nestle alone sells the following regional brands:  Ice Mountain, Zepher Hills, Deer Park, Ozarkia, and Arrowhead.  By 2007, bottled water in America had become a $11.5 billion business for, mostly, three big corporations:  Nestle, Coke, and Pepsi.    

Much bottled water is pumped from municipal tap water (40 percent) or its sources.  Industry then sells tap water back to consumers at 19 times the cost of their tap water.  Remember, those same consumers have already paid municipal water taxes. 

Sometimes, industry pumping of municipal water occurs nonstop during severe droughts where local people are living with necessarily stringent water mandates.  Pepsi pumped 400,000 gallons a day of municipal water in Raleigh, NC, during the 2007-2008 drought.  Coke, during Atlanta’s 2007-2008 Level IV drought, pumped 118 million gallons of water from a local lake source of Atlanta’s water.  The pictures in TAPPED of what’s left of this lake show the enormity of what has occurred. 

Industry employs both misleading bottle labels suggestive of pure water and expensive advertising campaigns to convince citizens that bottled water is cleaner than tap water.  Barbara Lippert, an Adweek Media critic, observed in TAPPED:  “Bottled water is the greatest advertising and marketing trick of all time.”  And Susan Wellington, president of Quaker’s U. S. beverage division, is quoted in TAPPED saying that “when we’re done, tap water will be relegated to showers and doing dishes.”        

But, is bottled water safe?  TAPPED covers the three major issues:  the nonexistent government regulation of bottled water, the water inside the bottle, and the bottle itself.  The latter two issues conflate since the bottle can and does taint the water it contains.

First, bottled water is largely unregulated.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no jurisdiction over bottled water produced and sold inside a single state.  It’s no accident that most bottled water is produced and sold within single states; that’s why there are so many local brands.  Further, the FDA has only one person overseeing all regulations over bottled water, and that person has other responsibilities as well.  Also, the bottled water industry is not required to submit reports to the FDA and is not required to report internal testing.   

Tap water, on the other hand, is highly regulated and is tested many times a day.  Yes, it may contain fluoride and chlorine mixtures, but those chemicals can and should be filtered out.  And, the practice of adding fluoride—a known toxin—could be stopped. 

Second, TAPPED reports that the National Resources Council tested the water in over 1,000 bottles of water and found bacteria and chemicals, including arsenic, in unsafe levels.  Another independent test of seven brands in two separate labs was analyzed by Dr. Stephen King, an epidemiologist and toxicologist at the University of Texas.  Dr. King found the results to be “horrifying.”  The labs found benzene, vinyl chloride, styrene, and toluene—all highly dangerous carcinogens which are also capable of adverse reproductive outcomes.  Toluene, used in gasoline and paint thinner, is a neurotoxin. 

The two labs found three different types of phthalates, all of which pose dangers to unborn babies and to both males and females.  Phthalates are endocrine disrupters.  Dr. King said bottled water was particularly risky for pregnant women and young children.  Plus, as TAPPED documents, there have been many bottle water recalls over the years.

The water bottles themselves have major issues.  Extreme health problems occur within people living near manufacturing plants, the toxicity of the bottles’ material components is not fully known, and the pollution caused by careless bottle disposal is colossal. 

Eighty percent of plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate derived from crude oil.  Labeled PET or PETE on the bottom of the bottle, this chemical is in the benzene family.  Devra Davis, in THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER (2007) devotes many pages to the terrible dangers for humans from the benzene family and from vinyl chloride.  So, when we buy a water bottle, we become partners with industry in harming people living near manufacturing plants or working within them.   

The 2007 work of William Shotyk, director of the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, shows that PET bottles leach a deadly toxin called antimony which has chemical properties similar to arsenic (Randy Richmond, “Toxin leaches into bottled water in PET containers,” http://medicine.org/toxin-leaches-into-bottled-water-in-pet-containers; Adam Voiland, “The Safety of PET Bottles, July 26, 2007, U.S. News and World Report News). 

Antimony can cause headache, dizziness, and depression in small doses.  In large doses, it is lethal in a few days.  PET bottles, Shotyk reveals, continuously shed antimony, so the longer water is in the bottle, the higher the levels of antimony. 

Critics pose that the levels of antimony are below accepted safety levels, but recent work on Bisphenol A (BPA) by University of Missouri-Columbia scientists Frederick Vom Saal and Wade Welshons shows that miniscule amounts of BPA are dangerous for humans.  BPA, note, is used to make hard plastics, like the 5-gallon water bottles used in water coolers and baby bottles. 

So, in short, we do not know exactly how dangerous antimony is or if other chemicals are being leached into bottled water on a regular basis.  Additionally, Wikipedia analysis poses that antimony might be an endocrine disrupter.   

Reusing plastic water bottles is not wise.  Water bottles with narrow necks makes washing difficult and can result in both the build-up of unsafe bacteria levels and in increased leaching of toxic chemical from the plastic.  

Third, Americans consume 80 million single-serving bottles of water daily, but only 30 million end up in landfills.  Once in landfills, municipalities and taxpayers—not industry–have to pay to process them.  The rest of the bottles—50 million of them daily–are massively polluting the environment, especially the oceans.  (

States with bottle deposits do get more returned bottles, but they still have to fund disposal.  This situation is a classic example of how industry externalizes its costs.  And, I’m beginning to understand that if a product is cheap, elsewhere, other people are paying personally the actual costs of production.  

I bought a stainless steel water bottle with a narrow neck a few years back.  But, it seems, some metal bottles have plastic coatings inside.  I’m going to replace this bottle with one of the glass water bottles that has a reinforced webbing on the outside that helps prevent shattering.

One thing is for sure:  I’m never buying bottled water again.

Mainely Tipping Points 19: The History of Aspartame: An American Story

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The History of Aspartame:  An American Story 

 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aspartame in 1981.  The decision was made solely by a political appointee, Dr. Arthur Hayes, Jr., despite the fact that since 1973 FDA scientists had consistently and repeatedly refused to recommend aspartame because industry safety studies were inadequate.  Indeed, since the early 1970s the research of scientists not connected to industry has demonsed that aspartame is seriously dangerous for humans in multiple ways.    

Devra Davis, a preeminent cancer epidemiologist and environmentalist, tells the aspartame story in her book The Secret History of the War on Cancer (2007).  For Davis, the aspartame story is yet another illustration of how successful American corporations have been in their quests to sell products they know to be poisonous for humans, but which can and do make huge profits.  The story of how industry got aspartame approved without demonstrating conclusively its safety is worth reviewing because it is, unfortunately, a common story in America, though not one many Americans know since they assume wrongly that their government organizations are acting to protect them.    

Mr. James Schlatter created Aspartame in 1965 while working on new drugs to treat ulcers.  Schlatter licked his fingers to pick up some papers and tasted the intense sweetness of the chemical compound he had just created.  G. D. Searle of the pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle & Company owned the patent, and Searle’s company did the original research on aspartame—research which claimed to show aspartame to be safe for humans (Jim Earle, “Sugar-Free Blues:  Everything You Wanted to Know About Artificial GSweeteners,” February 2004, http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/570-sugar-free-blues.html).      

The context surrounding the battle to win approval for aspartame includes the fact that in November 1970, cyclamate, the most commonly used low-calorie sweetener, was removed from the market because some scientists had associated it with cancer.  At the same time, the safety of saccharin was being questioned.  Aspartame, thus, could become a replacement artificial sweetener for a market searching for lucrative diet products (Jim Turner’s timeline, http://www.swankin-turner.com/hist.html). 

In February 1973, Searle applied for FDA approval of aspartame.  But, Davis reports, Martha Freeman, an FDA scientist, determined that “the information submitted on the safety of aspartame was not adequate.”  Freeman recommended that aspartame not be allowed on the market.  Nevertheless, in July 1974, the FDA gave its first limited approval to aspartame for use in dry foods (420).  Searle called the product NutraSweet. 

Immediately, in August 1974, two men filed an objection against aspartame’s approval:  Jim Turner, a consumer advocate who had helped remove cyclamate from the market, and Dr. John Olney, a research neurologist and psychiatrist whose pioneering research with monosodium glutamate (MSG) enabled removing it from baby foods.  Turner and Olney’s protest spurred an FDA investigation of the Searle studies (Turner). 

Turner’s timeline notes that Searle knew that Olney’s research had shown that aspartic acid, an ingredient in aspartame, caused holes to develop in the brains of infant mice because Olney personally told him so.  And, that one of Searle’s researchers had “confirmed Dr. Olney’s findings in a similar study.” 

Davis writes that Dr. Olney told her that in 1969 Searle asked Harry Waisman to study aspartame in seven infant monkeys.  In one year, one monkey died and five had “suffered severe epileptic seizures.” Waisman died in the spring of 1971, so his research was not completed.  Olney’s research, however, showed that aspartame paired with monosodium glutamate (MSG) produced brain tumors in rats (420).

In January 1977, the FDA Chief Counsel, Richard Merrill, formally asked the U.S. Attorney’s office to convene a Grand Jury to investigate G. D. Searle for knowingly misrepresenting the material facts about the safety of aspartame. This request marks the first time in FDA history that the FDA requested a criminal investigation of a manufacturer (Davis).  

In March 1977, Searle hired politically powerful Donald Rumsfeld as CEO of G. D. Searle & Company.  Rumsfeld had been Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense for Gerald Ford and would become Secretary of Defense for George W. Bush.  In July, Samuel Skinner, the U.S. Attorney in charge of the Grand Jury investigation, took a job with Searle’s law firm.  His replacement, William Conlon, joined Skinner fifteen months later.        

 In August 1977, the FDA released the Bressler report on Searle’s studies claiming the safety of aspartame.  This report, notes Davis, “depicted a stunning number of irregularities”—an assessment senior FDA investigator Jacqueline Verrett, a toxicologist, later seconded in 1987 testimony to the U.S. Senate (420-421).  Verrett’s summation was that it “ `is unthinkable that any reputable toxicologist…could conclude anything other than that the study was uninterpretable and worthless, and should be repeated’ ” (Verrett in Davis, 421).  Turner writes that the “report finds that 98 of the 196 animals died during one of Searle’s studies and weren’t autopsied until as much as one year later.”  And, that growths found in the animals were neither reported nor diagnosed. 

Mark D. Gold of the Aspartame Toxicity Information Center, in a January 2003 request to withdraw approval of aspartame, covers the full range of the Searle safety studies’ irregularities:  http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/Jan03/012203/02P-0317_emc-000202.txt.  Gold’s history of the aspartame history is worth a look.

In December 1977 the Grand Jury investigation was dropped.  Skinner’s withdrawal and Conlon’s inactivity stalled the investigation sufficiently that the statute of limitations ran out.  Davis writes that “expert legal advice” from former FDA officials who now worked for Searle helped “Searle run out the clock.”  She notes that on October 12, 1987, United Press International reported that “more than ten American government officials who had been involved in the decision to approve aspartame were now working in the private sector with or for the aspartame industry” (422).  Davis further notes that “scientific evidence became irrelevant” in the FDA’s approval process (422).     

In June 1979, the FDA established a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) to rule on safety issues surrounding NutraSweet.  In September 1980, the PBOI concluded that NutraSweet should not be approved pending further investigations of brain tumors in animals (Turner, Davis 421-422). 

The turning point came in November 1980 when Ronald Reagan won the Presidential election.  Rumsfeld told a Searle sales meeting that he would get aspartame approved within the year (Davis 422, Turner Timeline).  Turner writes that Rumsfeld said he would use his political pull in Washington to get the job done rather than using scientific means.

In January 1981, Rumsfeld was part of Reagan’s transition team.  Turner writes that Rumsfeld “hand-picked” Hayes to be the new FDA Commissioner.  The day after Reagan’s inauguration, Searle reapplied to the FDA for approval for aspartame.  Hayes was appointed to the FDA in April 1981.    

In March 1981, Gold writes, a five-person FDA commissioners’ panel was created to review issues raised by the PBOI.  Three members were going to vote for disapproval, so Hayes brought in a toxicologist to the panel, and the members split 3 to 3.  Gold takes this part of the story from an investigation done by Gregory Gorden of United Press International that included the irregularities involved in this panel’s determinations. 

In July 1981, “as one of his first official acts,” Hayes overruled the PBOI and ignored the intent of the original five-member FDA commissioner’s panel.  Gold notes that Hayes ignored  ”the law, Section 409(c)(3) of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 348), which says that a food additive should not be approved if tests are inconclusive (Federal Register 1981, Farber 1989, page 38).”  Davis writes that the initial approval is for use in dry products, but that approval was extended for liquids and vitamins within a year (422). 

Turner writes that in September 1983 Hayes resigned from the FDA “under a cloud of controversy” regarding taking ”unauthorized rides aboard a General foods jet.”   Hayes winds up at Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for both Searle and Monsanto, which, in 1985, buys Searle’s aspartame business, The NutraSweet Company.   

Turner writes that when Hayes approved aspartame for dry use, he said that aspartame “has been shown to be safe for its proposed uses” and that “few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated close scrutiny.”  Davis, however, repeatedly demonstrates in her book that tests performed by industry are not reliable—which is a key factor in what is wrong with our regulatory process.  Davis describes, also, how  in 1996 Ralph G. Walton, a professor of clinical psychology at Northeastern Ohio University, for the news show 60 Minutes, surveyed 165 separate aspartame studies published in medical journals over a twenty-year period.  Walton, writes Davis, found the following:  “All of the studies that found aspartame safe happened to be sponsored by industry” and “every single one that questioned its safety was produced by scientists without industry ties” (423).

You must decide if aspartame is safe or not, if the approval process was corrupt or not, or if all of the information above is just a huge conspiracy theory, as the government and industry claim.  I’m going to believe Davis, especially after reading her book about this old, repeated American story of the collusion of our government and industry.   

(Note:  There are at least three aspartame timelines online.  The most complete—and the one the other two likely use–is Mark D. Gold’s, which was submitted to the FDA in 2003:   http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/Jan03/012203/02P-0317_emc-000202.txt).  Jim Turner and Rich Murray have the other two timelines.