Food Safety Authority continues to shoot the messenger

The Soil & Health Association is very concerned that New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) staff are hell-bent on ignoring scientific research that clearly shows the links between aspartame and cancer, especially in children when the mother consumes aspartame during pregnancy. Aspartame converts to formaldehyde when ingested.

Not only that but Food Safety calling the Soil & Health spokesperson a scaremonger is again shooting the messenger instead of attending to the health concerns of the New Zealand community.

“Evidence from award-winning scientific researchers and the increasing local evidence is being studiously ignored by the agency. Why?” asks Soil & Health spokesperson, Steffan Browning.

“The agency has nothing original in its material and is trotting out the same old industry pap. Why? Who are they beholden to? Is it commercial and trade imperatives, philosophical, attitudinal and institutional blindness and deafness? What ever it is, it needs to change very quickly. The information that substantiates the rising list of aspartame victims concerns exists, but the precautionary approach is not even considered unless it is for trade protection.”

“Although the NZFSA toxicologist is touted as an expert, with over 30 years experience, including serving on international expert consultations, he is ignoring mounting research from the international scientific community, such as the following:

“These are indeed extremely high levels for adducts of formaldehyde, a substance responsible for chronic deleterious effects that has also been considered carcinogenic…..
”It is concluded that aspartame consumption may constitute a hazard because of its contribution to the formation of formaldehyde adducts.” (Trocho 1998)

“It was a very interesting paper, that demonstrates that formaldehyde formation from aspartame ingestion is very common and does indeed accumulate within the cell, reacting with cellular proteins (mostly enzymes) and DNA (both mitochondrial and nuclear). The fact that it accumulates with each dose, indicates grave consequences among those who consume diet drinks and foodstuffs on a daily basis.” (Blaylock 1998)

Methanol from aspartame is released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin (Stegink 1984, page 143). A relatively small amount of aspartame (e.g., one can of soda ingested by a child) can significantly increase plasma methanol levels (Davoli 1986a).

Clinically, chronic, low-level exposure to methanol has been seen to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, ear buzzing, GI disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness & shooting pains, behavioral disturbances, neuritis, misty vision, vision tunneling, blurring of vision, conjunctivitis, insomnia, vision loss, depression, heart problems (including disease of the heart muscle), and pancreatic inflammation (Kavet 1990, Monte 1984, Posner 1975).

The methanol from aspartame is converted to formaldehyde and then formic acid (DHHS 1993, Liesivuori 1991), although some of the formaldehyde appears to accumulate in the body as discussed above. Chronic formaldehyde exposure at very low doses has been shown to cause immune system and nervous system changes and damage as well as headaches, general poor health, irreversible genetic damage, and a number of other serious health problems (Fujimaki 1992, He 1998, John 1994, Liu 1993, Main 1983, Molhave 1986, National Research Council 1981, Shaham 1996, Srivastava 1992, Vojdani 1992, Wantke 1996). One experiment (Wantke 1996) showed that chronic exposure to formaldehyde caused systemic health problems (i.e., poor health) in children at an air concentration of only 0.043 – 0.070 parts per million!

“Methanol is a metabolic poison which, in the absence of ethanol (such as in fruits) is unstable and breaks down into formaldehyde, a poison and carcinogen, and formic acid, also a poison and carcinogen,” said Browning.

“The NZFSA “expert” toxicologist quotes formaldehyde in fruit digestion as some sort of equivalent, yet in fruit the methanol does not break down at the same rate into formaldehyde, when bound by natural pectin and is balanced by the proportionately much greater ethanol.”

“Fruit has protective factors which help prevent chronic poisoning from methanol metabolites such as formaldehyde. A dose of aspartame is significantly different than that of a mouthful of fruit which has a range of enzymes and compounds in balance.”

“Some NZFSA staff are also choosing to ignore the very real experiences of New Zealanders who thanks to Abby Cormack, Betty Martini, Safe Food Campaign and Soil & Health have quit aspartame and have recovered from serious life altering health effects,” said Browning.

“For the NZFSA toxicologist to suggest that Soil & Health encouraging people away from a carcinogenic neurotoxic synthetic sweetener is in any way inappropriate because of obesity or diabetes, shows a lack of objectivity. Yes we are taken seriously and the Obesity Action Coalition Executive Director has changed her televised pro-aspartame view since meeting anti-aspartame campaigners Abby Cormack and Betty Martini, and hearing of the corruption and spin, and having the independent research produced in a public forum.”

“Soil & Health will produce research papers substantiating any of its aspartame claims and the supportive information has all been available to NZFSA. It is a matter of will to acknowledge that people in the community are being harmed by aspartame and then actually do something about it.”

“Soil & Health is committed along with Safe Food Campaign, ADHD Society, Mission Possible, many scientists and doctors, consumers and producers to have the toxic aspartame and its stablemates out of the food chain.”