No Label Indeed? Aspartame with Milk May Cause Brain Seizures

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist March 3, 2013

chocolate milkThe big health news from this past week is the petitioning of the FDA by two very powerful dairy organizations, The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to milk and other dairy products without a label.

Aspartame, also known by the brand name Nutrasweet, is made up of three components: 50% phenylalanine (a chemical that affects human brain activity by transmitting impulses), 40% aspartic acid and 10% methanol (poisonous wood alcohol).

Based on the FDA’s track record in handling the aspartame issue, things are not looking good to stop approval of this outrageous measure.

For one, back in 1996 when aspartame was first approved for use in thousands of food products, the FDA used 15 “pivotal” studies as the basis for its decision.

One of these pivotal studies involved oral dosage of aspartame to infant Rhesus monkeys for 52 weeks.   The research was conducted by the University of Wisconsin Medical Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

The monkeys were divided into three groups.   A low dose group which received 1.0 g of aspartame/kg of body weight per day, a medium dose group receiving 3.0g/kg per day and a high dose group receiving 4-6 g/kg per day.

The high dose group ended up ingesting about the same amount as the medium dose group as the high dose monkeys would not consume intended levels of aspartame possibly because it was too sweet at that amount.   There was no control group.

The monkeys in this study were served their aspartame in an orally consumed milk based formula.

Starting about 7 months (218 days) into the experiment, ALL the medium and high dose monkeys began having brain seizures.

“All animals in the medium and high dosage groups exhibited seizure activity. Seizures were observed for the first time following 218 days of treatment… The seizures were of the grand mal type… One monkey, m38, of the high dose group, died after 300 days of treatment. The cause of death was not determined…”

Grand mal seizures also known as tonic clonic seizures are horrific –  a very dangerous seizure which affects the entire brain.

The low dose monkeys might have started to have seizures as well, but the death of one of the researchers, H. A. Waisman, caused a lack of staffing for the study.  As a result, the low dose monkeys were withdrawn from the group at 200 days which is before the seizures in the medium and high dose group began occurring.

As soon as the aspartame was withdrawn from the monkey’s diets, the seizures stopped.

How the FDA could call a study “pivotal” for approving aspartame’s use in thousands of products where every single monkey suffered from grand mal seizures and one died while consuming milk based formula containing this artificial sweetener is incomprehensible.

According to Robert Cohen of Oradell, New Jersey, who rediscovered this study which was reported in 1972, the dairy formula/aspartame milk which the monkeys ingested would have been a key reason for the brain seizures.

Cohen, who holds a degree in brain chemistry, suggests that the ingestion of dairy has the effect of elevating the pH of the stomach.  He contends that drinking a single 12 oz. glass of milk would have the effect of buffering the pH of the human stomach from 2 to 6.

When the stomach pH is 6, Cohen explains that the simple proteins that comprise aspartame would pass through undigested and hence move into the blood intact. 

Testing of the monkeys in this study showed that there was in fact phenylalanine (which comprises 50% of aspartame) in their blood which proves that it is absorbed.  Phenylalanine affects human brain activity by transmitting impulses and the brain seizures started occurring after this compound was detected in the monkey’s blood.

With aspartame, aka Nutrasweet, already used but still included on the label of many dairy products, it’s not a big leap for the FDA to take it to unlabeled status based on the petition from Big Dairy.

This is especially probable given the FDA’s backward interpretation of the Rhesus monkey study which it called “pivotal” in proving human safety and yet all the monkeys suffered from grand mal seizures while ingesting aspartame laced dairy formula.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Sources: Aspartame in Milk Without a Label?  Big Dairy Petitions FDA for Approval

FDA Pivotal Safety Study: Aspartame Caused Brain Seizures

52 Week Oral Toxicity Infant Monkey Study

Picture Credit

 

Comments (235)

  1. Pingback: No Label Indeed? Aspartame with Milk May Cause Brain Seizures – LifeWise

  2. Here is what they are really trying to get away with…
    Neotame has already been approved by the FDA to be added to foods WITHOUT being listed on the label, the amount added by weight is very small and since it is also a “Flavor Enhancer” (read MSG like excitotoxin) if they choose to list it, it can be included in “Flavorings”. Neotame is Aspertame with another toxic chemical added to it.
    Currently they cannot add any non-nutritive sweetener to milk and still call it milk. So, Neotame cannot be added to Milk only milk drinks or reduced calorie milk. However if this passes then it will be legal for non-nutritive sweeteners = Neotame to be added to milk and while aspartame will need to be listed, Neotmae WILL NOT have to be listed on the label.

    Reply
  3. Just don’t give your kids the milk. Simple as that. Instead of arguing about the petition, try writing an informative post and educating those who have no idea what all the fuss is about.

    Reply
    • Mom 2, in my opinion you are so right!!! Kids don’t need milk to grow up strong and healthy. Stop feeding them milk–inform the school cafeteria “no milk or milk products” and let the dairy associations poison the children of the milk producers.

      Reply
  4. The petition is not to allow aspartame in milk products without showing it on the label. It is to
    not show “Reduced Calorie” on the label when a non-nutritive sweetener, such as aspartame, is added. I first heard of this error in the reporting from Whole New Mom. I went to the petition myself and read it and yes, it’s not about adding aspartame without a label.

    Reply
  5. I am the mother of a 12 year old child with Epilepsy..Your post has made Epilepsy sound very, very ugly. Dislike.
    Let’s get some credible sources before we sound the alarms. I haven’t seen any yet, anyone have one?

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Nutrasweet in Milk without Labels?

  7. John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Deanna, can you not read what I have posted about poisons (first post); only ignorant people and aspartame critics use that term. The fact is everything is toxic/poisonous, but everything has a safe dose too. And that includes aspartame, that is, unless you believe the world is flat.

    As to aspartame, I really don’t care if you or any user uses it or not. No one has a gun to your head forcing you take use aspartame, even for chocolate milk-if you read this post.

    And for your information many, many drugs are made by microbial synthesis, including most all antibiotics. Remember that “feces” the next time you need an antibiotic.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    Reply
  8. aspartame is the feces of the ecoli bacteria.in what sane universe would we “recommend” it for human injestion?

    Reply
  9. hey doctor idiot,what excuse is there for using this so called “safe” chemical in all of these products.does it have health benefits? does it protect or preserve the nutritional properties? what is the reasoning to increase the usage of this product where most will not be able to avoid it? was i included in these idiot studies? do you believe as a doctor that we are homogenous and all will react the same? are you aware that the rockefeller foundation controls all the medical information you were indoctinated with to become a “health care “provider?are you aware that it is nutrition and chemical avoidance that makes us healthy and not chemical saturation ? are you aware that there is no such thing as being synthetic chemical deficient ? are you aware that chemical toxicity tests,and heavy metal tests,are not being conducted anywhere and that most if not all chronic disease is caused by nutritional deficiency and chemical exposure? do you have any room in your indoctrinated beliefs for critical thought?are you aware that your entire field of “expertise” does not make you an authority nor were you intended to be an authority to make decisions that affect the biology of the whole of public health ,your career was intended to be focused on promoting “health” and “care” not poisoning the already poisoned with indoctrinating well paid positions that you feel you have “earned” .the pharmaceutical industry funds the cherry picked science you refer to endlessly..”professionals”like you are the hugest part of the problem in “health care” these days.but,im sure you have a nice house and car or 2 earned by your “humanitarian” efforts,eh?

    Reply
  10. Follow up to Mr. Garst’s comments; It took approx. 30 seconds for me to pull up a negative research article concerning aspartame
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/01/07/aspartame-disease-part-two.aspx. The ecosystem here on our planet is extremely intricately designed,
    all microorganisms and natural molecules have a place and a part to play in the system. I cannot tell you how much time I have put into researching what works with the planet’s life systems and what does not work with the planet’s life systems. Man made molecules do not work, they subvert the system and thereby destroy life on the planet and no evidence to the contrary can be found. You could give rebuttal on my last statement instead of restating your outdated research on aspartame? The E. Coli OH 157, the cancer cell, the botulinum, the mosquito, the plague, the locust-they all have a reason for being, it all really is math and science as I said previously. I am becoming encouraged by the large number of people who are now knowing that they do not want man made molecules or interference with the natural ways. The truth is our food supply is laden with poisons.Now that we are knowing who is poisoning who with what, we must find solution to the control that money has over our lives in the form of our overbearing and corrupt government engines. We should start a ground roots movement peacefully according to the constitution;our esteemed congressmen/senators will serve 3 year terms, if the elected officials do not do what they said they would do-we vote them out, no more lobbying, no more FDA, USDA, and the county Sheriff’s (read Sheriff Mack) , who are sworn to uphold our constitutional rights will help us and support out right to petition and change the government from the ground up. The states will regain their sovereignty, if the states are all different in their laws so be it, it makes more choices for we the people. What do you think?

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Hiding Aspartame in Milk Products | Effortless Eating

  12. “5. Search costs include the time and energy it would take an average consumer to read a label and determine whether the product contained the nutritive sweetener or the artificial sweetener.”

    That’s what it says at the very end of the petition on the federal register. So at least those with a brain will be able to decipher ingredients by turning the product around and reading the fine print therefore preserving said brain. It’s going to be even more of a pain though. Now on top of avoiding milk with hormones, it’s going to be aspartame, too. Luckily I can taste it…and it gives me migraines…so I’ll know regardless…

    Reply
  13. Do they want to put this stuff in ALL DAIRY products (cheese, yogurt,cream cheese,cottage cheese etc.? or just the flavored milk products that they want our children to consume! I just do not trust any more. I will be buying even less at grocery stores.

    Reply
  14. Pingback: No Label Indeed? Aspartame with Milk May Cause Brain Seizures | ChronicFatigue Fibromyalgia

  15. Kirsten Hagelund via Facebook March 5, 2013 at 10:50 am

    … scary ! These guys are also the ones assuring everyone that vaccines are safe – scary !

    Reply
  16. Linda Mihalinec via Facebook March 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

    it’s time to begin to believe this and to make the changes in what you consume…. before your health is in ruins.

    Reply
  17. OMG this is horrible news… I’m from Europe and they are now bringing the “bad cousine” of aspartame, neotamine over here as well, with the “no label required” idea. It is starting to be obvious that the elite wants to reduce the population of the world and have big pharma benefit of the last moments of the very sick people. With this particular news I’m just wondering why put sweetener into milk anyway…

    Reply
    • John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      I have claimed 99.9% of scientists believe aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed. Some of you think I am paid for trying to explain the issue. So I ask do you think the University of Maryland is a paid troll too with their report “The Truth About Aspartame”, http://extension.umd.edu/publications/pdfs/fs842.pdf ? Realize that the regulatory agencies of 90 countries agree that aspartame is perfectly safe used as directed and EFSA just reiterated the fact last month. I have suggested why some people are susceptible to aspartame. Frankly, I could care less whether people agree or disagree. I am presenting the facts.

      And the undeniable fact is that some people have a problem with aspartame; I have never questioned that. But in the information I have presented, I have explained why the problem resides in their own metabolism and their own ability to process methanol, formaldehyde or formate or in frank allergy to formaldehyde or formate, not in aspartame safety. Allergy to formaldehyde can arise from childhood insect stings and related issues. People report allergy to milk, peanuts, and many foods. But allergy does in no way make milk and peanuts unsafe to most people, so why do people not recognize aspartame is not unsafe for most people either?

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      Reply
  18. Ruth Heckbert Moquin via Facebook March 5, 2013 at 4:58 am

    I only consume aspartame or other artificial sweetners if I want to make myself reaallly sick! Which is basically never.

    Reply
  19. Catherine Kemeny Gambrell via Facebook March 5, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I couldn’t find a clear answer about labeling one way or another after reading dozens of articles from dozens of sources. I finally tracked down the text of the petition from the dairy industry – should have just looked here first, as it is located in the above-linked regulations.gov page (here is the direct link should anyone be interested in reading it in its entirety: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2009-P-0147-0012).

    While I still think aspartame in milk is a terrible idea, this issue has been greatly misunderstood. The aspartame would still have to be labeled in the ingredients list. It just wouldn’t have to be marked “reduced calorie” or “sugar-free” on the front of the container as it currently is required to be.

    Reply
  20. One problem is that corporations are not human. Driven by humans these corporations use the power they need to increase profit. Once started, like a headless giant corporations tend to gather what ever can be used to further their needs (we might also call this greed).
    Our governments now use the cooperate model. Who can tell them apart? Birds of a feather, love to stick together.

    Reply
    • John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 5, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Kimball:

      You need to get off your socialistic malfeasance and learn some science? Why do you try to blame still abundant folate deficiency (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=folate+deficiency) and the known natural folate polymorphisms that govern this problem (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=folate+polymorphisms) on corporations? What part of 90+ regulatory agencies worldwide being unified on the safety of aspartame do you consider corporations? Aspartame is deemed perfectly safe used as directed by all these agencies, because the only safety problem that can be shown reflect personal problems by individuals in metabolizing the methanol in aspartame. That is not corporations, those are simple personal deficiency or genetic issues that have nothing to do with the inate safety of this sweetener.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      Reply
  21. John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Nikki you need to read more: “Man made molecule-bad. Nature made molecule-good” is a totally manufactured philosophy. That nature-made material also includes the totally natural aflatoxin B1-(see Wikipedia), perhaps the most carcinogenic substance known. It kills hundreds a day in Africa from food grain contamination. By the way corn and peanuts that contain it are diverted to alcohol production and other purposes, since its discovery. By then it had probably killed hundreds of thousands in the good old USA too. And of course there are many, many other mycotoxins that have toxic effects that can be found in our food supply chain. Fortunately those foodstuffs are diverted by the FDA away from our consumption. Also does that include botulinum toxin, perhaps the most toxic substance known–it is totally natural. And then there are corn tortillas that may naturally contain folate antagonists, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15051815 and have even greater consequences than aspartame. And by the way methylsalicylate (oil of wintergreen) is a methyl ester of a completely natural plant product, indicating that other methyl esters like aspartame are probably a natural substance we just haven’t identified yet.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    Reply
  22. to J. R. Garst; I see that you have studied long and much on the subject at hand. If you are given more time on this planet in this time space reality, perhaps you will come to the simple conclusion that I have reached, you are making it far too complicated, when you break it down, only math and science. Man made molecule-bad. Nature made molecule-good. For myself, after many years of research in the field of natural health, I believe that one can find no evidence to the contrary. For the life on this planet; man made molecule-bad……….who can’t get this? .I repeat what I said earlier, the FDA needs to be banished, what if we all pushed for a 3 year term for the congress and the senate so we could take back some control of our lives here?

    Reply
    • John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) September 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Nikki:

      Your naivete is noted. Nature is full of toxins. When people get infections what do you think is the real culprit–mostly chemical toxins, botulina toxins. Aflatoxin (see Wikipedia) is a class of completely natural proven carcinogens. Just because something is man-made doesn’t condemn it one bit.

      FYI, everything (natural or man-made) is toxic. But everything also has a dose that is perfectly safe; it is that dose that determines whether a substance can be used as a drug, be it natural or man-made. Hence the use of botulina toxin in cosmetic procedures.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      Reply
  23. Jodie Hummel Godush via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Okay, seriously, Sarah is being attacked here, and the more persistent and vehement the attack, the closer to the truth she must be (methinks they doth protest too much). It seems that the “opposition” is attempting to stray from the premise: it is NOT okay to put aspartame in products without labeling (and truly, do people really want it in any milk at all, flavored or otherwise?). And the argument that “it makes it more attractive to kids?” Hello? #1, I am the one who goes shopping and buys the milk, and #2 it’s admittedly luring kids to something that “appears” healthy. Teaching them to compromise on their nutrition. Real nice. This has my bloomers in a bunch. Hang in there Sarah, and keep putting the truth where they have to trip over it!

    Reply
  24. I don’t really understand this at all. Firstly, why are they putting aspartame in milk? Is it only in milk, i.e. chocolate milk where they want some sweetening. Secondly, why do they want to hide the fact that it is in the milk, i.e. no labeling? What is the advantage to the big dairy for doing this?

    Reply
  25. Yes of course he is smart…he knows where his new house and yacht and vacation is coming from…..why the aspartame companies of course…what is not smart about this? It should be a question of ethics…which he definitely does not have…

    Reply
  26. It’s reasons like this we bought land, moved and invested in goats and a family cow. I refuse to be a slave to the FDA and will not risk the lives of my children for crap like this.

    Reply
  27. John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I could go on and on about this aspartame conspiracy theory to which you have fallen prey. Admittedly, it does make for an entertaining story. But that story is simply wrong. The issue is far more complex and really doesn’t involve aspartame at all. I could analyze for you every aspartame critical web entry and explain the underlying problems involved [feel free to ask], but in the end, the problems with such allegations all come down to the same thing–PERSONAL issues. In fact, I have suggested that aspartame sensitivity might be a useful tool to predict and measure sensitivity to these underlying serious health problems. But realize that these underlying health issues exist whether or not one uses aspartame or not. For example, consider breast cancer and this last line from Beetstra et al, (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162645): “The results of this study suggest that moderate folate deficiency has a stronger effect on chromosomal instability than BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations found in breast cancer families.”

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    Reply
  28. I trust a ph.d not to bite the hand that feeds him, even if it feeds him poison. I do trust Sara and if she was being untruthful, she would be sued. After reading John Hammell’s Farm and Ranch column in the winter 2012 issue of Wise Traditions concerning agenda 21 and the ICLEI, I don’t trust our government or the un. I hope to watch the you tube video; Agenda 21 for Dummies”. tomorrow.
    The government ph.d’s have given us parity in agriculture and put farmers under the heel of cargil and monsanto, they’ve made raw milk illegal in many states. Too many horror stories of the government and their so called experts who bark on command for their masters who pay for their pet projects and cut off their funding and black list anyone who isn’t in lock step. I’m glad I finally found a source for raw milk in my state even tho it can only be sold as fit for pets, this old dawg sure likes it.

    Reply
    • John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 4, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Wendell:
      I write websites that claim ills with aspartame for three reasons. First, I write not for profit, but for education–did you even know what folate was? I am not paid a penny for any of my writing and never have been. But most of these anti-aspartame web sites sell something as does this website too-might they be biased? Second, I write because, as a retired University Professor living on a pension and SS, these sorts of stories demonstrate ignorance of the relevant issues by all involved, even some scientists. Most critics have no scientific background whatsoever. And FYI, 99.9% of scientists agree with the 90+ regulatory agencies around the world that have approved aspartame. The aspartame conspiracy theory gathers conspiracy theorists daily, but people everywhere, including many physicians, who believe there is a problem with aspartame, simply have no understanding of fundamental biochemistry, muchless the science of toxicology. Lastly, I write because this misunderstanding of aspartame has been twisted and turned by conspiracy theorists that it has become an attack on our drug and chemical regulatory system. So it seems that this ‘aspartame conspiracy theory’ provides both an opportunity to quell ignorance and an opportunity to educate people about serious health problem that is far more worthy of your time and effort.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      Reply
  29. All I read was a “Dr.” saying aspartame is tested more than vaccines (indicating its the most tested substance in history) and common symptoms people experience are “fake” and to cover up their symptoms, people should take other things instead of stopping the consumption on asparatsme cause that can’t possibly be the issue? Yea, sounds like a Big Pharma explanation to me lol Not to mention the long winded, virtually unrelated response lol wonder how much money he makes on drugs the prescribes to cover up the “untrue” side effects of poisons like asparatame?!

    Reply
  30. Amy Jo via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Because that is his livelihood. Admitting anything different would be admitting that he has spent years in a lab creating these poisons for no good reason at all. He should take off the goggles and apron and take a trip on down to the farm. He needs to get out more.

    Reply
  31. Elena Boyko Gallenberger via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Clearly, he is talking about homogenized, pasteurized milk laden with growth hormones.

    Reply
  32. Erika Perez via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I have a question that I hope someone can answer… Is Trader Joes milk considered safe? Or Is it like any other brand?? Please help

    Reply
  33. Flavia Sordelet via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    It would be very interesting to learn who is feeding the ‘good’ doctor’s wallet…we all know, to well, how the tobacco industry was feeding ‘false’ science about smoking for decades, and this is no different!

    Reply
    • John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

      I write websites that claim ills with aspartame for three reasons. First, I write not for profit, but for education–I am not paid a penny for any of my writing and never have been. Second, I write because, as a former University Professor, these sorts of stories demonstrate ignorance of the relevant issues by all involved, even some scientists. The aspartame conspiracy theory gathers conspiracy theorists daily, but people everywhere, including many physicians, who believe there is a problem with aspartame, simply have no understanding of fundamental biochemistry, muchless the science of toxicology. Lastly, I write because this misunderstanding of aspartame has been twisted and turned by conspiracy theorists that it has become an attack on our drug and chemical regulatory system. So it seems that this ‘aspartame conspiracy theory’ provides both an opportunity to quell ignorance and an opportunity to educate people about serious health problem that is far more worthy of your time and effort.

      John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

      Reply
  34. Victoria Collins via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I think people who would even consider buying “flavored” milk, would be totally ignorant about nutrition, anyway. They would probably also be buying the trans fat foods, etc., etc., etc.

    Reply
  35. Gil McAninch via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I’m assuming that aspartame would be added to flavored milk products. They wouldn’t be adding it to plain milk, would they?

    Reply
  36. Kris Weimer via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    The way I read the petition, it is changing the definition of milk, so it would not just be flavored milk, it would be anything that has milk as an ingredient – which that technically includes plain milk.

    Reply
  37. Karen Lossing via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I do have to say that store bought milk is not a safe product to drink. It’s better to do without than it is to drink it! It’s that contaminated!

    Reply
  38. Dave Kinsella via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    WHAT? That’s crazy! Totally crazy! Aspartame and MSG are brain killers. We need to have information. We must be informed. We live in a free society where information like this should not be withheld from an unsuspecting public.

    Reply
  39. John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    There is so much misinformation out there about aspartame it is ridiculous. The fact is that aspartame is safer than the milk it is proposed to sweeten. Even more, it is ridiculous that people buy into this aspartame conspiracy theory. Virtually all the relevant regulatory agencies in the world have completely approved aspartame. So let me address this issue in a variety of ways.

    First, for Fiona and those concerned about labeling, milk already contains much phenyalanine and aspartate, so neither warrants posting for phenylketonuria, as does aspartame when used alone. Second, toxicological risk assessment is about balancing risks. This whole issue is about getting children to drink milk, instead of sugary beverages. If it takes chocolate, aspartame-sweetened milk to make this switch, overall children are far better off with this change.

    Now about two other relevant issues. Claims of safety concerns with aspartame are far overblown. It is the most tested substance in history; the furans from corn are more threatening. And actually any sensitivity to aspartame probably involves a personal nutritional adequacy, but I will explain both starting with the perception by some that aspartame is toxic.

    The fundamentals of toxicology (science of poisons) say that “everything is toxic.” This fundamental tenet of toxicology was established by Paracelsus in the 1500’s (Wikipedia: Paracelsus). But everything about toxicology is dose; the words ‘toxic’ or ‘poison’ mean nothing without a specific dose for that substance. The words ‘toxic’ or ‘poison’ are used when the doses required for effect are very low and thus exposure represents a hazard. But dose alone also separates a ‘poison’ from a food/drug. For example botulinum toxin (Botox), which is the perhaps the most toxic substance known (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin), is also used extensively in cosmetic procedures. Highly toxic cyanide is found in plant products we all consume; however, cyanide at those doses is readily detoxified by a cyanide-specific enzyme, rhodanese, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodanese. In contrast ‘low-toxicity’ water drowns hundreds of people yearly, but water isn’t considered ‘toxic’ or a ‘poison’. This principle of toxicology is as established as the concepts that the world rotates about the sun and that the world is basically spherical; these are not up for debate and the arguments of people who do not believe this principle are completely dismissible.

    Again everything is toxic–that includes aspartame and all its three decomposition products, aspartate, phenylalanine, and methanol. Where the aspartame critics fail to understand and then mislead the reader is that dose is paramount to effect. That includes 99% of aspartame critics. Aspartame critics cannot now do this and never could! They believe there is no safe dose. And that is part of the reason why they cannot get any regulatory agency to even listen to their long-failed arguments. Realize, just this year the European Food Safety Authority again validated the safety of aspartame as have 90+ governmental regulatory agencies throughout the relevant world.

    Now concerning aspartame itself, here are facts people fail to understand. To reiterate the point that these substances pose little risk at the doses involved, note that formate and formaldehyde are [quoting another] “produced in the body during the endogenous demethylation of many compounds, including many foods [fruit juices] and drugs. For example, the demethylation of the caffeine found in one cup of coffee produces 30 mg of formaldehyde (Imbus, 1988). Formaldehyde is essential in one-carbon pool intermediary metabolism. The metabolite of formaldehyde, formic acid, is a substrate for purine nucleotide synthesis (Sheehan and Tully, 1983). It can be calculated that more than 50,000 mg [that's 50 g] of formaldehyde is produced and metabolized in an adult human body daily and that an adult human liver will metabolize 22 mg of formaldehyde per minute (Clary and Sullivan, 1999). Consequently, it is quite clear that the formaldehyde from aspartame provides a trivial contribution to total formaldehyde exposure and metabolism in the body” (p 18 in and refs from http://www.fte.ugent.be/vlaz/Magnuson2007.pdf).

    So the facts suggest clearly that any sensitivity issues with aspartame are PERSONAL issues; ALL can be explained by PERSONAL matters like folate deficiency and corollary issues (both known and some likely yet unknown) like often genetic folate enzyme issues (polymorphisms, Wikipedia: methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), B12 deficiency (often vegetarian-related), (genetic) methionine synthase enzyme issues, and/or (genetic) homocysteine accrual. [This should also include vitamin processing to active forms (both folate and dihydrofolate must be enzymatically reduced to the active tetrahydrofolate and that has to be conjugated with a cell-type specific-length of glutamate, most often pentaglutamate). And different cell types in different organs may even have different uptake preferences. Needless to say folate is an extremely complex biochemical system. And that doesn’t even address many other yet unknown genetic variations.]

    Moreover, the folate system is not independent; folate, B12, and homocysteine are all functionally interrelated (Wikipedia: the metabolism of folic acid under Vitamin_B12). All involve not just the normal, natural recycling of otherwise essential formaldehyde and formate produced from methanol into methyl groups, but the availability of these methyl groups to regulate vital-to-life (DNA) itself. Ethanol (primarily through its antagonist metabolite acetaldehyde) is also known inhibitor of these vital folate reactions. So in these borderline cases of aspartame sensitivity, alcohol consumption may be a prime factor explaining any increased sensitivity to aspartame as well. Realize ethanol, not methanol, is the cause of fetal alcohol syndrome, and ethanol is a documented factor in facilitating many cancer types, for example http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22218157 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16508294.

    Critics have criticized aspartame as causing about every ill effect known to man. They claim some 92+ symptoms for aspartame. Analysis, however, directly links all of these issues to the above described personal issues. For example consider aspartame’s most widely reported issue, migraine headaches. In what I have written above I note that various folate, B12 and related issues better explain problems with aspartame. In this case that is even more likely because migraines have been linked directly to the MTHFR C677T folate polymorphism (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19619240 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265). Both papers report complete resolution of these migraines with added folate alone. These investigations revealed that more than normal daily recommended amounts are needed (2-5 mg), but in these papers aspartame was not involved and increased folate doses ALONE solved the migraine problem. That alone suggests a human sub-population that is even more deficient in folate for which resolution of their symptoms requires even more folate. This year’s Norwegian autism study, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23403681, only confirms the current importance of the deficiency issue, but those results may also reflect the fact that most of Europe still has not mandated folate fortification. But this isn’t particularly surprising both in view of methanol’s requirement for folate for metabolism, but also because folate uptake into brain has been linked to childhood autism, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23314536.

    One of the aspartame critic’s latest inventions is autism; they have spread this nonsense all over the web (Google ‘aspartame autism’ to see some of these claims). But a recent finding from Norway reported in JAMA found that autism incidence is markedly reduced by folate, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1570279. That discovery only further documents my argument.

    In summary each alleged symptom for aspartame, including seizures, can also be explained similarly by the issues discussed above and all are personal issues, not safety issues with aspartame itself.

    John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

    Reply
    • Rather than debate the merits of aspartame, maybe we should take a step back and discuss your assumption that we as a society have to put an additive to what say is a healthy food to entice youngsters to consume it. Maybe we could put our energy and resource s not on aspartame r & d but on education on nutrition.

      Reply
    • My ‘personal issues’ are that I am allergic to wood alcohol. And since the vast majority of people haven’t been tested for this or most any chemical allergies, I wonder just how many more people are like I am.
      I am a highly sensitive individual. I did a chemical patch test and 3/4 of them came back positive. I eat a walmart cake and break out in a rash normally by the next day.
      Crazy stuff! Everyone has personal issues and there are far more of them than just what you scientifically consider significant.

      Reply
    • While milk contains a significant amount of phenyalanine and phenylketonurics would aviod it anyway, for me it’s not that simple. I am a phenylketonuric and drink milk. I do not have classic PKU, but I have a PKU variant. But if I were to drink milk with aspartame I’d be in trouble. I still NEED that warning on the label!! So, it disturbs me that you seem to think it’s not needed, and as far as I know it must be provided by law as it should be, regardless of the product itself!!

      (employed by makers of SweetLeaf Stevia…and a phenylketonuric ;D)

      Reply
  40. Anthony N Carol Gabriellini via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I went to regulations.gov and submitted a comment on the following proposed rule: Flavored Milk: Petition to Amend the Std. of ID for Milk, etc. After I filled in the form, it wouldn’t accept it unless I filled in an “Association”. I put “American Consumer” – because that’s what I am – it went through. I guess they really don’t want to hear from individuals, only from organizations! Amazing, isn’t it? Carol

    Reply
  41. Sarah, please do read the actual proposal here:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/20/2013-03835/flavored-milk-petition-to-amend-the-standard-of-identity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products#h-10

    Especially misleading is your photo of plain milk by the gallon at the top of the post, when such milk is not even related to the subject of the proposal.

    Please amend your post to reflect the facts. When a prominent natural-food blogger like you sends thousands of readers on a freak-out spree with misinformation, it makes all of us look like nuts. It took me three clicks from your article to find the actual proposal you’re talking about. How are the skeptics supposed to take you seriously if you can’t be bothered with the most basic fact-checking?

    Reply
    • Thank You for clarifying Tony. Yes, the photo was VERY misleading and I panicked when I thought this affected plain white milk. How about a picture and a description of the products this would potentially affect, as well as a DIRECT link instead???

      Reply
  42. IT’S ALL ABOUT GREED! and has been the way of the USA for decades! being a born citizen of this country, I love this country, but am no longer proud of it! I am embrassed of it’s GREED! It’s all about more money. these big companies can never make enough. and repeat customers. they put DANGEROUS ADDICTING CHEMICALS AND GMO’S in our foods and drinks. and the cheaper sweetener HFCS is in everything and no one knows about this til they have unknowingly been injesting the stuff for years. that’s why they don’t want it on the labels of products. because people are reading labels and making better choices and they would then sell less products. so they pay off these people that decide what gets in and what doesn’t. What about humanity?? Is it HUMAN to poison us?! With the GMO’S, HFCS, ASPARTAME, PESTICIDES ETC.(and that’s just a drop in the bucket) This is not a free country,when we have no choice in what we DO NOT WANT to put in our bodies. It’s like were lab rats,(or monkeys) in some surreal sci-fi movie. you get to watch but are helpless to do anything! you ever think alot of other countries do not do this to the publics food supply. so why the USA? It really scares me what this country allows to go in to our food supply. There making us DEATHLY ILL and than complains about the medical costs Iam.frustrated and feel totally helpless. as I’m sure many do. I agree with what Deanna Munson has said. I think there playing GOD and trying to lower the population it looks to be. allowing all these harmful things in our food,water,air. If and when is it going to END?!

    Reply
  43. My question is – In the US do you have to warn people with phenylketonuria about the aspartame?? I just know that over here there are warnings on products that have aspartame because of this… and therefore even if a product doesn’t SAY it’s got aspartame, you’d think there would have to be some sort of other warning? I just find it astonishing that you could allow the addition of an artificial sweetener without SOME sort of labelling!!

    Reply
  44. Heather Anderson March 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    This would be an outrageous step, and just proves the need to by local from people you know and trust. Thank you for continuing to share such valuable information.
    Heather Anderson\’s last post: The Family Meal Time

    Reply
  45. If a product requires the intervention of or investigation by the FDA then it is automatically put on my do not touch list. They should take the “F” out of their name.

    Reply
  46. I read the petition, and it looks to me like the petitioners are actually just asking to have the right to avoid saying “reduced calorie” or “less sugar” or some such in a visible label on the product. In other words, if my reading is correct, they’d still have to include aspartame, etc. in the ingredients. Frankly this doesn’t set of my alarms, particularly. If you’re particularly worried about aspartame and other fake sweeteners — and you probably should be — you should be reading the ingredients list anyway.

    The petitioner’s contend that kids will deliberately avoid foods marked as “reduced calorie” or “less sugar”, which may be true for some kids, but those kids need decent parenting; changing aspartame labeling won’t help them.

    Reply
  47. ya all know theyre already fluoridating milk right? http://www.fluorideresearch.org/281/files/FJ1995_v28_n1_p010-016.pdf , and salt http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2013-02-02/a-pinch-of-fluoride-in-salt/ , and we realize already monsanto owns the food chain,and that in the USA monsanto is called Cargill http://understory.ran.org/2012/02/23/monsanto-and-cargill-the-thugs-of-big-food/ and that cargill is responsible for 75% of water fluoridation in the USA https://www.fluoridealert.org/news/public-health-community-upset-by-questions-about-fluosilicic-acid/ and that these companies are directly related to nazi concentration camps,IG Farben and Aushwitz …right? http://farmwars.info/?p=3613 ,http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Monsanto ,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saeFpUd3L-s

    Reply
  48. thing is,there is no logical reason for it.none.other than to make people chronicly ill .its not even like they need to “sell” their product,they have this crap in everything already.people need to start questioning the dangerous reality we live in.before its too late.everything being done covertly AND out in the open have no purpose other than to poison.even profit and greed no longer make sense when these corps already own everything and everyone including most positions in government.it can no longer be seen as mere lack of oversight,or even negligence at this point.we already have proof regarding the imminent dagers of fluoride,aspartame,microwave telecomunications and wifi in every single school.we know injecting our children 25-40 times before school age with formaldehyde,the active ingredient inradiator fluid,preservatives,benzene,mercury and or aluminum cause permanent damage to the brain and immune system.we have alternatives,natural ones,beneficial ones.we as a society are becoming unable to think critically.what happens when those sitting in their ivory towers making these decisions for the entire country are the only ones left?

    Reply
  49. Francheska Freeman Henderson via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    if the thing is them wanting to get it in chocolate milk they serve at schools that is horrible!

    Reply
  50. Shirley Kase via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    We eat almost all organic too and the more I learn about what is GMO and notice it on labels the more organic I buy. Just found out recently citric acid is GMO and that right there made a lot more products go out the window we used to buy in the natural foods and either ditch completely or now buy organic.

    Reply
  51. Shirley Kase via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Wow- aspartame in even small amounts like a gum stick or breath mint give me headaches. That’s just not right.
    I am glad to hear it isn’t in the regular.
    I personally buy all organic dairy as non organic causes us issues but organic does not.

    Reply
  52. Francheska Freeman Henderson via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Exactly Elisabeth ! How can they put it in anything and not have the warning label for phenylketonurics?

    Reply
  53. Karen Bixler via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    If this is approved then other industries will try petition the FDA for the same benefits. It only takes the approval of one for the door to be flung wide open.

    Reply
  54. Tina Kelly via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I am so disgusted with the US and all of their horrible decision making on food additives like BHT etc, pesticides, high frutose in everything, and GMOS… And now this!!! I feel like most americans don’t even care enough about it for anything to change which also disgusts me … Right now I buy mostly everything organic which is costing my family of 4 allot of extra money but it is so hard to buy anything these days that I can trust unless it is labeled organic and/or GMO free. The US goverment is so disappoining when it comes to our food system and I just wrote them a not so nice letter!

    Reply
  55. Heather Weinstock March 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I smell a lawsuit. There are alot of people like myself who cannot have aspartame. When I have aspartame, I get severe ADHD like symptoms, and also zone out for small periods of time (usually a few minutes) where apparently I have a blank stare and cannot communicate, and I would be more than happy to sue Big Dairy for a stunt like that. I sure hope that Obama’s budget cuts aren’t going to affect Big Dairy, because they sure are going to need the money for all those lawsuits.

    Reply
    • people with pku can have very little to no milk in their diet. and trust me they check labels carefully and the community is very aware of things like this. i have one child with classic and 2 that are hyper phe.

      Reply
  56. Abigail Ard Aars not jumping to conclusions .. if the FDA allows aspartame and other nonnutritive sweeteners to be included in the same category as sugar, hfcs then aspartame would be in the milk without a label. The FDA could choose to allow aspartame and require a new label .. that is one of the options. But, if they just approve the petition as is,, there would be aspartame in these beverages with no label.

    Reply
    • Wrong – aspartame would be listed in the ingredients. The petition concerns the front of the packaging of flavored milks, like chocolate and strawberry. Please read the petition and provide a link to it. By law aspartame and its derivatives have to be on ingredients list because they contain phenylketonurics and people born with PKU cannot process it.

      Reply
      • Fyi, phenylketonurics are people. I should now because I am one of them, and to my knowledge aspartame does not contain people like me. ;D

        (employed by the makers of SweetLeaf Stevia…and born with a PKU variant ;D)

        Reply
  57. Abigail Ard Aars Here’s my understanding .. the sugar that is currently added to the flavored milk is not labeled and they want to allow aspartame under the same guise which would mean aspartame in the dairy beverages without a label. Here’s the wording: ” the dairy giants claim a new label is not required because sugar is added to milk without labeling it, and “the modified food is not inferior in performance” and “‘reduced calorie’ (labels) are not attractive to children” so marketing as such is of no benefit or detriment.”

    Reply
  58. It amazes me that more and more information seems to be being taken away from people. It should be illegal not to declare 100% of all ingredients in ANY food or cosmetic product. If people are allowed to not declare ingredients then to me that is like making a communist/controlling environment where information is witheld. In India, people can sell a product without declaring the ingredients and it’s always a very suspicious thing to me – what are they trying to hide?? I don’t know how people can just blindly pick up a product and buy it without knowing the ingredients. Thank God for little/local dairy farms. I can’t wait to start my own little dairy farm one day and supply people with real milk!

    Reply
  59. Official wording of the petition: IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products. They state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school.

    Reply
    • Sarah, that wording is very clear: they want to provide lower-calorie flavored milk products, ie. flavored milk products sweetened with aspartame instead of white sugar or corn syrup. So can you explain why you head the article with a photo of gallons of plain milk which the petition does not affect in any way? Was this an oversight or are you deliberately trying to mislead?

      Reply
  60. It is about fooling the customer, but people are jumping to conclusions about their hiding aspartame. We need to educate, not scare. “As required by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food labeling regulations, all food products that include non-nutritive sweeteners as an ingredient must be clearly labeled and include the name of the sweetener on the package’s ingredient statement.

    The FDA petition would not change any existing requirements that aspartame, sucralose or any other non-nutritive sweetener be included in the list of ingredients if it is present.”

    Reply
    • Abigail, we all know scare headlines get more links and clicks. Give Sarah a break; she has to make a living too. How many people would share a story headlined “FDA considers proposal to make artificially-flavored dairy-based junk food look more like sugary dairy-based junk food”? Me neither.

      Reply
  61. This may sound a little odd, but it’s true. Last week when I spent the night at a motel, they had a free breakfast in the morning. Biscuits and gravy…(ICK) bread, yogurt, oranges, two types of cereal, milk and instant oatmeal. While I do eat packaged food OCASSIONALLY, I try to avoid it. I figured the “best”, most “healthy” foods here would be the fresh oranges, the yogurt, and a piece of ww bread. That is what I had for breakfast. About an hour later my stomach started churning, so I headed in to the bathroom. Lo’ and behold the color of my poo was flourescent GREEN! I simply couldn’t figure out what I had eaten for that to happen. Then I remembered way back in the 80′s when artificial sweeteners were relatively new, I was a day care provider. One child would get flourescent green poo after eating artificial sweetener. (Like drinking sugar free Kool-Aid, for example.) Anything that would make flourescent green poo could NOT be good for a person. I told my SO of my findings, (the only thing he ate that was the same as what I had was the yogurt.) and wouldn’t you know it? He ended up with f. green poo later that day!
    It must/it has to do something to your liver, because it’s the same color as bilirhubin (sp?) a baby has when their liver function is not up to par.

    Reply
  62. WOW ! This article is amazing! I live in Michigan. It is illegal to sell raw milk. There is nowhere I can purchase it within a couple hundred miles (that I know of). I’ve been drinking soda drinks with Aspartame for years and now find out the awful side effects. I have most of the chronic conditions spoken of in your article/comments. AMAZING ! And now, for the milk producers to add Aspartame to milk and pass even more laws to restrict the production and sale of raw milk. I would like to buy into a farm that produces raw milk so I could have my own raw milk ! Do you know how I can do that? How would I go about doing that?

    Reply
    • You don’t mention where in Michigan you live, but there are a lot of locations you can get a cow lease. Check online, go to farmer markets etc. After you buy into a cow lease, you can buy raw milk. Then you can also purchase grass fed beef and pastured chickens/eggs. Many farmers don’t require a cow lease for the later, however. Just for the milk. But start at a farmers mkt. They’re everywhere.

      Reply
      • This is how it works where I live, but the milk is now up to 10 bucks a gallon and climbing. I just can’t afford that. I was happy to pay six, but this is jst too much for me and a larger than average family. So what to do now?

        Reply
        • Kersten, I’m so sorry that it’s hard to buy natural for your children–as many concerned parents are finding out. Just don’t feed them milk, or maybe try almond milk, or an alternative. Or buy milk only once or twice a month. Your children will grow up just as healthy–especially with a health conscious parent like you–and they may be healthier without the milk. The propaganda is that, “We need milk for health,” but that’s a major lie.
          I’ve been a vegetarian for about 25 years, and when people–especially teenagers find this out–they say in shock, “But how do you get your protein?” I’m in my sixties, and I sometimes think about that question when I run up and down the tall school stairs without breathing hard–past puffing and huffing sixteen-year-old kids who drink processed milk-food everyday in the cafeteria.

          Reply
  63. I buy raw milk and drink raw milk. But don’t be misinformed. If aspartame is in the milk, it HAS to be labeled. They are wanting to add aspartame to FLAVORED dairy products and not label it as “reduced-calorie” so as to trick the public into drinking more milk. Legally they have to label the aspartame as an ingredient….unfortunately we know that consumers don’t tend to read the list of ingredients.

    Reply
    • Thanks Abigail. I posted several comments here pointing that out and linking to the actual proposal and Sarah simply deleted them.

      Reply
      • Tony I don’t think your comments wre deleted- I’ve read several from you. Thanks for clarification, although I still don’t agree with what they are trying to push.

        Reply
      • I don’t think they were deleted, Tony. Just saying.
        And it is true that there MUST be a phenylketonuric warning on all food products containing aspartame.

        (Employed by Wisdom Natural Brands, SweetLeaf Stevia)

        Reply
  64. When I first read this a few days ago, I was horrified! How in the world can they even consider something this horrible? Then I look at the vaccine industry, and know why. Sigh.

    My sons go ballistic when they get either aspartame or sucralose. I mean ballistic. If one gets angry over a minor thing, it’s blown out of proportion to the extent I wonder if I’m going to have to call the police to protect myself and the other children. When I come to the conclusion it is artifical sweeteners, I have them drink a lot of water until it clears out of their system and gain control of their minds again. Usually it comes from gum some “well-meaning” sharing person has to hand out. And they know to say no,, but they are young kids, so….they take it. The stuff scares me especially when you see all these angry people walking around and you have to wonder….

    I did leave a comment on the FDA site about saying no to adding this toxic crap to milk. Hopefully you can find that and all comment about how bad this toxic poison is for your family. (I did it at work and don’t have it currently).

    In the mean time, we are actively searching for a raw milk seller. So far no luck with anyone close enough to buy it. Most farmers are scared of the feds taking them to jail. :(

    Reply
    • Look up the ‘Failsafe Diet’. An Austrialian doctor developed it and It addresses the very issue of behavior and food – turns around some of the most extreme cases.

      Reply
  65. From what I understand, they want to use aspartame in place of sugar in the milk products that already contain sweetener. Not to plain, regular white milk. That doesn’t sound half as bad as sweetening all dairy products did. But people certainly deserve to know exactly whta is in their food, whether it is sugar, hfcs or aspartame, especially because so many people do have bad side effects to aspartame. This and so many other things is driving us to make it or grow it ourselves, or do without. Going to give homeme almond milk a try – I think it would be cheaper than the milk we buy anyway, from a local dairy!

    Reply
  66. Christa Caroline via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    This is my question, if they are doing this with milk… what else has aspartame that people aren’t aware of?
    And if other things contain aspartame and people haven’t known about it, wouldn’t that throw ALL of the research out that says people who didn’t drink aspartame sweetened drinks didn’t have higher rates of cancers and brain damage?

    Reply
  67. Deanna Perrault Narron via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I can understand how the greedy companies would want to add stuff thats bad for us without labeling it but I dont understand why our government would ever allow it!!!

    Reply
    • The FDA can be bought off by those companies. Do research on how aspartame was approved. You’ll find it was due to politics, not science.

      ( PKU variant-employed by Wisdom Natural Brands, SweetLeaf Stevia)

      Reply
      • John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) September 17, 2013 at 2:42 pm

        Some critics suggest there was politics involved in the approval process by the FDA. As to that argument, any issues that may have existed around that time arose because of an unrecognized, but now well-documented population-wide deficiency in the vitamin folic acid. That has been documented in rats and people. Why do you think folate grain fortification was mandated in the USA starting in 1998? It was because women were giving birth to babies with neural tube deformities because of folate deficiency (see http://www.cfp.ca/content/54/1/36.full.pdf+html).

        All the “FDA people” critics cite as originally questioning its safety, no doubt saw concerning issues with the original Sprague-Dawley short-term rat study. While they didn’t know why, today we know why—it was folate deficiency in the rats. When the same study was repeated with corn based diets (rich in folate) no problems were seen. That is also why the aspartame approval delay critics implicate in a political decision. But today we know that a documentable folate deficiency exists in this Sprague-Dawley rat breed by one year of age (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12042458). So using a diet already deficient in folate would obviously have shown problem signs earlier. Hundreds of studies later, including many by completely different agencies of the federal government, have found nothing scientifically relevant to aspartame’s safety, especially since the 1998 USA-mandated folate grain-product supplementation.

        Simply put there was no conspiracy theory then or now; there was, however, much ignorance of the very important role of folic acid in metabolism of methanol; this fact was well documented by the work of Tephly starting in the 1970′s (even before aspartame) here, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Tephly%2Cmethanol%2Cfolate. And folate deficiency, not aspartame, is associated with numerous types of disease and cancer. You might appreciate knowing that folate deficiency plays a major role in breast cancer. In fact the last line of an Australian research team’s abstract says, the “results of this study suggest that moderate folate deficiency has a stronger effect on chromosomal instability than BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations found in breast cancer families” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162645).

        John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

        Reply
  68. Carrie Nordin via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I guess government doesn’t care that it is hypocritical does it? On one side they have pressure from the public to promote health (if you can call ‘big pharma’ health), but secretly they are methodically making people sick and slowly shortening the lifespans of each consecutive generation. They are clever enough to know that it starts with the younger generations too.

    Reply
    • Carrie, you are so right! And it’s very scary, isn’t it.

      “All along the streets I see so many fast food restaurants waving to us like flower creatures from some strange planet–giant Venus fly trap type flowers–with neon petals enticing people into brightly colored seats to be addicted forever.
      ‘And we now serve milk,’ they advertise entrancingly.”

      Reply
  69. Dee Lipscomb via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Humans shouldn’t drink cow’s milk anyway! Cows have 5 stomachs for a reason, we only have one! lol :)

    Reply
    • Actually, cows have 1 stomach, divided into four compartments. How can we take your opinions as valid when your facts aren’t straight?

      Reply
      • But nick, let’s not be so critical. Dee had a really great and healthy idea: Don’t drink milk! To me, it’s just a highly processed, chemical and hormone laden fast food–and that’s before high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, artificial colors, etc., are even added.

        Dee, let’s hope that most Americans will take your advice. In my opinion, sodas and milk are both very unhealthy drinks for children and other humans.

        Many of my relatives, friends, and neighbors are now growing gardens–and hopefully, they won’t outlaw gardens to make us eat processed foods at fast food restaurants like automated robots.

        We need to love our children enough to feed them real foods–or as real as we can find them.

        Reply
  70. I wish the FDA was actually concerned with protecting the public health and not focused on growing food industry profits. Besides causing seizures, Aspartame toxicity can mimic neurologic disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis. In my practice I use food sensitivity testing and it’s amazing how many people we find are sensitive to Aspartame — and how hard it is to avoid! Migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue… if you are suffering from an unexplained chronic condition, Aspartame should be on your elimination list!

    Reply
  71. Jodie Hummel Godush via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 11:55 am

    It is no better than the cigarette companies adding more nicotine to their products…they are trying to create addicts, and, most sinister, they are doing it under the guise of “healthy foods.”

    Reply
    • Agreed. I have not witnessed one myself, but my German shepherd had them (I believe as a reaction to anasthesia for neutering – couple of weeks after the procedure she was right as rain). She was about 75 lbs and it took 3 full grown men to restrain her when she did have a seizure.

      Reply
  72. Clarissa Mc Kenzie via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

    This is just beyond sick. People better start waking up to what and why they are doing this to us. It’s terrible and should be a crime. This is why they don;t want you to have gardens and raw milk.

    Reply
  73. Jodie Hummel Godush via Facebook March 4, 2013 at 11:41 am

    @Anna…there is a “health shake” company out there who does the same thing…only adds “a very small amount” of aspartame to their powder…my question has been, if it’s negligible, why use it at all? I can’t seem to get a straight answer. (I guess most of the “health shakes” have it in them)

    Reply
    • They would still have to label it, they are just asking not to have to put designations like “reduced calorie” in the name of the product on the front of the package.

      Reply
  74. Yes, and there are others like me who have very negative reactions to artificial sweeteners. Can you believe this? We can’t get healthy raw milk legalized but they want to put more toxic additives to milk without labels. Grrrrr.

    Reply
  75. My 13-month old grandson is now drinking whole milk. We already avoid milk from cows dosed with rGBH, but if aspartame is not required on the label then contacting the company directly seems to be the only way to purchase with confidence. Have others already done this, and with what success?

    Reply
    • It would still be listed in the ingredients, and anything with aspartame in it would still be required to have a prominent warning on the label for PKU sufferers, so no worries about not being able to tell what’s in your milk. This is only about the “large print” requirement that dairy products with alternative sweeteners be labeled “reduced calorie” or something like that in the product name.

      Reply
  76. The petition is to call strawberry milk ‘milk’ rather than ‘dairy beverage’. Aspartame will be listed on ingredients. They will not allow a no listed ingredient.

    Reply
    • This only concerns the LABELING on the front of products that ALREADY contain aspartame. They are not proposing adding it to plain milk or taking it off the ingredient list of products that contain it. Yes, the photo at the top of this post is blatantly misleading.

      Reply
      • Tony – You evidently didn’t read the reply to your comment (above). What they actually are petitioning the FED for is to REDEFINE milk to include the aspartame, thereby making it unnecessary to label it. It would be in everything dairy.

        What’s even more disconcerting than the involvement of the FDA is that the INTERNATIONAL Dairy Association is also involved. Would it then be impossible to buy uncontaminated milk anywhere in the world? I can’t imagine that the French would go along with this.

        Reply
        • No, if you read the FDA website page about this, and then go and look at the rules and sections this proposed wording change would take place in, you would see that they are only asking that alternative non-caloric sweeteners be subject to the same labeling laws as high-fructose corn syrup, malt, invert sugar, cane sugar, honey and other caloric sweeteners. It would still be listed in the ingredient label, and any food containing aspartame would still be required to carry a prominent warning for PKU sufferers.

          Reply
          • John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition) March 5, 2013 at 1:08 am

            Labelling of aspartame in milk is one thing, but any demand for labelling of aspartame containing milk for PKU sufferers would be pointless. That is, because milk is already to be avoided anyway for PKU sufferers, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/phenylketonuria/DS00514/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs. That is because milk contains more phenylalanine and aspartate than does aspartame anyway, http://extension.umd.edu/publications/pdfs/fs842.pdf.

            John E. Garst, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Nutrition)

          • I live in France, Dianne. The normal milk here that consumers buy isn’t fresh milk,, but UHT milk: long shelf-life milk. It tastes vile the minute you open it up – an unnaturally sweet taste. I actually saw a Frenchman just back from living in California drink a glass of UHT milk, smile and say, “Back to great French milk”.
            !!!!! Every year that passes more forget what great food is, although there is a notion to keep up standards. However, France is the largest user of pesticides in the European Community and 40% of produce tests over the safe limit. I know a farmer that won’t eat anything that’s not from his own garden. His colleagues routinely overspray so they’re assured to sell their crop when the time comes (looks better with less losses).

            Wikipedia states:
            “UHT milk has seen large success in much of Europe, where across the continent as a whole 7 out of 10 Europeans drink it regularly.[6] In fact, in a hot country such as Spain, UHT is preferred due to high costs of refrigerated transportation and “inefficient cool cabinets”.[7] Europe’s largest manufacturer, Parmalat, had $6 billion of sales in 1999.[6] UHT is less popular in Northern Europe and Scandinavia, particularly in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is also less popular in Greece, where fresh pasteurized milk is the most popular type of milk.”

            The European Union just took another step backwards: “Banned for 10 years in fish feed, as a part of the ‘Feed Ban’, meals from monogastric animals (pig and poultry) will now be reintroduced into the diet of farmed fish.”

            Also, estimation is 85% of animal feed in Europe is derived from GMOs:
            http://www.anh-europe.org/news/europeans-consuming-gm-animal-feed-unknowingly

            I wish it was different, but it’s a constant struggle to access untainted food over here. The organic stores in this area don’t sell raw milk, and I’ve never found raw milk in any of the national organic chains. But we can find raw butter and raw cheeses at the super markets, so that’s a relief!

          • @John Garst I have a variant of PKU, and I would still need the warning on milk. True, milk is a no-no on the PKU diet, and I had to stay away from it as a child, but now I no longer follow the diet. However, I stay away from aspartame like the plague as it is 50% of aspartame and is in isolation off the protein chain, rendering very dangerous for me, hence the required warning. The fact is there is MUCH more phenylalanine in aspartame than milk. In natural foods the concentration of phenylalanine is only 4-6%. HUGE difference. I NEED the warning on milk because i drink it, but aspartame would be very harmful harmful for me. Those are the facts. I find it disturbing that you think the warning, which is required by law is not needed. After all, ice cream, which is also off the classic PKU diet is also required to list the warning. Next time you’re in grocery store, check an ice cream carton for yourself. I hope the aspartame people ignore your comment because following through, which would be illegal, would be dangerous to me.

  77. During the days before I knew better I consumed many diet sodas and light yogurts. I had a benign irregular heart beat that was very exacerbated by the consumption of artificial sweeteners. When my husband said no more to me consuming artificial sweeteners the irregular heart beat went away, hmmmm…..

    Reply
  78. This is horrible news. I became quite ill after unwittingly chewing a piece of gum with aspartame in it. I’m very sensitive to it.

    Reply
  79. Sorry if this sounds naive, but WHY do they want to add it to milk?
    Does it make the milk last longer? Drink more? What?

    Reply
  80. Even if we are careful with the dairy we allow to come into our homes, think about the dairy (and all the GMO foods) ingested in Starbucks, Panera, any restaurant or ice creme shoppe n the US….even the “nice” ones. Ugh.

    Reply
      • Sarah, if you read the actual proposal, you’d find that it doesn’t suggest removing aspartame from the ingredient list. What they’re proposing is to eliminate the requirement that artificially-sweetened dairy products include a “nutrient content claim” on the label. That means they would no longer be required to mark aspartame-sweetened milk as “reduced calorie” or something like that; finding out whether it contains aspartame would still be as simple as turning the product around and reading the ingredient list.

        The rationale for the change is that children are not attracted to products that include “nutrient content claims” (I assume since most children assume it won’t taste as good if it’s “healthy”) and therefore the “nutrient content claim” on the front works against getting children to choose the “low-calorie alternatives.” They argue further that some other products, such as ice cream, are already not required to bear a “nutrient content claim” when they contain aspartame.

        I for one have never depended on the label alone to inform me if food contains artificial ingredients; the first thing I do is check the ingredients list, and I suspect most informed and conscientious parents do the same. While this still seems like a negative labeling change, it wouldn’t force anyone to “unwittingly ingest” aspartame, any more than the current rules on ice cream do, and I think it’s borderline irresponsible to imply that it does. Your readers would be well served by an update your post to make it clear what’s actually being proposed.

        Reply
  81. Unfortunately, backward interpretation seems to be the order of the day when it comes to Big Dairy and our government. It is absolutely outrageous that citizens need not be notified as to what chemicals are going into the product that they will ingest, especially as we have become fiscally responsible for each other’s health care. The message is clear: The government knows what is better for you than you. This may soon become crystal clear in the state where we live. Currently, we can purchase raw cow’s milk from the farm. However, there is a movement underway by the Department of Agriculture, and the CDC to place restrictions on raw milk sales. From what I understand, they will recommend to the legislature that raw milk farmers 1.) Be willing to have their milk tested (our farmers already do that independently) 2.) Be willing to have facilities inspected for cleanliness (our farmer’s dairy is easily rated Grade A, you can eat off the floors) 3.) Provide a list to the required agencies of customers names and addresses (Hmm, big brother anyone? privacy rights, anyone?) 4.) And, last but not least, limit sales to 100 gallons of milk per MONTH. Our farmers have no problems with the first two, and would gladly comply, and I doubt the legislature would pass the requirements about personal information concerning customers, but the final requirement is nothing less than an attempt to put small business out of business. Shame on America, for saying one thing and so blatantly putting up with another in order to support Big Dairy and Big Government.

    Reply
    • They have Big Government in Scandinavia, but the difference there is: they don’t let the corporations (Big Ag, Big Pharma) write the laws.

      Reply
    • “The message is clear: The government knows what is better for you than you.”

      I interpret the message differently: The goverment doesn’t give a crap about you OR you health. Profit is king in this country, that’s why our goverment is owned by corporations, and we all know they don’t care about anyone’s health…

      Reply
  82. Is the raw milk fast still planned to start tomorrow? Do you know if it’s possible to lose weight on the fast? I want to lose about 10 to 15 pounds.

    Reply
      • Sarah, you owe it to your readers to correct this article, PLEASE. This is false information. Not that I agree with what the government wants to do, but THEY ARE NOT wanting to put aspartame in without putting it in the ingredient list. They DO WANT to put preferably non-nutritive sweeteners (such as aspartame) into sweetened milks (choco, etc) WITH IT ON the ingredient list, but NOT put “Reduced Calorie” on the front label. The proposal, tho, states they want to provide a “safe and suitable sweetener,” so our voices still need to be heard!

        Read the proposal yourself https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/20/2013-03835/flavored-milk-petition-to-amend-the-standard-of-identity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products
        and add your comments here. http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2009-P-0147-0012

        Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
          Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist March 8, 2013 at 11:05 am

          Hi led, I have read it myself. It is my interpretation that Big Dairy is indeed trying to change the definition of milk to include non nutritive sweeteners without labeling it. Ultimately, I think we are splitting hairs though. Aspartame and milk is a very damaging combination for the brain which is the focus of this article.

          Reply
          • Thank you for being willing to post my comment. I agree whole-heartedly with your aspartame focus of this article, but you are misleading people to believe the aspartame will not be in the ingredient list and that they will have no idea where it might be lurking. You are also leading them to believe it will be in plain old milk, when the proposal states it is specifically for products containing “optional characterizing flavoring ingredients.” So it is not for all. People’s comments are not going to be taken seriously if a bunch of misinformed people start railing on them for something they did not state in the proposal. We need people submitting coherent comments properly aligned with the information in the proposal.

          • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

            I’m not misleading anyone. Please read this Action Alert from the Weston A. Price Foundation that I just received this morning.

            URGENT ACTON ALERT
            Dairy industry petitions FDA to approve aspartame as a hidden, unlabeled additive in milk, yogurt, eggnog and cream.

            The integrity of our food supply is poised for another blow with an FDA petition submitted by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). These industry groups are asking the FDA to alter the definition of “milk” to include chemical sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose without listing these additives on the label.

            While aimed principally at replacing sugar in flavored milks served to school children, the petition also asks for the right to put hidden artificial sweeteners in a host of dairy products including nonfat dried milk(always added to reduced-fat milks), yogurt, cream, half-and-half, sour cream, eggnog and whipping cream. Truly, no conventional dairy product will be safe if the petitioners get their way.

            To read the petition, click here:
            https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/20/2013-03835/flavored-milk-petition-to-amend-the-standard-of-identity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products

            ACTIONS TO TAKE
            Please file a comment at
            http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2009-P-0147-0012

            Even if your comment is very short, we need thousands of people letting the government know that granting this petition would be a disaster to our food supply, especially for children. It’s best to compose your comments before submitting them. Comments 2000 words or less can be copied and pasted into the comment box. Longer comments can be attached as a letter.
            For the required field “Organization Name,” please enter “Citizen.”
            For “Category,” you can use “Individual Consumer”

            Remember to hit “submit comment” when you are done. You should be taken to another screen that includes a confirmation number for your comment, which is how you know your comment was successfully submitted.

            The comment period ends on May 21, 2013
            A petition from a consumer group, SumOfUs, has gathered almost 100,000 signers to oppose this move. To sign this petition, go to sumofus.org.
            Please circulate this Action Alert to other email groups.
            TALKING POINTS
            Adding hidden artificial sweeteners to dairy products would hurt the dairy industry by further reducing the numbers of people who could safely consume dairy products.
            Adding hidden artificial sweeteners to dairy products would generate severe consumer backlash to all conventional dairy products.
            The FDA lists more than ninety documented symptoms of aspartame toxicity, including abdominal pain, anxiety attacks, brain cancer, breathing difficulties, chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, migraines, dizziness, marked personality changes, memory loss, panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, vision loss and weight gain
            Aspartame releases methanol upon digestion, and methanol poisoning causes headaches, behavioral disturbances and inflammation of the nerves. Another breakdown product of aspartame is poisonous formaldehyde..
            Thousands of adverse reactions to aspartame have been reported to the FDA, mostly concerned with abnormal brain function, brain tumors, epilepsy and Parkinson’s.
            Children’s brains are four times more susceptible to damage from excitotoxins like aspartame than those of adults and react with ADD ADHD type symptoms, impaired learning, depression and nausea.
            Sucralose side effects include rashes, panic attacks, dizziness, numbness, diarrhea, swelling, headaches, cramping and stomach pain.
            People who are sensitive to aspartame can have life-threatening reactions to it.
            The proposed regulations restrict our freedom of choice. Industry players who oppose consumers’ ability to choose raw milk are now trying to force consumers to consume artificial additives without their knowledge or consent.

          • A much more lucid presentation of the risks and problems of aspartame:

            Erin – 2 years ago −
            You told me to give a shout out, so I am. I have PKU, but no longer follow the diet. Actually, I have a variant of the disorder that is even more rare. Growing up I was only 1 of 2 known in the world with my type of PKU–the other was my brother. As a child, following the diet stunk– it was a pain, although kids with classic PKU had it much worse. Even though I don’t follow the diet in other ways now, I still avoid aspartame like the plague. Just so everyone knows, it is true that if you have undiagnosed PKU, you would be severely mentally retarded by now. I have two adult cousins who have minds of children due to ingesting too mush phenylalanine. Babies are tested for the disorder not long after birth because a strict needs to be followed…believe me, take it from someone who knows, if you have PKU, you know it!

            Aspartame has the potential, though, to cause adverse effects in anyone because of the high amount of phenylalanine (50%). I’m sure the 40% asparctic acid, 10% methanol (wood alcohol) and the conversion into formaldehyde in the body doesn’t help either. The three substances are found in natural food we eat everyday, but they are in much lower concentratiions and/or are in compounds with other elements or substances that nullify any any negative effects. They are not meant to be ingested in isolation or in this combination.

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