Aspartame was not approved until 1981, in dry foods. For over eight years the FDA refused to approve it because of the seizures and brain tumors this drug produced in lab animals. The FDA continued to refuse to approve it until President Reagan took office (a friend of Searle) and fired the FDA Commissioner who wouldn't approve it. Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed as commissioner. Even then there was so much opposition to approval that a Board of Inquiry was set up. The Board said: "Do not approve aspartame". Dr. Hayes overruled his own Board of Inquiry.
Shortly after Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he left for a position with G.D. Searle's Public Relations firm.
Long-Term Damage. It appears to cause slow, silent damage in those unfortunate enough to not have immediate reactions and a reason to avoid it. It may take one year, five years, 10 years, or 40 years, but it seems to cause some reversible and some irreversible changes in health over long-term use.
In February of 1994, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the listing of adverse reactions reported to the FDA (DHHS 1994). Aspartame accounted for more than 75% of all adverse reactions reported to the FDA's Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS). By the FDA's own admission fewer then one percent of those who have problems with something they consume ever report it to the FDA. This balloons the almost 10,000 complaints they once had to around a million.
The fact remains, though, that most victims don't have a clue that aspartame may be the cause of their many problems! Many reactions to aspartame were very serious including seizures and death.
Donald Rumsfeld (yes, that Donald Rumsfeld), In June 1977, he became Chief Executive Officer of G. D. Searle & Co., a worldwide pharmaceutical company, where he served until 1985. The turnaround there earned him awards as the Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the Pharmaceutical Industry in 1980 and 1981.
He along with Robert Shapiro are solely responsible for using their political muscle and graft to buy off the FDA and get NutraSweet approved and are responsible for the death and disease caused.
The toxic long-term effects of aspartame are often dismissed as a "hoax" by the sweetener industry and at least five other internet websites. The real footwork, however, unravels something less comforting than a mere "Hoax."
"Sweet Misery" is the working title of a documentary completed last June at Sound and Fury. Our primary investigation includes interviews with doctors, lawyers, people who have had health probems which they associate with aspartame usage, advocates, and many others.
"Aspartame is inherently, markedly and uniquely unstable in aqueous media" is a quote from the congressional record in 1985, and yet it was approved for use in soft drinks and other beverages.
So what happened?