Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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November 16, 2006

Aspartame Approval - A Chain of Corruption

It is fairly well known how Aspartame was approved in the US. Searle, the maker of the controversial sweetener that is composed of two amino-acids and a binding molecule of methanol, had asked the FDA for approval but failed for 15 years to convince the experts that the sweetener was innocuous. The whole timeline is here.


Ban Nutra Sweet - Image credit: Spirit of Maat

When Donald Rumsfeld became the CEO of Searle, he promised to turn the situation around and had the application filed again. Indeed, when Reagan took office as President of the US, Searle's Rumsfeld "called in his political markers" and engineered an override of the scientific opinion.

On July 18, 1981 aspartame was approved for use dry foods by FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. overruling the Public Board of Inquiry and ignoring the law...

After the US, it was the turn of the UK to give approval to the sweetener. According to Betty Martini ( and, long time campaigner for eliminating the toxic sweetener from the market,

... no studies were ever done in the UK. Searle knew if they found out the FDA had tried to have them indicted for fraud they would never get it approved in other countries. So they made a business deal with Paul Turner of Food Standards. He approved it without anyone knowing. Then Parliament had a big blow out but did not rescind the order. Once approved here it was then rubberstamped around the world. Aspartame was never proven safe, and can't be. This is why the manufacturers have threatened researchers, like the VP of Searle when he threatened Dr. Richard Wurtman if he did studies on aspartame and seizures his research funds would be rejected. They were. Today MIT receives research funds but Dr. Wurtman no longer speaks out against aspartame. This is what goes on to keep poisons on the market.

With the US and the UK "in the bag", Searle had no trouble adding other countries to the list and extending the sales of its sweetener around the world. Health authorities do not tend to question the decisions of the US FDA and the UK Food Standards agency ... the few independent studies that were done after the approval, were effectively discredited. This happened as recently as last year, with a large study showing cancers and leukemias in aspartame-fed rats by the Italian Ramazzini Cancer Research Institute.

The scandal around the UK approval of aspartame is documented in a 1984 article in The Guardian:

- - -

February 13, 1984, The Guardian

by Andrew Veltch
Medical Correspondent (front page)

"Professor Paul Turner, head of the Government committee which approved the controversial artificial sweetener, aspartame, has an indirect link with its manufacturer, G. D. Searle.

Synthelabo, Searle's major partner in Europe, is behind the funding of Professor Turner's research at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London.

Professor Turner told the Guardian on Friday: "The Department of Health and Social security are aware of any commercial relationships I have, including my relationship with Synthelabo and the Charterhouse Unit. These were declared several years ago."

His research is funded by a charity called the Synthelabo Foundation, which receives it money from a limited company called the Charterhouse Clinical Research Unit. The share capital for that company was provided by Lers, a subsidiary of Synthelabo.

Studies have shown that aspartame would seriously damage some children.

The head of the Government committee responsible for approving the controversial new artificial sweetener aspartame - sold as Canderel and NutraSweet - has an indirect but significant link with the manufacturers, G. D. Searle.

A charity set up by Professor Paul Turner, chairman of the toxicity committee, to fund his research at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, is backed by Searle's biggest partner in Europe, Synthelabo.

Chairman and members of expert committees which examine potentially hazardous substances are obliged to declare their commercial interests when they are appointed, and in practice, before each meeting. Although Professor Turner's interest may not qualify as a "commercial interest," senior members of the medical establishment consider it to be in the public interest for such matters to be declared.

The junior health minister, Mr. John Patten, wrote in a letter during the parliamentary row over aspartame in October that Professor Turner had never had any connections with Searle.

Professor Turner's charity is the Synthelabo Foundation, of which he is one of two trustees. The other is the vice-president in charge of research at Synthelabo. Professor Guiseppe Bartholini.

Searle and Synthelabo, the fourth biggest drugs company in France, have set up three joint companies in the last two years -- one, called Lorex, in the UK last year.

Four years ago a Synthelabo subsidiary, Lers, provided the share capital to set up a limited company to fund Professor Turner's charity, the company is called the Charterhouse Clinical Research Unit.

Professor Turner is a consultant to Charterhouse, whose chairman, Mr. Paul Barclay, is the English lawyer for the Synthelabo group. The Charterhouse medical director, Dr. Steven Warrington, is an honorary lecturer in Professor Turner's pharmacology department at St. Bartholomew's.

Mr. Patten said in a letter to the Labour MP, Mr. Dale Campbell-Savours, in October: "Professor Turner has never had any connections with Searle, nor has he or anyone in his department been funded by them."

Professor Turner told the Guardian: "The Department of Health and Social Security is aware of any commercial relationships I have, including my relationship with Synthelabo and the Charterhouse Unit. These were declared several years ago."

Both aspartame and the partnership with Synthelabo are considered essential to Searle's survival, according to City analysts.

When the 1983 results are in, they are likely to show that Searle's operating profits from drugs have "plunged by as much as 75 per cent," while profits from aspartame may have "more than quadrupled," according to the US brokers, Kidder Peabody. Searle is expected to sell nearly $600 million worth of aspartame worldwide this year.

The decline in Searle's drug business has been caused by a lack of new products. The Synthelabo connection gives Searle access to high-grade European research. The first joint company was Lorex, set up in the United States in 1982. Lorex has since formed a Canadian subsidiary. The other two joint companies were set up last year -- one in Holland, the other in the UK.

Synthelabo, based in Paris and owned by the beauty firm L'Oreal (which is itself owned by Nestle) was until a few years ago a medium-sized company investing heavily in research.

The Searle deals form what is thought to be the largest single sector of am ambitious expansion programme that has made it the fourth biggest drugs firm in France. The Searle connection has given Synthelabo the status of an international company, as well as a new outlets, for its producers. It is in Synthelabo's interests to ensure that Searle thrives.

Professor Turner and his colleague. Dr. Warrington, have worked on the development of Synthelabo's beta blocker, Betazolo. They have published several papers on the drug in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Charterhouse was heavily criticized last month for paying unemployed people and students 250 lbs or more to act as guinea pigs in the first trials of a cancer drug, which, it was feared might itself promote the growth of certain tumours.

Professor Turner told the Guardian in a statement last month that Charterhouse was an independent company. Mr Barclay, the Charterhouse chairman, explained: "It was setup by Lers (Synthelabo's research subsidiary), it was their idea, and they subscribed the initial share capital. In 1981 most of their interest was transferred to the charity. It was a way of having a research facility in England for them and for other pharmaceutical companies."

Professor Turner also told the Guardian last month that "any profits" from Charterhouse went to his charity. According to the last accounts filed by Charterhouse, in l982 the firm paid 10,131 lbs "under covenant to the trustees of Synthelabo Foundation. After this payment was made, the firm recorded a profit of 40,464 lbs. In l981, Charterhouse paid 5,294 lbs to the trustees.

Mr. Barclay explained: "The taxable profits went to the charity. They are the profits upon which, if they had not been covenanted in this way, tax would have to be paid."

The charity's file at the Charity Commissioner contains only one set of accounts (for 1983). They have not been audited. The trustees are required by the Commission t file accounts every year. According to the unaudited l983 accounts, the charity received 15,425 (lbs) under covenant from Charterhouse and gave St. Bartholomew's Medical College 21,206 (lbs).

The two trustees, Professor Turner and Professor Bartholini, of Synthelabo, are empowered according to the charity's records, to use the money to fund research into clinical pharmacology and allied fields, for education and "for the relief of sickness" not necessarily at St. Bartholomew's. The trustees may, if they wish, invest the money.

The Guardian asked Professor Turner if he had been aware of the Searle/Synthelabo connection, and if so whether he considered it might have influenced his views on the products. He was also asked if he agreed that people in positions such as his had an ethical duty to declare their interests. He did not answer.


Timeline of Aspartame Approval in the US

Aspartame Warning (Video on YouTube)


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday November 16 2006
updated on Saturday December 25 2010

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

short aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde) toxicity research summary: Murray 2006.11.16

"Of course, everyone chooses, as a natural priority, to actively find, quickly share, and positively act upon the facts about healthy and safe food, drink, and environment."

Rich Murray, MA Room For All
505-501-2298 1943 Otowi Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
group with 77 members, 1,380 posts in a public, searchable archive
aspartame groups and books: updated research review of 2004.07.16: Murray 2006.05.11
11 members of New Mexico legislature sign letter to ban aspartame as a source of toxic methanol and formaldehyde, Stephen Fox, NM Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino: Murray 2006.10.22
47 UK Members of Parliament now support aspartame ban initiative of Roger Williams, MP: Murray 2006.10.16
combining aspartame and quinoline yellow, or MSG and brilliant blue, harms nerve cells, eminent C. Vyvyan Howard et al, 2005, Felicity Lawrence: Murray 2005.12.21
50 UK baby food is now organic -- aspartame or MSG with food dyes harm nerve cells, CV Howard 3 year study funded by Lizzy Vann, CEO, Organix Brands, Children's Food Advisory Service: Murray 2006.01.13
all three aspartame metabolites harm human erythrocyte [red blood cell] membrane enzyme activity, KH Schulpis et al, two studies in 2005, Athens, Greece, 2005.12.14: 2004 research review, RL Blaylock: Murray 2006.01.14
toxicity in rat brains from aspartame, Vences-Mejia A, Espinosa-Aguirre JJ et al 2006 Aug: Murray 2006.09.06
aspartame rat brain toxicity re cytochrome P450 enzymes, expecially CYP2E1, Vences-Mejia A, Espinosa-Aguirre JJ et al, 2006 Aug, Hum Exp Toxicol: relevant abstracts re formaldehyde from methanol in alcohol drinks: Murray 2006.09.29
Bristol, Connecticut, schools join state program to limit artificial sweeteners, sugar, fats for 8800 students, Johnny J Burnham, The Bristol Press: Murray 2006.09.22
Connecticut bans artificial sweeteners in schools, Nancy Barnes, New Milford Times: Murray 2006.05.25
carcinogenic effect of inhaled formaldehyde, Federal Institute of Risk Assessment, Germany -- same safe level as for Canada: Murray 2006.06.02
Home sickness -- indoor air often worse, as our homes seal in pollutants [one is formaldehyde, also from the 11 methanol part of aspartame], Megan Gillis, Murray 2006.06.01
methanol (formaldehyde, formic acid) disposition: Bouchard M et al, full plain text, 2001: substantial sources are degradation of fruit pectins, liquors, aspartame, smoke: Murray 2005.04.02
NIH NLM ToxNet HSDB Hazardous Substances Data Bank inadequate re aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid): Murray 2006.08.19
HSDB Hazardous Substances Data Bank: Aspartame

formaldehyde from 11 methanol part of aspartame or from red wine causes same toxicity (hangover) harm: Murray 2006.05.24

Dark wines and liquors, as well as aspartame, provide similar levels of methanol, above 120 mg daily, for long-term heavy users, 2 L daily, about 6 cans.

Within hours, methanol is inevitably largely turned into formaldehyde, and thence largely into formic acid -- the major causes of the dreaded symptoms of "next morning" hangover.

Fully 11% of aspartame is methanol -- 1,120 mg aspartame in 2 L diet soda, almost six 12-oz cans, gives 123 mg methanol (wood alcohol). If 30% of the methanol is turned into formaldehyde, the amount of formaldehyde, 37 mg, is 18.5 times the USA EPA limit for daily formaldehyde in drinking water, 2.0 mg in 2 L average daily drinking water.

Any unsuspected source of methanol, which the body always quickly and largely turns into formaldehyde and then formic acid, must be monitored, especially for high responsibility occupations, often with night shifts, such as pilots and nuclear reactor operators.
DMDC: Dimethyl dicarbonate 200mg/L in drinks adds methanol 98 mg/L ( becomes formaldehyde in body ): EU Scientific Committee on Foods 2001.07.12: Murray 2004.01.22
Aspartame Toxicity Information Center
Mark D. Gold
12 East Side Drive #2-18 Concord, NH 03301
"Scientific Abuse in Aspartame Research"
Russell L. Blaylock, MD discusses MSG, aspartame, excitotoxins with Mike Adams: Murray 2006.09.27
Mike Adams interviews Randall Fitzgerald on "The Hundred Year Lie: How Food and Medicine are Destroying Your Health" 2006.06.21: Murray 2006.09.28


Posted by: Rich Murray on November 16, 2006 07:15 PM


Its not just Aspartame .. is it?

It is a whole host of other problems as well. Most of which are criminal acts. The behavior of Academia in general does not inspire confidence in the hierarchical structure of the nest and still less in the methods used to fill the Academic coffers.

From the joint actions of Universities churning out laboratory technicians (Scientists) by the hundreds of thousands annually, to Pharmageddon funded studies by all of the prestigious research laboratories The whole chain of advancement is seriously contaminated by the virus, Scientifica Mammoniski.

Anything that the war criminal Dr Josef Mengele has done is no more than a drop in the bucket compared to Aspartame. Dr Mathias Rath had it right ..'The business with disease' ..

Its time for a public accounting from Academia and Science .. not the preordained scapegoats and patsies .. but the real culprits ..

Clinical trials are a statistical fraud upon the people .. just bare numbers which are manipulated at a place far removed from the social context from which they were extracted.

The results of this methodology are to be seen in the article 'Death by Medicine' which is posted elsewhere on this site.

If we the public do not demand an accounting for the untold guinea pigs generated by a cold fish Science then we deserve everything we get ..

I think its time to buy shares in lamp posts .. they are sure to be in great demand when the public wakes up and understands what has been done to them.

Posted by: Ivor Hughes on November 17, 2006 01:12 PM


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