Aspartame
equalAlthough our analysis does not establish definitive proof of a casual link between aspartame and the recent increase in incidence and shift in malignancy of brain tumors that occurred in the United States several years after aspartame was introduced, it does indicate the need for a reassessment of the carcinogenic potential of this agent which is currently being ingested widely throughout many parts of the world.

Comment:

During World War I cigarettes became the smoke of choice. Between 1910 and 1919 cigarette production increases by 633% from under 10 billion/year to nearly 70 billion/year, and cigarette smoking begins to become very common among American men. In 1932 a paper is published in the American Journal of Cancer associating lung cancer with cigarettes. In 1934 the AMA accepts tobacco advertising in their journals, which include statements such as "We advertise KOOL cigarettes simply as a pleasant combination of fine tobaccos made even more pleasant by the cooling sensation of menthol. They won't cure anything. They won't harm anybody. They will prove enjoyable." In the mid 1940s R.J. Reynolds claims in advertisements that "more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarettes." It by now has become socially acceptable for women to smoke.

In 1950 a study comes out in JAMA showing lung cancer deaths have quintupled and that almost all patients with lung cancer have been long-time cigarette smokers. More studies come out in the 1950s and the tobacco companies counter by claiming there is no real proof that smoking causes cancer. In 1959 the surgeon general states that the position that smoking causes cancer, while an editorial in JAMA states there are still not enough facts to support a position. In 1978 the AMA Education and Research Fund releases Tobacco and Health, a compilation of 844 investigations begun after the 1964 Surgeon General's Report and fully funded by the tobacco industry, most of which were only tangentially related to the smoking and health issue. There are no studies related to smoking and lung cancer.

In the mid-1980s and onward, pushed by idealistic medical students and young doctors, the AMA increasingly has spoken out against tobacco. Because tobacco industry makes billions of dollars each year there are still claims that there is no science linking smoking to lung cancer. In the present day approximately 180,000 people will die each year from lung cancer most of which could be prevented by not smoking.

From history we can see that even after 70 years of science claims are still made that smoking does not contribute to lung cancer. The sad fact is that when billions of dollars are involved in the sales of a product enormous sums of money will be spent to protect that product and to discredit anyone that provides studies to show a health risk with that established product. In the case of aspartame, the early studies showing that there were increased brain tumors in rats were discarded by the FDA and now aspartame is very well accepted into society. History will repeat itself and the industry will spend billions of dollars to promote their product and discredit anyone who suggests otherwise as "fear mongers" or using "junk science". The truth there is no reason to use aspartame at all when there is strong evidence showing there is an increased health risk. Instead, people can consume delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables that are already greatly lacking in western diets.


Increasing Brain Tumor Rates: Is There a Link To Aspartame? PDF Print E-mail
(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
Friday, 01 November 1996 00:00
"Recent epidemiological surveys have identified a pattern of increasing brain tumor rates in several industrialized countries, including the United States, Canada, West Germany, France, Italy, England and Wales."

"Roberts mentioned aspartame as a candidate based on the observation that brain tumor rates rose sharply in the United States over a three-year period (1984-1987) following approval bye the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981 of aspartame for marketing in the United States. Also highly relevant is the fact that in 1980 FDA convened a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) where a panel of scientists, including prominent neuroscientists (Walle J.H. Nauta and Peter W. Lampert), were asked to evaluate evidence from two animal studies potentially linking aspartame to malignant astrocytic brain tumors. The PBOI panel concluded that evidence from one study was "bizarre" and totally unreliable, and evidence from the other study appeared to show that "aspartame may contribute to the development of brain tumors." Therefore, it was recommended that additional research be performed to rule out brain tumor risk and that approval of aspartame be withheld pending the outcome of such studies. The FDA Commissioner who received the PBOI report refereed it to additional expert FDA consultants who concurred with the PBOI panel's recommendations. However, in 1981 a newly appointed FDA Commissioner approved aspartame on the basis of his judgment that brain tumor risk was minimal and further research was not necessary. As a consequence, specific studies recommended by the PBOI panel were never done. However, Shepard and colleagues recently reported that if aspartame is nitrosated in vitro to simulate the nitrosation that is believed to occur in the stomach, that nitrosated product has substantial mutagenic activity."

"Anaplastic astrocytomas rose from a very low incidence in 1975 to a moderately higher level in 1977 and then leveled off until 1984, after which they rose steadily for 8 consecutive years to a level in 1992 more than 3 times higher that in 1984."
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