Studies in laboratory rats during the early 1970s linked saccharin with the development … July 15, 1981– In one of his first official acts, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr., the new FDA commissioner, overrules the Public Board of Inquiry, ignores the recommendations of his own internal FDA team and approves NutraSweet for dry products. Unfortunately, the testing process was among the worst. In January of 1981 Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, stated in a sales meeting that he was going to “call in his markers” and make a push to get aspartame … Rumsfeld says he will use his political pull in Washington, rather than scientific means, to make sure it gets approved. ”. November 1984– Center for Disease Control (CDC) “Evaluation of consumer complaints related to aspartame use.” (summary by B. Mullarkey). The grand jury investigation is dropped. May 19, 1981– Three of six in-house FDA scientists who were responsible for reviewing the brain tumor issues, Dr. Robert Condon, Dr. Satya Dubey, and Dr. Douglas Park, advise against approval of NutraSweet, stating on the record that the Searle tests are unreliable and not adequate to determine the safety of aspartame. The sugar tax may also have something to do with it as they are now replacing the sugar with Aspartame. January 26, 1977– While the grand jury probe is underway, Sidley & Austin, the law firm representing Searle, begins job negotiations with the U.S. Attorney in charge of the investigation, Samuel Skinner. August 8, 1983– Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte, Arizona State University’s Director of Food Science and Nutritional Laboratories, file suit with the FDA objecting to aspartame approval based on unresolved safety issues. August 1974– Jim Turner and Dr. John Olney file the first objections against aspartame’s approval. July 26, 1974– The FDA grants aspartame its first approval for restricted use in dry foods. Since it is 200 times sweeter than sugar, it is often used in diet soft drinks, low calorie yogurts and other foods and beverages that want to claim, “low calorie” while still offering a sweet flavor. January 10, 1977– The FDA formally requests the U.S. Attorney’s office to begin grand jury proceedings to investigate whether indictments should be filed against Searle for knowingly misrepresenting findings and “concealing material facts and making false statements” in aspartame safety tests. Professor Erik Millstone, a leading food safety expert, is calling on the UK Government to ban the world’s most widely used artificial sweetener, used in Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Ribena and many other popular products, as further concerns are uncovered around an EU decision to approve its unrestricted consumption. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. anon324878 March 12, 2013 . So ask yourself, why and how is this product, which is found in over 6000 products worldwide, still legal today? By submitting this information you are agreeing to the use of your data in accordance with our privacy policy. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. Source(s): aspartame banned countries: Is Aspartame Banned in the UK? In January of 1981 Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, stated in a sales meeting that he was going to “call in his markers” and make a push to get aspartame approved. The icing on the cake: In 1985 Searle was absorbed by Monsanto. Ed. The FDA had previously banned aspartame based on this finding, only to have then-Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld vow to "call in his markers," to get it approved. March 8, 1977– G. D. Searle hires prominent Washington insider Donald Rumsfeld as the new CEO to try to turn the beleaguered company around. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. January 21, 1981– Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United States. Aspartame, a low-calorie artificial sweetener, has been permitted for use as a food additive in Canada since 1981 in a number of foods including soft drinks, desserts, breakfast cereals and chewing gum and is also available as a table-top sweetener. The Shocking Story of How Aspartame Became Legal,,,, How is this product legal now? The controversy never died down. Join our webinar on Monday 18 Jan - Refreshing investment in children's health, New survey suggests Covid is motivating adults to get healthier in 2021, PHE sugar reduction results announced: Sustain calls for stronger regulation. It is used in many foods and beverages because it is much sweeter than sugar, so much less of it can be used to give the same level of sweetness. Why? Did you know that Aspartame was banned by the FDA twice? But in a response to Prof Millstone and Dr Dawson’s detailed critique of the EFSA’s assessment, George Kass and Frederica Lodi recently claimed that the EFSA had treated 21 of 37 studies indicating harm as reliable. You can unsubscribe at any time. In Europe, it is authorised to be used as a food additive in foodstuffs such as drinks, desserts, sweets, dairy, chewing gums, energy-reducing and weight control products and as a table-top sweetener. Aspartame is roughly 200 times sweeter than table sugar and has been used as a calorie-free alternative in more than 6,000 consumer foods and drinks, including Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. In the body methanol breaks down into formaldehyde (embalming fluid) and formic acid. August 1, 1977– The Bressler Report, compiled by FDA investigators and headed by Jerome Bressler, is released. also heard that a study in italy concluded that aspartame is dangerous too. I would avoid aspartame entirely. It is controversial and has a range of purported side effects, although … Your donation will help communities and organisations to take action to reduce the sugar we all consume. Jobs Aspartame was suddenly approved in 1981 when Donald Rumsfeld, former CEO of Searle and new member of President Ronald Reagan's transition team, appointed a new FDA commissioner. Searle puts aspartame through some testing procedures and eventually gets approval by the FDA. December 8, 1977– U.S. Attorney Skinner’s withdrawal and resignation stalls the Searle grand jury investigation for so long that the statue of limitations on the aspartame charges runs out. All material provided within this website is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. It has been suspected of causing cancer and depression. You will find a full timeline on aspartame’s legal and safety battles on the second page. It soon became clear that the panel would uphold the ban by a 3-2 decision, but Hull then installed a sixth member on the commission, and the vote became deadlocked. October 15, 1982– The FDA announces that Searle has filed a petition that aspartame be approved as a sweetener in carbonated beverages and other liquids. Consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well-being or on any opinions expressed within this website. The admission emerged in a response published by two EFSA scientists. His transition team included Rumsfeld who hand picked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA Commissioner. In fact: Aspartame triggered the first criminal investigation of a manufacturer put into place by the FDA in 1977. Do not drink it if you are pregnant. At the same time, the duo is also urging the UK Government and Food Standards Agency to use incoming post-Brexit powers to ban the use of aspartame in the UK in 2021. A list of products in the UK that do not contain aspartame can be found here. (see Jan. 26th). Aspartame is an intense sweetener, 200 times sweeter than sugar. December 18, 1970– Searle Company executives lay out a “Food and Drug Sweetener Strategy’ that they feel will put the FDA into a positive frame of mind about aspartame. The experts are now requesting that EFSA explain why it did not ban aspartame or tightly restrict its use in food and drink products in light of the evidence it considered. The methanol toxicity mimics multiple sclerosis; thus people are being diagnosed with having multiple sclerosis in error. Saccharin. November 1970– Cyclamate, the reigning low-calorie artificial sweetener — is pulled off the market after some scientists associate it with cancer. Fill in our survey! 2 1. Hayes says that aspartame has been shown to be safe for its’ proposed uses and says few compounds have withstood such detailed testing and repeated close scrutiny. In a 3 – 2 decision, the panel upheld the original ban, stating that the artificial sweetener was unsafe. Dear God, no. Aspartame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that’s widely used in diet sodas, sugar-free gum, and other food products. That month Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States. Early in 1981 Searle Chairman Donald Rumsfeld (who is a former Secretary of Defense.. surprise surprise) vowed to “call in his markers,” to get it approved. One of Searle’s own researchers confirmed Dr. Olney’s findings in a similar study. The artificial sweetener has been banned twice by the FDA, and there are numerous studies clearly outlining the dangers associated with it. Because they found that aspartame came with a high danger of inducing brain tumors. Why? This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Aspartame banned in Europe for children's products On the European Common Market, Aspartame is banned for all children's products. Fall 1967– Dr. Harold Waisman, a biochemist at the University of Wisconsin, conducts aspartame safety tests on infant monkeys on behalf of the Searle Company. Javascript is required to use a number of the features of the Sustain website. In fact: Aspartame triggered the first criminal investigation of a manufacturer put into place by the FDA in 1977. In 1997, due to public concerns, the U.K. government introduced a new regulation obliging food makers who use sweeteners to state clearly next to the name of their product the phrase "with sweeteners." Because they found that aspartame came with a high danger of inducing brain tumors. Not long after approval, the dangers of aspartame brought G.D. Searle under major fire. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. July 1, 1977– Samuel Skinner leaves the U.S. Attorney’s office and takes a job with Searle’s law firm. i heard that sweeteners with aspartame have been banned in japan and other countries. Now food safety experts Prof Millstone and Dr Elisabeth Dawson claim that the EFSA took that decision despite accepting that 16 of the 21 studies indicated that aspartame could cause adverse effects at modest dose levels. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet) Burson-Marsteller, Searle’s public relation firm (which also represented several of NutraSweet’s major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior scientific consultant. When liquid aspartame is stored in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both of which are known toxins. When the temperature of Aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol ASPARTAME coverts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. Publications The banning of aspartame would be a significant opportunity for ministers to show they are serious about those promises.