Regarding the Aspartame story that keeps popping up: WORLD
ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE and the MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FOUNDATION IS SUING
F.D.A. FOR COLLUSION WITH MONSANTO Article written by Nancy Markle
Please refer to an excellent website at
I have excerpted portions of the page here but really recommend you
review the entire page and refer often to the base website. As a matter
of fact, it might be an excellent idea to contact the website's guide,
David Emery - firstname.lastname@example.org
regarding getting rebuttals out regarding the safety of organic foods.
This specimen of email scarelore, in wide circulation since
mid-December, warns that the artificial sweetener aspartame (a.k.a.
"NutraSweet" and "Equal") is toxic to humans in a hundred different
ways. It even coins a new medical term for these effects: "aspartame
Most of the allegations contradict the bulk of medical evidence (see
Guide's note below), but its author offers a convenient explanation:
collusion between aspartame's manufacturers, the medical establishment,
and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Far be it from me to insist that the FDA is infallible and
incorruptible, but I would point out that the agency has common sense
and years of accumulated research on its side when it maintains that the
sweetener is safe for most people. As to aspartame's critics, it doesn't
help their cause that the information presented in the email is
disorganized, hysterical, and poorly substantiated.
Read it carefully and see if you think it deserves your credence:
[I'm not reposting the article, we've seen it posted on Sanet enough at
this point that I think most of us are familiar with it. - L.S.]
..Guide's note: First off, despite the attribution at the top (absent
in some versions of the message), this text was not written by "Nancy
Markle" – whoever that may be. Its real author was one Betty Martini,
who posted a host of similar messages to Usenet newsgroups in late 1995
and early 1996. The original email was penned exactly three years ago.
Ms. Martini, who is not a physician but says she has worked in the
medical profession, has waged a single-minded battle for years against
what she calls "the propaganda put out by industry and the FDA"
regarding aspartame. To that end, she founded an organization called
"Mission Possible International," represented on such Websites as Dave
Reitz's http://www.dorway.com, which houses a vast archive of
Even if we credit Martini with good intentions (and there's no reason
not to), it's difficult to take her email warning seriously. Among other
things, it blithely implicates aspartame as the cause of just about
every malady known to humankind. [Here David Emery provides a quick
laundry list outtake of all illnesses and side effects mentioned in the
Markle/Martini article. - L.S.]
.. a dizzying array of charges – to which it's perfectly reasonable to
respond: if it's provable that aspartame causes all of these serious
health problems, why isn't the entire medical establishment up in arms
about it? Why does the substance continue to have the FDA's approval?
Martini's answer, as I mentioned above, is pat and comes in the form of
a conspiracy theory: the Monsanto Company, which created aspartame, has
used its deep pockets to buy all but a very few critics off. I.e., the
only authorities you can trust are those who agree with Martini.
For those who would rather not take anyone's word on this – mine, Betty
Martini's, or the FDA's – I highly recommend surveying the last 20
years' worth of medical research on aspartame (courtesy of the MEDLINE
database). I reviewed a good many of the journal abstracts on file there
and, taking their conclusions as a whole, it certainly appears that the
aspartame-haters have wandered far afield from the facts.
[David Emery goes on in his webpage to link to a number of websites for
additional information, both pro and con, regarding aspartame. - L.S.]
FROM LEAH STITZ:
It serves us all well in our new information age to be especially
cautious of blindly accepting any information without truly
investigating its source and the source's authenticity, authority and
Always question - it's how we learn.
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