A Tale of Two SweetenersAspartame & Stevia by Gail Davis
For more than 20 years, a war has been silently waging in this country. The battlefield is the billion dollar artificial sweetener industry. The combatants are the giant agri-chemical industry and its allied forces, the FDA against a handful of small private companies and concerned citizens on the other. The casualties are the 200 million men, women, and children who regularly consume more than 5,000 food products artificially sweetened with saccharin, acesulfame k, and aspartame. They do so because they are diabetic, hypoglycemic, or just concerned about their weight. They unwittingly become victims by consuming artificial sweeteners in everything from chewing gum to soft drinks. Even more disturbing, is the use of aspartame, perhaps the most toxic of these chemicals in children’s vitamins like Centrum, Jr., Sunkist Multivitamins, and Bayer’s Flintstones and Bugs Bunny Chewables. Aspartame is marketed under the innocuous sounding names Equal and NutraSweet.
The only warning label which appears on the little blue packets of Equal and products containing aspartame concerns phenylketonuria (PKU) a rare disorder which affects about 1 in 15,000 individuals. These individuals lack one of the paired genes that most people possess at birth which controls the metabolism of phenylalanine.
But nowhere on the label is there even the slightest hint that aspartame has caused brain tumors in laboratory animals (although saccharin does carry this warning), or that according to National Cancer Institute data, there has been an alarming increase in the incidence and malignancy of brain tumors in Americans since the introduction of aspartame into our food supply in the early 1980's(1).
Nowhere on the label are consumers warned of the thousands of complaints associated with aspartame that are on file at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control. Reports of 92 different serious side effects include headaches, menstrual irregularities, nausea, dizziness, skin lesions, rashes, hyperactivity, heart palpitations, gastrointestinal disorders, blackouts, numbness, memory loss, blindness, seizures, and suicidal depressions. While reports of these side effects number only in the thousands, the real number of adverse effects associated with aspartame use is estimated to be as high as 700,000. This is because most people don’t associate symptoms with aspartame, and even if they did, only a small fraction of patients or doctors actually take the time to report them.
Meanwhile, an all-natural, non-caloric, non-toxic sweetener that is safe for use by both diabetics and hypoglycemics is being kept a secret from the American public. This herbal substance has been used safely for hundreds of years, is in almost half of all sweetened foods consumed in Japan, has been cultivated and studied extensively around the world with no reports of any ill side effects, and has the ability to prevent tooth decay, inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, balance blood sugar levels, heal wounds, and reduce the craving for sweets!
Why is the FDA keeping the world’s greatest sweetener a secret from the American public?
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