by Peter Holleran, DC
Aspartame, an artificial chemical sweetener, is a potent neurotoxin that was rejected by a majority of scientists who investigated it including most of them at the FDA. When heated to over 86 degrees F it releases methanol (wood alcohol) which converts to formaldehyde and formic acid in the body producing metabolic acidosis. Many dangerous side effects including fibromyalgia, Parkinson's and MS (multiple sclerosis) type symptoms occur in aspartame consumers. Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's, was for years the spokesperson for Diet Pepsi, and an entire website, in fact, has been devoted to getting him to stop drinking the stuff. The drug company Searle wanted aspartame on the government's approved list and Donald Rumsfield, who worked for Searle at the time, is reported to have said, "I am going to call in my markers", implying he would pull strings to get it past congress and the FDA, which it did.
The sad fact about diet sodas containing aspartame is that they do not even fulfill their implied promise. Rather than helping one lose weight, they actually cause one to crave carbohydrates even more and will therefore make you gain fat. This is because such artificial sweeteners trick the body and brain by not creating the sense of fullness that real sugar does. If you love your kids and your self, keep away from anything labelled "diet", "light", or that contains Nutrasweet", "Equal", or "Spoonful". This includes sodas, yogurts, and, as I recently discovered, certain varieties of Safeway pies. It should really be criminal to have this ingredient on the shelf.