Search the GWVRP

Gulf War Locator

Tracings in The Sand: First hand testimonials

Self Help Guide Published by the National Gulf War Resource Center, Inc.

Referral Network

Gulf War Related Mailing Lists>


What's New | Documents | News Feeds | Links | Photos | FAQ | Contact Us
Return To Welcome Page

Gulf War Veteran Resource Pages

Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN) Fact Sheet

Author: Not Specified
Publication: Not Specified
Document Dated: Not Specified
Date Posted: December 11, 1996

Editor's Note: Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN), Worldwide Pilot Hotline, and Operation Mission Impossible are three worldwide organizations warning the world about Aspartame poisoning.

Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN) Fact Sheet

Link to ACSN Web Site

Quick Links

GREED vs HEALTH: Which Will Win?

by Dr. Lendon Smith

I knew there was something wrong with aspartame (ASP, Nutrasweet /Equal), but I could not quite put my finger on it. Yes, the ingredients are chemicals found naturally in foods, but is a little different when it is ingested as a sweetner with little or no "food" around it.

I just received an eye-opener called "The Deadly Deception," compiled by the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network (ACSN, PO Box 780634, Dallas, TX 75378.) Founded in 1987, it serves as a support group and clearinghouse for vital information.

One of the opening pages hit me: "85% of all complaints registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concerns aspartame's adverse reactions." It is now reported that five deaths and at least 70 different symptoms have resulted from its use. The list includes neurological, dermatological, cardiac, respiratory, all the symptoms I have ever seen reported for food sensitivities, low blood sugar, Alzheimer's, Chronic Fatique syndrome, amalgam-filling disease and methanol poisoning.

The Searle Pharmaceutical Company has actually covered up or, at the very least, failed to report adverse reactions just so the FDA would allow this product to be used by millions worldwide.

Aspartame (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-methyl-ester) is about 200 times as sweet as sugar with virtually no calories. It sounds ideal for those who need to have the sweet taste, but not the calories. This compound breaks down in the system to:1) phenylalanine (50%) which can be neurotoxic and in some susceptible people will cause seizures2) aspartic acid (40%) which can cause brain damage in the developing brain3) methanol (10%) which turns into formaldehyde embalming fluid an obvious toxin. They all have adverse effects, but not everyone is affected equally. This is why the scientific community is having trouble evaluating these anecdotal reports. But I think you can see why Searle and the FDA have minimized the adverse reactions; there might be a loss of revenue.

The symptoms easily might lead a doctor to make a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. These chemicals "change the ratio of the amino acids in the blood stream." The mental symptoms that ASP can produce in a person is thought to be related to the increase in violence and suicides in our population. ASP causes a blockage of the formation of serotonin in the brain. Since tryptophan has been taken off the market by the FDA, there are many people who cannot make enough serotonin from their food, and they are more suseptible to insomnia, depression, and/or PMS. If these genetically deficient people are also swallowing ASP, they will more readily have headaches, insomnia, depression, hostility, anxiety, and a host of other negative symptoms. No wonder sales of the new drug, Prozac, have skyrocketed.

ASP is known to disturb thyroid function. The pituitary uses serotonin as its neurotransmitter to tell the thyroid what to do. ASP will inhibit the formation of that neurotransmitter. It can do anything. These ingredients may not actually cause mental problems but can certainly trigger them by interferring with the ratio of the various brain neurotransmitters. It is the same with sugar, additives, alcohol, or food sensitivities. A person may be susceptible to brain chemical alterations, but the reaction only occurs when there is stress plus the ingestion of ASP.

Mary Nash Stoddard, who heads up the ACSN, has been diagnosed with that devastating EMS (EosinophiliaMyalgia Syndrome) because of her severe generalized aches and an elevated eosinophil count. When she stopped the ASP the disease disappeared. (And we all thought that disease was only due to the tainted tryptophan from the Japanese company.) The FDA and Searle (the Nutrasweet Co.) claim that all the symptoms reported are just anecdotal, and these people should see their doctor for a definitive diagnosis. (most of them have, and the doctor could not name the disease.) Three out of five of the negative responders have headaches, to the point of being diagnosed as migraines.

This company feels that because so many millions of doses are being taken everyday and the numbers of reactions are so few, ASP is very safe as a sugar substitute. But if people are using ASP as a sugar substitute they are living in a fools' paradise. Research has shown that most people who are sensitive to ASP will notice an increase in hunger pangs. The blood sugar actually falls when the sweet taste in the mouth from the ASP send a message to the brain that some sugar is going down the gullet, and the pancreas better kick in with some extra insulin. I think that most intelligent people might notice that they do not feel good after drinking ASP loaded drinks and just quit the stuff. When the symptoms disappear, we would not necessarily call Searle or the FDA. Many people cannot drink red wine, or eat chocolate, but they do not call the companies or sue the grocer.

"The Deadly Deception" cites chapter and verse of the coverup by Searle and the FDA.Here are some highlights from the book "The Deadly Deception":

1969 Dr. Harry Waisman fed ASP mixed with milk to monkeys. One died after 300 days of ASP and five others had grand mal seizures. Searle deleted this negative study when the company submitted safety evidence to the FDA.1970 The FDA banned cyclamate during the time that the safety of saccharin was being questioned. The time seemed ripe for ASP.1971 Dr. John Olney, a research psychiatrist, told Searle that aspartic acid caused "holes in the brains of mice." In 1974 Searle people said these studies raised "no health problems." Searle told the FDA about these findings after approval was granted.1975 Many of the test animals fed ASP developed large tumors. These were not reported to the FDA.1977 Despite the many complaints about ASP, William Conlon and Thomas Sullivan, the US attorneys, took no action, in five years the statute of limitations for a grand jury investigation expired. A year later Conlon took a position with the law firm that represents Searle.1980 A Public Board of Inquiry of three scientists was activated. These (2 MDs and one PhD) voted to ban ASP. Because of thoses negative findings a five member Commissioner's Team of Scientists was impaneled: Three said ban; two said it was safe. Another member was added. You guessed it: deadlock. Dr. Jacqueline Verrett, PhD, toxicologist on the team said, "Bureau officials were working up to a whitewash. Safety questions remain unanswered.

1981 Dr. A. H. Hayes was appointed the new FDA Commissioner and overuled the Public Board of Inquiry's recommended ban of ASP. He said his approval was part of the Reagan administration's new reform! Throughout the 1980's Searle has pointed out that the best evidence of ASP's safety was the fact that it had been approved in more than 60 countries. But these foreign approvals had been based on these controversial test, and the questionable approval of the FDA. It was approved as a "food additive," and hence, exempt from continued safety monitoring. (Searle is not obligated to monitor any adverse reactions.)1983 The National Soft Drink Association wrote to the FDA that ASP was breaking down in warm climates. But the Association later accepted ASP. Dr. Hayes approved the use of ASP in soft drinks just two months before he quit his job as the FDA chief. He then obtained a job with a public relations firm who represents NutraSweet.1984 Seven million pounds of NutraSweet are swallowed by about 100,000 people.

1985 Reports of side-effects mount.

1987 The ACSN is founded by Mary Nash Stoddard and a consumer advocate, James Turner. They believe that ASP should be recalled and retested as a drug.A grass-roots effort to stop the use of ASP would be like us common folk trying to get Columbia to stop producing heroin.If we can't get Searle to stop because it is big bucks for them, we can at least ask our patients and friends to stop using it if they have any of the following symptoms:

Sensitive people would more likely notice the connection between ingestion and symptoms. Some people do not notice anything until they stop taking ASP in any form, and then they feel marvelous. Death is also listed as a symptom.

Aspartame may trigger or mimic the following illnesses:

These are more than allergies or sensitivities. We're talking about ASP actually producing diseases, or disease syndromes.

How does one take Searle to court for damages? Are there more suicides now because tryptophan is not available? ASP causes a blockage of levels of serotonin which is the brain chemical made from tryptophan. We get tryptophan and its end product, serotonin, if we eat a decent diet, but if we add ASP, we may not be able to make enough serotonin to keep us from the above symptoms.

It was discovered long ago that serotonin is lower in the brains of the depressed than in the brains of those not so. Mary Coleman, MD, in the Jr Peds, 78: 985-990, wrote way back in 1971 that the serotonin concentration in the blood platelets of hyperactive kids was lower than in the not so active. The hyperactivity of the children became less as the serotonin levels rose. Vitamin B6 will help to raise the serotonin. What about this connection: The National Cancer Institute has discovered an increased incidence of malignant brain tumors in the years following the 1983 licensing of ASP for beverages.

In the research on rats ingesting ASP back in the early 1970's, brain tumors were observed.Doctors are not helpful to their patients who complain of the above symptoms because the connection with symptoms and aspartame are anecdotal and there are no tests for the condition except the improvement when ASP is discontinued.Dr. Paul Toft, a chiropractor from Alexandria, Minnesota, felt awful until he stopped ASP. He finds that the media will not touch this controversy, because, as we all might suspect, it will definitely hurt advertising revenue.

Can you get your patients and friends to write for "The Deadly Deception," and then do what you can to stop this menace? The Nutrasweet people have a commercial on TV bragging that they now have 200,000,000 people consuming the ASP in over 4,000 different products. ("That many people couldn't be wrong!") Next time you're mugged ask the perpetrator if he is getting ASP; or when you see someone sitting on the sidewalk, tired, alone and depressed, ask him if he is drinking soft drinks. Chances are, ASP is responsible for a lot of sickness and crime. It is not what Mother Nature wants us to eat.

Reprinted with permission
Dr. Lendon Smith's "The Facts",October 1991

"The Deadly Deception"

"The Deadly Deception" A nonfiction sourcebook edited by Mary Nash Stoddard. Get the facts about Aspartame (ASP, NutraSweet/Equal) in this 200 page book. The Deadly Deception could save your life.

What about Aspartame and birth defects?

Hear what pilots are saying about loss of consciousness and loss of their jobs due to ingestion of diet products.

You'll be amazed at the referenced studies and articles from well known peer-reviewed medical and science journals.

Famous doctors and other health care professionals praise the book. Thousands of readers report being helped by the information taken from volumes of available published materials.

Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, has been featured in news stories around the world and is a favorite guest of talk show hosts and producers.The Deadly Deception:details a side of the Aspartame (NutraSweet /Equal) controversy never before told in such an easy to understand mannershows compelling evidence of a probable coverup by highest Federal officialsargues for recall of a harmful drug/food additiveallows the reader to identify with actual case historiesgets serious about the price society pays for escalating health care costs for treating the users of diet products

Order Today!
Send a $25.00 donation to:
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network PO Box 780634, Dallas, TX 75378

ACSN's special Pilot's Hotline has logged over 600 calls. The US Air Force has formally warned all pilots to abstain from consuming Diet Drinks in the Flying Safety publication. Some pilots have had grand mal seizures in the cockpits of commercial airline flights. Others are crashing the flight simulators while in seizure. Dozens have lost their flying status because of reactions such as seizures, loss of vision, vertigo, suicidal depressions, and heart problems. Bizarre psychological symptoms (often due to a depletion of the critical brain chemical, Serotonin) are routinely reported.


  • Tell everyone you know about this problem.
  • Ask the next 5 individuals you see with a diet drink if they have had one of the symptoms since they started using the products.
  • Write/call your Government Representatives in Local/State & Federal offices.
  • Post Fact Sheets on Bulletin Boards at schools and daycare centers, where you work, worship, learn, shop, work-out, etc.
  • FAX copies of this to everyone.
  • Use computer networks to spread the word.
  • Be creative! Promote this actively as a great national or local talk show/news issue.
  • Inform the local media.
  • Publish articles in professional and organizational newsletters. (We can help.)
  • Register your complaint with FDA, Consumer Groups, the FAA and others.
  • Circulate "recall" petitions.
  • Invite members of ACSN's Speaker's Bureau to present programs to: Corporations, Civic Oranizations, Parent's groups, and others. Call today to schedule Seminars & Speeches.
  • Join a consumer's group working on this problem. Support them with your time, talents and funding. If there is not one in your area, ask us for help in starting one. It works!
  • Take all opened/unopened aspartame products back to your grocer for a refund. You will get one if you tell them why!
  • Register your complaint loudly and clearly.

The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network is a national non-profit all-volunteer organization established in 1987 for the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of aspartame ingestion and collecting case histories of adverse reactions. ACSN gladly accepts donations of any amount. The offer of volunteer assistance at any level is greatly appreciated.

Aspartame Consumer Safety
P.O. Box 780634
Dallas, TX 75378
(214) 352-4268

The mission of the GWVRP is to disseminate health related information to veterans of the Persian Gulf War in an unbiased format. The site is operated completely by volunteers and is not affiliated with any government entities or programs. ©1994-2019, Shaw Avenue Consulting.