Aspartame and Rumsfeld's Disease- A Politically-Induced Biochemical Disaster Of Global Proportions
Donald Rumsfeld was known throughout the world as the zealous U.S. Secretary of Defense who is waging a global "war on terror" in search of "terrorists" and "weapons of mass destruction." Most people, however, are not aware that Rumsfeld himself unleashed a chemical weapon of mass destruction upon the world in 1981-and it is still out there destroying people all over the world. That "W.M. D." is aspartame and it has been scientifically and anecdotally linked to millions of chronic illnesses and deaths.
The evidence shows that, with full knowledge of aspartame’s neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity, Rumsfeld, as the CEO of G.D. Searle, Co., "called in his markers" to achieve U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the artificial sweetener aspartame, better known by its trade name "NutraSweet."
Consumer advocate attorney Jim Turner, who was instrumental in the 1969 banning of cyclamate in the U.S. for its link to various forms of cancer, met with representatives of aspartame approval petitioner Searle in 1974. The main topic of discussion was neuroscientist Dr. John Olney’s 1971 study which showed that aspartic acid caused lesions in the brains of infant mice. According to Turner, arguably the world’s foremost authority on aspartame’s dubious legal history, Rumsfeld was apparently hired by Searle for one specific purpose: To obtain FDA approval for aspartame.
Betty Martini is the director of Mission Possible, a worldwide consumer advocacy organization formed in 1992 as a voice for those demanding that the FDA reverse its approval of aspartame and order its removal from foods, beverages and medical preparations. Martini is even more bold in her charges against Rumsfeld. Martini believes the Washington insider, former three-term U.S. Rep. From Illinois (1962-1968), secretary of defense (1975-1977) and executive assistant to President Gerald Ford, was hired by Searle because, "He was willing to get a deadly chemical poison, aspartame, approved for human consumption"
In December, 1965 Searle chemist James Schlatter discovered aspartame while working on an ulcer drug. The substance, comprised of 50 percent synthetic phenylalanine, 40 percent synthetic aspartic acid and 10 percent methanol, was about 200 times sweeter than sugar by weight and had no calories. By spring, 1967, Searle began conducting safety trials in preparation for petitioning the FDA for product approval.
Soon after the trials began, lab animals (monkeys and mice) began experiencing adverse effects ranging from brain lesions and tumors to seizures and death. Yet Searle petitioned the FDA for aspartame approval in February, 1973. According to Turner, Searle provided the FDA with over 100 studies claiming they proved aspartame was "safe." Independent analyses of these studies, however, proves conclusively that aspartame is actually a dangerous, neurotoxic, carcinogenic and highly-addictive drug.
Trusting Searle’s promise that aspartame was safe, the FDA approved the limited use of aspartame in dry goods on July 26, 1974. Turner and Dr. Olney formally objected to the approval. Their petition triggered an FDA investigation of Searle’s lab practices which proved that Searle had provided the FDA with inaccurate conclusions resulting from manipulated data derived from poorly-designed studies. The FDA reversed its decision to approve aspartame in dry goods.
On January 10, 1977, the FDA formally requested that the U.S. Department of Justice convene a federal grand jury to determine if Searle should be criminally indicted for "concealing material facts and making false statements" with regard to its petition for aspartame approval.
Among the many charges FDA investigators made about Searle’s shoddy lab practices was how rats that developed tumors would undergo surgical removal of the tumors and then be placed back into the study as if nothing had happened to them.
The grand jury investigation was led by U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner. In July 1, 1977, while the investigation was being conducted, Skinner left the Justice Department and took a job with Sidley & Austin-the law firm representing Searle. The statute of limitations eventually ran out and the grand jury disbanded without reaching any conclusions regarding Searle and its lab practices.
Amid this controversy, Rumsfeld was hired as Searle CEO on March 8, 1977 and immediately began cleaning house. Rumsfeld, who had no previous business executive experience before becoming CEO of Searle, reorganized several departments in the company and fired many of its high-level managers, replacing them with other politically-connected Washington, D.C., insiders.
Though the controversies deepened and the evidence proving the poisonous nature of his company’s product continued to accumulate, Rumsfeld and his team continued to push for FDA approval of aspartame.
A team of FDA investigators headed by Jerome Bressler attempted to block Rumsfeld, et. al, by publishing what has become known as the "Bressler Report" on August 1, 1977. The report cited several instances where Searle intentionally misled the FDA in its petition for marketplace approval of aspartame. The FDA then formed a public board of inquiry (PBOI) in 1979 to rule on the myriad safety issues surrounding aspartame.
By this time, FDA investigators and independent scientists had exhaustively reviewed the Searle studies and additional studies had been conducted. There was no doubt, based upon objective analyses of evidence that had accumulated for over a decade, that aspartame was deathly poisonous to lab animals and caused a statistically significant number of them to develop tumors.