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Testimony re: Hawaii Rep. Josh Green, M.D., Resolution re: Aspartame in Hawaii

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March 11, 2008

To the Honorable Rep Josh Green, MD, Chairman, House Health Committee
Rep John Mizuno, Vice Chairman and Members of the Committee:

Dear Rep Green and Committee Members:

Thank you for including Mission Possible International as a member of your work group, and thank you for taking the time to read this formal testimony. We are filing this at the very last minute, since you and no one from your office or any of the committee members responded to our voluminous medical and victim testimony to inform any of us of your Resolution.

We are sure that the lobbyists from the Grocers' and Soft Drink Companies who opposed the bills for an outright ban are aware of this Resolution of yours, as that is their job after all, to apprise their employers of anything and everything which might even potentially down the road challenge the viability and safety of their products. They are probably happy to begrudgingly chime in their concurrence, although at this date, there is no testimony presented on the Hawaii Legislature website.

We strongly recommend that you in a committee amendment or in a floor amendment, include two victims of aspartame poisoning, not just "consumers," as you originally put it in the Resolution, and that you add a representative of the Hawaii Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, since aspartame will someday soon be the subject of massive compensatory and punitive lawsuits similar to the states' tobacco suits in the 1990's; you might as well get someone on board who is capable of comprehending the evidentiary aspects of the epidemiological scale inherent in aspartame poisoning, the whistle blowers from the manufacturers, etc.

You apparently are trying to be conciliatory and trying to "mean well," although the tone of some of the Resolution is angry and critical of victims' point of view by impugning and ridiculing the opposition to aspartame as a kind of "junk internet science."

We are also astonished by your inclusion of the Calorie Control Council, whose entire purpose is to please their corporate fenders, which include aspartame manufacturers and users, like Coca Cola, Ajinomoto, and the Merisant Corporation, maker of Equal. They are at best apologists and soothsayers, through and through; that is their job. Putting them on a Task Force, however well intended are your intentions, is similar to asking a few members of Germany's High Command to serve as judges at Nuremberg!

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Deriding our point of view as junk science is absurd, in view of the fact that the Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, and her Department, in order to oppose outright ban bills, chose to use a so-called "study" [AKA the Burdock Report] from Toxicology Journal which was entirely paid for by Ajinomoto of Japan, the world's largest manufacturer of both aspartame and of another neurotoxic additive: Monosodium Glutamate, and purposefully excluded almost all of the independent studies which showed their obvious neurodegenerative harm from aspartame and its metabolic by products, like methanol, formaldehyde, and diketopiperazine.

Another point on Calorie Control Council which you and your House colleagues should be aware of: these folks continually espouse the use of their products, even for pregnant women, phenylketoneurics, and liver patients. Their "cheerleading" positions occasionally erupt onto the pages of major American newspapers, like the Miami Herald, to whom Neurosurgeon Russell Ballock wrote the following, and we quote his entire letter for exactitude of testimony:

Posted: 24 Apr 2004
re: Miami Herald article from 02 February 2004

Dear Editor,
It has come to my attention that the Calorie Control Council, a front group for the NutraSweet Company, recently suggested that aspartame was safe for women to use during pregnancy, as well as by those with serious liver disease and phenylketonurics.

This is the most serious breech of public trust in the history of this nation. There is not one long-term study of aspartame safety ever conducted on the offspring of pregnant women consuming aspartame. Yet, there are numerous studies indicating aspartame could pose a serious danger to both mother and infant.

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For example, according to the National Collaborative Study for Maternal PKU, blood levels of phenylalanine, a major component of aspartame and a developmental brain toxin, should not exceed 6mg./dl. In a study of pregnant women it was found that aspartame consumption at commonly consumed amounts reached these levels in 42% of normal women and 100% of PKU carriers. One in fifty people are PKU carriers and do not know it. This same group concluded that levels of 10mg/dl held a serious risk of infant brain impairment. In this same study 15% of pregnant women reached this toxic level of phenylalanine and 36% of PKU carriers.

This means that fully a third of all babies born to PKU carrier mothers consuming aspartame foods and drinks risk varying degrees of brain damage. It is also known that the amount of toxic phenylalanine reaching the baby is twice as high as that in the mother's blood because the placenta concentrates the toxin. In addition, numerous metabolic breakdown products of aspartame are known to damage the developing infant's brain, including methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid, diketopiperizine and phenylacetate.

Aspartame has been shown by several studies to damage DNA, which can lead to cancer and degenerative brain disorders later in life. The risk of increased brain tumors in such a child would be enormous. Similar mechanisms of damage would be expected in those with liver disease. Studies on aspartame safety have shown that the product increases tumors throughout numerous organs, especially the brain. It was shown that brain tumor incidence increased over 47X in animals exposed to aspartame.

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