Genetically
 Manipulated 


 

 
 
 Food


 News

22 February 99

Table of Contents

Expert discredits GM risks study
UK Science Minister owns Caul Mosaic Gene patent!!
Monsanto Will Plead Guilty In Criminal Prosecution Over Gm Crop Trial [1]
U.S. Organic Farmers Young, College Educated
U. S. Organic Farmer Survey
Biotech food giant wields power in Washington
Threat to go to European court as Monsanto shrugs off fine
Aspartame And Joint Pain
Monsanto Saw Secret Eu Documents

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Date: 16 Feb 1999 05:16:02 -0600
From: devatalk@mcmail.com

So they are trying the 'discredit' theory again!!!

Expert discredits GM risks study

By Steve Connor, Science Editor Independent 16 Feb 99

CLAIMS that genetically modified potatoes damaged the health of rats have been savaged by a scientist who took part in the experiments.

John Gatehouse, a reader in biological sciences at Durham University, said the effects allegedly observed by Arpad Pusztai of the Rowett Research Institute almost certainly have nothing to do with genetic modification. Dr Pusztai's supporters said experiments in which he fed GM potatoes to rats showed the act of genetic modification, rather than toxins used, caused immune suppression and stunted growth.

Dr Gatehouse, one of three leaders of the government-funded project, said he had spoken out because of irresponsible press reports.

If any rats became ill it was probably because of a build-up of natural toxins in the potatoes as a result of the plants being grown from tissue cultures. "There might be a scientific explanation for what Dr Pusztai has observed but it is not necessarily to do with genetic modification."

An effect of culturing plants from tissue, which was how the potatoes in the experiment were grown, is that they regenerate with high levels of natural toxins, which can stunt the growth of laboratory animals. Potatoes are naturally rich in toxins but can be made more poisonous by growing the plants from tissue cultures. "It is an old effect and well known," Dr Gatehouse said.

Tony Blair stepped into the controversy with a claim that he would not hesitate to eat GM food. It echoed assurances about the safety of beef by the former Tory minister John Gummer, who tried to feed his daughter a beefburger.

The spokesman for the Prime Minister said he would not involve his children in the dispute, but it was clear the Government will not bow to pressure for a moratorium. Later, Downing Street said Mr Blair was "concerned" about calls for a ban on GM foods. "He is concerned there should be no headlong rush into something which is completely unnecessary, because there is absolutely no scientific evidence to suggest there is anything harmful about the food that is being produced at the moment," a spokesman said.

Sources said that any British attempt to ban US imports of the three licensed items already genetically modified - tomato paste, maize and soya - would spark a fresh trade war with America.

Other scientists have also criticised the interpretation of Dr Pusztai's results on grounds that natural toxins in raw potatoes can occur in surprisingly high amounts. Philip Dale, an expert on transgenic potatoes at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, said conventional cross-breeding experiments can throw up strains of potatoes that contain enough toxins to be poisonous to humans. "If we did the same sort of tests [as Dr Pusztai] on conventional lines of potatoes, we'd be throwing them out, but that does not condemn all potatoes."

More than 20 "independent" scientists - mostly from abroad - have signed a memo supporting Dr Pusztai, saying his work was of a sufficient standard to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, the only way new research is accepted by the scientific community at large.

But Dr Gatehouse said he had studied the unpublished "alternative report" written by Dr Pusztai - which he compiled as an answer to the criticism meted out in the Rowett official audit report into his work - and had found it contained serious problems.

"I think it looks to me to be too preliminary to publish. I personally would be very unhappy making those conclusions where the margins of error are at least as big as the effects being reported," Dr Gatehouse said.


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Date: 16 Feb 1999 05:16:27 -0600
From: devatalk@mcmail.com

UK Science Minister owns Caul Mosaic Gene patent!!

By Laurie Flynn and Michael Sean Gillard Tuesday February 16, 1999 The Guardian

Revealed: Lord Sainsbury's interest in key gene patent

Lord Sainsbury of Turville, the billionaire supermarket tycoon and science minister, owned for 11 years the company which controls the worldwide patent rights over a key gene currently used in the genetic modification process, the Guardian can reveal. The holding was switched into a blind trust last July, three days after he joined the Government.

The same gene is at the centre of the food scandal revealed last week in the Guardian which has split the Government and has led to calls for a moratorium on the release of genetically modified foods and provoked demands for an independent ethics commission to look at the whole issue. The controversy is focused on the suspension last year of Dr Arpad Pusztai, an eminent scientist, whose publicly funded research was terminated after he spoke out about the potential risk to human health from GM foods.

Dr Pusztai's suppressed preliminary research - funded by a £1.6 million Scottish Office grant - showed that rats fed GM potatoes suffered damage to their vital organs and a weakened immune system.

He and his colleagues believe the harm, including shrinkage of the brain and thickening of the stomach wall, could have been caused by the cauliflower mosaic virus promoter, a conclusion which threatens the multi-billion pound GM industry. It is the cauliflower mosaic promoter which is owned by Lord Sainsbury's private company. The promoter is vital because it acts as an "on/off switch" to boost the growth of the GM product.

Lord Sainsbury's patented gene is used in most GM foods available worldwide and in the UK such as soya - which is found in some 60 per cent of processed foodstuffs.

The revelation comes in a week when the Government backed GM food safety despite mounting public concern and ignored opposition demands for Lord Sainsbury's resignation.

As Science Minister at the Department for Trade and Industry and a member of the cabinet biotechnology committee Lord Sainsbury, aged 58, is accused of having a conflict of interest with his outspoken support for GM foods and business links to biotechnology companies.

His appointment to the cabinet committee was made soon after Dr Pusztai was suspended last August.

The Guardian can reveal that this patent is owned by Diatech Ltd, a London-based company wholly owned by Lord Sainsbury according to the 1997 annual return. Diatech director, Christopher Stone, said that the junior minister 'indirectly owns' Diatech through his blind trust which was set up when he was appointed a DTI minister last July. He added: 'It is important that Lord Sainsbury does not know what Diatech is doing. The company provides services to Lord Sainsbury and his immediate family and some of Diatech's work includes plant biotechnology.'

Diatech applied for the world patent in June 1987, well before he was enobled by Tony Blair and while he was finance director of Sainsbury plc. The application was granted in 1990 and has been held by his London-based private company since then. It has only recently transferred into the blind trust last July at the same time as he entered the Government.

Lord Sainsbury did not declare his shareholding in Diatech Ltd in the December 1997 Register of Lords' Interests, before he was made a minister. But he did declare that he was a 'holder of licensed plant biotechnology patent'. A DTI spokesman for Lord Sainsbury told the Guardian he would not comment beyond the information contained in a statement put out last July when he was appointed Science Minister.

The spokesman would not answer any questions about the nature of the patent other than to say it went into an unnamed blind trust when he became a minister. The July 1998 press release goes into detail about his substantial shareholding in Sainsbury plc, but does not mention Lord Sainsbury's lucrative private ownership of the patent for cauliflower mosaic promoter.

His blind trust was set up in order to avoid any 'actual or potential conflict of interests' with his ministerial responsibilities. The junior minister is also the beneficiary of offshore trusts in the British Virgin Islands, a well-known tax haven.

Jack Cunningham, the minister who chairs the cabinet committee on biotechnology and GM food safety, said: 'David Sainsbury is a man of complete integrity. He has no financial interests while he's serving in the Government. He's a very valuable member of the ministerial team.' The inventor of the patent is listed as Michael Wilson, who until 1988 worked at the John Innes Institute which shares facilities with the Sainsbury plant biology lab in Norwich.

The Guardian has established that Mr Wilson is now working at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) as the deputy director during Dr Pusztai's research project. The SCRI, which colloborated in aspects of the Pusztai research programme, was said to be uncomfortable with Dr Pusztai's preliminary findings.

Lord Sainsbury was reported last month as saying he would stand aside in the case of a genuine conflict of interest. He said the cabinet committee on biotechnology had only met once and GM foods had not come up.

He is also in charge of the Office of Science and Technology, which monitors all government funding of research and controls official science policy.

It is likely that today's revelations will increase opposition pressure on Lord Sainsbury to resign.

© Copyright Guardian Media Group plc. 1999


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Date: 16 Feb 1999 10:58:31 -0600
From: Jon mail@icsenglish.com

Monsanto Will Plead Guilty In Criminal Prosecution Over Gm Crop Trial [1]

From Norfolk Genetic Information Network (ngin)
Website: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin Feb. 17th - Wednesday

Prosecuted GM giant in many Norfolk trials

Danger of genetic pollution from complacent regulation and derisory policing of hazardous trials

Over half the UK's GM crop trials are going on in East Anglia and Norfolk is a major player with only Licolnshire and Cambridgeshire having more.

At farms across Norfolk (from Stalham to West Rudham - [2]) GM trials are being run for the agrochemical giant Monsanto - the company in the dock over breaches of biosafety regulations in the running of a Lincolnshire crop trial.

More such Monsanto trials were run on 2 farms at Kirby Bedon in Norfolk before the owners, Crown Point Farms, recently decided to pull out of such trials because of the public controversy and disquiet.

The Norfolk farms are running trials of Monsanto's GM sugar beet genetically engineered to be resistant to its powerful herbicide iRoundupi.

Sugarbeet is a crop which has a long history of hybridisation and gene exchange with wild beet. A Department of the Environment report has commented, Even without hybridisation the transgene [i.e. an inserted gene in a GM crop] may be able to persist in weed beets derived from bolters or volunteers" and goes on to say; "Thus escape of the transgene to a crop weed, and perhaps to a lesser extent to a weed of disturbed habitats, is entirely plausible." [3]

However, despite the risks of genetic pollution there is strong evidence of wide scale violations and poor policing of the UK's GM trials.

More disturbingly, a report in mid-December by the Health and Safety Executive, who 'police' the trials, showed that 1 in 5 GM crop trials that the HSE had managed to monitor were breaking the regulations on environmental protection.

Despite the evidence of such widescale breaches, no company - previous to Wednesday's court case - has ever been prosecuted for illegally breaching a consent to hold a crop trial.

The HSE refused to identify the sites or the companies involved in the violations, and said that records relating to previous alleged breaches are not available.

Worse still, however, most GM sites are not even being monitored! Last year only just over one third of licensed sites were even inspected. In fact, the HSE only has 2 or 3 full time inspectors to cover about 500 trials across the UK.

iConsent breaches are alleged to have included: too small a buffer zone surrounding the crops; failure to implement measures to limit the escape of pollen, and scattering of seeds outside the designated area.

Cross-pollination between GM and conventional crops has been recorded over as great a distance as two and a half miles so many regard the regulations placed on the trials by Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) - a committee with a majority of members with links to the biotech industry - as totally lacking in rigour from a biosafety viewpoint. ACRE's small buffer zones are not thought to seriously reflect the potential hazards.

There is a very striking contrast between the way peaceful protesters are being met by the full force of the state at test sites - with 2 dozen police officers, several vans and a helicopter overhead to deal with 6 women peacably and publicly uprooting a sample amount of these crops at a trial site [4] - while the policing of these trials appears to many utterly derisory.

Jonathan Matthews of Norfolk Genetic Information Network commented, iThere is a clear likelihood of genetic pollution in the Norfolk Countryside as a result of complacent regulation and the absolutely derisory policing of these hazardous trials. Instead of just rushing ahead regardless with this dangerous technology, the Government should be protecting the environment. These trials should be stopped now while the Government goes back to the drawing board to sort out its real priorities.i

Notes:

Media contact: Jonathan Matthews - contact details as below plus home tel: 01603 625188
26 Pottergate Norwich NR2 1DX
Tel: 01603 624021    Fax: 01603 766552   E-mail: mail@icsenglish.com

Reference

[1] On Feb 17th a criminal prosecution of Monsanto and another company, Perryfields Holdings Ltd, will be mounted over a crop trial in Lincolnshire. A six-metre pollen "border" designed to help stop the escape of GM pollen was found by Health and Safety inspectors who visited the Lincolnshire site in June to measure just two metres in some places at a point when the trial crop had already flowered and pollination with the surrounding crop may have taken place. Both Monsanto and another company, Perryfields Holdings Ltd, are accused of contravening the Environmental Protection Act. Monsanto has already been named by Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, in relation to another serious violation.

[2] Some of Monsanto's crop trials in Norfolk: Brunstead Hall, Stalham (15 miles north east of Norwich) 3 trials:95/R22/01;95/R22/02;98/R22/12 The latter trial is continuing till to 2003.

Crown Point Estate, Kirby Bedon (part of Crown Point Farms, 3 miles south east of Norwich) 1 trial:98/R22/12 This and all GM trials at this site apparently abandoned by end of e98 after owners pulled out

Hill Farm, Kirby Bedon (part of Crown Point Farms, 3 miles south east of Norwich) 2 trials: 95/R22/01;95/R22/02 All Gm trials at this site abandoned see above

Wood Farm, Morley Research Station, Attleborough (15 miles south west of Norwich) 3 trials: 95/R22/01;95/R22/02 ;98/R22/11 ( till 2003) 98/R22/12 (also till 2003.)

The Grange, West Rudham (8 miles west of Fakenham) 2 trials: 95/R22/01;95/R22/02

[3] The Department of the Environment report 'Genetically modified crops and their wild relatives - a UK perspective' (1994)

[4] At the first genetiX snowball protest.


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Date: 16 Feb 1999 23:34:42 -0600
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)

U.S. Organic Farmers Young, College Educated

From Environment News Service (ENS):
© Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 1999

SANTA CRUZ, California, February 16, 1999 (ENS) - Consumer support for organic products continues to rise, according to a recent survey of U.S. organic farmers conducted by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).

For Full Text and Graphics Visit: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/feb99/1999L-02-16-05.html


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Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 15:54:25 -0500
From: Patricia Dines PDines@compuserve.com



P A N U P S

Pesticide Action Network

North America Updates Service
http://www.panna.org
email panna@panna.org

February 15, 1999

U. S. Organic Farmer Survey

Consumer support for organic products continues to rise, according to a survey of U.S. organic farmers. Over 77% of the 1,200 farmers surveyed stated that they plan to increase their organic acreage and the number of crops they grow organically. This is the third survey conducted by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) in the past six years.

At least 45% of the farmers responding said that they use the naturally-occurring bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) for pest management. Organic growers are greatly concerned that due to a dramatic increase in crops genetically engineered to contain Bt within their cells, pests will soon become resistant to it even when it is applied externally as an organic pest control tool. Respondents also indicated a lack of faith in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ability to publish a strong organic rule and added that the Department fails to provide them with useful information. OFRF cites this as an indication that the USDA is woefully out of touch with a new generation of environmentally sound, consumer friendly farmers.

Highlights of the OFRF survey include:

Commodities produced:

OFRF has conducted the biennial surveys to help serve organic farmers' research and information needs. Founded by certified organic farmers in 1990, OFRF's primary mission is to fund research and education projects that benefit organic farmers, and to cultivate a broader network of support for organic farming systems research. OFRF's 1997 report, "Searching for the 'O-Word" revealed that USDA and land grant institutions responsible for agricultural research have largely ignored organic systems research and information development. According to the report, out of 30,000 agricultural research projects analyzed by OFRF on USDA's Current Research Information System, only 34 projects were rated as having a strong organic focus.

As part of the survey, respondents were asked to list their research priorities. Overall, farmers ranked weed management as their major concern. Second and third priorities were "relationship between fertility management and crop health, pest and disease resistance" and "relationship of organic growing practices to nutritional value of product." Soil biology, crop rotations and cover cropping were also high on the list.

Copies of the Third Biennial National Organic Farmers' Survey results are available from OFRF. A US$10 donation is requested. The Executive Summary is available on the OFRF web site: www.ofrf.org.

Source/contact: OFRF, P.O. Box 440, Santa Cruz, CA 95061; phone (831) 426-6606; fax (831) 426-6670; email research@ofrf.org.

Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
49 Powell St., Suite 500, San Francisco, California 94102
Phone (415) 981-1771    Fax (415) 981-1991
Email panna@panna.org    Web site www.panna.org

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following text on one line: subscribe panups To unsubscribe send the following: unsubscribe panups =

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Date: 19 Feb 1999 02:00:49 -0600 From: MichaelP papadop@peak.org

Biotech food giant wields power in Washington

John Vidal on the politics of the GM food industry
Guardian (London)Thursday February 18, 1999

While European scientists, politicians, and pressure groups furiously debate the merits of GM foods, there is barely any discussion in the US, the home of the $50-billion-a-year bio-technelogy industry.

The US government, which actively promotes the industry worldwide and accepts millions of dollars a year from Monsanto and other companies, maintains there is no health or environmental risk.

But the foods have been introduced with very few people being aware of them, and Monsanto, the leading food revolution company, is widely regarded as one of the world's most innovative, successful and responsible companies.

It employs 25,000 people, including 1,900 scientists, gives freely to charities and foundations, and pays for science theme parks.

It is a hero on Wall Street where in the four years since its visionary chief executive, Bob Shapiro, took over and started launchung its GM products on the world market, it has seen its share price soar and its market capitalisation grow to more than $26 billion.

The science-friendly corporate image of environmental responsibility has been built on its very close links to political parties, say Monsanto critics. The company is one of three big funders of Clinton's Welfare-to-Work programme, and there is a constant exchange of staff between the government, the company and the regulatory bodies.

Its access to power isbarely questioned. Scientists are widely trusted and what is good for corporations is seen as good for everyone. A Monsanto board member chaired Clinton's presidential campaign.

Another senior executive mapped US pesticide policy, and a third was a top Clinton aide. The company also donates heavily to both main political parties and pays lobbyists to represent its interests at every point.

Like other corporations it quite legally gives money to congressmen who sit on food safety and regulatory committees.

Betty Martini, of the consumer group, Mission Possible, which watches Monsanto's activities in the US, said: 'The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the US food industry, is so closely linked to the biotech industry now that it could be desribed as their Washington branch office.'

Monsanto executives agree that they work closely with the government but say that the regulatory system is based on sound science. 'It's tough to get anything through', says a company spokesman.

The company, with other biotech firms, paved the way for public acceptance of GM technology up to 10 years ago by preparing 'educational' information for schools and investing heavily in science museums.

Meanwhile it and other companies were lobbying global organisations to prohibit the worldwide labelling of GM foods. US embassies around the world are known to lobby for the industry in most countries

But the first stirrings of revolt are now being heard. US activists are targeting company chiefs, and the powerful Union of Concerned Scientists is calling for more caution.

The health and environmental risks are under-appreciaed, says Dr Marion Mellon of the UCS. 'Billions of dollars have been devoted to developing the technology but few resources have been put into understanding its effects.'

Meanwhile unexpected environmental results in the US are worrying farmers, and the rapidly growing healthfood and organic farming industry. This month, 89,000 packets of organic tortilla chips had to be destroyed after being found to contain GM organisms. It is believed that they were 'contaminated' by a nearby field of GM maize.

The US requires that no GM foods be labelled, and allows biotech companies to largely police themselves. After heavy lobbying, the biotech industry has persuaded 14 states to pass laws to prevent the 'spreading of false and damaging information about food'.

The heavily subsidised US food industry is thought to be worth more than $300 billion a year and its acceptance of the GM revolution is almost complete. Fifty million acres of land was grown with GM crops, last year in the US, much of it soyabean and maize.

Acreage is expected to double within two years and grow exponentially for at least five years.

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


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Date: 18 Feb 1999 05:55:21 -0600
From: devatalk@mcmail.com

Threat to go to European court as Monsanto shrugs off fine

By Paul Brown and Julia Finch
The Guardian Thursday February 18 1999
© Copyright Guardian Media Group plc.

Two giants of the genetically modified food business, the multinational companies Monsanto and Zeneca, yesterday pledged to fight any attempts to ban their products, saying they did not believe such a move was in the Government's power. Zeneca said it would go ahead with commercial production of genetically modified tomatoes next year and would press on with plans to import modified bananas. Monsanto, which was yesterday fined £17,000 by magistrates in Lincolnshire for failure to correctly conduct trials of genetically modified oil seed rape, vowed to fight any move to halt its development of GM foods in Britain. Tom McDermott, Monsanto's senior European spokesman, shrugged off any embarrassment caused by the first prosecution over GM crops and said he would appeal to the European Union in Brussels if Britain tried to block its activities.

Drugs group Zeneca made it clear it would be the first to come to Monsanto's aid. Michael Pragnell, head of Zeneca Agrochemicals, warned that if the UK government bowed to growing pressure for a ban, the repercussions could be severe. Zeneca and Monsanto both said the UK government had no power to halt research if it had been given the go-ahead by the EU. Zeneca confirmed it is waiting for final EU approval for full scale production of GM tomatoes in Europe next year. The tomatoes have been genetically altered for use in tomato puree. They have very little water content and are inedible raw. Mr Pragnell said that Zeneca is also working on GM bananas, which will be resistant to disease.

Government ministers last night insisted that GM technologies have 'huge potential to benefit society" provided that consumers are protected by proper regulation of the industry. But the Tory leadership announced it would introduce its own bill in Parliament this week to impose a three year moratorium on the growing of commercial GM crops. Tory leader William Hague challenged Tony Blair to back it, and to publish all the expert advice he has been getting on GM issues. Monsanto was fined £17,000 with #163#6,159 costs yesterday for failing to prevent pollen from an experimental crop being released into the environment, in the first case of its kind in Britain.

The case involved the failure to provide a proper barrier between herbicide tolerant oil seed rape and surrounding crops. The crops were all destroyed. Although Monsanto pleaded guilty, the company said that the mistake was entirely the responsibility of contractors. They were appointed by the National Institute of Botany, which in turn had been responsible to the Ministry of Agriculture for running the trial. The seed producers for the trial, Perryfield Holdings, were fined £14,000 and ordered to pay #163#5,000 costs in a prosecution by the Health and Safety Inspectorate brought after an inspection of the site last year had revealed the breach. Both companies admitted the charges.


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Date: 20 Feb 1999 16:11:42 -0600
From: betty martini Mission-Possible-USA@altavista.net

Via: "Mr. E" orwilly@msn.com

Subject: Fwd: Aspartame and Joint Pain....From a former FDA Investigator who wants the truth known about NutraSweet. He deserves a Gold Star. Let's all put this on web with his permission!

Aspartame And Joint Pain

by: Arthur M. Evangelista Assoc. Dir. of Reg. Comp.

Sections:
Aspartame ~ the conflict over an artificial sweetener.
Aspartame
Methanol
Formic Acid
Aspartic acid
Phenylalanine
Reduced serotonin levels
Altered Brain Function
Aspartame Is A Toxin
Correlation With Joint Pain
Synovial fluid
Nerve Damage
Lack Of Insulin Control
Stop taking Aspartame
Monsanto, The Manufacturer
FDA

Aspartame ~ the conflict over an artificial sweetener.

There are many ways of looking at the ASPARTAME controversy, depending on your point of view. Whether you are scientific minded, or received money from Monsanto, are health conscious, or if you are a regular American citizen tired of government unresponsiveness and big business destroying our environment for the loathsome dollar. The controversy over aspartame is likened to watching a well-plotted murder mystery movie. Regardless of the points of view, there are no sides or versions to truth; there is only one truth...

To find that truth, I decided to perform my own research with all available data and evidence, just like any other concerned American might. This research was conducted to determine the physical, biochemical, and pathological aspects of the compound aspartame, and aspartame's relationship to various illnesses. What I uncovered was much more insidious.

As my research into the physical, factual properties of aspartame began to take shape, I found that aspartame is intricately tied to deceptive politics and big business profits, while public health concerns are tossed to the wayside. More on that later.

Aspartame

Aspartame (C14H18N2O5 ) is a compound of three components. These components are methanol, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine (both the latter are free form amino acids). Each of these chemicals, by themselves, is a neurotoxin. When combined together, these three chemicals potentiate a devastating effect upon human health, and upon the human nervous system in particular.

Methanol

Methanol (methyl alcohol or wood alcohol) is a colorless, poisonous, and flammable liquid. It is used for making formaldehyde, acetic acid, methyl t-butyl ether (a gasoline additive), paintstrippers, carburetor cleaners for your car's engine, and chloromethanes, et al. (Tephly & McMartin 1984)

This poison can be inhaled from vapors, absorbed through the skin, and ingested. Methanol is the type of alcohol you read about when people become blind from drinking it. In aspartame, methanol poisoning and poisoning from methanol's breakdown components (formaldehyde and formic acid) can have widespread and devastating effects. This occurs in even in small amounts, and is especially damaging when introduced with synergistic (and toxic) free form amino acids, called excitotoxins.

Methanol is quickly absorbed through the stomach and small intestine mucosa. The methanol is converted into formaldehyde (a known carcinogen). Then, via aldehyde hydrogenase, the formaldehyde is converted to formic acid. These two metabolites of methanol are extremely toxic.

Formic Acid

When formic acid is formed, a life threatening metabolic acidosis ensues. The drop in pH causes enzymes to stop functioning, reduces peripheral circulation, and causes intra and extra cellular damage. Incidentally, this is worsened by the fact that Cola soda, and many others, contain phosphoric acid. Reduced blood pH has been shown to slow the healing process by reducing enzyme activities.

In addition to optic nerve damage from the methanol, the metabolic acidosis causes other complications like renal (kidney) shutdown or kidney failure, convulsions, seizures, pulmonary edema, coma, and death. Furthermore, formic acid stays in the system long after the unconverted methanol has decayed or has been excreted.

Formic acid inhibits cytochrome oxidase, decreases ATP synthesis (energy for all your cells), releases damaging free radicals, causes lipid perioxidation and eventually mitochondria damage and cellular death.

Aspartame is also made of two separate amino acids that have each been chemically cleaved from the rest of the protein, or amino acid chain. My research revealed that once you isolate an amino acid by itself you create a whole new situation.

Aspartic acid

Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Well, amino acids are good for us, right ? Don't they keep us healthy ? The answer is yes, amino acids are necessary for good health, EXCEPT when you separate the individual amino acid from its protein chain, and use it as an "isolate" or by itself. (S.Sawada, et al '98)

In aspartame, these become synergistic toxins; one component playing off the other in a dangerous, systemic downward spiral. This eventually gives way to clinical manifestations; "hard-to-diagnose" health complications, and a myriad of medical symptoms and illnesses, which can eventually cause irreversible medical complications and death.

Aspartic acid, in aspartame, is an excitotoxin. An excitotoxin, is a deleterious substance that excites or overstimulates nerve cells. This occurs in the brain, as well as the peripheral nerves, because aspartic acid, in free form, easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. This pathological excitation of nerve cells creates a breakdown of nerve function, as we will see. (L.E.Rosenberg, McGraw-Hill 1991)

Phenylalanine

Phenylalanine is another free amino acid. Phenylalanine (in aspartame) studies show that free phenylalanine also damages nerve cells. Phenylalanine reduces serotonin levels in the brain. This reduction in serotonin creates a host of complications. (Wurtman 1988)

Reduced serotonin levels

Reduced serotonin levels have been equated with aggressive or violent behavior in adults, and temper tantrums in children. The lowered serotonin level also lowers the threshold for seizure activity, instigating petite and grand mal seizures. (Maher 1987)

Now we have seen each component of aspartame by itself. Mix the three together, and let the "toxic cocktails" flow.

The three combined components of aspartame potentiate their individual effects.

Altered Brain Function

Aspartame creates altered brain function, nerve damage, and systemic organ complications. Information collected reveals that aspartame clinically exacerbates any borderline (even yet undetected) predisposing illness, and absolutely complicates certain known medical illnesses of individuals (like Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, diabetes, retinopathies, allergies, mentation disorders, etc.)

The research data uncovered, began to weave a horrific connection among the combination of metabolic acidosis, nerve cell mitochondria damage, and aspartame induced brain cell hypoglycemia. Changes in peripheral circulation and nerve transmission occur. Altered systemic metabolites and blood buffer systems, and the conversion of metabolites to destructive chemical toxins like diketopiperazine (a breakdown product of phenylalanine) and formic acid perpetuates the damage. There seemed to be a correlation between diketopiperazine and astrocytoma (type of brain tumor), since this chemical toxin accumulates in, and around, astrocyte brain cells.

Aspartame Is A Toxin

Aspartame is a toxin, and is unique in this hazardous respect. No other food can be provided as a comparison. Although MSG (monosodium glutamate) seems to run a close second. Upon closer examination, the available research revealed that the manufacturer (Monsanto) and the FDA are manipulating the public into thinking that aspartame is safe. It's not. As an American who trusted the system we all created, it made me angry that public health has taken a backseat to greed. There's no other way to put it.

Correlation With Joint Pain

Correlation with joint pain has been noted in quite a few subjects who have consumed aspartame over a period from a few weeks to years. Since the combination of neurotoxins in aspartame acts more potently in the human body, and since the premarket testing of aspartame was so severely flawed, it was not immediately known what multiple complications aspartame would cause in human physiology. It's a toxic free-for-all.

Joint pain has several names. Joint pain often goes by the names of fibromyalgia, arthralgia, or (diabetic)-like neuropathy, depending upon its cause.

Synovial fluid, the fluid that helps keep the surfaces of articulating joints moving pain free, is at particular risk. The synovial fluid, and surrounding membrane and cartilage can develop disease states like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other complications, especially complications brought on by diabetes.

Synovial fluid

Synovial fluid is especially sensitive to changes in blood pH, peripheral circulation, capillary permeability, central nervous system destruction, and changes in the blood chemistry, including effects from secondary organ damage, like kidney failure.

Nerve Damage

Aspartame ingestion causes metabolic acidosis, a reduction in peripheral circulation, nerve damage through nerve cell destruction and overexcitation, and reduces available glucose for cell metabolism and viability. The exact mechanism is not clearly understood.

Lack Of Insulin Control

Clinically, this combination of toxins in aspartame can exacerbate diabetic neuropathy. This occurs from lack of insulin control while consuming aspartame. This can also involve nerve damage, glucose made unavailable for cell metabolism, release of free radicals, and the direct effects of aspartame metabolites (formaldehyde, diketopiperizine, formic acid). This food sweetener disaster has reached epidemic proportions.

In medicine, the clinical picture often indicates what physicians will use for developing a treatment.

You see, when you have blurred vision, headaches, and joint pain, and you drink aspartame, there's only one thing to do. Stop drinking aspartame. Take the test.

Stop taking Aspartame

So unless permanent damage has resulted from toxic substances, in most cases poisoning symptoms either subside or disappear altogether when the aspartame ingestion is halted.

During my research, there were so many aspects of chemical interactions, that I could not understand it all. But from reading available literature on aspartame, speaking with several specialists, and talking with individuals who have experienced complications of aspartame toxicity, I started putting two and two together. The damage from aspartame ingestion is predominantly neurotoxic.

Monsanto, The Manufacturer

I found that Monsanto, the manufacturer of aspartame, did not tell the American public some important aspects of their pre-market testing.

Monsanto failed to inform the FDA or the American public that the tests they performed on the rats, mice, and other animals did not accurately reflect the true toxic nature of aspartame.

You see, humans are 60 times more sensitive to phenylalanine (free form) than the mice and rats. Methanol is 10 - 20 times more toxic in humans than most other animals. Humans are 5-9 times more sensitive to aspartic acid (free form) as an excitotoxin.

FDA

If the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) held the public interest at heart, the FDA would have reexamined aspartame, wholly and without prejudice, and the FDA would have eventually removed it from use in foods. They haven't.

The FDA has so many tie-ins with Monsanto like relatives working for either agency, PAC money for congress, G.D. Searle employees working for FDA...making FDA's role as public health enforcer very questionable.

The FDA is a political body guided by lawyers and politicians, as many government agencies are. Monsanto has gained political sympathy through PAC money, and research money to facilities that will substantiate the deception of aspartame safety. Aspartame has become a well-orchestrated and deceitful public relations campaign. What would you do if you had millions of dollars invested in some poisonous food ? Do your own research.

Basically, if the government agencies responsible for safe foods, and enforcement of our public health laws, were doing their proper job, this article would not have to be written. I also could have saved myself about 60 hours worth of work, and aspartame would not be in our current food supply.

I know. I used to work for the Food and Drug Administration, and learned plenty about the "heart of the issues".

While with the FDA, I monitored two major programs for the FDA: Pesticides and Industrial Chemicals in Food Supplies, and Illegal Tissue Residues in Foods for Human Consumption, in addition to my other inspection and investigative duties.

Oh, yes...one more thing. "There are no medicinal qualities associated with, or resulting from, aspartame. None at all." Come on America ! We need to be more diligent.

Special thanks to:

For more information on aspartame, see "The Bressler Report" et al, at http://www.dorway.com     or email: Mission Possible-USA@altavista.net


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Date: 21 Feb 1999 03:49:58 -0600
From: devatalk@mcmail.com

Monsanto Saw Secret Eu Documents

By Gregory Palast and Terry Slavin, The Guardian, Saturday February 20 1999
© Copyright Guardian Media Group plc.

US biotech firm under fire in Europe

  • Hundreds of American farmers face legal action over genetic copyright

    Monsanto, the US biotech group fined in an English court last week for failing to control genetic modification trials, is under attack on two new fronts. First for obtaining an advance look at confidential European Commission documents during its campaign to win regulatory approval for its controversial bovine growth hormone (BST). Second, because of its legal actions against hundreds of North American farmers for failing to pay for its genetically modified seeds.

    Company faxes and Canadian government files obtained this week by The Observer reveal that Monsanto received copies of the position papers of the EC Director General for Agriculture and Fisheries prior to a February 1998 meeting that approved milk from cows treated with BST.

    Notes jotted down by a Canadian government researcher during a November 1997 phone call from Monsanto's regulatory chief indicate that the company 'received the [documents] package from Dr Nick Weber', a researcher with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He was given them as a member of the Joint Expert Committee on Food and Drug Additives (JECFA), part of the World Health Organisation, which reviewed the Monsanto drug for Codex, the agency that approves products as safe for international trade.

    Sources noted that Weber's supervisor at the US FDA is Dr Margaret Mitchell who, before joining the agency, directed a Monsanto laboratory working on the hormone. Monsanto also obtained an advance look at the submission to JECFA by British pharmaceuticals researcher John Verrall. Verrall, a member of the UK Food Ethics Council, told The Observer that slipping papers to Monsanto was 'totally wrong'.

    BST boosts milk output in cows but, say critics, may increase the likelihood of human cancers for those who drink milk. Advance knowledge of objections to the hormone seems likely to have helped Monsanto to prepare arguments in advance of the EU meeting.

    In September at a meeting of a Codex panel in Washington, the UK's opposition to immediate acceptance of the Monsanto hormone resulted in a tie vote on the drug among 24 nations. The US representative, citing the JECFA report, claimed a 'chairman's privilege' to treat the vote as approval.

    The Observer has also learned that Monsanto received documents from the files of a Canadian senator involved in investigating controversies surrounding BST. Senator Mira Spivak stated that documents used in preparing hearings on BST were faxed from an office in the Canadian senate.

    Last month, Canada permanently banned BST after hearing testimony from research scientists in its health ministry, who challenged the hormone's safety. Monsanto, whose GM seeds will account for between 50 and 60 per cent of the US soya bean harvest this year, is prosecuting or has already settled 525 cases of what it calls seed piracy - farmers who fail to pay licence fees to plant Monsanto's Ready Roundup seeds.

    Settlements have amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.

    Monsanto has set up freephone tip lines across the US and Canada, encouraging neighbours to anonymously blow the whistle on neighbours, and has hired private investigators to follow up more than 1,800 of these leads. The technology use agreement that farmers must sign when buying Monsanto seed not only forbids them to save seed for replanting, it also gives Monsanto the right to come onto their land and take plant samples for three years.

    Hope Shand, research director for Rural Advancement Foundation International, said: 'Wherever in the world Monsanto is selling this I'd assume they will adopt the same draconian tactics.'

    In one case in western Canada, Monsanto is prosecuting a farmer who maintains he did not plant any genetically modified canola, but his crop was contaminated by GM seeds or pollen blown onto his field from nearby farms - the cross-pollination issue that so worries English Nature. Did my neighbour say