Friday, January 15, 2010


Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in many products like Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, sugar-free chewing gum, yogurts and generally in many sugar-free and/or "light" products. Some claim that aspartame is linked to brain illnesses ranging from nervousness to brain tumor. Some argue that all the negative talk about aspartame (better known under their commercial names NutraSweet, Equal and many others) is just bad-mouthing the sweetener industry. Even if some of the evidence against aspartame is pushed aside for not being conclusive in court, as an individual it seems to make sense to avoid all sweeteners just to be on the safe side. Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that human bodies have not been exposed to in such quantities throughout evolution. It seems to be good common sense to stick to "real" food and healthy juices rather than "light" soda pops.

Even before watching the 90-minute documentary "Aspartame: Sweet Misery A Poisoned World" (or here) produced in 2004 I already decided to avoid sweetener-containing products. But watching the movie brought out another interesting fact: Guess who was involved in pushing aspartame through the FDA approval process and profited personally from its approval? Donald Rumsfeld. Why do the same names always show up everywhere? It is just another example of the revolving door strategy of individuals moving back and forth between industry and politics to create public policies favoring certain industries and to receive well-paid executive jobs thereafter. Have a look at minute 57:00 of the video to see Donald Rumsfeld in action.

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