FDAApproval of Aspartame: All About the Money
Interviewer:Gwen, you've done a lot of research on a bunch of different topics. One of thethings you talked to me earlier about was aspartame, one of your favoritetopics I can tell already. Can you talk about that a little bit and I'm sureit's consumed by a vast majority of people in this country.
GwenOlsen: That's right. It really surprises me, still to this day, the number ofpeople that don't know anything about the dangers of aspartame.
When Iwas researching for my book, I found just a tidbit that I felt like I had toshare with everybody even though it was kind of off subject a little bit. Andthat was that aspartame had a very interesting background in how it gotapproved. And what happened was that aspartame had been presented to the FDA for16 years and they had denied approval. And the reason they had denied approvalwas because all the clinical data showed that it caused lesions and tumors andcancer in the brains of animals that they used it on.
With thatin mind the FDA would not allow the product to be approved. There was apolitician that was the CEO of Searle at the time and this gentleman had jumpedback and forth between the pharmaceutical industry and government and if youlook at his history you'll see that. And his name was Donald Rumsfeld. I'm surethat there are other people that will recognize his name.
And so,he called in his markers in government when he was CEO of Searle, and they atthe time were owners of the Aspartame product and got the FDA head fired atthat time. When the Johnson administration came in they appointed a new head ofFDA. That gentleman approved aspartame. Donald Rumsfeld got millions of dollarsin a bonus for it. I think it was like five million dollars if I'm not mistakenand it went on to the market. And as soon the product went on to the market,the new head of the FDA resigned and became chief counsel for Searle, themakers of aspartame. So some really small conflict of interest was involved inthat approval process, and now we find out that aspartame is causing serioushealth problems with, well you were drinking a diet soda earlier . . .
GwenOlsen: . . . and you weren't aware of it. And that's what I'm saying. It'scausing serious problems with highly educated people that generally know aboutthese kind of dangers and they're just totally unaware of this issue.
Interviewer:So why is it still on the market? And will it . . .
GwenOlsen: Why is it?
Interviewer:Because, because people are buying it by the gallons, right?
GwenOlsen: Yeah. How many people do you know that drink soda instead of water andinstead of milk or instead of juice or instead of any other beverage? I mean,it's pretty much the mainstay of the American diet. Corn syrup, you know, Ibelieve that's the drug that's gonna kill us off, if you want to know thetruth. So ...
Interviewer:Man, I agree.
GwenOlsen: High fructose corn syrup. But I still, you know, think that a largenumber of people are hurting their health. They develop Alzheimer's symptomsand they don't realize that it, you know, aspartame toxicity. Anxiety issues,cancer, tumors, I mean, you just go on and on and on. Again, do your own duediligence and I bet you won't be popping a tab on another one.
How dangerous is Aspartame and why or how did it get approved by the FDA? Former pharmaceutical sales rep. Gwen Olsen talks about the history of Aspartame and the conflicts of interest that surround its approval by the FDA.
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