What Is Aspartame?Aspartame is actually a drug discovered in GD Searle laboratories as an ulcer medication. The FDA originally examined aspartame for approval as a “drug,” but it was ultimately approved for public use as a “food additive” instead. This switch in labeling made NutraSweet exempt from continued safety monitoring. Therefore, Searle was neither obligated to defend aspartame against future adverse reactions nor was Searle required to submit safety reports to the FDA after approval. As early as 1985, the adverse side effects to NutraSweet were mounting.
Aspartame is made of 50% phenylalanine and 40% aspartic acid bound by 10% methanol.
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