E. coli in aspartame? And genetically engineered bacteria, at that?
Genetically engineered bacteria used to produce aspartame has stayed secret until now. In the lab, E. coli is used to produce phenylalanine (any and all phenylalanine), and phenylalanine makes up 50% of aspartame.
Monsanto claims there is no modified DNA in the finished product, and insists that it is completely safe, and totally natural.
In 1999 at the G8 summit held in the UK, world leaders decided to launch an inquiry into the safety of genetically modified (GM) food. An investigation by Britain’s Independent News revealed that genetically engineered bacteria was, indeed, used to produce aspartame.
“We have two strains of bacteria – one is traditionally modified and one is genetically modified,” stated a Monsanto representative. “It’s got a modified enzyme. It has one amino acid that is different.”
That is phenylalanine.
A Monsanto spokeswoman confirmed that aspartame for the US market is made using genetic engineering, but in 1999, aspartame supplied to British food producers was not. However, consumer groups say it is likely that some low-calorie products containing genetically engineered aspartame have been imported into Britain.
MPs wanted the British government to launch an inquiry to see how much US aspartame was coming into the UK. Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesman, wrote to Jeff Rooker, the Food Safety Minister, requesting that he ensure that US aspartame was labelled as genetically modified.
“Monsanto’s sweetener has turned sour,” he wrote.
To date, 15 years later, the UK is still waiting for that label.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals. Bacteria contain ribosomes, often grouped in chains called polyribosomes, for the production of proteins.
Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes can cause serious food poisoning in their hosts, and are occasionally responsible for product recalls due to food contamination.
Hum, experiencing any IBS?
E. coli is the most widely studied prokaryoticmodel organism, and is an important species in the fields of biotechnology and microbiology where it has served as the host organism for the majority of work with recombinant DNA (genetic engineering and cloning).
Under model conditions, it takes only 20 minutes to reproduce in the lab.
Aspartame is made by combining phenylalanine with aspartic acid. The two amino acids are combined with methanol.
Just know that the phenylalanine used to make aspartame is NOT from bananas or milk.
When NutraSweet® first came on the market in 1981, I remember the television and magazine ads touting that it was “totally natural” – the phenylalanine was as natural as cow’s milk they wanted you to believe, and the methanol as pure as a peach.
Now we know that laboratory-made-aspartame is anything but natural, down to the genetically engineered bacteria used to make its phenylalanine.
Monsanto was the first to genetically engineer bacteria in the lab to produce more phenylalanine for the production of aspartame. Scientists feared back in 1999 that other unknown compounds, which may end up in food, are being produced by this genetic engineering process.
We still don’t have the truth.
Dr. John Fagan, former genetic engineer, stated in 1999, ” Whether such a contaminating compound will be toxic, or not, is completely unknowable until empirical studies are done to test toxicity, No such studies have been done, or at least they have not been placed in the public domain.”
Dr. Erik Millstone, Sussex University and the National Food Alliance, reported, “Increasingly, chemical companies are using genetically engineered bacteria in their manufacturing process without telling the public.”
That was in 1999. After all this time, today, the secret is finally out.