On November 2-3, 1987, the US Senate chamber was sparsely filled, yet it was grossly divided.
Senators Edward Kennedy, Howard Metzenbaum, and Orrin Hatch sat behind an empty, polished wooden table, while predominant medical researchers, physicians, and consumer attorneys sat facing them in a hollow gallery; their briefcases overflowing with research documents.
Their shiny leather shoes gleamed beneath the tailored cuffs of expensive suits. Everyone’s hair was groomed to perfection.
Senator Hatch reached down to remove a smudge off his shoe; it was hard to tell if the Senators were really interested in the health dangers of aspartame.
It was interesting that the room was filled with only men, especially because aspartame was, and still is, primarily marketed to women and children.
Dr. Louis Elsas, M.D., Emory University Medical School Director of Genetics, Professor of Pediatrics, informed the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Relations that his research showed pregnant women’s blood phenylalanine levels increased from aspartame use, resulting in the placenta magnifying phenylalanine levels four to six times the normal levels.
This resulted in mental retardation and birth defects in his studies.
His full statement is in my book, Sweet Poison, pp 269-271. In his statement submitted to the Committee, Dr. Elsas documented for the record, (sic)
In view of the new (and confirmation of old) research findings, I suggest the following:
- Immediate quantitative labeling of all aspartame-containing foods, so the consumer will know how much phenylalanine he/she is ingesting;
- Declare an immediate moratorium on addition of aspartame to more foods and remove it from all low-protein beverages, foods and children’s medications;
- Provide funds not controlled by industry to:
a) Allow active surveillance for potential side-effects of aspartame on newborns whose mothers dieted with aspartame-containing foods;
b) Allow active evaluation of other users whose complaints cannot be adequately studied at present;
c) Clarify the dose relationship and mechanisms by which L-phenylalanine affects human brain function.
Aspartame’s Effects On Humans
Dr. Elsas told the Senators that, fortunately, these effects on the mature brain may be reversible, but that he could provide clear evidence for a negative effect on sensitive parameters of brain function, such as that of a developing fetus.
He emphasized that he had considerable concern for the increased dissemination and consumption of the sweetener aspartame in the world food supply. He explained to the Senators that normal humans do not metabolize phenylalanine as efficiently as lower species, such as rodents.
Thus, most of the previous studies on aspartame effects on lab rats were irrelevant to the question, “Will aspartame adversely affect human brain function?”
Fast Forward To Today
After exposing all of the research proving aspartame is harmful to human health, and understanding that the US Senate and the FDA have been fully aware of the damning research, aspartame is still on the market today.
Does all the proof not count? Do you and I mean nothing? Does your baby not matter? Does our government not care? Is respectable science, good medicine, and consumer wellness invisible to our elected leaders?
Today, government funded agencies, such as the CDC, maintain that the cause(s) of fetal deformities remain unknown. But in 1987, Dr. Louis Elsas provided proof to the US Senate Committee on Labor and Human Relations that aspartame is a proven cause of fetal deformities.
Connect The Dots
There is no question that fetal deformities have been on a rapid rise since the 1987 Senate Committee Hearing. Autism, ADD/ADHD, hyperactivity, learning disorders, weak vision, and hearing and speech impediments are just a few examples of the increase in childhood disorders.
All of these disorders can be rooted to fetal development.
Dr. Elsas provided proof of one known cause.
Researchers are beginning to connect the dots concerning the rising number of birth defects today, but their work isn’t quite on-target, nor is it providing answers fast enough to do much good. Government researchers are finally admitting that the use of antidepressants and other drugs during pregnancy are harmful to a developing fetus.
But, no one mentions aspartame used during pregnancy as a proven cause.
It is time to resurrect the documents that were presented to the US Senate, proving aspartame’s harmful health effects.
Put on your fancy suit and some shiny shoes …. it’s time to straighten this issue out, once and for all.
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.