2011 has started off with a bang, and I am excited about the new energy fueling food safety concerns.

The December 2010 Newsletter Feature Article about Neotame by Mary Nash Stoddard has created quite a stir. Her article is not an Internet hoax as some are labeling it, but rather, expresses concerns that the 30-year history of aspartame could be repeating itself. Ms. Stoddard did communicate with USDA representatives about Neotame in organics, and their response is in this month's article, Neotame and Organic Foods.

A dedicated aspartame awareness campaigner for the past 25 years, Stoddard and those of us who have followed the entire history of the diet sweetener industry, spot questionable "patterns" rather quickly, and the question to ask is "are the patterns repeating for Neotame?"

Stoddard's legitimate fears that an unwarranted approval of Neotame by the USFDA as a Generally Recognized As Safe substance (GRAS) sends the unfortunate signal of absolute safety to other government agencies, such as USDA, and puts them in the mindset of "acceptance" when dealing with future petitioners who may apply to use it as a non-organic, USDA approved substance in their products. This has happened with aspartame, and the assumption of aspartame safety has resulted in total information chaos. The fact that, unlike aspartame, Neotame is not required to carry a warning to PKU individuals on ingredient labels is also most disturbing.

For those watchdog agencies protecting our organic foods, I applaud you and ask that you continue your investigative prowess to secure that ALL questionable food additives, such as Neotame and its parent, aspartame, never "slip" through the cracks. Let us not forget aspartame and MSG's attempts to enter the food supply in many forms. (Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors, AminoSweet, NatraTaste, Canderel, and in the case of Neotame, Sweetos.) The need to monitor this issue with a sense of urgency remains more important now than ever before.

As a responsible publisher, I call for all consumers to stay active keeping watch over the thousands of chemicals added to our food supply. I applaud the efforts of consumer groups, both organic and inorganic, to stay on top of the myriad of food safety issues that are currently overwhelming our watchdog government agencies. In this newsletter, I write about how the FDA did keep aspartame off the market in the 1970s, (the first approval was rescinded due to a brain tumor issue), and include the history of aspartame's approval to serve as a reminder that we must all remain on high alert concerning Neotame.

Education is paramount in today's ever-changing world, and always remember to keep asking questions to learn all that you can.

Posted January 2011 | Permanent Link

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