I'm not stocking up on powdered milk for Y2K. Let me tell you why....

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Bovine Growth Hormone

-What You May Not Know-

by Michael Greger

The number one point about Bovine Growth Hormone is that there is no need for it, the farmers don't need it, the cows don't need it, and human health doesn't need it. The most persistent economic problem faced by the dairy industry today is overproduction. For the last ten years the dairy surplus has been over a quarter million tons of milk each year and the government uses a billion of our dollars every year to sop it up. In fact, the annual subsidy per American dairy cow exceed's the per capita income of half the world's population. According to the US Federal Office of Management and Budget the projected increase in milk production caused by rBGH introduction will cost American taxpayers an additional $116 million of dollars for further price supports in 1995 alone.

And what about the cows? The drug company responsible for the marketing of this absurd drug under the trade name Posilac is Monsanto. In their words: "Use of POSILAC has been associated with increases in cystic ovaries and disorders of the uterus...digestive disorders...enlarged hocks and lesions (lacerations, enlargements, calluses) of the knee..." On March 1993 the Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee of the FDA unanimously agreed with the Monsanto conclusion that "Cows injected with POSILAC are at an increased risk for clinical mastitis." By concluding that the drug was a "manageable risk", the FDA contradicts its own veterinary guidelines which clearly state that over-the-counter drugs must have no observable adverse effects at five times the expected dose level and Monsanto can't even show a one-fold margin of safety. For the consumer, mastitis means pus clusters (described by Monsanto as "increases in somatic cell counts" above one million cells/ml) and most probably increased antibiotic residues in milk.

According to Monsanto "Use of POSILAC is associated with increased frequency of use of medication in cows for mastitis and other health problems." Three microbiologists at Rutgers University concluded last year "that the 'safe levels' of antibiotic/antimicrobial residues [found in milk] have a strong potential for selecting for resistant populations of bacteria" and that "...greater emphasis should be placed on keeping the milk supply residue free rather than reliance on maintaining working residue levels suggested by the 'safe levels'." Given their finding, any future increase in antibiotic residues is simply unacceptable from a human health viewpoint. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) call antibiotic resistance "a major public health crisis." This is the reason the General Accounting Office (GAO), the watchdog arm of the Congress, recommended further testing of BGH before release. In their words "the emergence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria linked to the use of antibiotics on dairy cows...could increase the risk of human infection," and "the increase in mastitis levels reported in the rBGH pivotal studies suggests that the potential for an increase in milk antibiotic levels is very real."

Monsanto assures us, though, that the increased use of antibiotics will not be a problem since a "comprehensive government monitoring system assures milk safety." State antibiotic monitoring programs, however, test for only certain drugs in the penicillin family and little else. Because many cows have developed a resistance to conventional treatments, some dairy farmers have reportedly turned to illegal drugs that go undetected.In a 1988 Illinois survey, out of the 200 different drugs found at dairy farms, 58% were not approved for use on dairy cows. The GAO and the Milk Industry Foundation have had similar findings. Dr. Mitch Cohen from the CDC puts it in perspective, "Millions of pounds of antibiotics are already in use in dairy animals. Any further increase caused by rBGH is almost insignificant." So regardless if milk is rBGH treated it may represent a human health hazard.

The only beneficiaries of rBGH will be the four multi-national drug companies which have invested more than half a billion dollars in its development and promotion. A 1990 study published by the National Farm Coalition predicted that the introduction of the genetically engineered hormone would mean a $10,000 to $30,000 income drop per farm. A March 1989 survey showed that 75 percent of the nation's dairy farmers are opposed to the commercialization of BGH. Using data from studies at the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment and right here at Cornell, "Dump the Dairy Board," an organization comprised of 16,000 small family farms, estimates that 30% of remaining family farms will go bankrupt within a year and half due to the widespread use of BGH. A 1988 University of Wisconsin study found that a hormone induced increase in milk production would cost Wisconsin farmers alone a net loss of one hundred million dollars a year. It's no wonder that the family farmers are losing patience with the National Dairy Board who, closely aligned with corporate agribusiness, spent $1.1 million in 1990 to boost BGH's image.

There have been no long term studies of BGH's effects on humans. The congressional General Accounting Office has warned of the potential human health hazards from the consumption of milk or flesh (about 40% of the beef used to make hamburgers come from "old" dairy cows) derived from BGH-treated cows. The Consumer's Union went on to state that the FDA should not have even approved it. BGH "treatment" causes significantly increased levels of another growth hormone called IGF-1 in the milk, according to a 1990 study sponsored by Monsanto and published in Science. Bovine IGF-1 is identical to the IGF-1 naturally found in humans.

In humans elevated IGF-1 has been linked to breast and colon cancer, acromegaly, hypertension, diabetes, and gynecomastia, growth of breasts in men. The FDA based their dismissal of this potential health risk on a single flawed oral feeding study on rats which gave ambiguous results. They concentrated only on whether it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Current worries is that, shielded by casein, IGF-1 would survive digestion like epidermal growth factor and affect the growth of cells in the gut. The American Medical Association and the National Institutes of Health share this worry.

In addition to IGF-1 there is concern that the widespread use of rBGH will increase the amount of rendered animal protein that dairy cattle--of whom we eat 2.6 billion pounds of annually--consume. In the U.S. a minimum of 14% of the remains of rendered cattle is fed to other cows. An increase in the use of animal protein in commercial dairy feed may increase the risk of the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a disease with possible holocaustic public health implications.

The rBGH issue has renewed public concern about the integrity of the FDA. Dr. Richard Burroughs was a staff veterinarian and senior scientist at the FDA overseeing the analysis of industry-sponsored tests on BGH. He reported that the FDA did not assign reviewers with the expertise needed to evaluate the data and expressed concerns about the safety of BGH. Dr. Burroughs was fired on November 3, 1989. "I was told that I was slowing down the approval process. It used to be we had a review process at the FDA. Now we have an approval process. I don't think the FDA is doing good, honest reviews. They've become an extension of the drug industry," Burroughs stated. The subsequent author of the official FDA position turned out to be Dr. Margaret Miller who not only was a former Monsanto researcher, but at the time she was drafting the FDA opinion she was reportedly still publishing rBGH papers with Monsanto.

Once the FDA did approve the sale of the hormone, Monsanto started suing businesses that had the gall to label their products rBGH-free. An obvious scare tactic, Monsanto sent 2000 friendly reminders to retailers telling them of the first lawsuit. The FDA has not surprisingly sided with Monsanto stating that rBGH-free labeling has "false and misleading" implications and that any labeling of this kind must contain a disclaimer to "put the [labeling] claim in proper context." Not surprisingly because the official responsible for this FDA labeling policy, Michael R. Taylor, is one of Monsanto's lawyers who actually helped represent the corporation in its lawsuits against rBGH-free businesses.

A few months ago three British researchers claimed that Monsanto blocked for three years attempts to publish important findings regarding increased mastitis rates in cows. They believe that if their findings had been published in time, it might have influenced the FDA decision to allow Monsanto to market the drug. In addition, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) accused Monsanto of violating federal regulations for promoting rBGH before it was FDA approved. The HHS report also criticized the FDA for its complacency in the matter.

This is yet another example of corporate profits taking precedence over human health and animal welfare. Regardless of whether or not Bovine Growth Hormone is safe, there should be mandatory consumer labeling on all milk and dairy products from BGH-treated cows so that a consumer can choose based on her/his conscience. Consumer studies consistently show a preference for milk from untreated cows and up to 90% call for mandatory labeling. Consumers don't want it, farmers don't want it, and I don't think the cows are very enthusiastic. The corporate-scale dairy factories love it, though, and so do the multi-national drug companies. Guess who wins.


New Scientist , 29 Oct 1994:14-15.

New Scientist 13 Aug:8 and 22 Oct 1994:4

Harper's Magazine, Oct 1994:80

The Vanguard , winter 94/95:3, Supress Press.

Good Housekeeping, June 1994:52

The Ecologist, May/June 1994:1

Nature, 368:384 1994

The Economist, March 26 1994:32

Nature, 367:585 1994

Nature, 371:647 1994

Chemical and Engineering News, Oct 24 1994:7-8

Back to AnimaLife.

-- Long Tall Sally (longt@llsally.com), December 13, 1999


Did I miss something? What about powdered milk?

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), December 13, 1999.

LTS, what does a bucktoothed cow say? " Moooo-ooof"

-- Jay Urban (Jayho99@aol.com), December 13, 1999.

A good consumer buys milk from dairies that are certified not to use bGH (Altadena, Trader Joe's, in So. Cal.) But that is to bring economic pressure to bear on milk producers not to use it.

I don't think that anyone claims that there is anything wrong with the milk. If you are preparing for a 5.0 or above and you need milk for your family, and there is no non-bGH milk you can find, don't stand on principal. Buy whatever powdered milk you can.

-- kermit (colourmegreen@hotmail.com), December 13, 1999.

Thanks for the article!

Though I do have about 100# of dried milk stored we drink mostly milk from our 2 dairy goats and love it! BGH Was one of the main things that prompted me to do this, plus I enjoy the animals and deeply believe that we should make efforts to return to simpler foods, closer to the source - not processed any more than need be.

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), December 13, 1999.

MONSANTO. these mad dogs gave us terminator seeds to replace non hybrids and are responsible for the growth hormone--shit these greedy bastards want to corral all seed production----ANYTHING FOR CORPORATE PROFIT!-----Don't fall for this Frankenstein technology---watch the soy beans too.

-- H. fats Kissinger (draconionsolutions@uselesseaters.com), December 13, 1999.

Long Tall Sally: Do you like to mudwrestle? (Or, in a pinch, milkwrestle?)

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 13, 1999.

"Did I miss something? What about powdered milk?"

Ah, Duh, Carol, well it's like this: powdered milk comes not from the back of a grocery story, but where??? Come on, you can guess...

-- (udderly@confused.com), December 13, 1999.

O/T but VERY closely related:

FIRSTLY, THIS IS PERTINENT BECAUSE i KNOW A LOT OF YOU ARE BUYING THE 2 LITER bottles of pop to use as water storage containers, which is fine. What you may not realize is that if you are buying the Aspartame-treated drinks, you are ingesting the SINGLE-MOST reported health reaction product in the history of the FDA!

The problem is that the aspartic acid-phenylananine amino acids are held together artificially by a molecule of METHYL (wood) alcohol. So, each molecule of Aspartame has this deadly wood alcohol in it.

Aspartame is now a generic chemical; the patent ran out several years ago. I believe it was G.D. Searle who developed it.

As well as the very real and dangerous risk of having kids with PKU drink this stull, there are THOUSANDS of cases of people in the USA who have suffered irreversible damage to nerves, including especially the optic nerve(read:blindness) which has an affinity for the wood alcohol. This usually only happens when a big eating binge is undertaken over a short period of time,involving more than one food with the aspartame in it, so that the body does not have sufficient time to deal with the methyl alcohol(the body can only metabolize it VERY slowly).

This just should not happen! It never should have been approved. Can you imagine the public reaction if, say, people who ate a pile of Cheetos came down with food-color poisoning?

So, if you think that BGH or its other names was a monumental pay-off, screw-up, or whatever that the FDA NEVER should have approved, read the book "ASPARTAME" and find out the REAL story of how this chemical was sneaked (or palm-greased?) past the FDA approval process by having it classed as a FOOD ADDITIVE! It SHOULD have been required to be tested as a DRUG, as it is a synthetic molecule NOT found in Nature.

Anyway, I still say this DOES have to do with Y2K for the above reason.

-- profit of doom (doom@helltopay.ca), December 13, 1999.

You can get ORGANIC non-fat dry milk through your natural foods store! I made hot chocolate with it over the weekend and it was great - couldn't taste the difference. Haven't tried it straight yet.

Yes Monsanto - evil incarnate - aspartame, bovine growth hormone and terminator seeds and pesticides.

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), December 13, 1999.

*sigh* There is no methanol in aspartame, though some is created by its metabolisman amount much smaller than your body generates by normal meatbolic processes every day, and easily detoxified by your live

-- bob (do@yourhomework.com), December 13, 1999.

"sigh, sigh" - have done my homework - now do yours.... FDA's List of Adverse Reactions to Aspartame
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network
The Aspartame (NutraSweet) Controversy many links here Nexus Magazine - The Bitter Truth About Artificial Sweeteners

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), December 13, 1999.

More info on Aspartame on my website - Dangers of Aspartame"

Also on Dangers of BSE, Genetic Engineering, Vaccines, Amalgam (silver -actually mercury) fillings

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), December 13, 1999.

It's bad, it's lousy, it's deadly what companies are doing to food. That includes genetic manipulation, adding growth hormone, and that nerve toxin they put in diet sodas (shudder). The one thing that might be good is if we eat our (usually simple) preps rather than the disease-genic stuff the corporate felons are dishing out.

-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), December 13, 1999.

*triple sigh* How about some words form a REAL expert? "A Web of Deceit Online advice from TIME health columnist Christine Gorman

Heard the one about the common shampoo ingredient that causes cancer? Or how about the epidemic of blindness among toddlers who accidentally get waterproof sunscreen in their eyes? These absurd fictions used to be the stock-in-trade of ninth-graders bent on frightening the younger kids. But now such tall tales are appearing on the Internet, and many adults are taking them seriously.

Consider the latest electronic health scare: about the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is found in everything from Equal to diet Coke. A widely disseminated e-mail by a "Nancy Markle" links aspartame to Alzheimer's, birth defects, brain cancer, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis and seizures. Right away, the long list warrants skepticism. Just as no single chemical cures everything, none causes everything.

In this and similar cases, all the Nancy Markles of the world have to do to fabricate a health rumor is post it in some Usenet news groups and let ordinary folks, who may already distrust artificial products, forward it to all their friends and e-mail pals. I received several copies last week, as have many doctors and health organizations.

When I searched Altavistafor aspartame AND brain AND seizure AND sclerosis, I learned that Markle's message is almost identical to an antiaspartame screed first penned under a different name in 1995. None of the specific allegations pans out, however. Among the more outrageous claims:

* Aspartame leads to "methanol toxicity." Not even close. Trace amounts of methanol exist naturally in many fruits and vegetables and a tiny amount is released whenever the body digests aspartame. But there's four times more methanol in a glass of tomato juice than in a can of aspartame-sweetened soda, and our bodies have no trouble handling such a tiny amount.

* Aspartame triggers headaches. Wrong again, says Susan Shiffman, a medical psychologist at Duke University who conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of 40 "aspartame sensitive" people. A little probing often revealed the real trouble. One woman, who often ate peanuts with her diet soda, was allergic to peanuts. Another subject drank too much caffeine.

* Aspartame is responsible for the recent uptick in brain-cancer rates. So how do you explain that the trend dates back to 1973, eight years before aspartame was approved in the U.S.?

Curiously, Markle didn't warn against aspartame's single known health risk. Folks with an uncommon genetic disorder called phenylketonuria shouldn't consume the sweetener because they cannot metabolize one of its ingredients.

Before you decide to believe or, worse, forward an e-mail with serious health claims, do a little checking. Start on the Web with urbanlegends.miningco.com, which catalogues the more persistent rumors. Then go to reliable health sites, like mayohealth.org(for general health), www.medhelp.org (especially good for cardiology), www.oncolink.org or cancernet.nci.nih.gov (for cancer) or www.navigator.tufts.edu (for nutrition). Otherwise, you

-- bob (urbanmyths@arenthomework.com), December 13, 1999.

"Urban legends"? How comforting for you, Bob.

Others may be interested in several links on BGH provided here: http://www.notmilk.com/links. html

Recommended reading: Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health, by Ivan Illich. Out of print, but just now twenty (20) used copies are available through the search facility at Alibris. (11:45 PM EST)

Really brave readers may consider looking into the dental mercury amalgam toxicity issue.

"Urban legends." I like that. It's so knowledgeable, so persuasive, so reassuring, so dismissive.

Being uninformed is one thing. We're all uninformed about something. But refusing to look at information is something else again.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), December 13, 1999.

We were talking (or at least I was) about aspartame, for which there is no evidence of harm, experimental or even logical: i.e., someone with a basic knowledge of chemistry and physiology would be hard put to come up with any mechanism by which it might be toxic. All the aspartame alarmists have is anecdotal evidence and some silly prattle about methanol.

As for mercury amalgam, I don't know. No evidence, not because it may not exist, but because I have not completely reviewed it. Most of the evidence I've HAVE looked at proceeds from truth (mercuric oxides, other compounds of mercury, and mercury vapor are toxic) to conjecture (therefore amalgam is toxic) without much in the way of supporting evidence. Many don't even understand the manner in which mercury is dangerous (drink an ounce of liquid mercury and it probably won't hurt you, but heat it up in a pan and you're toast, for instance). Still, that being said, I don't plan on any more amalgam fillings in my own teeth - the matter is unresolved in my mind.

As for bovine growth hormone, I'll simply pose the obvious question: why is human growth hormone given by injection? That's right, give it orally and it's not absorbed, simply broken down in the gut. I don't see why BGH should be any different.

There is a strong analogy here to the whole Y2K issue. I've read a great deal of carefully reasoned, carefully researched fact and opinion in this and other fora, both pro and con a bad outcome, and a HUGE amount of alarmist, emotionally driven, careless drivel. I'm tired of wading through the garbage for nuggets of gold. I'm sorry, but the whole aspartame thing is not even a piece of re

-- Bob (yeah@maybe.com), December 14, 1999.

real base metal, that should have said. This software keeps cutting off the ends of my posts (the bad spelling I can only blame on myself). mmmmmmmmmmmmm

-- Bob (yeah@maybe.com), December 14, 1999.

Much well-informed, intelligent information here. The pharmos (Bayer in partic) were the funders for the Holocaust. They (jews) were the guinia pigs for the druggies. Read the net, it's there. Follow the money trail. (Rush) It pans out. Milk is used in so many recipes.....what do you suggest as a sub? Peace to you. Bear arms, or wear chains.

-- Willy (Wonka@thechocolatefactory.com), December 14, 1999.

Oh Bob, you sound like you've really read a lot - NOT! Urban legend? Give me a break. Time Magazine - yeah I really rely on them for my factual information. "you don't see how BGH could be a problem". Man oh man. Then why did 2 Fox reporters get canned and on and on! I am an RN and the LAST place I'd look for reliable information is on a medical website! Get a clue, they don't have a clue.

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), December 14, 1999.

Bob, have you been in the sun too long without a hat? Or do you work for Monsanto or one of the other corporate pimps?

You have a classic case of being greenwashed. These companies hire green washing firms (Harrison's ) to name one, that come up with all kinds of fake, misleading, slightly varnished information, and sometimes use outright lies on the theory that if you say it enough, people will begin to believe it. They publish a lot of phoney studies.

Try checking out Earth Island Journal, Food and Water, or dozens of other reliable sources.

Here's my favorite story about an expert from a ivy league unitversity professor trumpeting that global warming is a hoax. When an investigative reporter asked him if he had'nt received a grant from a large polluting chemical company in the amount of $25,000. he said, "No. It was $40,000." Get it?????

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), December 14, 1999.

Evidence, please. Not opinion, not anecdotes: double blind, peer reviewed, independent studies.

RN? Not impressed. I'm an MD (I always hesitate to bring that up - now I'll be accused of being a brainwashed establishment lackey, unlike the naturopaths and herbologists usually quoted as experts in these debates).

I've been to those sites: "all sound and fury, signifying nothing". But hey, I can always learn something new; just give me P

-- Bob (sure@rught.com), December 14, 1999.

Bob, let's look at what your "Real" expert wrote:

Consider the latest electronic health scare: about the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is found in everything from Equal to diet Coke. A widely disseminated e-mail by a "Nancy Markle" links aspartame to Alzheimer's, birth defects, brain cancer, diabetes, Gulf War syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis and seizures. Right away, the long list warrants skepticism. Just as no single chemical cures everything, none causes everything.

Who's saying aspartame causes everything? Moreover, the length of this list of symptoms is much shorter than those associated with many prescription drugs.

Aspartame leads to "methanol toxicity." Not even close. Trace amounts of methanol exist naturally in many fruits and vegetables and a tiny amount is released whenever the body digests aspartame. But there's four times more methanol in a glass of tomato juice than in a can of aspartame-sweetened soda, and our bodies have no trouble handling such a tiny amount.

Bob, you mentioned (and I have no basis for disagreeing) that aspartame contains no methanol, yet Ms. Gorman implies that it does contain methanol.

Aspartame triggers headaches. Wrong again, says Susan Shiffman, a medical psychologist at Duke University who conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial of 40 "aspartame sensitive" people. A little probing often revealed the real trouble. One woman, who often ate peanuts with her diet soda, was allergic to peanuts. Another subject drank too much caffeine.

She writes, "A little probing often revealed the real trouble," implying that there were some apparent cases of aspartame sensitivity.

It seems that Ms. Gorman has seen fit to deliberately deceive in order to rally pro-aspartame opinion.

And what is the basis for your objection to anecdotal evidence? If an ordinary person notices symptoms, and realizes that they vanish after ceasing consumption of beverages containing aspartame, doesn't this suggest a connection? What does being an expert have to do with it?

Regarding your interest in double blind, peer reviewed, independent studies on the effects of aspartame, I agree as to their relevance. But have you considered the odds of securing funding for such a study in a research climate dominated by the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, followed by running the gauntlet of a publishing climate that's subject to similar pressures.

-- David L (bumpkin@dnet.net), December 14, 1999.

Now that was a great comment by an MD. Proves my point.

February 10, l999

Minneapolis Neuropathy Association Mr. Al Porte P. O. Box 14901 Minneapolis, Mn 55414

Dear Mr. Porte:

I was asked to write to you about my concerns regarding the sweetener aspartame, especially as regards neurological disorders. As you may know, complaints against aspartame constitute 75% of all additive related complaints relayed to the FDA department of consumer complaints. Until recently, these were merely written off as anecdotal observations of little scientific validity. But recent findings have shed some light on this elusive compound and its deleterious effects of the human population .

.. Aspartame an L aspartyl L phenylalanine methyl ester, is composed of two amino acids, aspartate and phenylalanine, linked by methanol. Inside the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the stomach it is bro ken down into its constitutent components . In some instances the dipeptide is lysed within the cells of the gut. As a consequence the methanol is rapidly absored and distributed throughout the tissues of the body. Within the tissues substantial amounts of methanol's two metabolic breakdown products (formaldehyde and formic acid) have been shown to accumulate in many tissues."

These breakdown products, formaldehyde and formic acid, have been shown in several important studies, to be extremely toxic to tissues in very small doses. In fact, even small doses of formaldehyde are considered to be carcinogenic. A recent study by Trocho, Pardo and co-workers, have demonstrated that following aspartame ingestion, significant amounts of formaldehyde accumulate in the tissues. Formaldehyde is known to bind strongly to proteins and nucleic acids , forming adducts that are extremely difficult to eliminate through normal metabolic pathways."

In this study, they demonstrated that labeled methanol (as formaldehyde) accumulated in high concentrations in the liver (50%) and in lower, but substantial, concentrations in the kidney, adipose tissue, brain and retina. Within the cell, they found large amounts located within the DNA. It was interesting to note ethat these doses were lower than that used in toxicity studies. Previous studies have shown that very high doses of aspartame may not cause acute symptomatology. This study indicates that the damage may necessitate longer periods of time to manifest itself, and that the eventual effects can be quite deleterius.

The doses used were within those recommended by the FDA as ADI for humans. This is especially of conern in children who may consume doses of aspartame as high as 75 to 90mg/kg. It is also important to note that in this study, the formaldehyde was accumulative as were its injury to cellular proteins and DNA. In the real life situation, humans are exposed to repeated doses of aspartame found in many foods, drinks, medicines and chewing gum.

An earlier study by Shephard and co -workers, it was found that aspartame is nitrosated within the gut and that this nitrosation of the amine group is "quite cytotoxic" and represents a moderately strong mutagen in the Ames test.

Another recent study, by Sorg, Willis and co-workers is also alarming. In this study, it was found that prolonged exposure to low concenetrations of formaldehyde could cause chemical sensitization to cocaine, via a limbic mechanism. With increasing reports of multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, one must be concerned about chronic low dose formaldehyde exposure via aspartame."

In addition, a l997 study found that macrophages exposed to aspartame produces a threefold rise in leukotriene (B4, C 4 and 15 hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid) and arachidonic acid metabolites. This would be detrimental to patients having autoimmune disorders such as lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis . Clinically, there is some evidence for worsening of two of the three conditions (MS and Lupus) by aspartame use.

Finally, in the diabetic, great concern must be expressed about the danger of toxin damage to already weakened peripheral nerves in the diabetic situation. With the buildup of accumulated concentrations of formaldehyde and formic acid in nervous tissue, long term damage and drapid progression of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is almost a given. We know that all of the components of aspartame are neurotoxic as well as most of its breakdown products, such as diketopiperazine, phenylethalamine, phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol (formaldehyde and formic acid) Aspartic acid is a known excitotoxin and in the body is converted to glutamic acid, an even more poewrful excitotoxin. Experimentally, the same widespread brain lesions produced by MSG exposure can be produced by high dose aspartame exposure.

It is my opinion, and the opinion of many others, that aspartame is a dangerous neurotoxin and its use should be discouraged generally, but especially so in those harboring neurological diseases.

Sincerely yours, Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.

References: 1. Shephard SE, Wakabayashi K and Nagao M. Mutagenic activity of peptides and the artificial sweetener aspartame after nitrosation. Food Chem Tox 31Z : 323-329, 1993

. 2. Sorg BA, Willis JR , et al. Repeated low-dose formaldehyde exposure produces cross-sensitization to cocaine; possible relevance to chemical sensitivity in humans . Neuropsychopharmacol 18 :385, 394 , l998

3. Trocho C, Pardo R, et al, Formaldehyde derived from dietary aspartame binds to tissue components in vivo. Life Sciences 63:337-349,1998

4. Hardcastle JE, B ruch RT. Effect of L-aspartyl-L -phenylalanine methyl ester on leukotriene biosynthesis in macrophage cells. Prostagland Leukot Essen Fatty Acids 57: 331-333,1997.

-- Sheri (wncy2k@nccn.net), December 14, 1999.

Well, OK, then. I'll check it out. Thanks.

-- Bob (that's@morelikeit.com), December 15, 1999.

Incidentally, for anyone that thinks I was trying to deceive them: aspartame does NOT contain methanol. It contains two amino acids attached to a carbon atom which also carries a hydroxyl group. If those two amino acids were hydrogen atoms, you'd have methanol. Methanol IS one of the breakdown products (in very small amounts).

While I do, as I said, appreciate the trouble you went to to find me those references, I wonder: is tomato juice then a potent neurotoxin?

thanks again, Bob (also bachelor's in chemi

-- Bob (oh@bytheway.com), December 15, 1999.

I wonder: is tomato juice then a potent neurotoxin?

Perhaps the answer lies in the context where the substance is found. Some possibilities (on which, evidence may or may not exist):

1. Tomato juice might contain a substance that's protective against methanol's effects.

2. The body might more readily absorb by-products of amino acid extraction than it would if those substances were absorbed through other pathways.

3. Soft drinks might contain a substance that accentuates the effects of methanol.

-- David L (bumpkin@dnet.net), December 15, 1999.

From the preps forum (related posts at the site):

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001BqF From the Electronic Telegraph:

ISSUE 1531 Wednesday 4 August 1999

Scientists study sweetener after cancer fears, By Celia Hall, Medical Editor

A THREE-YEAR study is being launched by British scientists to look at possible links between the sweetener aspartame and brain cancer.

It will look specifically at whether the sweetener, widely used in diet drinks and other products, can trigger primary brain cancer in cells that are known to be prone to the disease. Aspartame, well known by its tradename NutraSweet, is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

Four years ago the American Association of Neuropathologists, concerned about a rise in brain tumours, suggested a link with aspartame after studies in rats. The new work, supported by a #147,000 grant from a small child cancer charity, will also receive a national lottery grant. It is being led by Dr Peter Nunn, a biochemist and Dr Geoffrey Pilkington, a cell biologist at King's College, London. They had already conducted a pilot study

The sweetener is marketed in Europe by NutraSweet AG. A spokesman said it welcomed any study that proved the safety of the product. She said: "There is already an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence which confirms the safety of aspartame. Allegations about aspartame and brain tumours were studied and dismissed by scientists and regulatory agencies around the world as recently as in 1997."

Hans Heezen, vice president of NutraSweet AG, said: "Although we will be glad to have yet further evidence to add to the wealth of data that already demonstrates aspartame's safety, it seems that money which has been allocated, could more usefully be directed to other research products."

Dr Nunn said yesterday that the study was interested in one constituent of aspartame, methanol which could be incorporated into tissue and could cause changes in DNA. He said: "We are trying to focus down to see if aspartame, and other agents can generate changes in cells already known to be susceptible."

The research grant is from the Samantha Dickson Research Trust set up by Angela and Neil Dickson after their daughter died from a brain tumour six days before her 17th birthday in 1996. Mrs Dickson, of Hook, Hampshire, said: "We are funding six projects to try to find a cure for brain tumours.

"This particular project has nothing to do with the way Samantha died. We asked for applications for research projects and this was one of them. We don't know if there is a link [between aspartame and brain cancer], but this project will help us to find out about it."

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), August 04, 1999

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), December 15, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ