Aspartame and Thimerosal getting banned in New Mexico
by the Pharmacy Board? with notes by Rich Murray: 2005.11.15
Aspartame quagmire quickly deepens, methanol (formaldehyde, formic acid)
toxicity facts spreading at the grassroots level, 3 items in The New
Mexican, and long article in Vanity Fair by Rich Cohen: Murray 2005.11.15
Fox, Stoller, Murray to give Citizen's Petition
to ban aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde) and mercury
in children's medicines and vitamins: New Mexico Board of Pharmacy,
2:45-3:45 pm Monday Nov. 14, Albuquerque: Murray 2005.11.13
Aspartame and Thimerosal getting banned in New Mexico
by the Pharmacy Board? By Stephen Fox November 14, 2005
It was a "draw" today at the Pharmacy Board meeting, the only board which
has the express power to do such a ban in medications and vaccines: largely
due to the complete surprise of an "unexpected guest," a Harvard lawyer and
corporate legislative lobbyist, representing your favorite aspartame
manufacturer, the Japanese mega corporation, Ajinomoto.
[ Richard C. Minzner 505-768-7330 rcminzne@...
Roey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb, P.A. www.rodey.com
201 Third St. NW, Suite 2200, Albuquerque, NM 87102
PO Box 1888, Albuquerque, NM 87103
505-765-5900 fax 505-768-7395 ]
He wasn't on the agenda; he was representing the most corporate oriented
firm in New Mexico, and he essentially told the Board of Pharmacy:
"You don't have the power to challenge an FDA approved product.
Besides, why worry? Aspartame is totally safe, and besides that,
you would have to hire ten or twenty people just to red through
the millions, maybe tens of millions, of pages at the FDA,
which prove that it is safe! These petitioners should be making
their complaint, if it were really valid and not frivolous, directly to the
FDA, because they think you are easier to push around!"
He even promised that there will be litigation to prevent the New Mexico
Environmental Improvement Board, a different board considering banning
aspartame in food, not pharmaceutical products, from having its 5 day
hearing next July. Why not? His new client, Ajinomoto,
has very deep pockets, and he can thereby run up a humongous bill.
I pointed out to the Board that he was essentially bludgeoning them into
acquiescence, and that the legislature had long ago given them regulatory
powers over medications, and the power to promulgate rules if a product was
injurious, dangerous, adulterated, or mislabeled. The legislature also
them to move forward, which they must do, and not come back to the
Legislature to ask them to do the banning.
The Board demurred. Their counsel and Asst. Attorney General assigned to
them, Kathyleen Kunkel told them that they did have the power, that she
hadn't talked with the Attorney General herself, and that she would do so
[ Kathyleen Kunkel, Assistant Attorney General
Wk. (505) 827-6024 Bataan Memorial Bldg. KKunkel@...
PO Drawer 1508 Santa Fe, NM 87504 ]
In my unplanned rebuttal, I hammered the point that the flawed FDA approval
processes were already besieged in numerous court decisions, particularly
those involving Vioxx in Texas, Zoloft in Minnesota, and Thimerosal in
Louisiana. The FDA's approval of Aspartame meant even less; to call it a
meaningful or viable preemption was absurd, especially given the mountain of
neurodegenerative problems piling up as evidence since approval in 1981 and
1983 for soft drinks, and since Senator Howard Metzenbaum's bill to require
labeling for aspartame was killed in committee in 1985.
One important question: did Bill Clinton truly remove aspartame from the
FDA's "closely watched list" towards the end of the 1990's?
And did Senator Kennedy publicly support that Clinton decision?
This was a point raised by the newest Pharmacy Board member,
Allen Carrier of Santa Fe, who at one point
was the personal assistant for Norman Mineta,
Secretary of Transportation for Clinton.
I referred Allen Carrier back to a comment made by Senator Kennedy
about how the original data G.D. Searle submitted to obtain aspartame's
approval was rigged, sloppy, and phony;
I reminded the Board of who Arthur Hull Hayes was,
the FDA Commissioner who approved the sweetener,
and where he came from, as well as the
President of G.D. Searle at that time, who had so much to gain
by forcing aspartame's approval through the FDA.
I even conceded that both of New Mexico's U.S. Senators
who are still in office, back in 1985 voted against Metzenbaum's
labeling bill, but that times had changed and that they wouldn't do so
I did a fiery and memorable job impugning the FDA approval process in the
minds of the Pharmacy Board members, especially since the product that
turns to formaldehyde is in hundreds of children's medications and products
that pharmacies all over America regularly sell,
both by prescription and over the counter.
The Board discussed waiting till the EIB ruled, and then finally decided to
hang everything on the New Mexico Attorney General's opinion.
The Vice Chair, Amy Buesing, R.Ph., who represents the
Hospital Industry on the Board, made a motion to table,
depending on the attorney general's opinion as to
whether they as a board have the statutory power
to challenge an FDA approved product.
Her motion was seconded simultaneously by Howard Shaver
from Albuquerque, who was drinking a diet Coke,
and by the Mayor of Milan, Tom Ortega, R.Ph.
Ortega said we should have more faith in the FDA,
that he had learned as Mayor to work with federal authorities,
and that we didn't want to cause children to not get their vaccinations
and stop taking their vitamins, and that that lack of water in Grants,
New Mexico, was far more serious than neurotoxins like aspartame,
or so he concluded.
New Mexico's Attorney General is Patricia Madrid, and she is running for
Congress from the Albuquerque District against Republican incumbent,
Heather Wilson. Her deputy is Stuart Bluestone.
Letters to both of them should come from all over the world, especially from
victims, physicians, and lawyers, which address these questions and help her
and Stuart see the merits of protecting New Mexicans' health by standing up
to an FDA approved product which has caused so much harm and will
continue to cause such harm, all the while the Pharmacy Board is waiting:
waiting for the Attorney General's opinion and waiting for
the Environmental Improvement Board, whose hearing is not until next July.
[ In retrospect, I should have made a rough calculation of how many trillion
brain cells in New Mexico's 400,000 children would be destroyed by
aspartame before July 2006, while they waited, and that if Agent Orange
were discovered in their children's' toothpaste or lead in their Pedialyte
or Children's Tylenol, would they really think it necessary to wait 7 months
to see what some other Board might do? ]
I did mention that Governor Bill Richardson and U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman
would like to write to them in the very near future to encourage their
deliberations on aspartame, and the Pharmacy Board Chairman,
Woodrow Storey, R.Ph., welcomed that idea warmly.
He also said he would be glad to be on a subcommittee of three
from the Board or even a new Governor's Task Force.
Also, Buffie Saavedra,
daughter of the NM House Appropriations Committee,
Henry "Kiki" Saavedra,
and Rudy Nolasco, R.Ph., a pharmacist from Las Vegas New Mexico
who complained that flu vaccines without mercury cost him
an extra $10 each in a recent flu clinic at his pharmacy,
both said very encouraging things about our petition.
The Board's Secretary, Danny Cross, R.Ph., of Carlsbad New Mexico,
was silent during the proceedings, which lasted about 90 minutes.
The Vice Chair's motion to table until the A.G. responds to confirm their
statutory powers passed unanimously, 9-0.
The Chairman said he wanted to be sure that they advanced
completely sure of their legal powers.
I concluded my comments by saying that that was what I wanted too!
My Co petitioner and world expert on Mercury as a cause of Autism in
Children, Dr. Ken Stoller, was on ABC T.V. on the evening news,
and we were both on a Spanish language station, Channel 41,
with my remarks entirely in Spanish.
There were no newspaper reporters present that I could see.
So that is what happened, and I make clear that aspartame opponents
should write to Attorney General Madrid
and to Governor Bill Richardson soon. Please send letters to:
The Honorable Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico
4th Floor, The Capitol, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Attention Chief of Staff, David Contarino  827-3000
To: The Honorable Patricia Madrid, Attorney General of New Mexico
The Bataan Building, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501  827-6000
And to: The Honorable Stuart Bluestone,
Deputy Attorney General of New Mexico
The Bataan Building, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501  827-6004
Please ask for a reply, and please ask your friends, colleagues, and family
to also write these 3 letters.
I certainly don't intend for this issue to die a slow bureaucratic death.
Remember, this was the first presentation to the Pharmacy Board,
and I think speaking in an evidentiary sense, we are in a
much stronger position after the first presentation
than we were after the first presentation to
the Environmental Improvement Board back in June.
We certainly have identified the enemy: Ajinomoto, a gigantic Japanese
conglomerate, which is the world's largest manufacturer of neurotoxic
additives to food and medicine, the world's largest for aspartame and for
Monosodium Glutamate as well.
The end users of these products like Coca Cola, Dannon Yogurt,
Wrigley's Gum, and others, should be worried as well,
and perhaps some new corporations in the Aspartame pantheon
like the pharmaceuticals which use them should be worried,
and should recognize the danger we pose to them,
now that we are on their very self-serving "radar screen."
After all, product liability suits for aspartame damages
could run into the hundreds of billions of dollars,
when the Attorneys General of the states recognize
that there is no real difference between Big Aspartame and Big Tobacco.
These many corporations may hire excellent lawyers,
but the medical evidence is so strong against them.
I have faith that the people of New Mexico and their concern for health will
in the long run clobber these corporate boilerplate lawyers from the firm of
Hired Guns and Hacks, even if they did go to Harvard Law School.
I look forward as always to your insights and very brightest ideas about to
kick the aspartame monster corporations out of New Mexico entirely,
once and for all time.
Stephen Fox stephen@...
NOTE: You will find several letters that have been sent
to the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy at:
Rich Murray comments: I approve Stephen's vigorous report.
The nine members of the Board of Pharmacy sat with Bill Harvey and
Kathyleen Kunkel, with about two or three dozen
in a small committee room with about fifty chairs.
Woodrow Storey (past eminent UNM HSC College of Pharmacy
faculty member) was an alert, genial, expressive leader.
Our petition took from 2:48 to 4:05 pm.
Storey advised us to not repeat what we had already sent to the Board
via our emails, which took the wind out of our sails.
Ken Stoller, MD, spoke about many details about the neurotoxicity
of mercury from Thimerosal, still in some vaccines being used,
especially for flu -- six states have already banned Thimerosal.
This was my third brief presentation to a Board --
Buffie Saavedra commented immediately, "You have very bright eyes,"
so I joked, "Well, I polish them every morning" -- got no laughs.
I expressed gratitude to be able to help serve a democractic process.
I don't recall making very many points, except to say that I was a water
carrying facts from mainstream research that weren't widely known.
Buffie thanked me for sending a detailed email that morning,
"It made me feel very important, getting such a detailed briefing,"
I was grateful for the positive feedback that I was successful
in providing good information.
Bill Harvey cautioned me to send my posts to him,
not to the Board members, and I readily agreed.
I described that both aspartame diet drinks and
dark wines and liquors give about the same amount of methanol,
which the body converts into formaldehyde and formic acid,
and that generally there was remarkably little scientitific research
about what happens with these toxins in people.
After Stephen Fox spoke from 3:01 to 3:14 pm,
Richard C. Minzner gave an emphatic, rapid series of statements
until 3:23 pm. I was struck that he suggested that the Board table the
petition for 6 months, until the Environmental Improvement Board
and the FDA could deal with the issue.
Anna Pendle? NM Immunization Coalition?
was concerned about not banning vaccines in the face of the bird flu danger.
Rudy Nolasco thanked Stoller for his information,
as he had just distributed many doses of Thimerosal vaccines.
Fox describe the details of the manipulation of FDA approval
of aspartame in 1981 by Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of G.D. Searle Co.
Brenda Padilla at 3:48 pm asked whether people had varying
sensitivity to aspartame, which led me to think she might
be concerned about some specific people.
Thomas J Ortega, mayor of Milan, said concerns about aspartame
should be taken back to the FDA to cooperatively work things
out -- Stoller replied that the FDA was "nonfunctional",
and that there was much "disinformation".
Buffie Saavedra at 3:53 pm suggested a NM multiagency task force.
Woodrow Storey diplomatically suggested getting a legal opinion
about the Board's authority, and setting up an interim committee
to go into the issue more until July.
Amy Bluesing at 4:00 pm made a motion to table the petition until January,
and Thomas Ortega seconded, and the motion carried 9-0.
Rich Murray, MA Room For All rmforall@...
505-501-2298 1943 Otowi Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
group with 146 members, 1,248 posts in a public, searchable
Dark wines and liquors, as well as aspartame, provide
similar levels of methanol, above 100 mg daily, for
long-term heavy users, 2 L daily, about 6 cans.
Methanol is inevitably largely turned into formaldehyde,
and thence largely into formic acid.
It is the major cause of the dreaded symptoms of "next
USA National Institutes of Health National Toxicology
Program aids eminent Ramazzini Foundation, Bologna, Italy,
in more results on cancers in rats from lifetime low levels
of aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde), Felicity Lawrence,
www.guardian.co.uk: Murray 2005.09.30
aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats, full plain text,
M Soffritti, F Belpoggi, DD Esposti, L Lambertini: Ramazzini
Foundation study 2005.07.14: main results agree with their previous
methanol and formaldehyde studies: Murray 2005.09.03
Michael F Jacobson of CSPI now and in 1985 re aspartame
toxicity, letter to FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford;
California OEHHA aspartame critique 2004.03.12; Center for
Consumer Freedom denounces CSPI: Murray 2005.07.27