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1822safe food expert Joe Mercola and CSPI both critique industry front group ACSH deceit re aspartame: Betty Martini: Rich Murray 2014.06.03

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  • Rich Murray
    Jun 3, 2014

      American Council on Science and Health - Are You Making Health Decisions Based on What This industry Front Group Says?


      Dr. Betty Martini,D.Hum.

      7:26 PM (33 minutes ago)
      to bettym19
      Before you read this article Dr. Mercola wrote realize it stemmed from a blog with Josh Bloom that is still going on below

      You have asked to receive notification of comments on the article,"Crazy Joe
      Mercola Vs. Aspartame: Who Wins?".   You can view the comment at the
      following url

      It was very obvious he was defending aspartame but after 30 years on the market and all information being public record one has to be either ignorant or a paid flack.  As I told him, for anyone starting a blog on a product intelligent people do their homework.  The modus operandi of industry defending its product is first to call names when they are exposed.  Most will not debate the actual records, but use industry studies which are not valid..  In the case of aspartame, G. D. Searle couldn't get aspartame to show safety, so they did things like excise brain tumors from the rats, put them back in the study and then when they died resurrect them on paper. They would filter out everything they didn't want the FDA to see.    They got caught and FDA attempted to have them  indicted for fraud.  Both US Prosecutors hired on with the defense team and the statute of limitations expired.  If the manufacturer couldn't get aspartame to show safety then, they can't do it now.

       Look at what just happened with the aspartame review by EFSA.  There was no way for aspartame to show safety, and studies were coming in right and left.  You have the study from Denmark, 60,000 women, showing aspartame can jump preterm births by 78%.  Parliament told EFSA to go back and redo the review.  Meantime more studies were coming in showing that aspartame can trigger heart attacks and strokes, raise fasting blood sugar, and can cause cancer, from Harvard, no less.  Also, Dr. Morando Soffritti had done three studies on aspartame and cancer which showed aspartame is a multipotential carcinogen and causes everything from liver and lung cancer to leukemia and lymphoma.  I wondered how EFSA would get around all these peer reviewed  studies which showed that aspartame can not be proven safe.  In your wildest dream you wouldn't think of what they would do next.  82 scientific peer reviewed studies showed aspartame to be unsafe.  EFSA didn't know how to deal with all these studies  so they  simply (drum roll please) threw them out!  I kid you not.  After throwing away the evidence they said it was safe.

      I tried to answer Josh Bloom but eventually they wouldn't let me post.  Same modus operandi.  "Make sure the evidence is never posted - don't allow the evidence to exist."  So, if anyone would like to answer Josh you have the information.   Basically they just love using up your time.

      Below is Dr. Mercola's response.

      Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder
      Mission Possible International
      9270 River Club Parkway
      Duluth, Georgia 30097
      770 242-2599
      Aspartame Toxicity Center, www.holisticmed.com/aspartame

      Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2014 19:26:35 -0500

      Subject: [Ban-GEF] American Council on Science and Health--Are You Making
       Health Decisions Based on What This Industry Front Group Says


      American Council on Science and Health--Are You Making Health Decisions Based on What This Industry Front Group Says?
      June 03, 2014 | 20,479 views
      By Dr. Mercola

      embedded video: American Council On Science + Health Funded By Corporations

      [links in article]

      There are many dozens of industry front groups masquerading as independent information organizations. I've previously published information about several of them, including the International Food Additives Council (IFAC), the Coalition Against Costly Food Labeling Proposition, the Science Media Centre, and Alliance to Feed the Future.

      Michele Simon, JD, MPH, policy consultant with Center for Food Safety has also published a report titled: "Best Public Relations Money Can Buy: A Guide to Food Industry Front Groups,"1 which reveals how the food and agricultural industry hide behind friendly-sounding organizations aimed at fooling the public, policymakers, and the media.

      Institute for Science in Medicine2 is yet another example worth mentioning. Once you start to look at them more closely, you'll find that most of these repetitive front groups "in the name of science" lead back to the same people... and the industry science they espouse is very much like a new religion--one that does not tolerate others beliefs.

      Here, the focus will rest on the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). A previous Mother Jones3 article spilled the beans on who's actually funding this pro-industry science group, which defends everything from fracking to pesticides, the toxic plastic ingredient bisphenol-A (BPA), and genetically engineered foods--all in the name of quenching unwarranted fear mongering by those who don't understand the science.

      The ACSH claims to be an independent research and advocacy organization consisting of "concerned scientists" who are devoted to debunking "junk science." But once you understand who this front group really serves, it becomes easy to see why the scientific basis for the ACSH's recommendations may be questionable at best. As reported by the featured article:

      "[I]nternal financial documents (read them here)... show that ACSH depends heavily on funding from corporations that have a financial stake in the scientific debates it aims to shape...

      According to the ACSH documents, from July 1, 2012, to December 20, 2012, 58 percent of donations to the council came from corporations and large private foundations. ACSH's donors and the potential backers the group has been targeting comprise a who's-who of energy, agriculture, cosmetics, food, soda, chemical, pharmaceutical, and tobacco corporations."

      Funding Is FAR from Irrelevant to Scientific Investigation!

      Despite everything we know about how the source of funding alters the outcome of any scientific investigation, the ACSH claims that "the sources of our support are irrelevant to our scientific investigations," and that this is why the group does not publicize its donors. However, the group didn't stop listing its donors until the public denounced it as a front group for manufacturers in the 1990s...

      Its executive director, Dr. Gilbert Ross--who by the way served 23 months in jail after being convicted for defrauding the NY state's Medicaid program of about $8 million--told Mother Jones: "Only science-based facts hold sway in our publications, even if the outcome is not pleasing to our contributors."

      Aside from the issue of Dr. Ross's questionable character, it is highly doubtful that this would be true, as numerous studies have documented the overwhelming influence funding entities have over research outcomes. For example:

       - In 2010, three researchers from Harvard and Toronto identified all the published trials for five major classes of drugs, and then measured two key features: Were they positive, and were they funded by industry? Out of a total of 500 trials, 85 percent of the industry-funded studies were positive, compared to 50 percent of the government-funded trials

       - In 2007, researchers identified all published trials of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. A total of 192 trials were found in which either two statins were compared to each other, or a statin was compared against a different kind of treatment. Industry-funded studies were 20 times more likely to favor the test drug, compared to those with independent funding

      Who's Paying for the ACSH's Research and 'Fact-Based Opinions'?

      Scientific fraud and/or the misuse of science to further a preconceived commercial agenda is so rampant today that it can be quite tricky to determine what's what. One key factor, it turns out, is to determine who paid for the research. Knowing that, let's take a look at who's shaping the "fact-based" opinions of the ACSH.

      First, the ACSH Board of Trustees offers interesting clues. It's filled with people who have direct connections to biotech, pesticide, tobacco, vaccines, and junk food industry-related entities.

      Many of them either have personally worked with genetically modified organisms, or support Monsanto/DuPont, etc., openly. Several of them also have key positions that would favor the GMO and vaccine industries. One of the most recognizable individuals on this list is Dr. Paul Offit.

      The ACSH also lists Stephen Barrett4 and Timothy N. Gorski of Quackbusters5 as members of its Scientific Board of Advisors for its 2009 report "Adult Immunization: The Need for Enhanced Utilization".6

      This places Paul Offit in connection with Quackbusters, a group of self-proclaimed skeptics of any and all non-conventional or alternative healing modalities (regardless of the available evidence in the scientific literature). And that's in addition to his being on the board of trustees of this poorly disguised industry-front group--hardly a smart move for anyone interested in maintaining credibility at this point. Another individual on the ACSH board of trustees is pro-GMO advocate Henry Miller, who also founded the FDA Office of Biotechnology.7 His deceptive PR tactics during the California GMO labeling campaign have been discussed in previous articles.

      Miller also supported the now defunct Advancement of Sound Science Coalition,8 which was formed to support the tobacco industry by discrediting claims that smoke is harmful. The group also advanced other industry-friendly positions on a wide range of topics, including global warming, phthalates, and pesticides. The US Department of Agriculture is also linked to ACSH through David Klurfeld,9 another of its scientific advisors on adult vaccinations, who also serves as the National Program Leader for Human Nutrition in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of USDA.10 Then there are the donors, which include but are not limited to the following, reported by Mother Jones. (Another much longer list also shows up on TobaccoDocuments.org,11 where ACSH filed an annual report in 1984.)

      Coca-Cola and Pepsi
      Bristol Myers Squibb
      Dr. Pepper/Snapple
      Bayer Cropscience
      Procter and Gamble
      Altria (a tobacco conglomerate)
      Phillip Morris
      British American Tobacco
      Exxon Mobil

      When Money Talks, Toxins Become 'Proven Safe'

      As reported by Mother Jones, ACSH has gone to bat time and again for its donors, offering supporting evidence when industry profits were threatened. For example, funding from Georgia-Pacific, a leading formaldehyde maker, helped the ACSH file a lawsuit that overturned a ban on formaldehyde insulation. The group has also gone on record stating that fracking "doesn't pollute water or air." A couple of other examples offered by Mother Jones:

      "ACSH defended the chemical Alar, used to regulate the growth of apples--and accepted donations from Uniroyal, which manufactured and sold Alar. It also opposed new mandatory nutrition labeling requirements--and pocketed money from Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg Co., Nestle USA, and the National Soft Drink Association."

      Such blatant conflicts of interest used to be frowned upon, but have now become so common that many fail to realize just how dangerous that can be. In the end, when conflicts of interest are allowed to permeate research and scientific discussions, you end up with false science, or science created to support a financially rewarding agenda, and that's precisely where we are today.12

      The health of the entire planet is now in serious jeopardy because "science" funded by serious conflicts of interest has become accepted as fact. The status quo is quite literally killing us, and the environment. Those who deliver evidence of the dangers of agricultural chemicals, genetically engineered foods, excessive vaccinations, processed junk foods and so on are written off as imbeciles. Researchers whose findings contradict the industry-established status quo typically lose their jobs. But as dangerous as it is for those who try to tell you the truth about these environmental dangers, YOU are the one at greatest risk here, because without this information, you end up lining the pockets of greedy corporations who are quite literally killing you slowly...

      ACSH Fails to Meet Better Business Bureau's Standards, Year After Year...

      According to the Better Business Bureau13 (BBB), the ACSH, a 501(c)(3), does not meet the BBB's standards for non-profit accountability. Questionable practices include:

       - Insufficient board oversight

       - Insufficient numbers of board meetings

       - Lack of an annual report of activities

       - Insufficient evidence of materials that are accurate, truthful and not misleading

      In 1982, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a watchdog and consumer advocacy group, published an extensive report on ACSH's practices, stating that: "ACSH appears to be a consumer fraud; as a scientific group, ACSH seems to arrive at conclusions before conducting studies. Through voodoo or alchemy, bodies of scientific knowledge are transmogrified into industry-oriented position statements."

      CSPI director Michael F. Jacobson said of ACSH, "This organization promotes confusion among consumers about what is safe and what isn't... ACSH is using a slick scientific veneer to obscure and deny truths that virtually everyone else agrees with." The CSPI's article, titled "Twisted Consumerism: The Golden Assurance of the American Council on Science and Health,"14 is a startling expose, in which the ACSH is exposed as NOT being the benign truth-delivering organization it pretends to be.

      Science Media Centre--Busted!

      To finish off, I want to briefly mention the Science Media Centre, as I just realized they've been busted... In September 2012, a French GMO feeding study was published in Reed Elsevier's peer-reviewed journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology.15 It was the first-ever lifetime feeding study evaluating the health risks of genetically engineered foods, and results were troubling, to say the least--and a major stumbling block for the chemical biotechnology industry.

      The study found that rats fed a type of genetically engineered corn that is prevalent in the US food supply developed massive mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage, and other serious health problems, about halfway through their natural life. The Science Media Centre immediately pounced16, 17 on the findings, claiming there were "anomalies throughout the paper."

      However, we now know that not only had the study undergone the usual peer review process, it was actually reviewed by twice the typical number of referees prior to publication (I would presume probably because of its explosive ramifications). But that's not all. In November 2013, the publisher made the controversial decision to retract the study.

      What's noteworthy here is that after publication and the resulting outcry from industry, the publisher completed a year-long investigation and found "no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data." So, if after all that investigative work, NO "anomalies" could be found that would negate the findings, why isn't the media exposing the Science Media Centre's hasty declarations? In hindsight, we see that they were clearly wrong. Where are all these anomalies that no one else was able to find during a year-long exhaustive review (on top of all the pre-publication reviews)? In the end, the ONLY cause the publisher could come up with for retracting the study was that the findings were "inconclusive," which is not even a valid cause for retraction!

      The entire affair ended up exploding in Elsevier's proverbial face. The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility has called the retraction "a travesty of science" that "looks like a bow to industry," and a group of scientists have drafted an open letter18 requesting Elsevier reverse its retraction of the S lini paper, and to issue a public apology to the authors. The Science Media Centre certainly achieved its mission to spread distrust and confusion about the results of this important study however. And that is the best these front groups can ever achieve... if you let them.

      Chose Your Sources Wisely

      You can bet that if there's a harmful substance out there that makes money, there are at least one or more front groups, posing as independent non-profit organizations, disseminating anything but independent safety reviews and information pertaining to it. It's high time to pull back the curtain and see who's really pulling the strings and levers.

      I hope you will support not only this web site by reading and sharing what you learn here with others, but also any number of other health journalists reporting the results of research that Big Business would rather you didn't know. Right now, we're nearing the tipping point when it comes to genetically engineered (GE) foods. Many Americans have woken up to this issue in the past couple of years, and it's more important than ever to remember to vote with your wallet. Make conscious decisions, and above all, let your representatives know where you stand on labeling of GE foods.

      Vote with Your Pocketbook, Every Day

      The food companies on the left of this graphic spent tens of millions of dollars in the last two labeling campaigns--in California and Washington State-to prevent you from knowing what's in your food. You can even the score by switching to the brands on the right; all of whom stood behind the I-522 Right to Know campaign. Voting with your pocketbook, at every meal, matters. It makes a huge difference. By boycotting GMA member Traitor Brands, you can help level the playing field, and help take back control of our food supply.


      I encourage you to continue educating yourself about genetically engineered foods, and to share what you've learned with family and friends. Remember, unless a food is certified organic, you can assume it contains GMO ingredients if it contains sugar from sugar beets, soy, or corn, or any of their derivatives.

      embedded video: The Alarming Truths About GMOs

      Sources and References

      1 Best Public Relations Money Can Buy: A Guide to Food Industry Front Groups (PDF)
      2 Institute for Science in Medicine
      3 Mother Jones October 28, 2013
      4 International Wellness Directory, Quackbuster Stephen Barrett: "Not an Expert," Declares Judge, 2003
      5 Tim O'Ranter, July 7th, 2003
      6 ACSH, November 2009, Adult Immunization: The Need for Enhanced Utilization
      7 Sourcewatch.org Henry I. Miller
      8 Sourcewatch.org Advancement of Sound Science Coalition
      9 ACSH, November 2009, Adult Immunization: The Need for Enhanced Utilization
      10 David Klurfield
      11 Tobaccodocuments.org, American Council on Science and Health Seventh Annual Report
      12 New York Post December 23, 2012
      14 CSPI, Twisted Consumerism: The Golden Assurance of the American Council on Science and Health (PDF)
      15 Food and Chemical Toxicology September 19, 2012 [Epub ahead of print]
      16 Reuters September 19, 2012
      17 Sourcewatch.org Science Media Centre
      18 ISIS April 12, 2013
      Ban-GEF mailing list
      Attachments area
      American Council On Science + Health Funded By Corporations

      safe food expert Joe Mercola and CSPI both critique industry front group ACSH deceit re aspartame: Betty Martini: Rich Murray 2014.06.03

      Biochemical responses and mitochondrial mediated activation of apoptosis on long-term effect of aspartame in rat brain, Iyaswamy Ashok, Rathinasamy Sheeladevi, U of Madras 2014.04.29 free full text: Rich Murray 2014.05.24

      aspartame harm in rat brain from 75 mg/kg gives human ADI 0.75 mg/kg, 53 times less than EU ADI 40 mg/kg, Ashok Iyyaswamy, SheelaDevi Rathinasamy, U. Madras 2012.08.03 free full text -- main methanol toxin is formaldehyde, not formate: Rich Murray 2013.06.01

      [ See also:

      methanol toxicity, not by formate, but by formaldehyde made inside human cells by ADH1 enzyme -- brief by Woodrow C. Monte, with lengthy references: Rich Murray 2013.05.24

      Rathinasamy Sheeladevi  <drsheeladeviibms@...>

      free full text

      Redox Biology
      Available online 29 April 2014

      In Press, Accepted Manuscript — Note to users

      Cover image
      Open Access
      Research Paper

      Biochemical responses and mitochondrial mediated activation of apoptosis on long-term effect of aspartame in rat brain.

      Iyaswamy Ashok,
      Rathinasamy Sheeladevi, Corresponding author
      contact information,
      E-mail the corresponding author

      Aspartame administration alters the functional activity in the brain by elevating the antioxidant levels.
      Chronic aspartame consumption altered the neuronal function and neurodegeneration in brain.
      Observed changes may be due to the methanol or its metabolite.
      Long-term FDA approved daily acceptable intake (40 mg/kg bwt) aspartame administration distorted the brain function and generated apoptosis in brain regions.


      Aspartame, an artificial sweetener is very widely used in many foods and beverages. But there are controversies about its metabolite which is marked for its toxicity. 
      Hence it is believed to be unsafe for human use. 
      Previous studies have reported on methanol exposure with involvements of free radicals on excitotoxicity of neuronal apoptosis.
      Hence, this present study is proposed to investigate whether chronic aspartame (FDA approved Daily Acceptable Intake (ADI),40 mg/kg bwt) administration could release methanol, whether it can induce changes in brain oxidative stress status and gene and protein expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 and pro-apoptotic Bax and caspase-3 in the rat brain region. 
      To mimic the human methanol metabolism, methotrexate (MTX)-treated Wistar strain male albino rats were used and after the oral administration of aspartame, the effects were studied along with controls and MTX-treated controls. 
      Aspartame exposure resulted with a significant increase in the enzymatic activity in protein carbonyl, Lipid peroxidation levels, Superoxide dismutase, Glutathione-S-Transferase, Glutathione peroxidase and Catalase activity in (Aspartame MTX)-treated animals and with a significant decrease in reduced Glutathione, Glutathione reductase and protein thiol, pointing out the generation of free radicals. 
      The gene and protein expression of pro apoptotic marker Bax showed a marked increase whereas the anti-apoptotic marker Bcl-2 decreased markedly indicating the aspartame is harmful at cellular level. 
      It is clear that long term aspartame exposure could alter the brain antioxidant status, and can induce apoptotic changes in brain.

      Free radical; Oxidative stress; Antioxidant; Apoptosis; Aspartame; Mitochondria

      [ much more... ]

      Parthasarathy JN, Ramasundaram SK, Sundaramahalingam M,
      Pathinasamy SD, Devi RS (2006).
      Methanol induced oxidative stress in rat lymphoid organs.
      J. Occup. Health, 48: 20-27.

      8 pages free full text [ 2.37 g/kg = 287 times more than 8.25 mg/kg ]
      183.  Parthasarathy N, Kumar R, Manikandan S, Devi R.
      Methanol-Induced Oxidative Stress in Rat Lymphoid Organs.
      J Occup Health 2006;48:20-7.

      the first to dig the mine get to share the gold -- 7 recent similar animal research studies indicating much lower aspartame and methanol ADI levels: Rich Murray 2013.12.23

      more lower aspartame and methanol ADIs from studies by RH Nair, SheelaDevi Rathinasamy, WC Monte, PS Jeganathan, A Namasivayam, Hazleton Labs, Searle Labs: Rich Murray 2013.06.01

      James McDonald to EFSA, outdated aspartame ADI gives methanol 35 times too high for human safety, ten minute talk at April 9 public sharing, Brussels: Rich Murray 2013.04.15

      California OEHHA sets methanol ingestion level 23 mg daily, same as from 1 can aspartame diet soda, 10 cigarettes, 3 tomatoes, or 4 cans green beans: Rich Murray 2013.07.03

      "However, the anticipated exposure to methanol from consumption of aspartame would not be considered an exposure within the meaning of Proposition 65 because aspartame is not listed under Proposition 65."

      [ Rich Murray: Many pregnant women drink one 12-oz can aspartame diet drink daily, with 200 mg aspartame that gives 11% methanol, 22 mg, which is just under the OEHHA limit of 23 mg daily.

      The smoke from 10 cigarettes gives 20 mg methanol, the same as from 1 can aspartame drink, 3 full size fresh tomatoes, or 4 cans of unfresh green beans. ]

      smoke from pack cigarettes gives 40 mg methanol for 20 gr tobacco, 6 tobacco methanol papers, Carl Neuberg 1926-1939, Berlin -- so methanol formaldehyde toxicity paradigm is co-factor in 18 tobacco diseases -- WC Monte gives 23 references: Rich Murray 2013.03.29

      Table 5.2 is the key chart -- ADH1 enzyme at high levels in 20 tissues
      in body and fetus makes methanol into formaldehyde right inside cells,
      initiating over 20 human diseases, with full text references, WC Monte
      paradigm: Rich Murray 2013.03.21

      WC Monte finally got secret FDA memo 37 years after Searle Co. labs
      found birth defects in rabbits from aspartame (methanol, becomes
      formaldehyde via ADH1 enzyme within human cells) and its
      phenylalanine: Rich Murray 2012.06.02

      highly competent, pithy analysis of aspartame cancer study by Eva S.
      Schernhammer at Harvard, William R. Ware, PhD, showing relevance of
      Woodrow C. Monte methanol-formaldehyde toxicity paradigm: Rich Murray

      confirms WC Monte paradigm: ingested methanol becomes toxic
      formaldehyde-induced hydroxymethyl DNA adducts in all tissues in rats,
      sensitive C13 test, Kun Lu, James A Swenberg, UNC Chapel Hill
      2011.12.08 Toxicol Sci: Rich Murray 2013.01.11

      methanol (11% of aspartame), made by body into formaldehyde in many
      vulnerable tissues, causes modern diseases of civilization, summary of
      a century of research, Woodrow C Monte PhD, Medical Hypotheses
      journal: Rich Murray 2009.11.15
      Sunday, November 15, 2009

      "Formaldehyde produced within the cell immediately reacts with water
      to produce formal hydrate,[#27] a strong acid[#114] with twice the
      number of available hydrogen ions as the next methanol metabolite,
      formic acid.

      Formal hydrate produced from methanol by the ADH I sites found in
      the intima, media, and adventitia lining of the circulatory system of the
      heart and brain[#220] would be expected to diffuse into the localized
      tissue, quickly methylating basic molecules such as myelin basic
      protein (MS)[#224] and tau protein (Alzheimer's).[#234]"

      free full text, 5 pages
      Monte WC.
      Methanol: A chemical Trojan horse as the root of the inscrutable U.
      Med Hypotheses 2010;74(3):493-6.

      two studies by Rong-Qiao He teams in China on monkeys and mice show oral methanol leads to specific formaldehyde harm similar to Alzheimers disease, confirming WC Monte paradigm: Rich Murray 2014.05.16

      "As a matter of course, every soul citizen of Earth has a priority to quickly find and positively share evidence for healthy and safe food, drink, environment, and society."

      within the fellowship of service,

      Rich Murray,
      MA Boston University Graduate School 1967 psychology,
      BS MIT 1964 history and physics,
      1039 Emory Street, Imperial Beach, CA 91932