Rich Murray: Piper: changing mind re aspartame toxicity 1.31.00
Subject: RE: Rich Murray: Piper: aspartame a web hoax? 1.31.01
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:59:01 -0800
From: Paul Piper <Paul.Piper@...
Dear Rich, Dave, & E Bryant Holman -
Thanks for the feedback, although some of you could tone down the
rhetoric a bit. I am in the process of converting this piece to a
couple of book
chapters, and welcome the urls to www.dorway.com <http://www.dorway.com
and www.holisticmed.com/aspartme <http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartme
which I will certainly include in future adaptations. It's interesting
all the ways people can read my politics (I'm currently being sued for
slander by a company mentioned in the article). My quote under the lip
site ("I'm not too far removed from thinking corporations would have few
qualms about covertly adding addictive ingredients to substances as
innocuous as lip balm.") more accurately reveals my politics.
So I can sympathize.
The aspartame case was given to me by a friend, and to be honest I
delve into it all that closely. My dealings with it in the future will
more fair, and I apologize to those who want to murder me.
I think this is a prime example of how information needs to beevaluated
*individual* basis. And an individual doing so needs access to all
Cheers -- Paul Piper
Subject: Rich Murray: Piper: aspartame a web hoax? 1.31.01 rmforall
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 01:34:25 -0700
Rich Murray: Piper: aspartame a web hoax? 1.31.01 rmforall
Better Read That Again: Web Hoaxes and Misinformation
by Paul S. Piper, Librarian, Western Washington University
Searcher Sept 2000 Vol 8 Num 8
located via http://www.magportal.com
posted on the Net
Paul S. Piper home page
Early in 1999 the so-called Nancy Markle Letter,
a piece really written by Betty Martini, a leading aspartame
activist, was submitted to over 450 e-mail groups.
The letter claimed that aspartame was responsible for multiple
sclerosis and systemic lupus. The author claimed
she had just testified before the EPA, and the letter contained
numerous scientific facts. Victims of these diseases
who read and believed the letter were horrified. Responses
from the Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Soft Drink Association,
and the press (among them Time Magazine
Health columnist Christine Gorman, 2/8/99) rushed to dispel the myth.
Yet like a previous e-mail warning of
carcinogens in shampoo, this letter germinated a following
(check the Nancy Markle home page,
, if interested) of people who believe Martinis
Jan 31 2001 Hello Paul S. Piper,
Your lengthly article on disinformation on the Net is lucid, cogent,
entertaining, and very valuable.
However, it does happen that corporate vested interests
succeed in burying undesirable truths under heaps of persistent,
systematic, cunning misinformation.
Certainly we have seen this in recent decades in
controversies about lead in paint and gasoline, abestos in building
materials, and the unusually powerful addictive toxin, nicotine.
For an excellent 50-page peer-reviewed article by a worldly-wise
businesswoman, with a PhD in educational psychology, about
disinformation about MSG toxicity:
Truth in Labeling Campaign [MSG]
Adrienne Samuels, PhD P.O. Box 2532 Darien, Illinois 60561
"The Toxicity/Safety of Processed
Free Glutamic Acid (MSG): A Study in Suppression of Information"
Accountability in Research (1999) Vol 6, pp. 259-310
The strategies and many of the practitioners of disinformation happen
to overlap with those who portray aspartame as,
"The most tested food additive in history", since many huge firms are
involved in both products. This phrase is always a dead give-away
that the source is a corporate ally. It happens to be in the historical
record that adroit manipulation of a few critical committees over
two decades ago caused a potent drug to be classified as a "food
additive", which has the immense practical benefit for industry of
meaning that there is neither a legal requirement for proof of safety,
nor for ongoing record-keeping of doctor and user complaints.
This type of phrase "...this letter germinated a following
(check the Nancy Markle home page,
, if interested)
of people who believe Martinis claims." occurs over and over
in the disinformation campaign, to trivialize a
serious, persistent, widespread public health debate, involving
highly credential, informed professionals, by focusing on a
volunteer amateur activist and emphasingly only faults in some
of her work. It is very good that you included the link, which
is to a complex site run by another volunteer activist,
Bryant Holman, a successful businessman, who is moderator
, an archived discussion
group, now two years old, with 300 members.
. I just visited the link, finding
immediate access to statements and links by credential medical
professionals. To trivialize them as, "...people who believe
Martini's claims." is not a public service. It is
hardly accurate to apply the phrase "germinate a following"
to image these professionals, who carefully
support responsible volunteer activists who
are far more informed than the great majority of
professionals, still largely taken in by the brilliant,
systematic campaign of disinformation.
The Christine Gorman piece was a classic operation.
However, it backfired, because many people simply checked out
aspartame on any search engine, usually leading right
to Dave Rietz's http:www.dorway.com , now 600
pages, which combines lurid colors with detailed
reports by dozens of media and medical professionals.
Incidentally, the "Nancy Markle" post started in
early Dec 1999, not "Early in 1999". Betty is still
getting many calls a day from it. Many members of
the support group owe their regained happiness,
health, and hope to it.
Here is my own summary, refined again and again for
Rich Murray: Aspartame Toxicity 1.30.01: Trocho 6.26.98 rmforall
Rich Murray, MA Room For All
1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
505-986-9103 505-920-6130 cell rmforall@...