Rumsfeld, 1977 head of Searle Corp., got aspartame FDA approval: Turner: Murray 12.23.2 rmforall
Rumsfeld, 1977 head of Searle Corp., got aspartame FDA approval:
Turner: Murray 12.23.2 rmforall
Swankin & Turner is a law firm specializing in the areas of regulation
(food and drug, health care, standard setting, antitrust and trade) and
policy (agricultural, insurance, corporate, tax, administrative and
consumer). Established in Washington, D.C. in 1973, it has served a
broad variety of individual and organizational clients, including
national and local business corporations and nonprofit associations.
All attorneys with the firm are members of the District of Columbia bar.
In addition, James Turner is admitted to the Ohio and U.S. Supreme Court
bars; Betsy Lehrfeld is admitted to the California and U.S. Supreme
Court bars; Charles Brown is admitted to the bars of Ohio, West Virginia
and the U.S. Supreme Court; and Chris Turner is admitted to the
Aspartame/NutraSweet: The History of the Aspartame Controversy
by James Turner, ESQ. Director of the National Institute of Science,
Law, and Public Policy (NISLAPP)
National Institute of Science, Law, and Public Policy
1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 330, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 462-8800 Fax: (202) 265-6564 nislapp@...
December 1965-- While working on an ulcer drug, James Schlatter, a
chemist at G.D. Searle, accidentally discovers aspartame, a substance
that is 180 times sweeter than sugar yet has no calories.
Spring 1967-- Searle begins the safety tests on aspartame that are
necessary for applying for FDA approval of food additives.
Fall 1967-- Dr. Harold Waisman, a biochemist at the University of
Wisconsin, conducts aspartame safety tests on infant monkeys on behalf
of the Searle Company. Of the seven monkeys that were being fed
aspartame mixed with milk, one dies and five others have grand mal
November 1970-- Cyclamate, the reigning low-calorie artificial sweetener
-- is pulled off the market after some scientists associate it with
cancer. Questions are also raised about safety of saccharin, the only
other artificial sweetener on the market, leaving the field wide open
December 18, 1970-- Searle Company executives lay out a "Food and Drug
Sweetener Strategy' that they feel will put the FDA into a positive
frame of mind about aspartame. An internal policy memo describes
psychological tactics the company should use to bring the FDA into a
subconscious spirit of participation" with them on aspartame and get FDA
regulators into the "habit of saying, "Yes"."
Spring 1971-- Neuroscientist Dr. John Olney (whose pioneering work with
monosodium glutamate was responsible for having it removed from baby
foods) informs Searle that his studies show that aspartic acid (one of
the ingredients of aspartame) caused holes in the brains of infant
mice. One of Searle's own researchers confirmed Dr. Olney's findings in
a similar study.
February 1973-- After spending tens of millions of dollars conducting
safety tests, the G.D. Searle Company applies for FDA approval and
submits over 100 studies they claim support aspartame's safety.
March 5, 1973-- One of the first FDA scientists to review the aspartame
safety data states that "the information provided (by Searle) is
inadequate to permit an evaluation of the potential toxicity of
aspartame". She says in her report that in order to be certain that
aspartame is safe, further clinical tests are needed.
May 1974-- Attorney, Jim Turner (consumer advocate who was instrumental
in getting cyclamate taken off the market) meets with Searle
representatives to discuss Dr. Olney's 1971 study which showed that
aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of infant mice.
July 26, 1974-- The FDA grants aspartame its first approval for
restricted use in dry foods.
August 1974-- Jim Turner and Dr. John Olney file the first objections
against aspartame's approval.
March 24, 1976-- Turner and Olney's petition triggers an FDA
investigation of the laboratory practices of aspartame's manufacturer,
G.D. Searle. The investigation finds Searle's testing procedures shoddy,
full of inaccuracies and "manipulated" test data. The investigators
report they "had never seen anything as bad as Searle's testing."
January 10, 1977-- The FDA formally requests the U.S. Attorney's office
to begin grand jury proceedings to investigate whether indictments
should be filed against Searle for knowingly misrepresenting findings
and "concealing material facts and making false statements" in aspartame
safety tests. This is the first time in the FDA's history that they
request a criminal investigation of a manufacturer.
January 26, 1977-- While the grand jury probe is underway, Sidley &
Austin, the law firm representing Searle, begins job negotiations with
the U.S. Attorney in charge of the investigation, Samuel Skinner.
March 8, 1977-- G. D. Searle hires prominent Washington insider Donald
Rumsfeld as the new CEO to try to turn the beleaguered company around. A
former Member of Congress and Secretary of Defense in the Ford
Administration, Rumsfeld brings in several of his Washington cronies as
July 1, 1977-- Samuel Skinner leaves the U.S. Attorney's office and
takes a job with Searle's law firm. (see Jan. 26th)
August 1, 1977-- The Bressler Report, compiled by FDA investigators and
headed by Jerome Bressler, is released. The report finds that 98 of the
196 animals died during one of Searle's studies and weren't autopsied
until later dates, in some cases over one year after death. Many other
errors and inconsistencies are noted. For example, a rat was reported
alive, then dead, then alive, then dead again; a mass, a uterine polyp,
and ovarian neoplasms were found in animals but not reported or
diagnosed in Searle's reports.
December 8, 1977-- U.S. Attorney Skinner's withdrawal and resignation
stalls the Searle grand jury investigation for so long that the statue
of limitations on the aspartame charges runs out. The grand jury
investigation is dropped.
June 1, 1979-- The FDA established a Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) to
rule on safety issues surrounding NutraSweet.
September 30, 1980-- The Public Board of Inquiry concludes NutraSweet
should not be approved pending further investigations of brain tumors in
animals. The board states it "has not been presented with proof of
reasonable certainty that aspartame is safe for use as a food additive."
January 1981-- Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of Searle, states in a sales meeting
that he is going to make a big push to get aspartame approved within the
year. Rumsfeld says he will use his political pull in Washington, rather
than scientific means, to make sure it gets approved.
January 21, 1981-- Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President of the United
States. Reagan's transition team, which includes Donald Rumsfeld, CEO of
G. D. Searle, hand picks Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes Jr. to be the new FDA
March, 1981-- An FDA commissioner's panel is established to review
issues raised by the Public Board of Inquiry.
May 19, 1981-- Three of six in-house FDA scientists who were responsible
for reviewing the brain tumor issues, Dr. Robert Condon, Dr. Satya
Dubey, and Dr. Douglas Park, advise against approval of NutraSweet,
stating on the record that the Searle tests are unreliable and not
adequate to determine the safety of aspartame.
July 15, 1981-- In one of his first official acts, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr.,
the new FDA commissioner, overrules the Public Board of Inquiry, ignores
the recommendations of his own internal FDA team and approves NutraSweet
for dry products. Hayes says that aspartame has been shown to be safe
for its' proposed uses and says few compounds have withstood such
detailed testing and repeated close scrutiny.
October 15, 1982-- The FDA announces that Searle has filed a petition
that aspartame be approved as a sweetener in carbonated beverages and
July 1, 1983-- The National Soft Drink Association (NSDA) urges the FDA
to delay approval of aspartame for carbonated beverages pending further
testing because aspartame is very unstable in liquid form. When liquid
aspartame is stored in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it
breaks down into DKP and formaldehyde, both of which are known toxins.
July 8, 1983-- The National Soft Drink Association drafts an objection
to the final ruling which permits the use of aspartame in carbonated
beverages and syrup bases and requests a hearing on the objections. The
association says that Searle has not provided responsible certainty that
aspartame and its' degradation products are safe for use in soft drinks.
August 8, 1983-- Consumer Attorney, Jim Turner of the Community
Nutrition Institute and Dr. Woodrow Monte, Arizona State University's
Director of Food Science and Nutritional Laboratories, file suit with
the FDA objecting to aspartame approval based on unresolved safety
September, 1983-- FDA Commissioner Hayes resigns under a cloud of
controversy about his taking unauthorized rides aboard a General Foods
jet. (General foods is a major customer of NutraSweet)
Burson-Marsteller, Searle's public relation firm (which also represented
several of NutraSweet's major users), immediately hires Hayes as senior
Fall 1983-- The first carbonated beverages containing aspartame are sold
for public consumption.
November 1984-- Center for Disease Control (CDC) "Evaluation of consumer
complaints related to aspartame use." (summary by B. Mullarkey)
November 3, 1987-- U.S. hearing, "NutraSweet: Health and Safety
Concerns," Committee on Labor and Human Resources, Senator Howard
RTM: www.dorway.com: original documents and long reviews of flaws in
aspartame toxicity research 7.31.2 rmforall
UPI reporter Gregory Gordon: 96K 3-part expose Oct 1987
"Survey of aspartame studies: correlation of outcome and funding
sources," 1998, unpublished: http://www.dorway.com/peerrev.html
Walton found 166 separate published studies in the peer reviewed
medical literature, which had relevance for questions of human safety.
The 74 studies funded by industry all (100%) attested to aspartame's
safety, whereas of the 92 non-industry funded studies, 84 (91%)
identified a problem. Six of the seven non-industry funded studies
that were favorable to aspartame safety were from the FDA, which
has a public record that shows a strong pro-industry bias.
Ralph G. Walton, MD, Prof. of Clinical Psychology, Northeastern Ohio
Universities, College of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry, Youngstown,
OH 44501, Chairman, The Center for Behavioral Medicine,
Northside Medical Center, 500 Gypsy Lane, P.O. Box 240 Youngstown,
OH 44501 330-740-3621 rwalton193@...
Christie D. Michas christiem@...
Wed, 11 Sep 2002 12:37:51 -0700
>----- Original Message -----http://csf.colorado.edu/envtecsoc/2002/msg00440.html
>From: "Mark Douglas Whitaker" <mrkdwhit@...>
>Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2002 9:44 PM
>Subject: Rumsfeld's conflict of interest and ASPARTAME: Rumsfeld was
>president of Serle corporation! part of Reagan transition team, and got
>aspartame 'legalized' by appointing a defense department contractor
>(Hayes) as head of FDA!
Rumsfeld's conflict of interest and ASPARTAME: Rumsfeld was
president of Searle corporation! part of Reagan transition team, and got
aspartame 'legalized' by appointing a defense department
contractor (Hayes) as head of FDA!
by Mark Douglas Whitaker 25 August 2002 01:45 UTC
Rumsfeld's conflict of interests and ASPARTAME: Rumsfeld was president
of Searle corporation in 1977, maker of aspartame, then, part of Reagan
transition team, and got aspartame 'legalized' by appointing a defense
department contractor [??] (Hayes) as head of FDA!
A book should be written about American corruption and aspartame.
[also at: http://www.stevia.net/aspartame.htm ]
The Aspartame/NutraSweet Fiasco by James S. Turner
Many health-conscious people believe that avoiding aspartame, found in
over 5000 products under brand names such as Equal and NutraSweet, can
improve their quality of life. The history of this synthetic sweetener's
approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including a
long record of consumer complaints and the agency's demonstrated
insensitivity to public concern, suggests they're right.
In October 1980 the Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) impaneled by the FDA
to evaluate aspartame safety found that the chemical caused an
unacceptable level of brain tumors in animal testing. Based on this
fact, the PBOI ruled that aspartame should not be added to the food
This ruling capped 15 years of regulatory ineptitude, chicanery and
deception by the FDA and the Searle drug company, aspartame's discoverer
and manufacturer (acquired by Monsanto in 1985), and kicked off another
two decades of maneuvering, manipulating and dissembling by FDA, Searle
In 1965, a Searle scientist licked some of a new ulcer drug from his
fingers and discovered the sweet taste of aspartame. Eureka! Selling
this chemical as a food additive to hundreds of millions of healthy
people every day would mean many more dollars than limited sales to the
much smaller group of ulcer sufferers.
Searle, a drug company with little experience in food regulation, began
studies to comply with the law-- but which failed to do so. Its early
tests of the substance showed it produced microscopic holes and tumors
in the brains of experimental mice, epileptic seizures in monkeys, and
was converted by animals into dangerous substances, including
In 1974, however, in spite of the information in its files, the FDA
approved aspartame as a dry-foods additive. But the agency also made
public for the first time the data supporting a food-additive decision.
This data was subsequently reviewed by renowned brain researcher John
Olney from Washington University in St. Louis, and other scientists.
Dr. Olney discovered two studies showing brain tumors in rats and
petitioned FDA for a public hearing. Consumer Action for Improved Foods
and Drugs (represented by the author of this piece) also petitioned for
a public hearing based on the approval process having been based on
sloppy science and the product's having reportedly caused epileptic
seizures in monkeys and possible eye damage.
Dr. Olney had already shown that aspartic acid (one aspartame component)
caused microscopic holes in the brains of rats after each feeding.
Aspartame also includes phenylalinine, which causes PKU in a small
number of susceptible children, and methyl, or wood, alcohol which is
neurotoxic in large amounts.
Faced with this array of possible health dangers, FDA granted the
hearing requests. In lieu of withdrawing its aspartame approval, the
agency prevailed on Searle to refrain from marketing the sweetener until
after completion of the hearing process. it then proposed that a Public
Board of Inquiry (PBOI) review the matter.
In July of 1975, as the FDA prepared for the PBOI, an FDA inspector
conducted a routine review of the Searle's Skokie Ill., testing
facilities and found many deviations from proper procedures. This report
led the FDA commissioner to empanel a Special Commissioner's Task Force
to review Searle's labs.
In December of 1975 the Task force reported serious problem with Searle
research on a wide range of products, including aspartame. It found 11
pivotal studies conducted in a manner so flawed as to raise doubts about
aspartame safety and create the possibility of serious criminal
liability for Searle.
The FDA then stayed aspartame's approval. It also contracted, over
serious internal objection, with a group of university pathologists
(paid by Searle) to review most of the studies, set up a task force to
review three studies and asked the U.S. Attorney for Chicago to seek a
grand jury review of the monkey seizure study.
The pathologists paid by Searle only reviewed failure to properly report
data and not the study's design or conduct. They found no serious
problems. The FDA task force found Searle's key tumor safety study
unreliable, but was ignored. The U.S. attorney let the statue of
limitations run out, then (along with two aides) proceeded to join
Searle's law firm.
While these committees met, the FDA organized the PBOI. Searle, the
petitioners and the FDA Bureau of Foods each nominated three members for
the board and the FDA commissioner selected one member from each list.
the board, which convened in January of 1980, rejected petitioners'
request to include the commissioner's task force information in its
deliberations. Still, in October 1980, based on its limited review, the
board blocked aspartame marketing until the tumor studies could be
explained. Unless the commissioner overruled the board, the matter was
In November 1980, however, the country elected Ronald Reagan President.
Donald Rumsfeld (former congressman from Skokie, former White House
chief of staff, former secretary of defense and since January 1977
president of Searle) joined the Reagan transition team. A full court
press against the board decision began.
In January 1981 Rumsfeld told a sales meeting, according to one
attendee, that he would call in his chips and get aspartame approved by
the end of the year. On January 25th, the day the new president took
office, the previous FDA commissioner's authority was suspended, and the
next month, the commissioner's job went to Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes.
Transition records do not show why the administration chose ***Hayes, a
professor and Defense Department contract researcher.*** In July Hayes,
defying FDA advisors, approved aspartame for dry foods -- his first
major decision. In November 1983 the FDA approved aspartame for soft
drinks -- Hayes' last decision.
In November 1983 Hayes, under fire for accepting corporate gifts, left
the agency and went to Searle's public-relations firm as senior medical
advisor. Later Searle lawyer Robert Shapiro named aspartame NutraSweet.
Monsanto purchased Searle. Rumsfeld received a $12 million bonus.
Shapiro is now Monsanto president.
Shortly after the FDA soft-drink approval, Searle began test marketing,
and complaints began to arrive at the FDA -- of such reactions as
dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, and seizures. The complaints were
more serious than the agency had ever received on any food additive, At
the same time, scientists began looking more closely at this
manufactured chemical sweeetner.
In 1985, the FDA asked the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to review
the first 650 complaints (there are now over 10,000). CDC found that the
symptoms in approximately 25% of the complainants had stopped and then
restarted, corresponding with their having stopped and then restarted,
either purposely or by accident, aspartame consumption.
The CDC also identified several specific subjects whose symptoms stopped
and started as they stopped and started consuming aspartame. The FDA
discounted the report. The day the FDA released the CDC report, Pepsi
Cola -- having obained an advance copy -- announced its switch to
aspartame with a worldwide media blitz.
Former White House Chief of Staff Rumsfeld owed a debt of gratitude to
former White House confidante and Rumsfeld friend Donald Kendal, Pepsi's
chairman. The Pepsi announcement and aggressive marketing (millions of
gumballs, a red and white swirl, tough contracts) made NutraSweet known
in every home.
At the same time, according to data released in 1995, human brain tumors
like those in the animal studies rose 10% and previously benign tumors
turned virulent. Searle and FDA's deputy commissioner said the data
posed no problem. Two years later this same FDA official became vice
president of clinical research for Searle.
>From 1985 to 1995, researchers did about 400 aspartame studies. Theywere divided almost evenly between those that gave assurances and those
that raised questions about the sweetener. Most instructively, Searle
paid for 100% of those finding no problem. All studies paid for by
non-industry sources raised questions.
Given this record, it is little wonder that many health-conscious people
believe avoiding NutraSweet improves their quality of life. If and when
a scientific consensus concludes that aspartame puts some, if not all,
of its consumers at risk, it will be much too late. The point is to eat
safely now. Remember: the brain you save may be your own.
James S. Turner, Esq., is a partner in the 27-year-old Washington, D.C.
consumer-interest law firm of Swankin and Turner. He is the author of
The Chemical Feast: The Nader Report on the Food and Drug
Administration, Making Your Own Baby Food, and a number of law journal
and popular media articles.
Conspiracy Planet Mon Dec 23 2002
The Alternative News & History Network
Your Antidote to Media Cartel Propaganda
Rumsfeld Lobbied FDA Approval of Toxic Aspartame by RM NEWS
(Editor's note: Bush just appointed another unindicted criminal, Donald
Rumsfeld, as Secretary of Defense.
>From Secretary of Defense under Gerald Ford to Chairman and CEO of G.D.Searle (makers of aspartame), to White House Chief of Staff to
Congressman to the board of directors of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, among
other things, this man is apparently really qualified to take over the
position of head of dirty works.
His connections to Ford, Rockefeller, Bush, Cheney, Kissinger, etc. make
him an ideal insider choice.
>From the following website comes this tidbit and much more:http://www.aspartamekills.com/mpvalley/
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER ASPARTAME (EQUAL, NUTRASWEET) LINKED TO BREAST
CANCER AND GULF WAR SYNDROME
"On June 1, 1977, Donald Rumsfeld became Chairman and CEO of G.D.
Searle. Rumsfeld, straight out the White House as Gerald Ford's
Secretary of Defense and before that his Chief of Staff, was a heavy gun
for Searle to secure FDA approval of aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet).
A hard-right Republican who served four terms in Congress
(1962-69),Rumsfeld voted against food stamps, Medicare and anti-poverty
funds. Rumsfeld's political ideology encompasses the stockpiling of
chemical weapons,downsizing the Federal government, and eliminating
funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."
"James Turner, the anti-aspartame advocate alleges that Searle hired
Rumsfeld to handle the aspartame approval difficulties as a "legal
problem rather than a scientific problem."
"On September 30, 1980, the PBOI voted unanimously to reject the use of
aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) until additional studies on aspartame's
potential to cause brain tumors could be done.
On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as
President of the United States, Searle Pharmaceuticals reapplied to the
FDA for aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet) approval.
A former G.D. Searle salesperson, Patty Wood-Allott, revealed that
Donald Rumsfeld, president of Searle, told his sales force that, if
necessary, "he would call in all his markers and that no matter what, he
would see to it that aspartame would be approved that year." (mgold,
Gordon, US Senate Record)
>From the Amylin Pharmaceuticals webpage: Donald Rumsfeld BioMr. Rumsfeld is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gilead
Sciences, Inc. He also serves as a member of the boards of directors
of ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Ltd., Tribune Company and RAND
Corporation. He is currently Chairman of the Salomon Smith Barney
International Advisory Board. He recently completed service as
Chairman of the U.S. Government Commission to Assess the Ballistic
Missile Threat to the United States. From 1991 to 1996, Mr.
Rumsfeld served as a member of the board of directors of Amylin
Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Rumsfeld was Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of General Instrument Corporation from October 1990 to
August 1993 and served as a senior advisor to William Blair & Co.,
an investment banking firm, from 1985 to 1990. He was Chief
Executive Officer of G.D. Searle & Co. from 1977 to 1985. Mr.
Rumsfeld formerly served as U.S. Secretary of Defense, White
House Chief of Staff, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and U.S.
Congressman. He has also served as the President's special envoy to
the Middle East. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award.
revolving door, Monsanto, FDA, EPA: NGIN: Murray 12.23.2 rmforall
aspartame: methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid toxicity:
brief review: Murray 12.23.2 rmforall
Rich Murray, MA Room For All rmforall@...
1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 USA 505-986-9103
for 928 posts in a public searchable archive
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aspartameNM/message/862 long review
formaldehyde & formic acid from methanol in aspartame:
Murray: 12.9.2 rmforall
It is certain that high levels of aspartame use, above 2 liters daily
for months and years, must lead to chronic formaldehyde-formic acid
toxicity, since 11% of aspartame (1,120 mg in 2L diet soda, 5.6 12-oz
cans) is 123 mg methanol (wood alcohol), immediately released into the
body after drinking (unlike the large levels of methanol locked up in
molecules inside many fruits), then quickly transformed into
formaldehyde, which in turn becomes formic acid, both of which in
time become carbon dioxide and water-- however, about 30% of the
methanol remains in the body as cumulative durable toxic metabolites of
formaldehyde and formic acid-- 37 mg daily, a gram every month.
If 10% of the methanol is retained as formaldehyde, that would give 12
mg daily formaldehyde accumulation, about 60 times more than the 0.2 mg
from 10% retention of the 2 mg EPA daily limit for formaldehyde in
Bear in mind that the EPA limit for formaldehyde in
drinking water is 1 ppm,
or 2 mg daily for a typical daily consumption of 2 L of water.
RTM: ATSDR: EPA limit 1 ppm formaldehyde in drinking water July 1999
This long-term low-level chronic toxic exposure leads to typical
patterns of increasingly severe complex symptoms, starting with
headache, fatigue, joint pain, irritability, memory loss, and leading to
vision and eye problems and even seizures. In many cases there is
addiction. Probably there are immune system disorders, with a
hypersensitivity to these toxins and other chemicals.
Confirming evidence and a general theory are given by Pall (2002):
testable theory of MCS type diseases, vicious cycle of nitric oxide &
peroxynitrite: MSG: formaldehyde-methanol-aspartame:
Martin L. Pall: Murray: 12.9.2 rmforall
formaldehyde toxicity: Thrasher & Kilburn: Shaham: EPA: Gold: Murray:
Wilson: CIIN: 12.12.2 rmforall
RTM: FDA: objections to neotame approval 8.3.2 rmforall 38 pages
Murray: submit complaints and papers to FDA Docket 02P-0317
by Jan 12 2003: Recall Aspartame as a Neurotoxic Drug 9.20.2 rmforall
http://www.dorway.com/tldaddic.html 5-page review
Roberts HJ Aspartame (NutraSweet) addiction.
Townsend Letter 2000 Jan; HJRobertsMD@...
Sunshine Sentinel Press P.O.Box 17799 West Palm Beach, FL 33416
800-814-9800 561-588-7628 561-547-8008 fax
aspartame puts formaldehyde adducts into tissues, Part 1/2
full text, Trocho & Alemany 6.26.98: Murray 12.22.2 rmforall
aspartame puts formaldehyde adducts into tissues, Part 2/2
full text, Trocho & Alemany 6.26.98: Murray 12.22.2 rmforall