Today, it’s easy to see if a beverage contains aspartame. In accordance with Federal law, beverages that contain the controversial artificial sweetener must explicitly disclose such information on the label. Soon, however, consumers may not be able to tell which dairy products contain aspartame, and which do not.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) have filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration, lobbying that the definition of the word “milk” be broadened to include milk varieties that are enriched with “non-nutritive” sweeteners. The petition makes the same request for 17 additional dairy products including yogurt, sour cream, and eggnog, among others (i). If the petition passes, it will become impossible to tell whether or not certain dairy products contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.
According to the petition, eliminating the disclosure requirement could help fight childhood obesity. By making the products more attractive, the agencies feel children will be more inclined to consume low calorie dairy products instead of other high-sugar sodas and juices (ii). Health experts see things differently, however.
The Aspartame Disease
Dr. H.J. Roberts, MD, became famous for coining the term “Aspartame Disease” at the turn of the century. In his book, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic, Dr. Roberts cites evidence that links aspartame consumption with as many as 80% of all complaints filed with the FDA in 1998 (iii).
According to Dr. Roberts, individuals who consume too much aspartame may suffer from a variety of side effects including headache, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pains, memory loss, and fatigue. Dr. Roberts cites additional instances in which aspartame has been linked to fibromyalgia symptoms, joint pain, depression, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that aspartame is safe for consumers, there have been a variety of other studies that have produced evidence that ties aspartame with headache, brain tumors, mental retardation, and cancer.
Aspartame and Headaches. Since 1999, as many as 3 studies have indicated that aspartame may cause headaches. Each study was conducted using 200 adults who regularly suffer with migraines. At the conclusion of 3 randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, evidence clearly indicated that participants who consumed aspartame were susceptible to more frequent and severe headache pain (iv).
Brain Tumors and Mental Retardation. In a report issued exclusively to United States Air Force pilots, the publication Flying Safety warned against consuming aspartame, stating, “Aspartame has been investigated as a possible cause of brain tumors, mental retardation, birth defects, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, and Diabetes,” (v).
Cancer. According to Cancer.org, as many as 2 studies have concluded that aspartame may increase the risk of blood-related cancers in animals (vi). Specifically, lab tests have shown that diets high in aspartame may cause leukemia and lymphoma.
What Can I Do About This?
With so much controversy surrounding the potential health risks of aspartame, it is easy to see why consumers value the right to know what’s added to everyday foods and beverages.
From now until May 21st, 2013, the petition to drop aspartame disclosure requirements for dairy products is available for review and discussion online via the Federal Register. If you feel it is important for food items to disclose ingredients like aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, you may visit the Federal Register online and voice your concern.
This special health report has been produced by Assure a Smile, South Florida’s Home of Holistic Dentistry. For more information, readers are invited to visit the URLs in the Sources section below. Readers may also schedule an appointment with a holistic Miami dentist online, or call our front desk directly at 305-274-0047.
(i) “U.S. Dair Industry Petitions FDA to Approve Aspartame as Hidden, Unlabeled Additive in Milk.” Natural News Online. Accessed 3 March 2013.
(ii) See above.
(iii) “Artificial Sweeteners.” Medicine Net. Accessed 3 March 2013.
(iv) See above.
(v) “The Health Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners.” Global Healing Center. Accessed 3 March 2013.
(vi) “Aspartame.” American Cancer Society. Accessed 3 March 2013.