(PRWEB) September 16, 2004
In 1981, aspartame was approved by the FDA despite several FDA scientists' disapproval. This occured with assistance from a significant force in politics: Donald Rumsfeld, our present Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld was the CEO and President of G.D. Searle who used his Washington connections to get Aspartame walked through the FDA. Prior to his work with G.D. Searle, Rumsfeld was Chief of Staff under the Ford Administration.
In a new documentary produced by Sound and Fury Productions, consumer attorney Jim Turner provides a candid report of his exchange with Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was part of Reagan's transition team when the FDA's board of inquiry was overruled on aspartame. What followed was a single-minded force of politics over science.
The new Reagan appointed FDA commissioner, Arthur Hull Hays, overruled the public board of inquiry and approved aspartame as a food additive despite FDA scientists' rejection of the use of aspartame for human consumption.
In his interview for the documentary "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World", Consumer Attorney Jim Turner recalls crucial moments when Rumsfeld did consider further studies with sincere protocols because of prior invalid research findings.
Meanwhile, FDA scientists, Dr. Phillip Brodsky, Dr. Adrian Gross, and Dr. Jerome Bressler were gravely concerned over specific problems linking aspartame with brain tumors, brain lesions, and overall brain chemistry. Another concerned neuroscientist, Dr. John Olney, who founded the field of neuroscience called excitotoxicity, studied aspartame extensively and expressed his grave concern of the serious negative health effects on the human body.
But the concerns of these top scientists were of no concern to Rumsfeld. At some point during the negotiations, Jim Turner describes the ultimate decision by Rumsfeld. Turner stated Rumsfeld decided to solve this problem as a political problem....not as a scientific problem.
In 1980, with no surprise to Jim Turner, the FDA Board of Inquiry rejected the use of aspartame until further studies of aspartame and brain tumors were done. However, Rumsfeld politics soon entered the picture.
Donald Rumsfeld was part of Ronald Reagan's transition team when Reagan took office in 1981. In a very unusual move, Reagan issued an executive order barring the current FDA commissioner from taking any action prior to the new commissioner's appointment. The following events sent shockwaves through the scientific community.
One day after Reagan was inaugurated, G.D. Searle reapplied for aspartame's approval. The newly appointed FDA commissioner, (then Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes), suddenly overruled the board of inquiry and approved aspartame for use as a food additive. Shortly after his approval of aspartame in softdrinks in 1983, Hayse left the FDA under charges of impropriety, but shortly afterwards, accepted a job for $1,000/Day with G.D. Searle's public relations law firm. Was this a payoff for prior services of Hayes in getting Aspartame approved without further studies to validate its safety?
Turner's account of his exchange with Rumsfeld and G.D. Searle offer remarkable insight into the decision-making process of our current Secretary of Defense. It shows that Rumsfeld solves problems politically, not scientifically. Turner's account provides further understanding of how we arrived at our current mess in Iraq based on Rumsfeld "problem solving" decision methods using politics, not science.
The video clip can currently be linked at the following URL:
# # #