NM Legislators Ask President Bush, FDA's Von Eschenbach, and US Health Secretary Leavitt to Rescind FDA Approval for Artificial Sweetener Aspartame

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This request is based on 25 years of medical evidence about the harm that it has done, and is included in a letter which is the subject of the press release, which includes the complete text of the United Kingdom Member of Parliament from Wales, Roger Williams about the effects of formaldehyde internally, and the fact that in 1979, aspartame was considered by the Pentagon as a biochemical weapon, yet today is found in 6000 USA food products and 500 children's medications. Media questions should be directed to New Mexico Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino (505) 250-1280.

to prevent further neurological damage to the 70% of Americans and 40% of our American children who consume Aspartame...and to protect the health of many other nations...

In an October 18, 2006 letter, 11 members of the New Mexico Legislature have requested President Bush, President George Walker Bush, Andrew Von Eschenbach, M.D.,FDA Commissioner nominee, and Michael Okerlund Leavitt United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, to rescind the approval for Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, due to its metabolites as methanol and formaldehyde stating that "when Aspartame is heated, it becomes a proven brain tumor-causing agent, diketopiperazine. Aspartame is now found in 6000 USA food products and more than 500 medications, including "Diet" sodas, "Low Fat" Yogurt, Sugarless Chewing Gum, and other USA products."

The letter from the Legislators cites in full the letter from 46 members of the United Kingdom Parliament, dated January 30, 2006 by Roger Williams, the Member of Parliament from Radnorshire, Wales, stating:

That this House expresses deep concern over the numerous independent toxicological studies and thousands of subjective reports attesting to the toxic effects of the artificial sweetener aspartame on human health; notes that aspartame, once patented as a biochemical warfare agent, is the synthetically produced methyl ester of a dipeptide which is readily broken down in the gut to release methanol; further notes that in naturally occurring foodstuff methanol is either not released into the body or present together with natural defence mechanisms that mitigate its toxic effects; recognises that methanol is a well known poison and is further converted into formaldehyde, a class A carcinogen according to the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer; accepts that severe health concerns occur from the gradual accumulation of formaldehyde in the body which cannot be excreted and that further research has shown that long term low level exposure to formaldehyde induces leukaemia and nasopharyngeal cancer in humans; acknowledges that of the 166 studies conducted on aspartame's safety deemed relevant to humans, 92 per cent. of independently sponsored studies identified one or more problems with aspartame's safety whereas industry-sponsored studies found unanimously in favour of aspartame's safety; and urges the Government to abide by the precautionary principle and make use of Statutes 13 and 16 of the 1990 Food Safety Act to remove aspartame from the permitted list of additives on the UK market.

The New Mexico Legislators informed Mr. Bush, Dr. Von Eschenbach, and Mr. Leavitt that they have the obligation "to prevent further neurological damage to the 70% of Americans and 40% of our American children who consume Aspartame...and to protect the health of many other nations...," which is "preferable that Bush, Von Eschenbach, and Leavitt do this, rather than the United States Senate having to later make rescinding FDA approval for Aspartame and other deleterious and poisonous substances a condition upon which Dr. Von Eschenbach's nomination approval is contingent."

The Legislators noted that the President's concerns should not be with corporate objections and continued allegations that their products are "safe."

Their letter concluded by stating that: "It is unacceptable that a chemical considered in 1979 by the Pentagon for a biochemical warfare agent two years later be approved for adding to 6000 USA food products and more than 500 medications, including children's vitamins and aspirin."

The letter was also signed by:

Senator John Pinto, Chairman, Indian and Cultural Affairs

Senator Carlos Cisneros, Chairman Conservation Committee

Senator Leonard Tsosie, Member, Finance Committee

Representative Rick Miera, Chair, House Education Committee

Representative Ray Begaye, Vice Chair, Agriculture and Water Resources

Representative Bobby Gonzales, Vice Chair, House Taxation and Revenue Committee

Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton, House Majority Whip

Representative Harriet Ruiz Chair, Enrolling and Engrossing

Representative Richard Vigil, Vice Chair, House Education Committee

Representative W.C. Williams, Member, House Education Committee

If anyone has any questions call, Stephen Fox at 505-983-2002.

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