Pete's original writings from the Heart of the World, plus fly-tying

Sunday, June 6


I first heard about the Aspartame (NutraSweet®) controversy on "Fresh Air" from radio station WHYY. During her interview with host Terry Gross, guest Devra Davis, the Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, described Aspartame testing done by Italian researchers who extended the usual 3-year testing protocol to 5 years. This exposure to Aspartame resulted in a large number of brain tumors in the subject mice. Davis added details of possible political influence in the final FDA approval of Aspartame. Her biggest concern, however, was in the possible effects long-term exposure to Aspartame might have on our kids.
As one of the many "alphas" waiting for a cure for Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, I know that promising lab mice studies often prove misleading. As for the political shenanigans, I wouldn't be surprised but have no proof. Still, I've encouraged family and friends with kids to check ingredient labels and consider avoiding Aspartame. Better safe than sorry? Search "Aspartame" in Google and make an informed choice for your children's future.