Any obesity-conscious person will encounter the artificial sweetener dilemma, and anybody who looks into it will probably decide to stay away from the stuff, if at all possible. The trouble is, it’s in more than 6,000 food products, as we mentioned before, along with other aspects of aspartame and its spawn — Equal, NutraSweet, Canderel, Equal-Measure, Spoonful, Benevia, NatraTaste, SugarTwin…
Now there is a new one, Neotame. Well, not exactly new. As Dr. Joseph Mercola tells us, it’s been used in a limited way since 2002, to sweeten liquid and solid food products. Since it remains more stable at higher temperatures than aspartame, it’s better for stuff like baked goods, which is one of the reasons we will be eating more of it in the near future.
Furthermore, as Mary Nash Stoddard of FoodFreedom reminds us, Neotame has been approved for inclusion in USDA Certified Organic food items and certified kosher products, without notification on the label! Under the name of Sweetos, it is also added to the feed of animals produced for meat, presumably to satisfy the thousands of complaints from livestock that their grub is not sweet enough. (Just kidding.) Seriously, Stoddard quotes Craig Petray of the NutraSweet Company:
Sweetos guarantees the masking of unpleasant tastes and odor and improves the palatability of feed.
Indeed, artificial sweeteners serve to mask the smells and tastes of other murky ingredients in the pseudo-foods that are peddled to humans. “Improves the palatability,” eh? Exactly. Neotame turns fake food, ersatz food, and junk food into what Dr. David Kessler and others call “hyperpalatable” food — the kind that can lure a person straight into an addictive dependence on the food.
Neotame is added to cattle chow so the beasts will lose all semblance of appetite control because they need to eat plenty to be fattened up for slaughter. Could this concoction possibly have the same effect on humans? Think about it!
Neotame is from 30 to 60 times as sweet as aspartame, and a whopping 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sucrose, or regular old sugar. The defenders of Neotame say not to worry. Due to the increased intensity of the sweetness, a little bit goes a long way, so the human who consumes Neotame only gets a tiny serving of a neurotoxin (brain poison) that is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of hazardous chemicals.
That toxic substance, 3,3-dimethylbutyraldehyde, reacts with the aspartame in a solution of methanol (wood alcohol) and after a few more industrial steps, presto! It’s an artificial sweetener, ready to go into your strawberry shortcake. The 3,3-dimethylbutyraldehyde substance is known to be an irritant to the respiratory system, skin, and eyes, aside from being highly flammable. All the 3,3-dimethylbutyraldehyde factories are in China, where the health of laborers is not a high priority, and the manufacture of Neotame appears to be its only known use.
As Neotame breaks down in the body, formaldehyde (embalming fluid) is created as a byproduct. Independent research into aspartame has pointed to undesirable side effects, including seizures, brain tumors, and other bad outcomes. But corporate-sponsored studies have always found it to be absolutely safe. Quel surprise! Dr. Mercola has this to say about that:
In a search of pubmed.gov, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, which has over 11 million medical citations, Neotame returns zero double-blind scientific studies on toxicity in humans or animals… If Monsanto truly had nothing to fear… they would have funded rigorous independent testing for safety. To date they have not…
Anyway, Monsanto has since sold the company, but at the time when Neotame was approved, there was some conflict-of-interest stuff going on between the company and the FDA. Mercola says,
Many people actually consider the FDA to be a ‘subsidiary’ of the Monsanto Company. It sounds impossible, but when you look at all the Monsanto executives who have gone through the revolving door between private industry and government oversight, a truly disturbing picture emerges of the foxes guarding the henhouse. The FDA is packed by pro-business, pro-corporation advocates who often have massive conflicts of interest when it comes to protecting the health of the public.
As an extra bonus, Dr. Mercola tells how to file a consumer complaint with the Food and Drug Administration, if you think artificial sweeteners have adversely affected your health. We figure he won’t mind if we share. Go to the FDA’s Consumer Complaint Coordinator page and call the designated coordinator for your state.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “The Newest Dangerous Sweetener to Hit Your Food Shelves…,” articles.mercola.com, 02/08/11
Source: “Monsanto’s Neotame molecule allowed in USDA certified organic foods,” FoodFreedom, 12/22/10
Image by Hyokano, used under its Creative Commons license.