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Short of completely avoiding processed food, growing your own, and getting to know your local farmer, there is very little you can realistically do to avoid ingesting Neotame, the new and improved version of the neurotoxic artificial sweetner Aspartame. Get it - Neo - new Aspartame? Not even buying certified organic is a reliable way to avoid it, not only in beverages but in all the food you eat, because no labeling of its presence is required.

Aspartame can step aside. There's a new sweetener in town and it isn't saddled with the inconvenience of having to be listed on labels, so it can be sneaked into any prepared food, even USDA so-called Organic. So sayeth the FDA. Neotame is a Monsanto-created chemical similar to Aspartame, including its neurotoxic properties.
If you thought that you could find it on a food label, or that it would have to be listed on food that is certified organic, you would be wrong. The labeling requirements that applied to Aspartame were dropped for Neotame.
The food labeling requirements required for aspartame have now been dropped for Neotame, and no one is clearwhy this was allowed to happen.

As Monsanto's patent for Aspartame was nearing expiration, they developed the strategy of adding a hazardous chemical to to it, making it sweeter, and more toxic, and calling it Neotame. There was no trouble in getting FDA approval, which then also waived labeling requirements.

Monsanto developed Neotame as their Aspartame patent was expiring, and had no trouble in gaining FDA approval in 2002. They added 3-dimethylbutyl, a chemical listed as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to Aspartame, making it both sweeter and more toxic.

Both Aspartame and Neotame contain substances that are metabolized into formaldehyde, a highly toxic poison, and an excitotoxic amino acid that agitates, thereby damaging, nerves.

Neotame has similar structure to aspartame -- except that, from it's structure, appears to be even more toxic than aspartame. This potential increase in toxicity will make up for the fact that less will be used in diet drinks. Like aspartame, some of the concerns include gradual neurotoxic and immunotoxic damage from the combination of the formaldehyde metabolite (which is toxic at extremely low doses) and the excitotoxic amino acid.

Even Monsanto's own pre-approval studies of neotame revealed adverse reactions. Unfortunately, Monsanto only conducted a few one-day studies in humans rather than encouraging independent researchers to obtain NIH funding to conduct long-term human studies on the effects of neotame.

Neotame can even be ingested second-hand because it is used in animal feed. A product called Sweetos, containing Neotame, is fed to cattle in place of molasses, to cover up the smell of rancid food they are fed. This will never make it into any label. Why would the FDA loosen the labeling requirements for this product?
It looks like the FDA's loosening of labeling rules for Neotame is part of a large-scale effort to make it a near-ubiquitous artificial sweetener, to be found on the tabletop, in all prepared foods—even organics—and even in the meats consumed.
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Michael Taylor was appointed in 2009 by President Obama to the newly created post of Senior Adviser to the Commissioner of the FDA. Michael Taylor, noted 'food safety expert' has long history of boucing between jobs as lawyer to Monsanto, working for Monsanto, being a lobbyist for Monsanto, a position at the USDA, and going back and forth from there to the FDA.

There was much objection to his appointment when it was originally made, and it only took two years for a negative predicted result to happen. This is a classic example of the revolving door between lobbyists for and from large business, and their appointments to government agencies where they rule favorably for the corporations. This was supposed to stop in President Obama's administration.

There is a petition at Signon.Org objecting to the appointment of Michael Taylor to the FDA and calling on President Obama to cut ties with Monsanto.

Originally posted to Barefoothoofcare on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Science Matters, Sustainable Food and Agriculture, and Kansas City Kossaks.

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