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Published on 27 Sep 2008
This is my edit of the Aspartame segment that aired on TVNZ Ch1 Closeup programme which featured Dr Bernadene Magnuson, of the "International Food Biotechnology Council" which is run by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) which is a Washington-D.C. based lobby group funded by food, chemical and drug companies. Primarily it acts on behalf of the global food manufacturing industry, but it also includes operations involved with agriculture and genetic modification; pesticides and pharmaceuticals; confectionery; and even with such dubious consumables as cigarettes.However, its private agenda has often been designed to thwart attempts to regulate or reduce public exposure to many dangerous or environmentally-damaging substances. Its private interests are focussed on the financial benefits of its major backers the larger food companies and their trade associations.
This imbalance led, eventually, to the World Health Organization banning the organisation from direct involvement in WHO (and related agencies) activities. Also see how it caved in to G.D.Searle over Nutrasweet trials, and how it rejected two grant proposals in 1985 when a researcher raised questions about the sweeteners effects on children. The researcher later commented that; "Theres an internal conflict of interest, when a company, which has profit at the bottom line, is charged with finding out the true safety of its product." 12.0 12.1 Gregory Gordon, "NutraSweet: Questions Swirl", UPI, 1987.
The ILSI also lobbies to promote the acceptance of genetic modification of foodstuffs, which is not particularly surprising since both Monsanto and Syngenta are on ILSI's governing board of trustees, and play a substantial role on many committees. (Monsanto make Aspartame) Between 1983 and 1998 the ILSI provided assistance to the tobacco industry in its attempts to subvert many attempts at legislative control over the industry's activities. It was effective, because it represented itself as an independent and unbiased scientific body, with international (including World Health Organization) credentials. It was only interested in maintaining scientific standards in the debate over questions of smoking and health, it claimed. This features Abby Cormack who has given talks on the dangers of Aspartame with Dr. Betty Martini of the website and group Mission Possible. If you suffer strange side effects like numbness, tingling, poor memory headaches etc then google "aspartame side effects" and check it out. Thank you. Part two coming soon - once ive finished the edit, cheers PJ