Anti-Aspartame Activists Don’t Take No for an Answer

Hawaii Chapter of Mission Possible: A Small Group with Big Plans

By Catherine Cluett

A group of activists taking steps to ban aspartame, an artificial sweeter, from food, beverages and pharmaceuticals in Hawaii saw increased turnout at their meeting Saturday night. Last year they introduced the issue as a bill to state legislature, but made it only as far as the resolution stage before it was dismissed. This year, the group plans to reintroduce bill to the state House and Senate, hoping to build more support along the way, and planning for better success the second time around.

The group, based here on Molokai, forms the Hawaii chapter of Mission Possible, an international health organization dedicated to raising awareness about and eradicating the use of aspartame. The group hopes to make the anti-aspartame movement important enough to Hawaiians to become an integral part of candidates’ platforms in the upcoming elections.

The FDA under Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes approved aspartame as a food additive in the United States in 1981. But Jade Brujhell, leader of the Mission Impossible Hawaiian chapter, is quick to point out that aspartame’s clean bill of approval might not have been so clean. Hayes was a close friend of Donald Rumsfeld, former United States Secretary of Defense and CEO of G.D. Searle, aspartame’s manufacturer.

Brujhell says he has reason to believe that the FDA has ulterior motives in approving aspartame as a non-toxic food additive. “There is extensive scientific research conducted by medical experts specializing in fields such as toxicology and neurology showing undeniable evidence that aspartame is a neurotoxin and causes serious harm,” says Brujhell. He suggests possible links between aspartame and biological weapons.

“They feed us poisons in our food, then you have to go to the hospital to fix it. But the medicines they give you contain the same poisons,” explains Mission Possible member John Wordin. Aspartame is found in the seizure medication Dilantin and other medications often used to treat diseases linked to aspartame.

In May 2008, the group released a Citizens’ Declared Emergency Public Health Crisis/Alert informing fellow citizens of the dangers of aspartame. The alert describes the diseases and symptoms linked to aspartame’s use, and also includes an Adverse Reaction Report Form for consumer documentation, and a petition to be signed and submitted to the Attorney General of the State of Hawaii for “eliminating aspartame from the food, beverage and pharmaceutical products in the State of Hawaii.” The crisis alert has also been submitted to Hawaii State legislators and the state Department of Health.

The Mission Possible Hawaii chapter is planning a public meeting on September 8 for those interested in the issue.

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