From the July 2006 Idaho Observer:
State board backs corporations, betrays public health and safety
New Mexico capitulates,declines to hold aspartame ban hearings; corporations receive go ahead to continue poisoning Americans
by Stephen Fox
By denying a petition to ban aspartame in New Mexico by a vote of 5-1 July 6, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) has essentially given a carte blanche to the multinational corporate powers involved that knowingly add aspartame/methanol/formaldehyde to 6,000 manufactured food products in the USA. The Navajo member of the EIB, Harold Tso, was the only one to vote to have hearings.
New Mexico Statute 25-2-13 clearly gives complete regulatory powers to the EIB and to no other state entity for food protection. The EIB voted twice before to convene hearings, and only under pressure from the Ajinomoto Corporation of Japan, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, and the Calorie Control Council, did the EIB capitulate.
This is a very sad day for consumer protection efforts in New Mexico, and the only hope in this context is the reintroduction of a bill to ban aspartame in the 2007 New Mexico Legislature, when no doubt the same corporate interests will be out in even fuller force to manipulate the legislative committees into acquiescence.
What it clarifies to me is that corporate power has run amok in the USA and there is almost no chance that anyone, through state or federal government, can prevent the continued neurodegenerative and carcinogenic effects of Aspartame having been forced through the FDA in 1981 by political rather than medical or scientific means.
EIB Chairman Gay Dillingham, after having received hundreds of emails from victims, physicians, and many other New Mexicans in support of a complete ban on aspartame, used the phrase "I do this with a heavy heart," when she made the motion to deny the petition. The motion was seconded by Dolores Herrera of Albuquerque, who also said she was doing so with a "heavy heart."
One has to wonder whether there is any consumer protection authority remaining in the State of New Mexico when what we observed today was a complete and total failure thereof. No one seems to be willing or able to stand up to protect the people of New Mexico.
When Dr. Gary King, with his Ph.D. in Chemistry and his extensive legal experience, is sworn in as the next Attorney General, we will have an Attorney General who can truly protect the people of New Mexico and establish a long overdue national precedent to rid our state and our nation of an artificial sweetener which is metabolized as methanol and formaldehyde. Plaintiff lawyers might achieve this more rapidly than anyone else by implementing punitive and exemplary damage suits against aspartame manufacturers and corporate end users, comparable to the Tobacco suits in the 1990s.
Note: If you were to poll those with whom Stephen Fox of Santa Fe was working to use New Mexico’s adulterated food law to justify hearings that should lead to an aspartame ban in his state, they would all say the same thing: "I have never seen anyone work harder to move political mountains than Stephen Fox in his campaign to see aspartame banned in New Mexico." By the time the EIB capitulated, every member of the board, the state attorney general and Governor Bill Richardson knew that aspartame is a deadly neurotoxic poison. But corporate power and greed trumps public health and welfare in the America of today.
Why? That question is answered on page 2. Stephen Fox proved once again that, no matter how right you are, there is no relief within the system when unfunded public interests are competing with well-funded corporate interests to obtain marketshare of politicians’ minds. Like it or not, our salvation as political and physical bodies will be realized through people educating and supporting each other. That is, afterall, perfect considering the ONLY reason governments and corporations are able to continue poisoning us is because we, as a nation, let them. (DWH)
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