From the August 2003 Idaho Observer:

Publication exposes politics of sweet slavery, seeks aspartame's removal from world food supply by fall, 2004

SPIRIT LAKE, Idaho -- “The story of aspartame is the story of private industry and government merging interests at the expense of public health and safety,” commented Don Harkins, editor of The Artificially Sweetened Times, an informative special edition publication about aspartame.

The artificial sweetener aspartame was invented by accident in 1965 when G.D. Searle, Co. chemist James Schlatter was working on an ulcer drug. By 1970 Searle had petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for aspartame's approval as an artificial sweetener.

Harkins believes credible science proves that aspartame, which is currently found in some 7,000 commonly consumed products, is an underlying cause of epidemic ill-health in the U.S. “Consumer advocate attorney Jim Turner and John Olney, MD, began opposing aspartame approval medically and scientifically in 1971,” Harkins explained.

Turner and Dr. Olney's work convinced the FDA to inspect Searle's lab practices in 1976. The resultant FDA report triggered a grand jury investigation led by U.S. Attorney Samuel Skinner. By the mid-70s Searle's petition for aspartame approval was mired in allegations of fraud. Credible science was beginning to show how damaging aspartame is to lab animals and humans. The aspartame approval process would have likely resulted in Searle's officers being indicted on a variety of criminal charges had it not been for the naming of Washington, D.C. insider Donald Rumsfeld as Searle CEO in 1977.

“Since Turner and Dr. Olney began opposing government approval of aspartame over 30 years ago, the spectrum of symptoms associated with its use have come to be called “aspartame disease.” After spending dozens of hours looking over hundreds of pages of documents regarding aspartame and its sordid political path for FDA approval, I can see that the one man most responsible for it being in the world's food supply is Donald Rumsfeld. Therefore, we believe it is appropriate to dub the physiological and psychological complications of aspartame consumption, 'Rumsfeld's disease,' Harkins said.

FDA records show that nearly 80 percent of all complaints it receives are adverse reactions to aspartame. “The FDA has known about the dangers of aspartame since the 70s. In the case of aspartame, government product approval is little more than a license to knowingly poison the public for profit,” said AS Times Associate Editor Ingri Cassel.

The AS Times begins by illustrating the aspartame issue and briefly highlighting the history of sweet slavery (the international sugar trade) and how it has been shaping human history since the 9th century. Pages 4 and five cover the claims made by aspartame advocates as to its safety and the science that proves it's not. The publication also provides an aspartame approval process timeline and an action plan encouraging people to help a growing wave of physicians, scientists and aspartame victims and activists accomplish the removal of aspartame from the world's food supply. “The AS Times' supporters, contributors and editors hope to help create a critical mass of public opinion significant enough to achieve the removal of aspartame from the world's food supply by fall, 2004,” Harkins said.

AS Times can be ordered in bundles of 100 for $25 -- includes shipping. Send check, MO or Liberty Currency to:

The Artificially Sweetened Times
PO Box 457
Spirit Lake, Idaho 83869

AS Times can be called at (208) 255-2307.

You can read The Artificially Sweetened Times online at

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The Idaho Observer
P.O. Box 457
Spirit Lake, Idaho 83869
Phone: 208-255-2307