The Labeling Minefield, with Emphasis on Aspartame

Article excerpt

As an internist, medical consultant and researcher, I have long been concerned over the shortcomings of food drug and "supplement" labeling. The basis for such concern has been documented in a number of original reports about various products. Examples include dolomite, bone meal, vitamin E, monosodium glutamate (MSG), fluoride, and aspartame.

The importance of this matter was stated by Dr. Allen L. Forbes, former director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition: "Extreme care is needed to maintain the accuracy of such information and the integrity of the food label generally."

This issue is clearly illustrated by the 1300 persons with possible aspartame reactions in my database and by many more thousands of consumers who voluntarily reported their severe reactions to this "generally recognized as safe" chemical to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The magnitude of this problem is further indicated by the title of my forthcoming book, Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic. Many of the details also appear in my earlier books and tapes. Information can be obtained from the Sunshine Sentinel Press Web site (www.sunsentpress. com) and from its catalog (800-814-9800).

In my opinion, much of this misery has stemmed from inadequate and misleading labeling as well as from biased "scientific" reports of corporate-- funded studies. Weight-conscious consumers and patients in addition to health care professionals have been denied warnings on these popular "sugar-- free" and "light" foods, sodas, and formulations-with emphasis on diet colas, yogurt, gum, chewable acetaminophen, and palatable pediatric medications. …