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Artificial Sweeteners: The Dark Truth

On quite a few occasions in history, the very government you have put your trust in has completely betrayed you for money.

As a result of one such betrayal, you’re probably using something right now to lose weight that has the EXACT opposite effect.

You might even have it in your hand at this very moment.

And not only that…

It was rejected by the FDA for public safety reasons… only to have that rejection reversed for political and financial reasons.

And that thing is artificial sweeteners.

You’re not going to like the story I’m about to tell you… but you’ll definitely be glad you’re no longer in the dark…

And you’ll also be glad you know how to enjoy the taste of healthy foods without these fake chemicals… which I’m also going to tell you.

So, let’s get right to it.

The year was 1970. The timing was perfect.

Manufacturer GD Searle publicly announced the development of a new calorie-free sweetener, aspartame, to an increasingly diet-conscious public. 1

With another leading sweetener, cyclamate, being banned by the FDA the previous year, 2 aspartame (a.k.a. “Equal/NutraSweet”) was poised to make a PILE of money…

IF it could get FDA approval.

So, GD Searle commissioned a series of studies and submitted them to the FDA to show that aspartame was safe for people to eat. 3

On the “merits” of these corporate-funded studies, the FDA approved aspartame for limited use in 1974… 4


After Dr. John Olney, an aspartame researcher, and James Turner, a prominent consumer protection attorney, filed thorough petitions objecting to the approval… 5

The FDA went back and investigated Searle’s studies and found that the results had been disturbingly falsified:

  • Tumors were cut out of aspartame test animals and thrown away, and those animals were then reported as healthy.
  • Primates had gran mal seizures after consuming aspartame, yet these seizures were left out of the FDA submission reports.
  • Test animals that had been reported dead were later reported as alive… then dead again… then alive again. 6

The sordid list goes on… and on…

And these shocking revelations prompted the FDA to shut down aspartame’s approval and launch a 1977 Grand Jury investigation into Searle’s aspartame safety studies… 7

So… What happened?

Well, the two main U.S. Attorneys leading the investigation suddenly withdrew, stalling the investigation until the statute of limitations ran out… 8

…because both of those U.S. Attorneys — William Conlon and Samuel Skinner — were hired to lucrative positions by Sidley and Austin, Searle’s law firm. 9

Let me run that back again…

These two U.S. Attorneys took jobs representing the company they were supposed to be investigating.

And if you think that’s bad, things were about to get much worse…

You see, after the dust settled, Searle re-submitted aspartame for approval in 1981, 10 and a five-scientist panel was assigned to do the final evaluation. 11

This time, though, Searle would have an inside man in the White House.

After all, they’d invested tens of millions into aspartame at this point. Rejection was not an option.

So, in preparation for this new submission, Searle’s CEO, Donald Rumsfeld — whose name you may already know — secured a spot on President Reagan’s transition team 12 to help appoint a new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr 13

And when the five-scientist panel voted 3-2 against approval of aspartame… 14

Hayes appointed an extra voting scientist to deadlock the vote and then unilaterally forced aspartame’s approval himself. 15, 16

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a reported carcinogen became legal to sell to humans for consumption.

Hayes resigned from the FDA shortly thereafter and took a consulting job with Burston Marsteller, Searle’s PR firm… for $1,000.00/day. 17

Notice a recurring theme here? All these decision-makers ended up on Searle’s payroll.

Soon after the approval, a tidal wave of artificially-sweetened “diet” foods and drinks flooded the market, and Searle made BILLIONS from the sales of aspartame.

And with this new diet food industry exploding into the deceived public’s consciousness…

Two more artificial sweeteners — saccharin (Sweet’N Low) and later sucralose (Splenda) — achieved massive popularity as well.

People everywhere were now buying and ingesting copious amounts of these chemicals to try and slim down.

A billion dollar industry: Aspartame, saccharin,
and sucralose now appear everywhere you go.

So, what was the result of all this?

Well, many people have reported dizziness, headaches, high blood pressure, and a slew of other symptoms from aspartame. 18

In fact, there are aspartame toxicity support groups all over the Web, 19, 20, 21 and numerous books have been written about aspartame health dangers as well. 22, 23, 24

There have even been some studies that have linked aspartame and other sweeteners to more serious diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. 25, 26, 27, 28


There’s a much more common, immediate problem that’s caused not only by aspartame, but by other artificial sweeteners like saccharin and sucralose as well…

And it completely contradicts the reason for using these substances in the first place:

Artificial sweeteners make you fatter. 29, 30

Think about it… Have you ever seen anyone get thin on a “Diet Soda Diet”?

Me, neither.

In fact, despite the diet food craze of the past 30 years, Americans are heavier than ever before.

The trend is so alarming that Dr. Sharon P.G. Fowler of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio led a groundbreaking study to investigate this phenomenon.

This long-term study followed 749 aging people between 1992 and 2004, and uncovered some shocking results:

  • People who occasionally drank diet soda added more than twice as many inches to their waistlines as non-drinkers.
  • People who drank diet soda daily added more than three times as many inches to their waistlines as non-drinkers. 31

But that makes no sense… Diet sodas have no calories! Why did they gain weight?

Well, a pair of studies published in the American Journal of Obesity managed to make some sense of this:

Researchers found that rats who had artificial sweeteners added to their food consistently over-ate at mealtime compared to the rats that didn’t consume artificial sweeteners. 32

In other words, artificial sweeteners make you crave more food.

It kind of makes it hard to lose weight when you’re consuming something that makes it painful not to overeat.

And it’s for this reason that I highly recommend you cut these unnatural chemicals out of your diet entirely. There’s absolutely nothing in them that is at all good for you…

That being said, I know how hard it is to make a change like this.

So, let me make three very simple suggestions that worked really well for me when I was kicking my own diet soda habit…

  • If you must have the occasional diet soda, I recommend going with those sweetened with stevia — a more natural, plant-based sweetener. Stevia versions of several major soda brands are sold in stores, and it’s written right there on the can.
  • Ultimately, though, your goal should be to cut sodas entirely. A very tasty alternative is to cut some fresh fruit and put it in sparkling water to flavor it. It’s insanely refreshing. In fact, I now prefer it to sodas!
  • Gradually ramp down the sweet foods and drinks you consume. Try to go every other day with no added sugar or sweeteners of any kind — one day on, one day off. After a week or two of that, go to 2 days a week. Then 1 day a week.


Water with real fruit: a delicious and healthy way to kick the soda habit.

Now, there’s also a really pleasant side effect of cutting back on sweets like this…

Over time, consuming sweets builds up your tastebuds’ tolerance for sweetness, meaning normal, unsweetened foods taste bland to you.

But as you cut back on sweets, this tolerance goes back down, and real foods start to taste much sweeter.

I was shocked by this effect two weeks after cutting sweets when I ate a few fresh strawberries… and they tasted like candy!

Believe me: As your tastebuds get back to normal, natural foods start to become unimaginably delicious!

As you start to feel healthier from cutting the bad stuff from your diet, this added bonus is just a little something extra to look forward to. 🙂

So, start making the change today, and you may even begin to notice a difference within a day or two!

And as always, I hope you’ve found this helpful.

After all, it’s very important to me to keep covering topics that are important to you!

Also, if you found this article helpful… don’t forget to share this information with your friends and family!

You can share it by clicking one of the social media sharing icons at the top or bottom of this page!

Stay healthy,

Dr. Amy Lee
Nucific Board of Directors


1 Cloninger et. al. Aspartylphenylalaninemethyl Ester: A Low Calorie Sweetener. Science. Feb. 1970. 170: 81-82.

2 42 FR 14659, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 49 FR 10114, Mar. 19, 1984; 54 FR 24899, June 12, 1989.

3 Gold M. Recall Aspartame as a Neurotoxic Drug: File #7: Aspartame History. FDA Docket # 02P-0317. Jan 12, 2002.

4 Id. at 1.

5 Graves F., Congressional Record 1985a. p. S5498 (1984).

6 Ibid. at 1.

7 Ibid. at 1.

8 Gordon G., US Senate 1987. p. 497. (1987).

9 Id. at 497.

10 Gold at 1.

11 Gordon at 498.

12 Washington Post Staff. Profiles of Key Members of the President-Elect’s Transition Team. Washington Post. Nov 17, 1980: A-17.

13 Graves at S5502.

14 Gordon at 499.

15 Id. at 499.

16 Graves at S5497.

17 Gordon at 499.

18 Gold M. Recall Aspartame as a Neurotoxic Drug: File #4: Reported Aspartame Toxicity Reactions. FDA Docket # 02P-0317. Jan 12, 2002.

19 See for example: Aspartame Consumer Safety Network;

20 See for example: WNHO Aspartame Support Group;

21 See for example: Starr Resources International & Children Harmed By Aspartame;

22 See for example: Roberts HJ. Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic. West Palm Beach, FL: Sunshine Sentinel Press; 2001.

23 See for example: Blaylock, RL. Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills. Santa Fe, NM: Health Press; 1997.

24 See for example: Hull JS. Sweet Poison: How the World’s Most Popular Artificial Sweetener Is Killing Us – My Story. Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press; 1999.

25 Gold M. Recall Aspartame as a Neurotoxic Drug: File #1. FDA Docket # 02P-0317. Jan 12, 2002.

26 Yang M, Lu J, Rizak J, et. al. Alzheimer’s disease and methanol toxicity (part 1): chronic methanol feeding led to memory impairments and tau hyperphosphorylation in mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014; 41 (4): 1117-1129. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-131529

27 Yang M, Lu J, Rizak J, et. al. Alzheimer’s disease and methanol toxicity (part 2): lessons from four rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) chronically fed methanol. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014; 41 (4): 1131-1147. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-131532

28 Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Manservigi M, et. al. Sucralose administered in feed, beginning prenatally through lifespan, induces hematopoietic neoplasias in male swiss mice. Am J Ind Med. Dec 2010; 53 (12): 1197-1206. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.20896

29 Fowler SPG, Williams K, Hazuda HP. Diet Soda Intake Is Associated with Long-Term Increases in Waist Circumference in a Biethnic Cohort of Older Adults: The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. April 2015; 63 (4): 708-715. DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13376

30 Davidson TL, Swithers SE. A Pavlovian Approach to the Problem of Obesity. Int J Obes. 2004; 28: 933–935. DOI:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802660

31 Fowler at 708-715.

32 Davidson at 933-935.

About the Author

Dr. Amy Lee

Dr. Amy Lee has board certifications in internal medicine, physician nutrition and obesity medicine specialty. She practices internal medicine with a heavy emphasis on nutrition, wellness and weight management. Her Clinical nutrition fellowship training at UCLA has allowed her to incorporate realistic lifestyle modification in all her medicine patients.