Ditch the Diet Coke, the facts are out

True Independence Needed For NZFSA Aspartame Review.

The Soil & Health Association of NZ is impressed with the Phoenix Organics ‘Think Before You Drink’ anti-aspartame campaign and their bringing into the public arena the shonky science and politics behind the approval of the artificial sweetener.

“Having 20,000 bottles of Phoenix Organic Cola with labels highlighting concerns with aspartame, is a great counter to Coca-Cola’s ‘Make Every Drop Matter’ pro-aspartame campaign,” said Soil & Health spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“Soil & Health wants Diet Coke out of all schools in 2008 as a step towards withdrawing aspartame out of all New Zealand food and drinks, and the certified organic Phoenix drinks show there are wholesome alternatives.”

“Phoenix and Soil & Health share a concern that the decisions of New Zealand food safety authorities accept outcomes from apparent corrupt international scientific and political processes. Aspartame was introduced to the worlds food supply in 1983 aftercorrupt US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) processes.” corrupt.”

“The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) continues to claim that aspartame is one of the most studied substances in the world, yet conveniently brushes aside the fact that while all industry-funded studies do not show a problem, the overwhelming majority of independent studies do.”

“Of 166 studies felt to have relevance for questions of human safety, 74 had Nutrasweet (an aspartame brand) industry-related funding and 92 were independently funded. One hundred percent of the industry funded research attested to aspartame’s safety, whereas nearly all of the independently funded research identified problems.”

“Soil & Health is also concerned that the current Government review of NZFSA decision-making processes, including decisions around A2 milk and aspartame, will not be as independent as proposed.”

The review is using the services of international expert Dr Stuart Slorach because of his experience in risk management as Chair of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) during its critical establishment phase, and as Chair of the international food standards setting agency, the Codex Alimentarius.

“However EFSA has often slavishly followed the mantra of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is highly influenced by giant food industry interests, and the Codex approach is based more on trade and economics than genuine consumer protection. Dr Slorach is more likely to give a tick of approval to NZFSA’s aspartame decision-making, considering EFSA’s approach so far,” said Mr Browning.

“Ditching Diet Coke, enjoying organic juices and getting genuine independent research will be great Christmas presents for New Zealand consumers.”

Soil & Health advocates natural sweeteners, following its motto: Healthy Soil, Healthy Food and Healthy People.


* Aspartame (951, Equal, Nutrasweet) is an artificial sweetener found in over 6000 products including diet drinks, sugar free products, dietary supplements, sports drinks and medications.
* Aspartame has been linked to many health symptoms, including those expressed as ADHD, anxiety, depression, irritability, confusion, memory loss, insomnia, dizziness, migraines, cramps, abdominal pain, numbness or tingling of extremities, rashes, chronic fatigue, and sight and personality changes.

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