Archive for February 28th, 2013

Sad Milk Mustache :{(

by lizard

In a post last week I cited this ThinkProgress piece about 5 ways the sequester could make you sick—a quick list of things that are already bad, but will likely get worse with sequester cuts, like the FDA:

1. More Americans could be put at risk for foodborne illnesses. The number of Americans who get sick or die after consuming contaminated food has increased 44 percent over the last two years. The FDA is currently stretched too thin after rounds of budget cuts to food safety programs, and the sequester will only worsen the situation even more. Cuts to the FDA would lead to 2,100 fewer food inspections across the country, putting more Americans at risk for contracting foodborne illnesses — which already cost the United States about $152 million each year to treat.

And while it might be interesting to speculate why the holy markets did not freak out today after yawning up to the final hours of this manufactured deadline, that’s not what I was asked to write about tonight.

I don’t write too often about the food industry, save a flippant tweet now and then about how I think Monsanto = pure evil. But tonight, at the request of my wife, I’d like to support my wife’s opinion that it would be utterly fucking stupid to allow aspartame to be added to milk, sans label:

Aspartame in milk without extra labeling became a possibility as of last week when the FDA acknowledged a petition from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation(NMPF), which was filed in 2009.

The Huffington Post reports that the petition asks permission by dairy lobbyists to include artificial sweeteners in milk, along with other dairy products, without requiring a prominent label.

The petition immediately garnered criticism from those who oppose aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. The ingredient has been blamed for causing cancer. It was also the subject of a recent study that claims the ingredient causes changes in a person’s brain chemistry, making them crave high-calorie foods.

With a quick browsing of the mighty internet, I learned of an e-mail scare regarding Aspartame that some consider the stuff of urban myth.

I also learned this super-sweet/no-calorie substance the milk industry wants to sneak into our milk supply is linked to stuff like this:

From the early ‘80’s, consumer complaints began pouring into the FDA related to aspartame use. Among the symptoms reported are the following:

hearing loss
numbness and tingling of extremities
blurred vision
eye problems
memory loss
slurred speech
mild to suicidal depression
personality changes
violent episodes
mood changes
anxiety attacks
heart arrhythmia
edema or swelling
gastrointestinal disorders
skin lesions
muscle cramps
joint pains
menstrual irregularities
chest pain
increased appetite

In addition to the above symptoms, aspartame use can mimic a number of autoimmune diseases. Betty Martini, founder of Mission Possible, an organization dedicated to spread information about problems with aspartame, found that methanol toxicity causes metabolic acidosis and mimics multiple sclerosis (MS). She lists the following symptoms as “aspartame disease”: fibromyalgia, spasms, shooting pains, joint pains, depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, and memory loss. In addition to MS, aspartame may also either mimic or trigger the following illnesses:

chronic fatigue syndrome
post-polio syndrome
lyme disease
Meuniere disease
Alzheimer disease

Fortunately, most of these symptoms are reversible, and disappear once aspartame is discontinued.

So maybe it’s time to put down the Diet Coke, because it’s probably killing you.

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