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Special Report
Parents Say No to Artificial Sweeteners
British Columbia Canada Education Ministry Bans All Artificial Sweeteners in Elementary, Middle Schools
Special Contribution
By John O'Connor
British Columbia Canada Education Ministry bans all artificial Sweeteners in elementary and mddle schools.

Despite the findings by Health Canada that artificial sweeteners are safe, parents in B.C. have decided to play it safe and say no. The B.C. Ministry of Education has recently pulled all artificial sweeteners from being sold in B.C. primary and middle schools after consultations with parents of school children.

"I'd be very suspicious of Aspartame," said former Nicola Valley Teacher's Union leader, Ralph Poynting. "I wouldn't put it in there, why take the chance?"

The findings were issued in the September 2007 Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in B.C. Schools enacted by the B.C. ministries of education and health as part of a healthy schools initiative. The ministry came to its after consultations with parents, trustees, and dieticians.

The guidelines allow for artificial sweeteners in small amounts and as a condiment in secondary schools, but not in elementary or middle schools.

"The studies related to aspartame clarify enough concern as regards adverse health effects, that their use in schools should be banned," said neurosurgeon, Russell Blaylock, in an exclusive interview with the Merritt News. "Careful studies, including the original studies by G.D. Searle company, demonstrate a significant cancer risk, especially for brain
cancers, breast cancer, lymphomas and leukemias, such that would justify their being banned," he continued.

Blaylock considers artificial sweeteners and MSG as "excitotoxins" that play a critical role in neuro-degenerative diseases like Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, and MS. Health Canada has allowed the use of artificial sweeteners since 1981, when former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of the Searle Corporation, petitioned the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.

The passing came despite the fact that the FDA's Public Board of Inquiry, made up of scientists, voted unanimously against the approval of aspartame.

On July 15, 1981, Dr. Arthur Hayes Jr, in one of his first acts as FDA Commissioner, overruled the Public Board of Inquiry and approved NutraSweet for dry products. Health Canada followed suit and the artificial sweetener industry was born.

Health Canada scientists have concluded that the reported findings of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology, which found malignancies in rats tested with doses of aspartame, did not indicate a need to change the existing restrictions already outlined in the Food and Drug Regulations.

Health Canada concludes that the overwhelming body of evidence supports the safety of artificial sweeteners. Health Canada has requested the complete raw data from the Ramazzini Foundation and has been analyzing it since 2006. There has been no word yet on their analysis.

Some of the most common artificial sweeteners are: Aspartame, Sucralose, Splenda, Acesulfame-K (Acesfulfame Potassium), NutraSweet, as well as Saccharin.

Aspartame is composed of L-Aspartly-L-phenylalanine methyl ester. They can be found in beverages, breath mints, chewing gum, prescription drugs, supplements and vitamins, and various other food products.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Symptoms attributed to Aspartame in complaints submitted to the FDA show headaches as the highest complaint followed by dizziness. Aspartame related complaints make up 80 percent of total complaints to the FDA each year. The FDA
lists a total of 92 aspartame-related symptoms.

The Aspartame Material Safety Data Sheet, a description label used by industry, states under toxicological information, that acute effects may be harmful by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Stevia is one herb, not approved by Health Canada, that some advocate as being a safer alternative to artificial sweeteners even for use by diabetics.






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