“Aspartame was first discovered in the late 1960s as an ulcer drug. By accident, a chemist discovered that the drug was sweet. Voila, aspartame was born! Corporate bigwigs eventually created the NutraSweet Company, and the campaign to revolutionize the sugar-free diet industry was on its way to the top.
Scientists for and against this new sweetener immediately began an extensive research campaign. In 1969, Dr. Harry Waisman fed his laboratory monkeys aspartame. One died after 300 days on the stuff, while five others had grand mal seizures. According to Dr. Waisman, the results of this study were deleted when aspartame testing was first submitted to the FDA.
The following year, in 1970, the FDA banned the use of cyclamates, and the safety of saccharin was seriously questioned. It was perfect timing for the introduction of a new sweetener. Aspartame seemed to fit the bill. By 1984, seven million pounds of NutraSweet had been consumed by over 100,000 people in the United States. The next year, consumption rose to sixteen million pounds. That same year, consumers started reporting side effects. By 1987, four deaths associated with NutraSweet had been reported to the FDA.” From, “Sweet Poison: How the World’s Most Popular Artificial Sweetener Is Killing Us” By: Janet Starr Hull