Interview With James Turner
ANNOUNCER: And now it's time for Mission Possible Radio with your hosts, Jon Baum and Mark Baran on Positive talk 1390 WZHF.
JON BAUM: The program you are about to hear could significantly change the way you live. Welcome to Mission Possible Radio. My name is Jon Baum
MARK BARAN: And I'm Mark Baran.
JON BAUM: Both myself and Mark Baran are volunteers. In this hour you will learn about a sinister plot by the United States government in collaboration with a major drug manufacturer Searle Pharmaceuticals which was later bought by Monsanto, to unleash a very dangerous addictive drug on the world's population which causes symptoms as mild as migraine headaches to symptoms as serious as seizures, cancer, blindness and death. This is real. This is not the "X Files." The drug is question is aspartame and marketed as NutraSweet, Equal and Spoonful. It is in every so-called diet soft drink on the shelf. In this hour and succeeding shows you will learn how Searle falsified test results about the safety of aspartame, bought off prosecutors who were supposed to prosecute them, they put in place a puppet as Commissioner of the FDA who approved this aspartame drug above the objections of the Scientific Boards of Inquiry. This is just one legacy of the Reagan administration which conservative talk show hosts tout as the greatest growth period in our history. But, I ask you at what cost. As you listen to us and drink your diet soda, also wonder where those unexplained headaches, heart arythmias, joint pains and neuropathies are coming from. How many thousands of dollars have you spent on doctor visits and been misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, rheumetoid arthritis, depression and a host of other diseases. How many of you have had children with mild to severe birth defects, or you or your children developed cancer for no apparent reason. How many of your friends have been struck with a strange illness or died recently? How many of you have had eye problems such as cataracts or partial blindness? Or were told by your doctor that you have diabetes with no family history of such? Some of you are saying to yourself, "I use lots of aspartame--I don't have any of these problems." All we can say is, you probably will eventually. The extra medical cost to the consumer are in the tens of billions. The cost to businesses in the form of increased medical costs, coupled with loss of worker productivity is also in the tens of billions. The American Medical Association refuses to publish papers written by experts such as Dr. H. J. Roberts. Why should the AMA do anything, its members are getting rich. Last week we welcomed Betty Martini who is Founder of Mission Possible. Betty informed us that the mission of Mission Possible it to educate the public on the many hazards of aspartame. It is a molecule composed of aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol. Once ingested, methanol, which is wood alcohol that killed or blinded thousands of skid row drunks, converts to formaldehyde, and then formic acid which is ant sting poison. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are amino acids that must not be isolated from protein because they pass through the blood brain barrier and attack the neurons of the brain. The phenylalanine lowers the seizure threshold of the brain and depletes serotonin and also breaks down into DKP, a brain tumor agent. She says this neurotoxin has tripled Alzheimers and says it is explained in "Defense Against Alzheimers Disease," by H. J. Roberts M.D. And he is available by calling 1-800-814-9800, if you want to order his book. Memory loss is notorious with aspartame use. Aspartame triggers ninety-two (92) symptoms from coma to death acknowledged by the FDA and is not a diet products but makes you crave carbohydrates. An American Airlines pilot who was a heavy user of aspartame recently died in flight and he was not the first on this airline believed to have died from this toxin. Pilots are reporting seizures and blackouts and other serious problems from the drug while the FAA says they can not do a thing until the FDA does. The National Soft Drink Association wrote a thirty (30) page protest against aspartame putting this drug in carbonated beverage. They published in the Congressional Record May 7, 1985. The reference is S5507-S 5511. They said aspartame is inherently, markedly and uniquely unstable in aqueous media. That means if you put it in water or any fluid. In original studies, rats developed brain tumors and Dr. John Olney made world news in 1996 about the public developing the same type of brain tumor. Mission Possible also posed twenty-six (26) questions to the FDA that they have refused to answer. Betty mentioned a pivotal study in which monkeys who were fed aspartame developed grand mal seizures and one died. The FDA defends Monsanto, the manufacturers, as they would have to explain why they have approved a poison for human consumption and overruled their own Board of Inquiry who said not to do it. One study funded by Monsanto for Dr. Diana Dow Edwards on birth defects proved the dangers so they withdrew their funding and she had to pay for the study. Then neither Monsanto nor the FDA would accept it. The message to the public is that if researchers don't say it is safe, then the study will not be used. But diabetics and pregnant women worry Betty the most. Diabetic Specialist H. J. Roberts wrote an abstract of diabetic reactors to aspartame for the American Diabetec Association. Monsanto funds them so they refused to publish it. Later, it was published in clinical research publication. Dr. Adrian Gross, the FDA's own toxicologist who tried to stop the approval of aspartame testified before congress that it violated the Delaney Amendment which states that you cannot put something in a product that you know will cause cancer. He says, "If the FDA violates it's own laws, who is left to protect the public?" Betty believes Monsanto should be indicted for genocide. Betty is back here tonight and she can answer more questions for you, and we'll try to have Dr. Roberts on a little later. If you have access to the internet, you can listen to last week's show as well as this show with Real Audio. You can either go to aspartame.com or dorway.com and go to the link that says "Jim Turner Live." If you would like a tape of this show, you can call 703-753-2500. The cost is $10.00. After the break, Mark will tell us about our guest Jim Turner. (BREAK)
MARK BARAN: You're listening to Mission Possible Radio on WZHP Washington's Positive Talk Radio. This is Mark baran along with Jon Baum and our guest today is James S. Turner who is a principal in the law firm of Swankin and Turner. He represents businesses as well as individuals and consumer groups in a wide variety of regulatory matters concerning food, drug, health, environmental and product safety matters. He has appeared before every major consumer regulatory agency incuding the FDA, EPA, CPSC, FTC as well as the Department of Agriculture and National Institutes of Health. Mr. Turner served as special counsel to the Senates' Select Committee on Food, Nutrition and Health and to the Senate Government Operations Subcomittee on government research. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Law. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Jim Turner. Welcome Jim. Jim?
JIM TURNER: Yes. How are you.?
MARK BARAN: Very good, glad to have you on the show.
JIM TURNER: Well, thank you.
MARK BARAN: Let me ask you the first question. When was NutraSweet approved and marketed?
JIM TURNER: Well, it was first approved, interestingly enough, in 1974, and I and Dr. Olney each filed a complaint at the FDA and objected to the approval and we were able to hold it off the market all of the way until 1981. And we did that by demanding that there be a hearing to look at the scientific data because we felt that the scientific data did not establish safety which was what the law required, and in fact we felt that it showed potential for harm. The FDA, through a whole series of things which I could describe later, ended up having a Public Board of Inquiry at our request look at the safety of NutraSweet. These were three world famous scientists selected from outside the FDA. Dr. Olney and I proposed three people, the Searle drug company, the predecessor of Monsanto and NutraSweet, the originators of this product, selected three people, and the FDA's Bureau of Foods selected three people and then the Comissioner of the FDA picked one from each of those groups. Those three individuals served as a Public Board of Inquiry and unanimously ruled that NutraSweet should not be allowed to be marketed because it caused brain tumors in animals, or at least, you could not rule out that it caused brain tumors in animals. The tests that they looked at looked to us and looked to them as if brain tumors were in fact an integral part of what was happening to these animals. Unfortunately, that particular determination was made in October of 1980, just one month before Ronald Reagan was elected president in November of 1980. Several months later in February of 1981, President Reagan appointed a fellow named Arthur Hull Hayes the Commissioner of the FDA. This came through the transition team on which Donald Rumsfeld, the President of the Searle drug company served and within approximately three months or so, three or four months, Dr. Hayes overruled not only the Public Board of Inquiry but also a panel of scientists inside FDA who concured with the Board thatNutraSweet should not be allowed on the market because it might cause brain tumors. He overruled both of those groups and allowed for NutraSweet to reach the marketplace. That was for dry foods. He then repeated that act two years later for soft drinks. And interestingly enough, he was a physician working on contract doing studies for the Defense Department at the time when Donald Rumsfeld was the Secretary of Defense. It is our supposition that that's where their paths crossed and that's how he was able to make his way through the transition team and be appointed FDA Comissioner. And we note that the very first act that he did of any consequence while Comissioner was to approve NutraSweet for dry foods and the very last act he did before leaving the FDA was to approve NutraSweet for soft drinks. And by the way, he left the agency and went to work for the NutraSweet Public Relations firm as the Senior Medical Consultant. And he has never, since the day he left the FDA, agreed to do an interview for any media, even though dozens and dozens have asked him to do so.
MARK BARAN: Why wasn't there a public outcry from all of these scientific leaders?
JIM TURNER: There was a substantial public outcry. There were many poeple
who raised questions. We in fact on behalf of a consumer group in Washington filed a law suit asking that, this was in 1984, after the soft drink approval, we filed our suit in 1985. Actually, we were turned down for review by the Supreme Court on this case. Our argument was that the FDA had used the dry foods issue to support soft drinks and that a special hearing should be held on soft drinks. The Court of Appeals here in Washington, which by the way included Mr. Starr who is now the Special Prosecutor, ruled that the FDA did not need to hold a hearing on diet sodas because their position was if it was safe in dry foods, then clearly if the FDA said so, it was safe in soft drinks. And this overruled the attitude of a number of scientists, a number of lawyers and individuals who have raised serious questions. Interestingly enough, among those was the soft drink industry which had filed serious questions, I heard them read earlier in the program, serious questions with the FDA about the liability that they might be facing if NutraSweet was allowed on the market. But in any case the Searle drug company managed to run a masterful public relations campaign on behalf of NutraSweet. One example, let me give you one example, Donald Rumsfeld had been the Director of the staff at the White House under President Ford and he had been a congressman prior to that and he had become of friend of the President of Pepsi Cola and when he became president of the Searle drug company which was in serious financial straignts, and really having great difficulty, he was hired to pull it out of its doldrums, when NutraSweet was about to be very severely criticized in a report from the Centers for Disease Control they ran a review of six hundred and thirty five complaints on NutraSweet and they said that there needed to be further studies and they identified the fact that approximately 25% of the people who reintroduced NutraSweet into their diet either by intention or by accident, suffered the same side effects that they had originally complained about and they pointed out several severe instances of NutraSweet difficulties. That study was to come out on a particular day as released by the CDC and the FDA and on that day, that very day, as if by coordination the Pepsi Cola company held a world wide press conference announcing that they were going to put NutraSweet in Diet Pepsi. This was a very, very cleverly arranged PR activity and only a very small number in the media listed, ever so slightly at the end of some of their stories, that there was this CDC report which had highlighted some questions about NutraSweet. So it's a massive kind of public relations activity that's engaged in by a company like Searle to accomplish an act like getting something that is made up of three known neurotoxins as a common food supply additive.
MARK BARAN: By the way, if you have any questions for Jim Turner, please call 703-534-1390.
MARK BARAN: Jim, it seems to me, politics aside, that this is a very dangerous drug and how could politics possibly be involved in something like this?
JIM TURNER: Well, I think there's a premise in your question that's just not correct and that is that when it comes to big money, politics is never aside. What we're seeing with the NutraSweet story is just a replay on a smaller scale with what we've seen with tobacco. And I think there hopefully will come a day when the files of NutraSweet which are carefully pruned and hidden and released only in very careful dribs and drabs will become available to lawyers and the public and you will find the same kind of abhorance of this product that you see about tobacco. The people who are doing this know that it causes these problems, they are quite aware that it's a serious difficulty but they keep hiding behind what I call scientific quibles. We know that a substantial number of people are put at risk by NutraSweet but we don't know whether it's some kind of a genetic precondition or whether its some kind of behavioral activity or what, and they hide behind the fact that the specific direct causal effect can not be spelled out, therefore, they say there's no reason to go back and redo the testing. Testing, by the way, which everyone considers to have been completely inadequate. These are the testing that led to the brain tumors. Everyone who's looked at those tests say they're inadequate, and there's never been an effort on the part of Searle that we know of to reproduce those, although Betty has indicated that she's got information that they were reproduced, they did cause cancer again and the Searle company hid the results. Now someday that will probably come out and we'll see something similar to what we're seeing in tobacco if in fact Betty is correct about what she's been told.
MARK BARAN: Jim, how involved are you with this program?
JIM TURNER: In doing battle with NutraSweet?
MARK BARAN: Yes.
JIM TURNER: Well, that's an interesting question. I've been working on it since 1970 when we first noticed it. Dr. Olney ran some studies in his laboratory which showed that NutraSweet generated holes in the brains of mice. He and I both spoke then directly to the company. They sent a team of people down to look at the holes in the brains of mice. They confirmed that there were in fact holes in the brains of the mice. They reproduced the studies, their consultants did, and then they filed at the FDA. And interestingly enough they happened to forget to file their own study that showed that the brains of mice were in fact injured by the consumption of NutraSweet. It was on the basis of that and the study that showed epileptic seizures in rheesus monkeys that we objected and caused this thing to be delayed for another eight years or so. Now from 1970 until today I've been a continuous critic and have tried in all kinds of ways to come up with strategies to get this product looked at from one angle or another. In my view it's a serious indictment of our food safety situation. The kind of attitude that has underlined the way NutraSweet is being handled is the same kind of attitude that led to children dying from E-Coli in hamburgers in Washington State and has led to some of the largest outbreaks of food borne disease in the history of the United States that has seriously undermined the ability to create warnings on saccharin packets. Just generally the FDA has been lax in its food safety area now that President and the Secretary of HHS and Secretary of Agriculture have now announced a broad new food objective, food initiative, but the reason they had to announce a broad new food initiative was that the stuff they were supposed to be using to protect the food supply doesn't work, and in fact NutraSweet is a prime example of how it doesn't work. I've been involved in this probably you know, substantially just about every day that I do something.
MARK BARAN: If you just tuned in, you're listening to Mission Possible Radio with Mark Baran and Jon Baum and our guest today is James Turner who is the principal in the law firm of Swankin and Turner. Jim, just one quick question, is NutraSweet habit forming?
JIM TURNER: Well, NutraSweet creates a minimum of some kind of a physiological tendency. Basically, if you were to look at the animal studies, and again most of what we know about NutraSweet and its affect on the brain is from animals studies is because it is not a common practice hopefully in American laboratories to feed people something and then kill them and take their brain out and look at it and see how it's been harmed, that's the way we do it with animals. But, in animals we do know that serotonin is suppressed by NutraSweet and we do know that when you have a craving for sugar it can be connected to the reduction of serotonin and what happens is that as serotonin goes down you reach for more stuff to help bring it up and that means you reach for something sweet and if you are in the habit of taking NutraSweet instead of sugar you will just constantly be wanting more of it, and more of it. We have a lot of communication, several thousand letters that we've received here and at the Community Nutrition Institute, which has been a long term crusader against NutraSweet. We've got several thousand letters that show people taking large amounts of NutraSweeet, many of them as much of thirty cans a day. Now strictly speaking I assume that if a person had enough information and enough willpower they would be able to get off NutraSweet and then be able to assess their health before and after using it. So, strictly speaking it is not habit forming, but it does create a kind of dependency that causes people to eat enormous amounts of it.
MARK BARAN: Jim, could you hold that thought and we'll get back to this after this message?
JIM TURNER: Sure.
MARK BARAN: Stay with us.
MARK BARAN: Wecome back to Mission Possible Radio. I'm Mark Baran along with Jon Baum and our guest today is Jim Turner who is the principal in the law firm of Swankin and Turner. Jim, we were talking about NutraSweet being habit forming. Do you want to continue in on that?
JIM TURNER: I think I finished that point, people are drinking enormous amounts of it and really don't understand why. There's one other side point about NutraSweet and that is that there is no evidence that it in any way helps you to lose weight, and in fact there is some evidence it helps them gain weight. One of the things that seems to happen is people eat NutraSweet so their serotonin is lowered and they crave something sweet so they then eat a piece of cheesecake let's say, and there are many people who think, their mind says, gee I could eat a little bit of cheesecake because I have saved calories by drinking a diet soda. But, in fact that's a physiological kind of connection because not having eaten sugar, but desiring something sweet, they tend to go then for something sweet that has sugar in it. So, it is not strictly speaking habit forming but it does create a kind of physiological dependency.
MARK BARAN: That's why you see people in restaurants having these huge meals with Diet Coke.
JIM TURNER: That's correct.
JON BAUM: Jim, I wanted to ask you something since you're connected with all of these scientists, why haven't they come up with some type of test to determine toxicity?
JIM TURNER: Well, first of all there are plenty of tests that determine toxicity and many people have done them and shown that there are problems. There's a nice little summary done by Dr. Walton in Ohio which looks at approximately something in the neighborhood of roughly, not quite, 200 tests that have been done on NutraSweet. In this report that he did, there is an analysis of those tests and you have about half of them roughly that say there's no problem with NutraSweet and just about an equal number that say, there are problems with NutraSweet and then there's a handful that are done by FDA that are primarily survey studies and kind of generally come out for NutraSweet. Aside from the FDA studies, all the studies that say NutraSweet is safe were paid for by the NutraSweet company, and all the studies that raise questions about its safety were not paid for by the NutraSweet company. And every single study not paid for by the NutraSweet company has raised some question about the safety of NutraSweet according to Dr. Walton. So there are about probably something in the neighborhood of ninety studies that exist that raise one or another question. A couple of these are paid for by the NIH, some of them are paid for by various universities, but it's a fascinating situation in which study after study raises a question. We have three substances that are known to be neurotoxic in large amounts, and the NutraSweet company says, "yes, but, we don't know that they're toxic in small amounts, thereofore we should consider them safe until proven otherwise." Now, a number of scientists who have raised questions about NutraSweet have been severely attacked by the NutraSweet company. Massive amounts of fraudulent scientific data has been organized to argue that the things that are in the scientific information critical of NutraSweet are wrong. Some scientists have been threatened with very serious retaliation if in fact they didn't stop saying negative things about NutraSweet. So you piece this all together and what you have, as I said earlier, is a replay of the tobacco story. The company is just running a scam on the American public.
JON BAUM: Jim, I think you slightly misunderstood my question, I was just looking for a simple test that a physician in his office or in an emergency room can give a patient to say hey, you've got too much of this, and it must have some from NutraSweet.
JIM TURNER: There's really not any easy, simple test that can do that. There are doctors who will look at, for example, people who are having blindness emerge and/or severe eye damage and they will look at their environmental, chemicals in their environment, and the one that turns up on several occasions and the only one that would be possibly to implicate is NutraSweet which has methyl alcohol which is known to harm the optic nerve. Now, there's no easy test. This thing is ubiquotous. It harms all kinds of stuff. I think it's operating directly on the brain, directly on the central nervous system, and the range of symptoms which the FDA says are completely disparate and therefore can't be caused by one thing include seizure, headache, eye damage, brain tumors, dizziness, all of those things are related to the central nervous system. Now if you walk into a doctor and say, "I feel dizzy," it's going to be hard for him to run a little test that says, "Well, it's NutraSweet." There just isn't any kind of test like that. Incidently, there is something that any individual can do that is concerned about what we're talking about tonight. That is to take some time out and reflect on their own health situation. Do they feel lethargic, do they feel dizzy, do they have blurred vision, do they have headaches, and then get off NutraSweet for a minimum of three weeks. Write down on a piece of paper the day that they get off, write down things they are concerned about and then check in every week or so and see if any of those symptoms have gotten worse, gotten better, or remained the same. We've got dozens of people who have done this over the years and they find that their lethargy, their dizziness, their blurred vision and their headaches begin to dissipate the farther away they get from consuming the NutraSweet.
MARK BARAN: Jim, we have a question from Kevin of Alexandria. Kevin?
KEVIN: Yes, thanks for taking my call. I wanted to ask Jim if there has been any product liability lawsuits brought against Searle or what is the history of litigation?
JIM TURNER: There has been a small history of litigation and most cases have not gotten very far because the FDA's approval tends to stand between a person that is claming that they are harmed and the problems the NutraSweet company should be being held responsible for. The argument that the NutraSweet company makes is, "Hey, the FDA says it's safe, you prove to us it's not safe." The argument that we're making, the social policy argument is, the law says the company is supposed to prove that they're safe, they have not done that, they've been found not to have done that by the Public Board of Inquiry and the argument we're making is they should re-do the test so that we can then see whether FDA will review what was done and change their mind.
MARK BARAN: Thank you Kevin, we'll be back in just a moment.
MARK BARAN: Welcome back to Mission Possible Radio. I'm Mark Baran along with Jon Baum and our guest today is Jim Turner, principal in the law firm of Swankin and Turner. Jim, does NutraSweet cause depression in people?
JIM TURNER: Depletion of serotonin is one of the measures of depression and it has been fascinating that the growth of the antidepressant drugs and the growth of the sale of NutraSweet have been almost parallel. I again suggest that when people are feeling depressed and eating NutraSweet they might want to get off the NutraSweet and see what happens to their depression. We do have many people that have indicated that the depression has essentially gone away as they've gotten rid of NutraSweet.
MARK BARAN: What about headaches and brain tumors?
JIM TURNER: Well, the headache issue is very dramatic. We have thousands of people who have connected headaches to taking NutraSweet. It is a very close correlation. The NutraSweet company did a study at Duke University, in interestingly enough the Searle Pavilion and conducted by two former Searle employees, in which they reported that there were no headaches connected with NutraSweet and they described their methodology and in the next couple of issues of the New England Journal of Medicine that carried that paper, there were many people who wrote and many doctors who wrote in and said you can't look at what they called an allergic reaction in the way that NutraSweet company scientists looked at the onset of headaches. They were roundly criticized for that. There's an enormous literature of people who say, "I have taken NutraSweet and gotten headaches, stopped, my headaches have gone away. When I have encountered NutraSweet again, my headaches have come back." I don't believe there's any question that NutraSweet causes headaches. With regard to brain tumors, the Searle company submitted several studies to FDA. The first study had extremely high incidence of brain tumors. The second study had a relatively low incidence of brain tumors and they combined them together and said, uh huh, together we can show that these two studies establish that there's not really a serious statistical significance of brain tumors. But they were only able to accomplish that statistically by having
one brain tumor go from being found to be cancerous by five different pathologists to being found not cancerous by one pathologist. This particular mouse brain is specifically commented on by the Commissioner of the FDA in his release of NutraSweet saying, "Well, you know we really can't say for sure if this tumor was cancerous because look, over here it turns out that one guy said it wasn't, therefore we're not going to count it as cancerous." That was the way that they got the statistic to show that it could not be established that it caused brain tumors. The law on that instance however, the legal standard was not that somebody had to show that it did cause cancer, what was necessary was that the company show that it did not cause cancer. And there's no one, not even the company, who can say with a straight face, that these studies show that this did not cause brain tumros. In my view, once again there's enough of a correlation anecdotally between cancerous tumors and the consumption of NutraSweet to raise a serious question and when Dr. Olney ran the statistics on the increase of brain tumors following the introduction of NutraSweet, he found a 10% increase in human beings on the exact kind of tumor that was in the animals.
JON BAUM: Jim?
JIM TURNER: Yes.
JON BAUM: Right now we have Betty Martini on the line with us and she'd like to ask you a couple questions. Is that O.K.?
JIM TURNER: Sure
BETTY MARTINI: Hi Jim, good to talk with you again.
JIM TURNER: Hi, how are you? Good to talk with you.
BETTY MARTINI: I'm sorry that I didn't hear the whole program but you know I'm in Altanta, Georgia but I hear that you're talking on the brain tumor issue and as you know, we take case histories and you're absolutely right, All of these young Diet Coke drinkers and heavy aspartame users are coming down with astrocytomas which is exactly the same brain tumor that the rats developed in the original studies and I am so glad to hear you bring that out. It's a very, very, very tragic thing. There's really so many of them. The FDA tries to say, they are the older group, but they're the younger group that is using a lot of aspartame. Tell me, I haven't talked to you since we discussed your current lawsuit, I was wondering how it was getting along.
JIM TURNER: There is no current lawsuit. I was a consultant on a case here in Virginia that was brought by some lawyers in Virginia with a substantial amount of very interesting evidence but unfortunately, the way the case was brought, Virginia in federal court has what's called the "Rocket Docket," a very, very rapid set of rules that require rapid presentation of factual information and some of the data that was used to support the case was not put in until after the time ran on when that kind of data needs to be put in.
Though there is a group of lawyers here in the Virginia area who are poised and ready to go back to town as soon as some folks show up and want to bring that lawsuit again.
BETTY MARTINI: Well, I'm glad that you said that and people know you are available. It looks like it was a legal loophole and I want the public to know that attorneys are getting involved, and I know that Jeff Martin has called you from Oklahoma. He filed four lawsuits for Tammy Bell here in Atlanta, William Reed in Michigan, Keith Thomas and Ron Anderson from Oklahoma, and recently plantiffs have added to it, and we have the lawsuit on the web so that these consumers and these victims of aspartame will know what attorneys are involved. And, I don't know if you have them on yours but you have a wonderful web site and I wonder if you would give the web site to the public so that they can access it if you haven't already done so.
JIM TURNER: You mean identify how to get on it?
BETTY MARTINI: Yes, your web site address.
JIM TURNER: Let me get the web site address during the next break and then I can make the announcement at the end of the break.
BETTY MARTINI: O.K. and I'd also like to give the people the web site that has the Mission Possible records on it which I believe we connect to your web site.
JIM TURNER: Yes, you connect to our web site too so they can get to our web site through yours but, I'll come up with our address also.
BETTY MARTINI: O.K., this is http://www.dorway.com/possible.html and Jon Baum's website is very easy to find, aspartame.kills.
JON BAUM: It's aspartam.com or aspartamekills.com and both the dorway website can be gotten from that web site and also Jim Turner's site has a link from there. We have to take a quick break now.
JIM TURNER: And I can give you our address after the break.
MARK BARAN: Stay with us.
MARK BARAN Welcome back to Mission Possible Radio. I'm Mark Baran along with Jon Baum and our guest today is Jim Turner, principal in the law firm of Swankin and Turner and also with us right now is Betty Martini, the Founder of Mission Possible in Atlanta. Jim, you were going to give your web address.
JIM TURNER: Yes, it is www.swankin-turner.com.
MARK BARAN: Why don't you say it one more time so that everybody can hear it.
JIM TURNER: It's www.swankin-turner.com and click on aspartame when you get to the web site. We have everything that we're doing on there.
MARK BARAN: That's great. Jim, what should the FDA do about NutraSweet now?
JIM TURNER: Either themselves conduct or require to be conducted by a responsible third party, paid for by NutraSweet, to re-do the cancer tumor tests in animals that were done in the early 1970's. That is the single most important thing that needs to be done and it needs to be done in way that it can be observed by and validated by people who are not a part of the NutraSweet company or the FDA.
MARK BARAN: And how do we get them to do that?
JIM TURNER: I think that we need to put a tremendous amount of pressure on them with letters. I think that one of the most important things that can be done now is that NutraSweet is trying to put a new sweetener through the FDA process which is nothing more than an enhanced NutraSweet. I think it's going to be to the extent that NutraSweet is harmful this thing is going to be about two-thousand (2000) times more harmful and I believe that what we should do is put a major amount of pressure on FDA to require that the kind of testing that is required for a new food additive be required for this new substance neotane, that's coming along, and make it be the testing of all these arguments that have been fought over for the last 30 years.
MARK BARAN: And what do you think individuals should do about NutraSweet?
JIM TURNER: Individuals themselves should avoid it. If they do use it, then they should use it for awhile if they must and then go off of it for a minimum of three weeks and compare the way they feel when they're using it versus the way they feel when they're not using it.
MARK BARAN: You know, Betty last week talked about the fact that diabetics are really at risk when they take aspartame and NutraSweet. What are these people supposed to do?
BETTY MARTINI: Use something else.
JIM TURNER: Well, use something else, actually with proper guidance from a doctor and full understanding of the need of a diabetic diet, small amounts of sugar are in fact acceptable in many diabetic situations with the proper support from a physician. Secondly, there are things like the herb stevia, which is available which diabetics should be able to use, talk again to the physician about that, and while sweetness is pleasurable, it is not essential. One can survive well without eating anything that tastes sweet, and that is something that one might want to think about if they are seriously hampered by
BETTY MARTINI: And also Jim, you know there was a great controversy about saccharin but, Dr. Roberts, who has written so many books on aspartame, has put out a position paper that I'll send you that says that a study on monkeys for twenty-three (23) years has never duplicated any cancer in the animals and that humans do not have the same protein in their urine that caused the crystallization and that this was really just something to get NutraSweet on the market. The saccharin had been used for one-hundred (100) years and done well.
JIM TURNER: I don't agree. Just let me make a point here. First of all, when the FDA moved to take saccharin off the market in 1977, I actually took the position that it should not be taken off the market but in fact, people should be informed about the problems that exist with it but in 1911 the Committee of the FDA declared saccharin unsafe for human consumption. It was considered in that category all the way until 1959. The only reason that it was used between 1911 and 1959 was under that portion of the Food and Drug Law which was for special dietary uses in which with a physician's recommendation, and if you were in need of avoiding sugar for health reasons, you were allowed to use saccharin. Now, in fact saccharin was used, not as a food additive primarily but, as an adjunct to food and in fact diet sodas that existed prior to 1959 had little saccharin packets tape to them essentially. And it just so happened that in 1959 that rule was changed and it was changed when Abbott Laboratories was given a special dispensation to allow putting saccharin in diet sodas. And it just so happened that a senior official in Abbott Laboratories was the brother of the Deputy Comissioner of the FDA, and there were special hearings held on saccharin at that point and the way that it got on the market, once again the economic interests were able to prevail and allow saccharin to move forward the way that it did. The problem is that saccharin is the derivative a coal tar. It's a photoplating chemical of which about one fourth is left over after its use as an industrial chemical and made by the Sherwin Williams Paint Co. and then that one quarter is put in the food supply. There is absolutely zero reason why anybody of sound mind would want to take saccharin. It's one of these weird situations where people ask me, "What's safer, saccharin or NutaSweet?" Well, it's like asking me, "What's safer, arsenic or strychnine?" I can tell you the answer very easily, arsenic, Arsenic is far safer than strychnine, that still doesn't give me a reason for
taking the arsenic.
BETTY MARTINI: You know it is interesting that Dr. Adrian Gross, the FDA toxicologist told congress that aspartame as far as cancer voilated the Delaney Amendment because of the brain tumors but there were many other cancers and saccharin is interesting in that it caused the least amount of carcinogenic activity in any test ever done on animals. However, I agree with you....
MARK BARAN: Betty, we only have a few seconds left however, I want to thank Jim Turner and we'll have to get him back on with us in a couple of weeks, is that O.K. with you?
JIM TURNER: I'd be delighted, just let me know.
JON BAUM: Thank you Betty and we'd like to reiterate our web sites are www.dorway.com, www.aspartamekills.com and www.swankin-turner.com, and click on his aspartame site. It's real incredible and I'd like to thank our producer Melissa who has done a great job for us tonight.
MARK BARAN: Thank you very much Melissa and thank you very much guests.
BETTY MARTINI: Thank you.