In the world of food, agriculture and feeding our children under the influence of giant corporations and special interests, there are bad ideas and then there are really bad ideas.
Right now, in the midst of a major childhood obesity epidemic, the giant dairy lobby is trying to force the federal government to redefine “milk” to include artificial sweeteners such as aspartame in children’s school lunches without proper labels. So instead of chocolate or strawberry milk with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which is currently labeled, Big Dairy now wants to replace that with aspartame in our children’s milk and pretend it’s a healthy choice for you and America’s children then do this by keeping it all a secret by not requiring proper labels!
Tell the FDA to not cave in to Big Dairy! Keep unlabeled Aspartame out of our milk! Keep reading and learn how Monsanto helped genetically engineer aspartame in U.S. facilities. The public comment period ends Tuesday May 21st! Every voice counts.
Aspartame has a long clouded history, with fraudulent science submitted during the original FDA approval process and not surprising, the company that created aspartame, G.D. Searle, was bought by Monsanto in 1985. In 1999, Monsanto admitted to genetically engineering bacteria to create aspartame, which is now used widely as an artificial sweetener in diet soft drinks, chewing gum and other diet foods as a sugar substitute.
Alarmingly, numerous studies have linked aspartame to mood alterations including anxiety, agitation, depression, headaches, insomnia, seizures and memory and learning problems and brain tumors.  Even worse, not long after aspartame won approval in 1981 the company, G.D. Searle, that manufactured aspartame was bought by Monsanto – hard to believe – and much of today’s aspartame sold on the market is genetically engineered.  Despite Monsanto’s early connection with aspartame, they sold the company in 2000 and no longer produce it.
That’s right, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) believe that the way to boost sagging milk sales is to pump milk full of cheap synthetic GMO sweetener and then dump them unlabeled on America’s unsuspecting school children just to make a fast buck.  This is outrageous!
Tell the FDA to not cave in to Big Dairy – Keep unlabeled Aspartame out of our milk! Every voice counts.
It’s not surprising, if you know anything about the U.S. national school lunch program, that big agribusiness special interests use their corporate power to pump the least healthy commodity products into our children’s lunches, but this is one step too far!
In the past several years, agribusiness giants have been caught feeding our children lunch meat that didn’t meet basic safety standards met by fast food restaurants and then last year they were caught dumping pink slime in America’s school lunches as well. 
Unsafe meat, pink slime and now a load of artificial sweeteners like Aspartame – seriously?
Earlier this year, the FDA announced that they were taking public comments on a petition that the dairy lobby had filed “requesting that the [FDA] Agency amend the standard of identity for milk and 17 other dairy products to provide for the use of any safe and suitable sweetener as an optional ingredient.”  And now that public comment period is about to close on Tuesday May 21st and we need your help.
Under current FDA guidelines, dairy companies are already allowed to put artificial sweeteners in milk, but now Big Dairy wants to be able to do it unlabeled, without currently required labels such as “reduced calorie” or listing aspartame as an ingredient, which according to America’s two leading dairy lobbies “are not attractive to children”.
It’s hard to believe that these corporate dairy front groups are actually that bold, but it’s true.
Think somebody fell into the Orwellian milk tank?
If you think that’s rich, the IDFA and NMPF believe that adding aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to children’s milk “would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity”.
After decades of declining sales of milk, thanks to the fact that the dairy industry once widely pushed Monsanto’s genetically engineered rBGH into America’s milk, the dairy industry now believes it can save the day by pumping another synthetic compound like aspartame on an unsuspecting public without notifying us. 
This is outrageous and it must be stopped. Tell the FDA to keep unlabeled aspartame and other artificial sweeteners out of our milk!
Big Milk and Monsanto – Corrupting Milk and Truthful Labels
For those unfamiliar with the story, in the 1990s, a former Monsanto attorney found himself appointed to a position at the FDA just in time to write the federal guidelines that not only kept GMOs unlabeled, but also allowed Monsanto’s genetically engineered synthetic growth hormone rBGH onto the market – also without appropriate labels.
The attorney went so far in doing his job for his former employer that he actually drafted a new rule that forbade dairy farmers or milk companies to put a label on their milk that said – “Does not contain rBGH.”
That man’s name is Michael Taylor, who magically is back at the FDA once again, now under the Obama administration as the Second in Command. Taylor’s title is now Deputy Commission of Food and Veterinary Medicine.
You may start to have that sinking feeling, that something is not quite right with the agency governing our food and pharmaceuticals in the U.S., but don’t worry it gets worse.
Aspartame’s History of Flawed Science and Link to Health Problems – Brain Cancer and more
Today, aspartame is the most widely used artificial sweetener on the market, but it’s shrouded in controversy.
Every day millions of Americans guzzle gallons of diet sodas like diet Pepsi and diet Coke, not knowing that their zero calorie drinks contain a genetically engineered artificial sweetener that has a long and dubious history linking the chemical to serious health problems, fraudulent science and your friends at Monsanto.
While the FDA finally approved aspartame in 1981, it was over the large outcry of scientists and public health safety advocates who were concerned over the products’ safety and the fraudulent scientific studies that were originally submitted to the FDA.
Despite industry claims that aspartame is “the most tested food additive ever”, (that sure sounds familiar coming from Monsanto), the approval of aspartame was one of the most contested and controversial approvals in the history of the FDA.
While aspartame was initially approved by the FDA in 1974, the discovery that S.G. Searle company scientists submitted flawed data to the FDA from improperly conducted scientific studies, which found brain tumors in animals and a lack of studies for long-term health effects on humans forced the FDA to retract its approval.
By 1980, Searle had spent millions of dollars to win approval, but the FDA had serious concerns and “recommended against approving aspartame at that time, citing unanswered questions about cancer in laboratory rats.” 
Then in 1981, aspartame finally won approval after resubmitting scientific data under the Reagan administration and in 1985 Searle was taken over by your friends at Monsanto.
Aspartame and Monsanto’s new GMO synthetic sweetener in our food!
The story could end here, but by the 1990s, Monsanto switched from being one of the world’s largest chemical company to a biotech company and one of the products Monsanto genetically engineered early on was aspartame, something they were reluctant to inform the world and their millions of consumers about.
But Monsanto’s secret GMO aspartame didn’t stay secret for long. In 1999, a top political correspondent for the UK Independent revealed that Monsanto had been manufacturing aspartame through genetically engineering bacteria to create the sweetener at its US production facilities. 
This news came out during the 1999 “G8 summit of rich country leaders” who had decided “to launch an inquiry into the safety of genetically modified (GM) food”. According to the article:
“A Monsanto spokeswoman confirmed that aspartame for the US market is made using genetic engineering. But sweetener supplied to British food producers is not. However, consumer groups say it is likely that some low-calorie products containing genetically engineered aspartame have been imported into Britain.
“Increasingly, chemical companies are using genetically engineered bacteria in their manufacturing process without telling the public,” said Dr Erik Millstone, of Sussex University and the National Food Alliance.
Sure, the FDA now says that aspartame is perfectly safe and that it’s one of the “most tested” food additives ever. But if that’s the case, why is the dairy industry trying to sneak it into our milk unlabeled?
At Food Democracy Now! we believe that dairy companies shouldn’t be dumping aspartame or other artificial sweeteners in our children’s milk unlabeled.
Tell the FDA to block the approval of unlabeled aspartame in milk today!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. Russian moo-lette? Milk may soon contain undeclared aspartame”, Examiner, March 3, 2013
2. “Sweetened Drinks Associated with Increased Depression Risk”, Mercola.com, January 21, 2013.
3. “Aspartame: By Far the Most Dangerous Substance Added to Most Foods Today”, Mercola.com November 6, 2011.
4. “World’s top sweetener is made with GM bacteria”, The UK Independent, June, 20, 2013.
5. “Flavored Milk; Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk and 17 Additional Dairy Products”, Federal Register, February, 20, 2013
6. “School Lunches Linked to Kids’ Obesity, WebMD”, March 15, 2010
7. “USDA Allows Meat In Schools that Doesn’t Meet Fast Food Chains’ Standards”, Huffington Post, December 18, 2009
8. “Tell Vilsack No Pink Slime in School Lunches”, Food Democracy Now!, April 10, 2012
9. “Flavored Milk; Petition to Amend the Standard of Identity for Milk and 17 Additional Dairy Products”, Federal Register, February, 20, 2013
10. “Aspartame”, Wikipedia, http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/862?t=32&akid=863.596488.K2NFyQ
11. “World’s top sweetener is made with GM bacteria”, The UK Independent, June, 20, 1999.