NM Aspartame Law Destruction
Reflects Lethal Corp Greed

By Stephen Fox

When you witness first hand what a travesty and shambles of Democracy results when corporate lobbyists continue to be allowed to manipulate the legislative processes, at the state level, especially if you are concerned about rudimentary efforts to improve consumer protection in New Mexico, it is almost horrifying.
The "good" people are alienated to a large extent from the political process, preferring to dismiss all of it as corrupt and/or impossible; that perception drives them into a feeling of powerlessness and further alienation, and this is exactly what the corporations want, so they can continue their control and manipulation through lobbyists' pressures on particular committees.
This was ghastly last year in terms of the Aspartame bill to ban Aspartame/Methanol/Formaldehyde/Diketopiperazine, sponsored by Senator Ortiz y Pino. The Japanese manufacturer of Aspartame and another neurotoxic food additive, Monosodium Glutamate, Ajinomoto, in fact the largest in the world, hired a lobbying firm, Butch Maki and Associates, for indiscernible amounts of money. They hired a lobbyist, Richard Minzner, former Majority Leader in the House, to put the screws to the bill in the place it was most vulnerable, its first committee hearing in Senate Public Affairs.
Despite two excellent physicians being there to testify for banning Aspartame, Pediatric Cardiologist, Grant La Farge, and Pediatrician Ken Stoller, and despite massive amounts of articles and letters from Aspartame poisoning victims, the corporations won with a vote of 5-2 to table the bill, killing it for 2006. Minzner told the Committee it was irresponsible and illegal to even think about challenging an FDA approved chemical. Antonio Anaya, Vice President of Coca Cola New Mexico told the Committee a monstrous lie, that Coca Cola would lose 600 jobs in New Mexico if aspartame were banned. No one on the committee even challenged the specious illogic of such a perfidious statement. Several members continued to guzzle their Diet Sodas and eat their ham sandwiches while the testimony continued. (Perhaps it is absurd to even try to entrust decisions about the effects of formaldehyde on New Mexico's children to people who can't even recognize that harm they are doing to themselves).
Other lobbyists chimed in their predictable objections: the Calorie Control Council, Altria Corporate Services, Pepsi Cola, etc.
No victims were able to change their schedule to be able to sit through many other items in order to speak; no parents concerned about autism or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; no one from the New Mexico Department of Health was there to encourage the committee to at least use the precautionary principle to move the bill forward, to take an obviously harmful chemical off the market. Only the paid lobbyists could wait to speak, and they were quick to maintain that it has been on the market for 25 years, since its approval was forced through the FDA by Donald Rumsfeld, when he was CEO of G.D. Searle, and is now used in hundreds of nations.
No statisticians nor epidemiologists from the Health Department or Medical School were there to talk about the mountain of evidence that the methanol and formaldehyde as metabolic by-products from aspartame cause serious neurodegenerative harm, which might have something to do with the spike in statistics for many afflictions in the USA, including Multiple Sclerosis and Lou Gehrig's Disease.
No one came in 2006 from the Attorney General's office to say that it was the AG's opinion that our state could challenge an obviously flawed FDA approval, and that we didn't have to continue to slavishly capitulate to multinational corporations having rammed the approval through, nor their subsequent efforts to silence and eviscerate any real efforts to protect the health of New Mexicans.
No one came from the Governor's office to note that 22 out of 42 New Mexico State Senators had signed a letter to him asking him to put the bill on the Legislative Call for the short session, the Agenda for which Gov. Richardson controlled in 2006. This was again the result of intense private lobbying efforts from Maki, Minzner, and Michael Stratton of Colorado, also a member of the Presidential Nominating Commission, another lobbyist, whose specific job was to remind the Governor that he shouldn't make such large corporations angry about putting the bill to ban Aspartame on the "call."
Several hundred members of the Organic Consumers' Association responded to one of their Action Alerts and sent so many emails to Governor Richardson asking him to support the bill to ban Aspartame by putting it on his "call" over one weekend that the entire email capacity for the Governor's web page was entirely filled.
Still, the corporate lobbyists won the day by eviscerating the bill, thus giving the corporations carte blanche to continue to poison hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans for yet another year...
What is new in 2007 that may make things more hopeful for the bill to Ban Aspartame?
First of all, Senator Ortiz y Pino hasn't abandoned it and will introduce it again early in the Session. The Legislators are better educated; some of them have quit Diet Sodas and Sugarless Chewing Gum entirely; the constituents are better educated, to some extent, enough to really make this legislation a mandate, if they will take the time to write to legislators and to Governor Richardson and to Lt. Governor Denish.
During the Interim, 21 NM Legislators signed two letters from Senator Ortiz y Pino to President Bush, FDA Commissioner Von Eschenbach, and USA Health Secretary Leavitt, asking them to rescind the approval for Aspartame as soon as possible, citing an Early Day Motion from British Parliament by MP of Wales, Roger Williams, signed by 46 members of Parliament asking for an immediate ban of it in the United Kingdom.
Bush responded by removing Mr. Rumsfeld from his position the day after the midterm elections, partially because the entire world has recognized Rumsfeld as having forced the approval for aspartame in 1981.
Von Eschenbach responded with corporate pleasantries, but did admit that FDA is still reviewing the Ramazzini Report from Italy which proves it causes cancer in rats, which FDA has had since February 2006.
Governor Richardson has generally postured in private conversations but not in public speeches that states have to take back rights in this realm, and perhaps, only after enough people write to him again as constituents to publicly support the bill to ban Aspartame, perhaps he will do so loudly and clearly in 2007.
The best cause for optimism, frankly, is that we have an Attorney General, Gary King, with his Ph. D. in Chemistry, and his long tenure as Chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee in the 1980's and 1990's, who understands clearly not only the need to prevent ghastly medical effects result from chemicals like Aspartame/Methanol/Formaldehyde/Diketopiperazine, but also clearly understands the legalities in challenging an FDA approval for a product that continues to do such harm.
Please take the time to write, email, telephone, and fax Attorney General Gary King to ask him to do three things:
1. Write a clear letter to the New Mexico Legislators in both houses before the Legislative Session starts, all 112 of them, that they have the power and the obligation to create a higher standard than is possible during this current era of massive corporate control of the FDA, especially in terms of preventing further medical harm from Aspartame, the artificial sweetener.
2. File a request for a Federal Injunction, with New Mexico as the Plaintiff, in which a Federal Judge will both order the FDA commissioner to rescind the approval for Aspartame and will order the corporations involved to cease and desist the manufacturing of aspartame as well as adding it to their products.
3. Open files on behalf of New Mexico victims of Aspartame poisoning, the brain tumors deaths, those with multiple sclerosis, memory loss, Sudden Cardiac deaths, and others from the FDA's own list of 92 symptoms recognized as caused by Aspartame, a list they discontinued adding to in 1995, like the tobacco victims with lung cancer and emphysema, so that eventually punitive and exemplary damage suits could be filed on behalf of those victims by the State of New Mexico.
If you take the time to do that within 72 hours of reading this, talking with your legislators should be easy. Their contact information is all located at the website for the New Mexico Legislature. If you have friends and relatives in other parts of the state, please forward this letter on to them.
This year, the corporate lobbyists should be out in droves on the Aspartame bill, even more than last year. While you are enjoying life going about your business, raising your children, and making your living, they are up in the New Mexico Capitol hammering on Legislators, preying on their lack of information, soothsaying them into acquiescence and acceptance of the FDA's ostensible pre-emptive power, and so on, in the corridors of power on the 3rd and 4th floor of the Capitol, and even on the First Floor, where we find the offices of the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the NM Senate.
Both Ben Lujan and Ben Altamirano are very nice guys, and skilled leaders, highly committed to public service in its purest forms, particularly adept at questions and methods of Finance of Government.
They unfortunately want to try to keep everyone apparently "happy." However, in terms of true consumer protection efforts, you can't keep the corporations happy if you are going to protect the people, which we must really clear to all of the Legislators, particularly the Pro Tempore President of the Senate, and even clearer to Governor Richardson. Senator Altamirano has been hammered by Washington corporate lobbyists into hesitating to sponsor a bill in 2007 to create a new New Mexico Nutrition Council, which he sponsored in 2006 as SB 217.
If New Mexicans made clear to Governor Richardson that one clear path to the White House might be through implementing a massive new era of Consumer Protection in New Mexico, the likes of which have never been seen. This is long overdue in every state, and would spread to every other state; even if national political campaigns don't interest you, you could make this point abundantly clear to the legislators, to Governor Richardson, Lieutenant Governor Denish, Speaker Lujan, and Pro Tem Altamirano.
This is already clear to Attorney General King, whom you only need to encourage and reinforce in this regard.
Several key legislators who must be convinced who usually seem to side with the Corporations are Senator Shannon Robinson of Albuquerque, Chairman of the Senate Corporations Committee ( and Representative Debbie Rodella of San Juan Pueblo, presumed Chairman of the House Business and Industry Committee (
Real Consumer Protection must be extended to include food products, food additives, pharmaceutical products, environmental pollution, pesticides, herbicides, waste spills, mining and oil and gas effluents, getting Thimerosal/Mercury out of Vaccines for adults and children, and many other realms.
The most pressing need, the one that affects 70% of the Adults and 40% of Children in New Mexico, is permanently ridding our state of Aspartame. This will happen if you help achieve this obvious medical imperative by writing letters and talking with Legislators. It won't if you don't.
If you want to make your voice heard nationally on this issue, write to Senator Edward Kennedy, Chairman Senate Health Committee, and to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman Senate Judiciary, asking them to convene committee hearings in their respective committees on the forced approval for Aspartame in 1981 and the obvious medical imperative to get it off the market. Perhaps Dr. Von Eschenbach will respond to such hearings with more than corporate- pleasing pleasantries that even a 10th grade chemistry student could see through as duplicitous, when it comes to continuing to allow formaldehyde and methanol to destroy millions of people's health in 188 nations.
Thank you.
Stephen Fox
If you have further questions, please examine my website:
Contact emails and phone numbers:
Governor Richardson
Lt. Governor Denish
President Pro Tem of Senate Ben Altamirano
Speaker Ben Lujan
Senator Shannon Robinson
Senator Steve Komadina, M.D.
Ranking Minority Member of Public Affairs;
Senator Gaye Kernan
Member of Public Affairs:
Senator Diane Snyder
Ranking Minority Member of Senate Corporations:
Senator Mark Boitano
Member Senate Corporations Committee:
Senator Phil Griego
Member Senate Corporations Committee:
Representative Debbie Rodella,
Chair of House Business and Industry:
Attorney General Gary King, Ph. D. 505 827-6000
(call for email address, for complaint form)
Senator Edward Moore Kennedy
Senator Patrick Leahy



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