Poison In Your Milk?

Milk. It’s from cows. Cows produce milk.

Cows do not, under any circumstances produce aspartame.

Aspartame. It’s a chemical that, when ingested has been linked to any of a host of ailments including abdominal pain, anxiety attacks, brain cancer, breathing difficulties, chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, migraines, dizziness, marked personality changes, memory loss, panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, vision loss and weight gain. Also, when it is metabolized, aspartame breaks down into methanol (also known as wood alcohol) and formaldehyde. I am not going to personally claim all the above ailments are caused by aspartame, but I will tell you my little aspartame story as proof of its danger.

I am a migraine sufferer. I want to be clear that a migraine is NOT a ‘headache’. If you’ve ever had a headache at work or out with friends and said “I have a migraine”, you are wrong. A migraine is a severe neurological event. Migraines can make people blind or partially blind, unable to walk, severely nauseous, photophobic (light sensitive) and unable to speak. Few sufferers have all these symptoms, but all of us have some of them. Oh, and they make your head hurt. A lot. The first migraine I ever had was when I was 19 years old. It struck while I was at work, and I drove home and went to bed. I remember clearly – and for about 16 straight hours – begging God to kill me. Migraines are not headaches.

My migraines became more frequent as I moved through my 20’s and 30’s. At one point I was having as many as four or more headaches in a single day. In one month, I clocked well over 100 headaches. My memory was shot, and I was taking powerful prescription medicines just to keep functioning at my job. My life was work, sleep, work, sleep. I wasn’t able to do anything I wanted to; simply going to work felt like all the energy I had in my body. Then I went to a neurologist.

At our first meeting, he asked me if I drank diet sodas. I said yes. Diet sodas, he told me, have a large amount of aspartame in them. He asked me to stop consuming aspartame for six weeks. Just prior to this, I was having several migraines a week. I figured it couldn’t hurt except that I might gain some weight. I was, of course, drinking diet soda so I could manage my weight.

Six weeks later, I came back. I had had only one migraine in six weeks. One. Oh, and I lost a few pounds to boot. My neurologist told me he’s made a living telling people to stop using aspartame. Please read that previous sentence again.

Aspartame may not be as deadly as some people say, but it surely is more dangerous than the FDA will acknowledge. The primary producer and marketer of aspartame from 1985 to 2000 was the NutraSweet company, owned by Monsanto. Monsanto is not a good company, and you can learn more about their practices here or here or here. Also, watching the documentary Food, Inc. will tell you much that you’d probably wish you didn’t know about them, and the food you eat. But I digress slightly.

I mention Monsanto as owning NutraSweet because many of the studies that people use to say aspartame is safe were done during the years Monsanto owned that company. That makes me skeptical of the validity of these studies based on other practices of Monsanto. Guilt by association, I guess. Look into it yourself if you feel so inclined.

So why am I talking about all this? Because in my opinion, someone is trying to poison children.

That someone would be the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). They have recently petitioned the FDA to be allowed to add aspartame and sucralose to milk. And not just milk, but other dairy products such as nonfat dried milk (always added to reduced-fat milks), yogurt, cream, half-and-half, sour cream, eggnog and whipping cream. As best I can gather, they want to sweeten dairy products so they are more attractive to consumers. In other words, if milk is sweeter, it can compete better against sugary sodas. Oh, and they want to be able to do it without listing the sweetener as an ingredient.

Now, I could choose to make an argument that we don’t actually need to drink milk; it isn’t the staple everyone thinks it is. But I don’t have the time to do that right now, and it doesn’t really make a difference. What matters is that these companies want to put clearly artificial, and arguably dangerous chemicals in the milk that children will drink. They will also include it – by logical extension – in other products such as ice cream and bakery-made cakes and chocolate as these products rely in small or large part on milk. And since this petition would make it so the products don’t have to be labeled as containing the artificial sweeteners, I would never, ever be able to consume them again with out risk of blinding migraines.

Oh, and did I mention the children? Just imagine how comfortable you would feel giving your nine month old infant milk with aspartame in it. My children are teens now, so that’s not a direct concern for me, but it will be for many others out there. Is this really, truly a change we need to make? And why are the companies making it so they don’t have to include this chemical on the label? That sounds to me like they don’t want people to know about it. That smells to me like deception.

So please, stand up and make your voice be heard. Comments can only be made until May 21st. You can look this up on your own, but I’ve included a link here which takes you to a website detailing ways you can take action.

Please, don’t let big business poison our children. There is no need for this, and I’d like to think we’re smarter than this.

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One thought on “Poison In Your Milk?

  1. MaryBeth Richmond says:

    A few comments. All supportive. First, don’t mess with my dairy!. I love it just the way it is. Don’t “sweeten” it up. I like it how it is just fine. Second, my OB/GYN told me in 1991 that I should not consume aspertame while pregnant. I didn’t. I noticed afterward that if I drank more than 2 diet sodas, I would get a headache, not a migraine. I unfortunately know the difference but have been lucky to only have had 5 (yes, I remember each one) in my life. My heart goes out to those who suffer from them often. I try to avoid diet soda (water, anyone?), but I know aspertame hides in lots of things. I agree that new studies should be done with impartial evaluators.

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