Fifteen state senators sponsored a bill to rid New Mexico of what some
have called "Rumsfeld's Disease."
A senate bill to rid New Mexico of what has been called "Rumsfeld's Disease"
was introduced Thursday by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, as 15 other
senators from both sides of isle also signed on, supporting legislation to ban
the deadly artificial sweetener, aspartame.
Linked to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for his efforts in the 1970s for
putting the sweetener on the market, New Mexico is the first state to consider
banning the artificial additive linked to numerous ill-health affects, including
If passed, no food containing any amount of the sweetener could be manufactured,
sold or delivered in Mew Mexico, beginning July 1.
After the bill was introduced Thursday morning, Sen. Ortiz y Pino, appearing
on Greg Szymanski's radio show, The Investigative Journal, said he needs support
from six more senators for passage if the anti-aspartame legislation makes its
way for a vote during the short 30-day legislative session.
The Albuquerque democrat also said the bill needs to be put on the "governor's
call list" in order for it to be heard, remaining optimistic since Gov.
Bill Richardson has expressed strong concern about the health hazards of aspartame
in the past.
"I decided to introduce this bill, despite strong opposition by lobbyists
because it is the right thing to do and many of my constituents feel the artificial
sweetener is dangerous," said Sen. Ortiz y Pino while appearing on The
"I am very optimistic that the banning of aspartame will be passed into
law since 15 senators signed on with me to support the bill. I know of one other
who has said he join us, leaving only six more votes to get it passed in the
senate if it comes to a vote this session."
Besides the senate bill, New Mexico's House of Representatives has also introduced
a similar bill, House Bill 202, calling for the same ban on aspartame.
The House version of the bill was introduced by Gallup democrat, Irvin Harrison,
who claims the measure, if passed, "means a vital national and international
precedent would be set, one which could precipitate a new era of consumer protection
in the United States and other nations."
New Mexico resident and Santa Fe art gallery owner Stephen Fox has been one
of the main activists pushing to raise public awareness and outlaw the use of
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved additive.
Fox and many others trying to ban aspartame have for years been trying to warn
unsuspecting users of the dangers, saying aspartame contains "poisonous
and deadly toxins."
Before legislation was introduced, Fox tried to get aspartame banned through
the state's Environmental Improvement Board (EIB), but after pressure from aspartame
lobbyists, postponed any action on Fox's request until July.
The New Mexico Legislature established the EIB in 1978 to handle rules on the
state's food and water supply, liquid waste, air quality and radiation control.
However, any action by the legislature to ban aspartame would supersede an EIB
Although the EIB said in October that it had the necessary power to handle
Fox's petition, on Nov. 9, the board backtracked, asking in writing for Attorney
General Patricia Madrid's opinion on whether state law gives it the authority
to regulate aspartame and whether the board could carry out Fox's request to
outlaw or put warning labels on products that contain the sweetener. The board
has not received an answer from Madrid.
Regarding the adverse health affects from aspartame, a recent report from a
highly respected international medical team has now linked the toxins in aspartame
to lymphomas and leukemias.
The report by Morando Soffritti "Aspartame induces lymphomas and leukemias
in rats" is in the European Journal of Oncology for July, 2005. Dr. Sofritti
is a member of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental
Sciences Cancer Research Centre in Bologna, Italy.
As reported, Dr. Soffritti and his team carefully set the conditions whereby
genetically-uniform test rats were treated equally with the exception of being
divided into groups given varying levels of the toxic chemical sweetener.
According to health experts, rats are deemed appropriate subjects for testing
aspartame on humans because both humans and rats metabolize the methyl ester
in aspartame into methyl alcohol, then formaldehyde then formic acid - all deadly
Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, MD, one of the world's leading authorities on
aspartame neuro toxicity, extensively reviewed the Soffritti report.
"This study confirmed the previous study by Dr. Trocho and co-workers
(1998), which also found the formaldehyde breakdown product of aspartame to
be damaging to cellular DNA and that this damage was cumulative," said
Dr. Blaylock. "The type of damage was a duplicate of that associated with
cancers. These two studies strongly indicate that drinking a single diet cola
sweetened with aspartame every day could significantly increase one's risk of
developing a lymphoma or leukemia.
"This study should terrify mothers and all those consuming aspartame sweetened
products. This was a carefully done study which clearly demonstrated a statistically
significant increase in several types of lymphomas and leukemias in rats. Both
of these malignancies have increased significantly in this country since the
widespread use of aspartame.
"They also found an increased incidence of malignant brain tumors, even
though it was not statistically significant. This does not mean there is no
association to brain tumors, since ONLY the animals exposed to aspartame developed
the tumors. With children and pregnant women drinking the largest amount of
diet colas, this puts their children at the greatest risk of developing one
of these horrible diseases. Their found that even lower doses of aspartame could
cause these malignancies, yet, the higher the dose, the more cancers that were
"Since aspartame can increase obesity and may even cause the metabolic
syndrome that affects 48 million Americans, there is no reason to ever consume
this product. At the least, it should be immediately banned from all schools."