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Your Opinion: Diet drinks have genetically altered substance

Your Opinion: Diet drinks have genetically altered substance

September 30th, 2013 by Robert Allen, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Aspartame, one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners in America, is produced with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Monsanto, the maker of this product, insists that it's perfectly safe and apparently the FDA agrees since it's used in most diet drinks and many low-calorie foods.

Aspartame is made by combining phenylalanine, a substance that is produced naturally by bacteria, with another amino acid that has not been genetically altered.

However, Monsanto has genetically changed the bacteria to create more phenylalanine. When this amino acid chain breaks down, it breaks down into three constituents, including methanol - which has been linked to autism, preterm delivery, and more.

This is then broken down in the body to formic acid (which when handled in a lab you have to wear goggles and gloves) and formaldehyde (something used to clean drains and embalm dead bodies, and a known carcinogen).

It also breaks down into a chemical called DKP, which can cause brain tumors - this according to a study published on the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) site about aspartame.

Even the National Cancer Institute will tell you that formaldehyde is a cancer risk. From their site: "Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

Many Americans swill down gallons of these diet drinks every week without a thought about what they're drinking.

I think people should be informed about potential dangers in our food supply since the government agencies that are supposedly looking out for our welfare obviously aren't.