k. Aspartame: Sweet Misery, A Poisoned World


Cori Brackett, Sound & Fury Productions
2011, 89 min 54 sec

The artificial sweetener, aspartame, is the bedrock of the diet industry. Found in everything from fizzy drinks to vitamin pills and marketed under a variety of different names, it is difficult to detect and even harder to avoid. But how safe is it? Does it really cause brain tumors, blindness and other serious illnesses? This documentary investigates how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came to approve such a potentially dangerous product.

If a product is approved by the FDA and composed of natural ingredients, would you assume it is safe to consume? If the same product is an artificial sweetener, would you assume it helps control your weight? Millions of people use aspartame, the artificial sweetener known as NutraSweet, with these assumptions in mind. Aspartame can be found in thousands of products such as: instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, coffee beverages, frozen desserts, gelatin desserts, juice beverages, laxatives, multivitamins, milk drinks, pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medicines, shake mixes, soft drinks, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas, topping mixes, wine coolers, yogurt and so on.

However, aspartame’s tainted history of approval and potentially toxic ingredients casts serious doubts on the safety of this sugar substitute. Furthermore, aspartame may actually increase your appetite. While the FDA approval may signal the green light for safe consumption, 85 per cent of all complaints registered with the FDA are for adverse reactions to aspartame, including five reported deaths. A closer look at the unscientific studies, suspicious approval methods and harmful ingredients reveal the hidden dangers of this artificial sweetener. In reality, aspartame poses a public health threat.