A Thumbs Up Media Review
Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World (Video)
An Industry Case Study of a Food Supply in Crisis
By Sound and Fury Productions, Inc.
Reviewed by Bill Sanda
While much of the world believes that aspartame is a safe and healthy sweetener, filmmaker and narrator Cori Brackett takes us on a journey through hell–the hell experienced by thousands of people who consume foods containing NutraSweet and Equal. Aspartame is found in as many as 9,000 different food products. Of all the food additives approved by the FDA, aspartame accounts for over 80 percent of all health complaints, yet continues to be marketed and sold as a safe food product.
Brackett’s journey starts with her own story. A consumer of large amounts of diet soda, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002. Her symptoms included double vision, slurred speech and limbs so weak she was forced to use a wheelchair. When she quit using diet sodas, many of her symptoms disappeared. Through dietary changes and various therapies, Brackett’s condition improved and continues to do so to this day.
Brackett interviews a housewife, a salesman, a doctor, a lawyer and an emergency relief worker. All suffered extended health problems related to the long-term consumption of food products containing aspartame. Their illnesses included lupus, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, hearing loss, fibromyalgia and eyesight problems. All reiterated the fact that the medical community could not help them as it is unfamiliar with the toxic aspects of aspartame.
Brackett also interviews a woman who was convicted to a 50-year jail sentence for allegedly murdering her husband through methanol (wood alcohol) poisoning by adding windshield fluid to his Gatorade. We learn that the woman’s lawyer did not tell the jury that the husband had been a long time consumer of aspartame-ladened food products. Methanol is one of three chemical components of aspartame.
Interspersed with these individual stories, Brackett talks to various health professionals such as Russell Blaylock, MD, neurosurgeon and speaker at our 2004 Wise Traditions conference, H.J. Roberts, an MD and psychiatrist, and Ralph Watson, all of whom describe what aspartame does to the body and the brain. All agree that aspartame is a poison.
Brackett was also inspired by Dr. Betty Martini, director of the nonprofit organization Mission Possible. For over a decade, Martini has been searching for all available evidence about the dangers of aspartame. She has attracted many professionals who have furthered the understanding of aspartame biochemistry. It is through her efforts that we now know that aspartame is a toxic poison unfit for human consumption.
Brackett’s story also details one of the most pervasive and insidious forms of corporate negligence since tobacco. A close examination of the FDA approval process for aspartame reveals examples of how powerful corporations are influencing government institutions. Archival footage from G.D. Searle, the producer of aspartame, is used by Brackett to illustrate the manipulation Searle used to get aspartame on the market. Arthur Evangelista, a former FDA investigator and speaker at our last conference, exposes how far Searle and the food industry went to legalize the use of aspartame in the U.S., and the resulting domino effect on its use in other countries.
Attorney Jim Turner, general counsel to the Weston A. Price Foundation, presents a very candid discussion of the history of Searle’s inadequate and misleading research on aspartame and of his exchange with Donald Rumsfeld, who was the CEO of Searle from 1977 to 1981. Throughout the 1970s scientists within the FDA had advised FDA policymakers not to approve the sweetener. Rumsfeld became part of President Reagan’s transition team and vowed to get aspartame approved by the FDA. Within a month of Reagan’s inauguration, the newly appointed FDA commissioner overruled the FDA’s board of inquiry, thus allowing the marketing of aspartame as a food additive.
Brackett concludes her journey asking why such events are allowed to occur and why the safety of our foods is being compromised. She observes that the institutions designed to protect our food supply have failed us.
Brackett is currently producing a sequel to Sweet Misery entitled Sweet Remedy: The World Reacts. It is a documentary of personal, legal and political struggles to remedy an adulterated food supply. She attended our 2004 Wise Traditions conference to continue her interviews for this sequel.
For more information and to order the DVD, visit www.soundandfury.tv.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2004.