Talk:Aspartame controversy/Archive 10

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Aspartame, waistlines and glucose levels (2011 American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions in San Diego)

Epidemiologists from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio reported data showing that diet soft drink consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans, and a second study that found aspartame raised fasting glucose (blood sugar) in diabetes-prone mice.

This is links gathered by ScienceDaily that compiles science stories from around the web for a daily read.

I didn't notice any sources used from the San Diego meeting and Texas is not found anywhere on the article page so these studies are not referenced in your article. Here are some more source links:

First, abstracts are not peer reviewed medical articles. Second, we use secondary reviews, not primary research papers per WP:MEDRS and WP:WEIGHT. Third, this article is about aspartame, not artificial sweeteners in general. Yobol (talk) 18:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
You did not read what I linked then. The glucose study is about aspartame only and the source above is a secondary source not a primary. Alatari (talk) 18:58, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I did read them. The first link is a press release, and not appropriate per WP:MEDRS. The second is a part of a grant proposal (with parts marked "unreadable"), and clearly not appropriate for medical claims. The 3rd and 4th citations are abstracts, not peer reviewed publications, and likely not appropriate per WP:MEDRS. The 3rd is about artifical sweeteners in general, not aspartame in particular. The 3rd and 4th are primary studies, not secondary studies and not appropriate per WP:MEDRS, WP:PSTS and WP:WEIGHT. Yobol (talk) 19:05, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Read the original link. The abstracts are to verify that this is not hoax information. The grant information is to verify that a doctor Hazuda exists. The primary sources are necessary for us as editors to verify the secondary source is legitimate. Alatari (talk) 19:08, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Yobol's analysis of the links and sources given, they're not appropriate for use as suggested here, per WP:MEDRS. Zad68 19:09, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Yobol's analysis. Alatari, I think you are not understanding what WP:MEDRS says about sources -- by "secondary sources" it means scientific articles that review published primary sources (actual peer-reviewed published papers, not just conference abstracts such as the thing that sparked all this news) and draw generalizations from the published, primary studies. Under WP:MEDRS these reviews are the strongly preferred sources. We can use primary sources (e.g. the article that (hopefully) will eventually publish a full study of the data presented in the conference abstract) but only with care.Jytdog (talk) 19:33, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Vascular Events

Vascular is not mentioned anywhere in the article so this must not have been discussed.

This 2012 study links diet soda to increased chance (60%) of a vascular event.

See comments above. Yobol (talk) 18:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
This has been discussed too many times since before the paper was published. This is a primary study, and the link you provided (as every version has) explicitly states that the data collected precluded determining the effects of individual sweeteners. Wikipedia does not accept reinterpretation of published materials.Novangelis (talk) 19:03, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Citation 24 need to be updated.

^ "Aspartame Information replies to the New York Times". Aspartame Information Service. 2006-02-16. I clicked on it but no longer links to the article.

I updated it with this link which I think I the same article but without having seen the original I can't say for sure.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC) 

Mouse study: Aspartame consumption in diabetes-prone mice

Fowler studied the relationship between oral exposure to aspartame and fasting glucose and insulin levels in 40 diabetes-prone mice. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener widely used in diet sodas and other products.

One group of the mice ate chow to which both aspartame and corn oil were added; the other group ate chow with the corn oil added but not the aspartame. After three months on this high-fat diet, the mice in the aspartame group showed elevated fasting glucose levels but equal or diminished insulin levels, consistent with early declines in pancreatic beta-cell function. The difference in insulin levels between the groups was not statistically significant. Beta cells make insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar after a meal. Imbalance ultimately leads to diabetes.

These results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans, Dr. Fernandes said.

Secondary sources for glucose increase from aspartame usage:

Before posting any more sources, please review WP:MEDRS. We use high quality secondary sources like literature reviews published in the medical literature, not blog posts and press releases. Yobol (talk) 19:26, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
(e/c) Hi Alatari, digging up research is really appreciated, but could you please go to and read WP:MEDRS? That'd really help you focus your research efforts to find the kinds of sources we're looking for. The issues with the above are that 1) it's a mouse study, and per WP:MEDRS we generally do not include non-human studies like this, 2) they are popular-press cites (Science Blog, Science Daily) and not links to the actual journal publications of the studies, which we need, and 3) they are primary research studies... I understand you're calling them "secondary" but what you have found are secondary cites of primary research studies. What we need are secondary research summaries like meta-analyses and review articles. Cheers... Zad68 19:29, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Do you have paid subscription access to those kind of sites? I've pointed out that in 2011 a epidemiologist gave a lecture on these results so you now know the information is out there. How about using your source finding expertise to get a source that meets your requirement? Please? Alatari (talk) 19:37, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I have the phone numbers to the researchers offices. What should I ask for if I call them? Alatari (talk) 19:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I have many people's phone numbers, that is neither here nor there. Please, please go read WP:MEDRS. We need high quality review articles, about humans. Your local library has access to such sources, or your local university library Dbrodbeck (talk) 19:42, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually it says about animal models: it should be clear to the reader that the data are pre-clinical, and the article text should avoid stating or implying that the reported findings necessarily hold true in humans.. So we are not precluded from adding mouse glucose levels into the article as long as we maintain that the results might not hold true in humans. Alatari (talk) 19:48, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Here is the relevant quote from WP:MEDRS indicating why we should not include this study:

If the findings involve phase I or phase II clinical trials, small studies, studies that did not directly measure clinically important results, laboratory work with animal models, or isolated cells or tissue, then these findings are probably only indirectly relevant to understanding human health; in these cases, they should be entirely omitted.

(My emphasis.) Zad68 19:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Alatari, I just looked through my usual list of medical sources and I could find nothing suitable to support article content indicating that aspartame use in humans might cause problems with blood sugar levels, if that is what you were looking to add. Zad68 19:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Alatari, please know that the standards are not any one of ours, they are wikipedia's. And they were generated to make sure that information about medical matters in wikipedia is really solid and reflects the scientific consensus -- what is known to be true or false, and what is uncertain. WP:MEDRS exists to ensure that information presented here is real, not over-hyped or over-simplified.Jytdog (talk) 19:53, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
WP:MEDRS is also written by Wikipedians and can be modified and has been modified recently. I've been working on Wikipedia for quite a while now and I know that "they should be entirely omitted" is a relatively new suggestion added to the policy in this edit of December 2011. Alatari (talk) 20:44, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
This article here is specifically about the aspartame controversy, which appears to relate solely to the chemical's effects on and approval for use in products targeted at humans. It's not about other aspects of the chemical itself unless there are refs that specifically tie those other details to this article's topic (otherwise seems to fail WP:SYNTH regardless of the quality of the reference). Given that there are secondary-referenced studies at that level, preliminary/primary research at lower-level models without that level of referencing with connections specifically to humans is off-topic. That previous sentence also stands on its own, per WP:MEDRS: "Individual primary sources should not be cited or juxtaposed so as to "debunk" or contradict the conclusions of reliable secondary sources. ... Controversies or areas of uncertainty in medicine should be illustrated with reliable secondary sources describing the varying viewpoints." DMacks (talk) 20:00, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I think it has been made pretty clear that we are now looking for reliable secondary sources. I am in contact with the lead researcher and will see where she directs me. Alatari (talk) 20:44, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Additionally from your comment I discern that this study would not belong in this article but in the aspartame article proper Alatari (talk) 20:46, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Forget secondary studies. This needs to get to a peer-reviewed primary source for any consideration on Wikipedia. A press release about a meeting abstract (preliminary presentation) is wholly insufficient.Novangelis (talk) 21:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I understand and agree. Expect me back in a few days when I have succeeded or failed to find the primary medical journal publication source. Alatari (talk) 21:15, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Even if a peer-reviewed version has been published (and my search failed to find any evidence that it has), a brand new primary animal study which would "suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly"[emphasis, mine] have an effect is not much of a basis for Wikipedia content.Novangelis (talk) 22:23, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Alatari, honestly, let's cut to the chase - there's no chance of a consensus forming to support anything even close to what you're proposing using the kinds of sources you're bringing, and if I were you I'd think my editing time would probably be better off spent on something else. ill-considered comment struck Zad68 21:06, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

I haven't brought the final source so your 'chase' is premature. Alatari (talk) 21:13, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I was honestly just trying to save you some time and aggravation, but if you'd still like to pursue it, sure. Zad68 21:16, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I have followed this thread for a long time. For unknown reasons Wikipedia will not allow anything said against aspartame. They have defined aspartame as safe. While the research goes both ways. Be advised sometimes they get really nasty. Claustro123 (talk) 15:40, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── A preponderance of reliable source state that aspartame is safe; wikipedia reports what reliable sources say. a13ean (talk) 16:09, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

The paper that the researchers gave a lecture on was not published in a major source and opened up for peer review. They felt comfortable enough to give a lecture at a gathering of their colleagues but for some reason they didn't publish. It could be the study had serious methodology flaws but then you would think that would have been caught before they gave a talk at a conference. The researchers have published other papers since that conference so they are still working and being reviewed by other researchers. They had other papers published before that talk also. I have not been able to find out why they decided to not publish the paper. Alatari (talk) 23:35, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

I am very sorry but I disagree with your statement that A preponderance of reliable sources say aspartame is safe. have you thought of being slightly cynical of industry sponsored studies. Claustro123 (talk) 15:30, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Ref 7

Does not work.

Claustro123 (talk) 04:37, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

There seems to be some site move underway. I replaced the link with an archival version.Novangelis (talk) 05:00, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Archival version works fine. But it doesn't seem like a particularly authoritative source for an encyclopedia entry. This is just a hyped up lay discussion of the idea of urban myths. I would want to see more serious citations for this article about a serious health question. Eperotao (talk) 07:26, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Internet conspiracy

What function does this paragraph serve? It is over 15 years old and does not seem to meet the high standards of Wikipedia. Claustro123 (talk) 18:44, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

The paragraph explains its function -- the conspiracy theory propagated through the internet is one of the main reasons why "aspartame" is notable subject matter. Jytdog (talk) 18:55, 12 March 2013 (UTC)


I agree with Claustro123 about the Internet Conspiracy. I would be inclined to omit the paragraph on the internet conspiracy or at least cut it in half. The tone is not that of an encyclopedia. The question of whether there were unlikely allegations made by anonymous people doesn't speak to the substance of the question of whether aspartame does or does not have health effects. Bad information on the internet is certainly not the only reason there have been questions about aspartame, as the profusion of scientific papers on the subject attests. Eperotao (talk) 06:02, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

In particular, I have edited the paragraph on Health and Appetite, adding reputable sources that give a different perspective. The paragraph would have been hard for a general audience to read. It was certainly one-sided, repeatedly citing the same source that is behind a paywall and whose abstract did not support what was said in that paragraph. The paragraph also asserted that there was little research on aspartame and appetite. In fact, a quick search of google scholar reveals large numbers of papers on this topic over many years. I don't have a dog in the aspartame fight, but this was such a blatant untruth, I have begun to suspect that this discussion is biased. Eperotao (talk) 06:11, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I have been reading more of this Talk page with some surprise. I have looked at the section of WP:MEDRS that discusses animals studies. It directs us not to suggest that animal studies are definitive. That's easy. Most human studies are not by themselves definitive either. WP:MEDRS does not rule out citation of animal studies. I am puzzled by the insistence on authoritative but secondary review articles combined with the presence of reference 7, which is neither. Eperotao (talk) 07:43, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

As always, it depends on what you want to use the source for: medical claims require WP:MEDRS-compliant sources (and it specifically states that you cannot use primary sources, let alone animal studies, to "debunk" secondary sources), non-medical claims require WP:RS-compliant sources. That the "Nancy Markle" letter is a hoax is pretty much a "the sky is blue" claim (even anti-aspartame activists agree that the letter is a hoax), so the sourcing for it is appropriate.
I'm sorry that you cannot access the Magnuson source. It is a 100-pages long review in a high quality journal, so you cannot really expect to be able to verify its contents with its abstract (not that you usually can for shorter articles - we always rely on the full text, not the abstract), and you can certainly not combine a few primary sources to debunk it. --Six words (talk) 08:13, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
WP:MEDRS was edited by a Wikipedia editor some months back to add the restriction on animal studies. WP:MEDRS did not used to have this restriction and with the proper debate we can have that restriction removed. Wikipedia policy are themselves available to change by a preponderence of Wikipedia user opinion. IJS we may have to review WP:MEDRS Alatari (talk) 18:05, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Nope, the restriction on animal studies (and in vitro studies) hasn't been added some months ago, it has been added in September 2011 and been there ever since. It's true that the community can remove it again, but I think that's very unlikely, and in any case, human studies trump animal studies and secondary sources trump primary sources. --Six words (talk) 18:45, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

if i posted Paragraph like the Internet Conspiracy one saying aspartame is dangerous it would be erased in milliseconds. Claustro123 (talk) 15:35, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, because you would be hard pressed to find sources. Dbrodbeck (talk) 16:36, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

This is a fascinating example of intense bias within a Wikipedia entry. Animal studies are acceptable according to the rules. I would say that an ensconced group of editors obviously has more time to defend a particular point of view position exhaustively than someone who wanders by looking for credible references to both sides of the controversy, which are not here. If this were a controversy about whether to be treated with antibiotics for a deadly infection, I could understand the conservatism over sources and position. But aspartame has no known health benefits. It's not a medical treatment or even a food in the usual biological sense. And as for it being an effective weight loss approach, the best that can be said is that diet drinks generally have not prevented an ongoing epidemic of obesity that began in the 1980s. Why resist with such vigor including the less aspartame-friendly evidence (on aspartame and other sweeteners, artificial or natural)? I can only think of one answer. Eperotao (talk) 17:38, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

We don't do fair and balanced here. Dbrodbeck (talk) 17:40, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Very amusing. But who is "we" and where is "here"?
Wikipedia and Wikipedia. The NPOV policy specifically excludes the inclusion of spurious material as artificial balance of reliably sourced material. Similarly, the use of ad hominem attacks (e.g. "ensconced group of editors") to argue against policy is inappropriate on Wikipedia.Novangelis (talk) 18:40, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
This is a fascinating example of intense cherry picking of the relevant sourcing policy: "respect secondary sources", "summarize scientific consensus", "assess evidence quality", "avoid over-emphasizing single studies, particularly in vitro or animal studies", ... - they all suggest that the best sources to use are high quality secondary sources, yet you summarise it as "animal studies are acceptable" and want to "balance" secondary sources with primary sources. The question here isn't "is this study aspartame friendly or not", it's "what quality does the source have". --Six words (talk) 19:42, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The quality of sources cited in this article appears so far to be quite biased. Eperotao (talk) 19:51, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The panel didn't know the sponsor of the review, nor did the reviewers that did the peer review - all they knew was that someone sponsored a review. --Six words (talk) 20:00, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I take it you do not see the Internet conspiracy paragraph as spurious material Claustro123 (talk) 19:09, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Claustro123 and Eperotao -- if you want to introduce new material, here is what you need to do. Read the most recent and best secondary and tertiary MEDRS sources you can find - ideally ones that review studies in humans. Create content based on them. Post it in the article directly, or if you want to be more community-friendly (which is a savvy thing to do on a page like this one where wingnuts fly by and vandalize the page relentlessly with BS based on the ubiquitous internet conspiracy materials), then you could post it here in Talk first. Please note that I did NOT say, think about what you want to write and then find MEDRS 2ndary or 3-ary sources of studies in humans to back it up. That is backwards. But whatever content you bring to wikipedia, especially to a contested page like this, use only the best sources -- ones that even an ideological opponent of whatever content you want to post, cannot impugn, and state the content neutrally, again so whatever opponents there might be cannot complain. And best source = most recent MEDRS 2ndary or 3-ary reviews of studies in humans, or for toxicity content, most recent MEDRS 2ndary or 3-ary reviews of tox studies by toxicologists. If, after you have read the best sources that you can find, you should discover that there is nothing there to support the idea that aspartame promotes weight gain/metabolic syndrome, perhaps you might want to rethink your position on that. You may also find that the best sources do not provide a black and white answer on that issue. If the best sources present an ambiguous picture, then you can create wikipedia content representing the ambiguity. The absolute worst thing you can do - the one that wastes everybody's time including yours -- is to complain on the Talk page that your opponents are being too strict - especially when your sources are not the best ones available. This is a community of minds - there are challenges here as well as kumbayahs. Rise to the challenge and bring the best sources. Then everybody wins. Also, please do not be sloppy and bring sources about "diet soda" - especially sources that do not describe what sweetener was in the diet soda used in the study. That kind of source will get kicked out right away, and rightly so. This is a page about aspartame, not about "diet soda". Jytdog (talk) 19:59, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Jytdog, thanks for your thoughtful advice. It's all good advice except for the part about the publications needing to be by toxicologists. Research by medical physiologists, experts in metabolic diseases, sugar dysregulation, cardiovascular disease, etc would all be fine.
See I do not agree! Tox studies are done in animals. There is only one group of scientists trained to design experiments in animals and actually apply the results to humans - and that is toxicologists. It is their job to say, "more than X is harmful to humans." Doctors who treat patients with those conditions, and basic researchers who study the biology of those conditions, are not trained to make toxicity judgements based on animal studies. Again -- if you want to generate content that will be accepted, use the best sources, ones that can withstand criticism! Jytdog (talk) 20:46, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
It's very important, however, that you yourself also go out and find sources that are unbiased. The financial disclosures of the authors are indeed relevant. Eperotao (talk) 20:21, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
That is part of thinking through "best" and what will withstand attack. I think people sometimes get carried away with hermeneutics of suspicion based on financial interest and ignore good and important research because of it; and the reverse is true -- scientists who appear unbiased based on financial disclosure/funding source alone may be even more strongly driven to publish studies with distorted results or conclusions, in order to help their careers or help them get their next grant. I have worked on editing some highly contested pages, and when I do, I go source hunting, and skip over sources that either side will find an opening to attack and use sources that appear as unbiased as possible when I consider them from all the various sides. It is about creating content that can remaining standing on a contentious page, not about tearing things down. Jytdog (talk) 20:46, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Research studies are usually not acceptable because their findings can be skewed by methodological or sampling errors. We need sources that establish the degree of significance and acceptance of these studies. Reviews by toxicologists are probably the best source because they will review all types of alleged adverse reactions to aspartame. As pointed out below, financial disclosures are irrelevant to the validity of sources. TFD (talk) 20:42, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

We should go back to the basics of WP: If we have a preponderance of studies in peer-reviewed journals stating X, then who are we to challenge X unless we can source reliable sources that challenge X. I think the POV tag should be removed from this article unless someone can provide some reliable sources that challenge the statements in the article. Angryapathy (talk) 17:11, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, the tag should go. Dbrodbeck (talk) 15:18, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

How does Magnuson address the effects of aspertame on sugar regulation?

Okay. I have Magnuson. Her lengthy 2007 review for the D.C.-based Burdock Group was sponsored by Ajinomoto, the world's largest manufacturer of aspartame. Magnuson's review is mainly focused on short term toxicity, carcinogenic potential and, somewhat, neurotoxic effects. Of the 100 pages, less than one page refers to the question of any possible connection between aspertame and metabolic syndrome. The only relevant study cited by Dr. Magnuson was de la Hunty's review, also funded by Ajinomoto, the world's largest manufacturer of aspartame, with, according to Wikipedia, 40% market share. Neither article addresses aspartame and waist size, a known risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Research on the posited connection between diet sodas and metabolic syndrome is well covered by Medscape, a website of SECONDARY medical news for doctors. Eperotao (talk) 19:25, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

The paper was published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology.[1] That means that the editorial board has accepted the scholarship and other scholars may comment on its accuracy. The authors or source of funding is irrelevant. TFD (talk) 20:10, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The author's source of funding is totally relevant.
To wit, "Questionable sources Questionable sources are those that have a poor reputation for checking the facts, lack meaningful editorial oversight, or have an apparent conflict of interest.[7] ... Questionable sources should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves; see below. They are not suitable sources for contentious claims about others." [1] The makers of aspartame certainly have a conflict of interest about the question of whether daily aspartame ingestion is or is not harmful. Eperotao (talk) 20:35, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Again I urge you -- it is much more productive to bring your own content and the best sources to back it up. I know it is more work but it is the best use of everybody's time. If you can find a best source that is more recent than Magnuson please bring it!Jytdog (talk) 20:53, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I'll be back. Eperotao (talk) 00:43, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
I really hope you do come back - am very interested to hear about the fruits of your research. Jytdog (talk) 16:35, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I have watched this maneuver many times. You invite people to find good sources but when they do you discredit them. You define acceptable sources as those that find no fault with aspartame. Those that try to debate the issue have no chance.Claustro123 (talk) 23:48, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
If you have any evidence of this please take it to a noticeboard and stop wasting our time with this crap. Oh, when or if you do take it to a noticeboard, perhaps ANI, remember to notify people Dbrodbeck (talk) 23:58, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
I am sorry you had bad experiences on other pages, Claustro123. Without details it is impossible to comment, but here on this page, you will not find that. The MEDRS standards are clear and available for everybody to see. If there are solid MEDRS sources to back up the content you want to add, that would be great, and I and others here can only acknowledge their authority, and work with you to create NPOV content based on them. I am bit worried that you don't actually have any solid MEDRS sources at hand (if you have them, why have you not brought them already?), which means that your conclusions are not derived from studying the best scientific evidence, but instead rest on other bases. If that is so, you are going to have a hard time having content expressing those conclusions accepted here - as you would on other pages where concerned and experienced wikipedians are editing and watching. Jytdog (talk) 16:35, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
And please, please, stop talking about "diet soda" studies, especially if the studies do not specify the sweetener and separate effects due to aspartame. Thanks Jytdog (talk) 20:53, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The term "diet soda" is identical to aspartame as it is used in 90. %. Of all soda sold in cans. SeeHttp:// It is followed. by many other papers that reference this paper. Claustro123 (talk) 15:27, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't mean to be unkind, but this is what I meant when I asked you not to on be sloppy. The article that you cite ( does not mention the word "aspartame". And more importantly, the term "diet soda" is not defined in it. I have found that in many of these survey-based studies, the term is often defined in a surprisingly broad way, or not at all. On top of that, even diet sodas that are sweetened with aspartame contain a host of other ingredients, so I don't see how you can say, "the term "diet soda" is identical to aspartame", especially for the article you cited. Jytdog (talk) 15:43, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Critical Reviews in Toxicology is a peer reviewed academic journal, the idea that the funding agency would somehow trump peer review is laughable. It is also WP:OR. Dbrodbeck (talk) 20:55, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
The entire aspartame debate is carbon copy of the cigarette debate with many research articles against it's use and each one debated by industry sponsered research that finds one flaw or another. Wikipedia has chosen to align itself with the industry and it's side. The NPV does not apply here.Claustro123 (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Unless you have a concrete proposal (backed by sources) to improve the article, you are wasting our time and your time. This is not a forum, please remember that. Dbrodbeck (talk) 23:08, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I do not know what a noticeboard is. My interest is in the integeraty of Wikipedia. This article seems to depart from the high standards you usually adheare to. You should not spread roomers as you do in The Internet Conspiricy paragraph. You should not ignore conflict of interest as you do above. Wikipedia is the world's refference standard. It should be above reproach. Please try to uphold the standards that have made you a major force on the Internet. Claustro123 (talk) 18:02, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

We are actually following policy, as has been pointed out to you. An example of a noticeboard is WP:ANI. Dbrodbeck (talk) 18:27, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Quick headcheck - subject of this article

As I understand it, the "aspartame controversy" concerns the initial approval of aspartame, and lingering concerns about whether or not it is actually safe. Is that what everybody thinks? I am asking this, because 2 recent visitors in the Talk sections above, seem focused on the issue of whether there is a relationship between aspartame and weight gain. Now, I don't think the question about weight gain was or is part of the initial controversy - instead, that seems to be a new thing. And I am not sure that the potential relationship between aspartame and weight gain is a "controversy" per se. Another thing - there is a section in the article on "Weight change and hunger." I propose that the "Weight change and hunger" content should get moved out of this article and put in the main aspartame article and that this article should remain focused on the initial controversy over aspartame's toxicity/safety. What do you think? Jytdog (talk) 18:19, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

To my thought, it refers to all substantial controversies about aspartame. (By convention, article titles are in the singular.) Substantial controversies are those which have retrospective coverage (sensationalist headlines immediately following an announcement do not qualify; see WP:Recentism). The Markle hoax, Olney's brain cancer scare, and the Ramazzini studies qualify as controversies: they received sustained coverage by mainstream outlets. It is not just "Weight change and hunger", but a good argument could be made that the bulk of the "Safety and health effects" section should be moved to the main Aspartame article. The only things that would remain of the section would be the second paragraph of the "Cancer" subsection (Olney, which could easily be expanded out to its due weight) and "Ramazzini studies".Novangelis (talk) 20:36, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
This makes some sense to me... but there was real controversy over the FDA approval process too, right? In any case, a lede that defined the content more tightly along the lines you suggest plus FDA, and moving content outta here to aspartame proper, might reduce the amount of churn on this page... you think? Jytdog (talk) 21:04, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
As I summarized, "think bigger"; I agree with the content of your core conception, but feel it should be expanded. The only reason I didn't mention the obviously controversial approval process is that you already had. I was trying to show how other things belong here on their own right and that there was more that should be moved—narrow the grey zone. Dividing the churn among two pages is not an improvement (especially when it is moved to a more core article), but focusing this article would be and putting safety data in the article about a chemical would be, as well. You have a nice, bold proposal. I say be bolder.Novangelis (talk) 21:39, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Big enough? :) Jytdog (talk) 22:58, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
There are two theaters of discussion - the scientific community and the public. The controversy has taken place in the public theater. I agree that health and safety should be in the main aspartame article. But if a report that has been dismissed by the scientific community generates controversy among the public, then it belongs here. But that of course requires sources not just that the study was done, but that it generated controversy. TFD (talk) 19:52, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Aspartame and health

I oppose this change of name because the article is about the controversy, not just claims about health effects. TFD (talk) 01:29, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Not only that, but the change to the first paragraph really inserts quite a bit of bias right off the bad. I'm with you (talk) 01:31, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
I've reverted the change to the lead - and I too think that the move is questionable. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:35, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Using the word "health" would seem to restrict the article to MEDRS, making this a short article indeed. Fine by me if that's the consensus, but I doubt it will be. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 01:41, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Was there any discussion of this? I have been away a few days. Dbrodbeck (talk) 01:49, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
No. TFD (talk) 02:11, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Given that the person responsible for the move has made no previous contributions to either the article nor the talk page, and given the response here, I can't see any reason why the article shouldn't be moved back to the earlier title. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:26, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
I have moved it back. TFD (talk) 02:36, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Jinkinson's effort to change the name was respectable under WP:BRD, so too the reversion. Now that we are in the "D" phase, I too oppose the name change to Aspartame and Health as the controversy is broader than that. Also the accompanying edit note "This new title is more accurate, and now we can include all the info about how allegedly bad for you it is." is wrong-headed - there are no MEDRS sources supporting content that aspartame is "allegedly bad for you" so it is not clear what "info" about that, will ever be in WIkipedia except a) in the context of some specific controversy, scientific (e.g. Ramazzini studies) or regulatory, as is already discussed in this article; or b) in the health effects section of the aspartame article itself, where such claims are simply shot down using MEDRS sources. Jytdog (talk) 08:49, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Agree with this. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:15, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Agreed; Well said. JasonAdama (talk) 17:35, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
How come it is not mentioned anywhere in the article that aspartame is the fecal matter from E Coli bacteria? Stopde (talk) 11:59, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Probably because it is not about the controversy, and because it isn't, and because bacteria don't have 'fecal matter'. Dbrodbeck (talk) 13:14, 27 July 2013 (UTC)


From a professor etc. It might not add anything new, but at least it´s recent. [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talkcontribs)

Popular press reports of research are only useful as ajuncts: lay summaries; popular press medical opinions are not of use (see WP:MEDRS). Additionally, recent is not necessarily good. The article is missing any analysis of any particular controversial element. Thank you for you attempt to improve this article.Novangelis (talk) 20:48, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for replying. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 21:06, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

New EFSA Study Published — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Nancy Markle section

This article is on my watchlist and the revert that was made seemed to make the article extremely non-neutral and weasily so I reverted. After coming back and reviewing the sources more closely realized the wording is appropriate. I made two small changes:

  • whose existence has never been confirmed - leads the reader to imagine that she is being actively hunted for but the source only says yet no one has come forward claiming to be the author.
  • are never supported by medical studies. - in common conversational English this can have the implication and never will be supported so I made the change to the accurate and passive have not been supported by medical studies.

Sorry for my first inaccurate revert. Alatari (talk) 21:08, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

"Nancy Markle" is a pseudonym for the most prominent activist. The search for the existence of "Nancy Markle" has indeed been an active hunt, with no results. No one has found out that she even exists as a real person, and she has never come forward. In fact, her real name is pretty certain. -- Brangifer (talk) 16:43, 27 December 2013 (UTC)


You should add something about the Panara restaurant chain announcing that they will not be serving anything with aspartame and many other substances after the end of 2016. (talk) 16:52, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Lots of companies choose not to sell products that contain artificial sweeteners. Is there something notable about Panera's choice that would make it relevant to this article? Deli nk (talk) 20:24, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

They have removed many additives from their foods because of the perception that these additives are not healthy. Most likely this perception comes from the fact that many other countries are healthier than the USA. ( We are number 35.) Cuba for instance has a healthier population than the USA. Aspartame is one of the additives they will remove. This fact belongs in this article. Quione (talk) 23:49, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Deit Pepsi under withdrawals

Is it significant enough to mention? A source. Zero Serenity (talk - contributions) 19:30, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

Weasely and Utterly Non-neutral article

This article promotes the viewpoint that any existing scientific study of aspartame that does not proclaim it to be completely safe is bogus (outside of those individuals possessing a rare condition), and the result of "conspiracy theory." Citing a couple references, in a widely studied and controversial commercial product, that make these sort of proclamations, is a rather dishonest tactic.

Anyone can google the subject to verify how slanted this article is, and verify the growing weight of peer-reviewed scientific evidence for broadly harmful effects of aspartame. The only issue is whether or not Wikipedia is to retain relevance as an information source, or simply be regarded as an outlet for disinformation by vested interests. Wikibearwithme (talk) 20:14, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

there is a lot of bad information on the internet. Content in Wikipedia follows reliable sources. Wikipedia has high standards for sourcing content about health. Please see WP:MEDRS, which is the guideline for selecting sources for content about health. Jytdog (talk) 20:47, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
Hello User:Wikibearwithme. You're welcome to point us to suitable sources to update the article. Our requirements for sources in this article are laid out in WP:MEDRS. You don't have to worry too much about the formatting; a URL, DOI or handle to the original peer review paper will do. Many of us have access to pay-walled sources, so that's not a problem either. Stuartyeates (talk) 22:47, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

There is a useful list of peer-reviewed literature (title, pub. date) on aspartame at this link: These articles are further linked at that webpage.

18 Nov 2014 - Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15(9). September 2006 - Consumption Of Aspartame-Containing Beverages And Incidence Of Hematopoietic And Brain Malignancies [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Artificial Sweetener Consumption And Urinary Tract Tumors In Cordoba, Argentina [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Aspartame Administered In Feed, Beginning Prenatally Through Life Span, Induces Cancers Of The Liver And Lung In Male Swiss Mice [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Associations Of Sugar And Artificially Sweetened Soda With Albuminuria And Kidney Function Decline In Women [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Consumption Of Artificial Sweetener – And Sugar-Containing Soda And Rick Of Lymphoma And Leukemia In Men And Women [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Cytotoxic Effects Of Methanol , Formaldehyde, And Formate On Disassociated Rat Thymocytes: A Possibility Of Aspartame Toxicity [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Effective Of long Term Intake Of Aspartame On Antioxidant Defense Status In Liver [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Effect Of Chronic Exposure To Aspartame On Oxidative Stress In The Brain Of Albino Rats [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 30 May 2013 - Formaldehyde Derived From Dietary Aspartame Binds To Tissue Components In Vivo [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 21 Feb 2013 - Vascular Health Sciences Medical Advisor: I'll Say It Again, Stay Away From Aspartame [Vascular Health Sciences Medical Advisor Dr. DeSilva points to landmark research results to reiterate the dangers of aspartame 18 Feb 2013 - The Effect Of Aspartame Administration On Oncogene And Suppressor Gene Expressions [2007 Hungarian study] 18 Feb 2013 - 'Diet' Drinks Associated With Increased Risk Of Type II Diabetes 18 Feb 2013 - Alcohol Mixed With Diet Drinks May Increase Intoxication More Than Alcohol And Regular Drinks 18 Feb 2013 - Are Diet Soft Drinks Bad For You? 28 Jan 2013 - Diet Soda, Aspartame Shown To Destroy Kidney Function 15 Jan 2013 - No Safe Dose Of Aspartame [Remember that Dr. Adrian Gross, FDA scientist and toxicologist, told Congress, Senate, 8/1/85 that there is no safe dose of aspartame because it causes cancer. It can never be proven safe. He said FDA should have been able to even set an allowable daily intake. - Dr. B. Martini, D.Hum.] 15 Jan 2013 - India: Chronic Exposure To Aspartame Results In Oxidative Stress In Brains Of Albino Rats As Well As Methanol Formation 8/31/12 Aspartame = Corporate Espionage 03 Jan 2013 - Studies On The Effects Of Aspartame On Memory And Oxidative Stress In Brain Of Mice - Egypt 26 Nov 2012 - Consumption Of Artificial Sweetener And Sugar Containing Soda And The Risk Of Lymphoma And Leukemia In Men And Women (Includes Study (Aspartame) And Commentaries) 13 July 2012 - Gender Dimorphism in Aspartame-Induced Impairment Of Spatial Cognition And Insulin Sensitivity [Here is a new study proving that aspartame affects in utero the spatial cognition of male mice. Isn't it interesting that almost 100% of independent, scientific peer reviewed research for over 3 decades show the problems that aspartame cause, and that it is unsafe. I wonder how the manufacturer will try to rebut this one which is what they do with each damning study. The FDA will simply ignore it as they have done with all the damning studies. When is enough enough?! – Dr. B. Martini, D.Hum.] [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 12 Oct 2011 - Early Aspartame Study Proved Cancers - Call For Data #2 12 Oct 2011 - EFSA Call For Data: #3 28 Sep 2011 - Aspartame - Call For Data Independent Scientific Peer Reviewed Research 28 Sep 2011 - Aspartame-Induced Thrombocytopenia [PDF format] (It will open in a new window) 26 Sep 2011 - Recent Independent Aspartame Research Results & News (1998 - 2007) 23 Sep 2011 - Adverse Effects Of Aspartame: Current Bibliographies In Medicine, National Institutes Of Health, Health And Human Resources (167 Citations) 23 Sep 2011 - Survey Of Aspartame Studies: Correlation Of Outcome And Funding Sources 16 Sep 2011 - Adverse Reactions To Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge In Patients From A Vulnerable Population 16 Sep 2011 - Aspartame And Psychiatric Disorders 16 Sep 2011 - Report On Aspartame And Children 09 Sep 2011 - Aspartame Studies: Includes Industry And Independent 27 Aug 2011 - Recent Peer-Reviewed Studies Critical Of Aspartame (Methanol, Formaldehyde, Formic Acid) 13 Aug 2011 - Scientific Peer Reviewed Independent Studies On Aspartame

Wikibearwithme (talk) 23:33, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

You have not read MEDRS. Not a single source there complies with that guideline, which we apply to all content about health in Wikipedia. I understand that you came to Wikipedia believing that aspartame is unhealthy, but if you want to work here, you need to abide by the policies and guidelines that govern what we do here. Jytdog (talk) 23:45, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
by the way, in the future you will save everybody trouble if you just refer us to the page instead of copy/pasting from it. Jytdog (talk) 23:47, 7 March 2016 (UTC)
This has become the standard rhetorical response by fake authorities on Wikipedia - claiming that cited references, including research papers published in academic and highly respected, peer-reviewed journals "do not comply" with Wikipedia's "guidelines" on cited sources (accepting guidelines which themselves are rambling, vandalized, and far too unconcise to be vaguely allowable as conventional citation guidelines of any accredited university). This is a dishonest tactic.
First of all, to the credit of Wikipedia’s MEDRS guidelines, primary sources are not forbidden, and they are enumerated as not quantifiably less objectionable than a reliance on popular press articles - a fact that reflects an atleast average level of competence, since many contain exceptionally methodical literature reviews. Furthermore, contrary to your equivocating claims, they are not labeled as “not compatible” in the relied-upon guidelines, and their usage is therefore discussed throughout those guidelines.
Please use correct terminology when claiming to represent Wikipedia guidelines.
Furthermore, the present article, as it stands now, is utterly reliant on completely unreliable popular press nonsense (e.g. “the Daily Mail, The Washington Post, etc, etc). I don’t know anybody of actual integrity in the health sciences (much less in the harder sciences) who would represent this sort of reliance on popular media as a reliable assessment of scientific fact. Yet this biased article is self-righteously defended by its apparent protectors.
In addition, not all articles in the above list are primary sources – as it contains peer-reviewed secondary sources, which are far more reliable, by any estimate, including MEDRS, than most of the newsmedia, “native advertising” garbage cited in your beloved present article. Apparently, you did not read through the list provided adequately enough to make your claim.
Also, please save your imaginative inferences about my motivations for your personal blog - they don't belong here. Wikibearwithme (talk) 02:17, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Please identify which of the sources from that website you believe are reviews. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 15:59, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
The first one on the list actually states in its abstract that (1) they failed to find a link between aspartame and whichever bad thing alleged to be linked to it and (2) the date on the footers is 2016 (whereas the list page says it is 2014). In other words, (1) at least one of the articles doesn't say what you think it does (you saw a scary title and drew your own conclusion?) and (2), the link doesn't open up to what the link says it does. And who is the source of this compilation of articles, which anyone might have cobbled together from who knows where? Even if they are lifted from a legitimate source, in their current form, they might as well be YouTube videos. There's no way of verifying who really wrote and web-published any of this, short of looking them up one by one in the journals they purport to come from. If someone thinks that's worth doing... ZarhanFastfire (talk) 04:33, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Decided to look at the next four out of curiosity. The format is painful to read. One link is some sort of BBC report about H1N1. Another's abstract did exactly what the one above did, had a scary sounding title and then finished up with "harmless to humans". Did you actually read any of this stuff before posting it and letting fly with your accusations? I'm done. ZarhanFastfire (talk) 04:46, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

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Moved from Wikipedia talk:Signatures

ASPARTAME: Please read and cite Dr Monte's book "While Science Sleeps a sweetener kills". It is a real eye opener. He has done some pretty convincing research and study pointing to chronic low level methanol exposure as a factor in the diseases of modern civilization. Humans, unlike other animals, cannot metabolize methanol. Methanol is highly toxic to humans in quite small doses. Methanol breaks down to, among other things, the very reactive and destructive formaldehyde. [of course formaldehyde does not appear in human tissues because it reacts too fast.] Aspartame can be up to 11% methanol. Methanol is also found in other foods and non food things in our modern day world. This is a rather simplistic look at a highly complicated subject but you really have overlooked or pushed aside some rather profound work in your write up of Aspartame. Elvie Fornshell — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elvie Fornshell (talkcontribs) 02:06, 17 November 2015‎ (UTC)

The Aspartame article has a section on methanol, [3]. I don´t know if Dr Monte is a reliable source, but he could possibly be used there. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:25, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

If he says that humans can't metabolize methanol, he's talking out of his rear. Humans can metabolize methanol, just not very well. Fruit contains small quantities of (naturally occurring) methanol as well, so if we couldn't metabolize methanol at all, we'd be dead fairly quickly. Stui (talk) 18:11, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

In fruit and vegetables, methanol is part of pectin and people do not have the enzymes to break down the pectin to release the methanol. In aspartame products, methanol converts into formaldehyde and then formic acid. Immortale (talk) 13:55, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
The Magnuson,etal cited ref is quite explicit that we do get substantial "methanol" exposure from many fruits and other foods, not just irredeemably covalently bound forms of it. WP:MEDRS as usual. DMacks (talk) 14:48, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Immortale is topic banned anyway. [4]. Dbrodbeck (talk) 15:22, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

The Washington Post article linked to debunk Methanol content does no such thing. Also the FDA rep David Hattan quoted on Snopes: [2] says:

Second, the claim that aspartame ingestion results in the production of methanol, formaldehyde and formate: These claims are factual. In the gastrointestinal tract aspartame is hydrolyzed to one of its component materials, methanol, as well as the two amino acids, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. This methanol is taken up by the cells of the body and metabolized first to formaldehyde and then to formate. (talk) 17:36, 23 November 2016 (UTC) (this is User:MtB I just can't prove it right now).

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Any Interest?

Perhaps you might be interested in this?

Quione (talk) 16:30, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

As it's a WP:PRIMARY source, there's not much to do with it. However, if reliable secondary sources start talking about it, then it might warrant some page space. Noformation Talk 17:18, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Aspartame plus Monsanto plus thimerosal? What is this, a game of Bullshit Bingo? Guy (Help!) 01:25, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

This is a really important link. My vote goes for putting it on the webpage. Thanks.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Claustro123 (talkcontribs) 18:20, 30 January 2017 (UTC)