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Chewing Gum case strengthens call for school diet drink ban
Eating excessive amount asparatame causes sickness.
CHEWING GUM CASE STRENGTHENS CALL FOR SCHOOL DIET DRINK BAN The case of a Wellington woman who became seriously unwell after consuming excessive amounts of the controversial additive aspartame in chewing gum underlines the urgent need for consumer information and warnings about potential side effects, Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says.“This case also leads me to repeat the call for fizzy drinks containing aspartame to be removed from schools,” Ms Kedgley says Abigail McCormack began suffering crippling muscle cramps and tingling in her hands and feet, heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, depression and skin rashes, she thought she was dying after consuming excessive amounts of chewing gum containing aspartame. Ms McCormack is concerned that there were no warnings to alert her to the fact that aspartame could cause harm. These health problems stopped when Ms McCormack stopped chewing aspartame sweetened gum. “Like Ms McCormack, many consumers have no idea that aspartame is a controversial additive, or that it has been linked to a significant number of side-effects, especially if it is frequently consumed in large quantities. Aspartame, once ingested, breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol, which in turn converts into formaldehyde which is a deadly neurotoxin,” Ms Kedgley says.“Given the large number of products containing aspartame and the marketing focus on diet foods and drinks containing the additive, it is essential that consumers are alerted to any potential side effects.“The Government has a responsibility to require that this information is provided, through warning labels on products and public information campaigns.“The problem is that products containing aspartame are being touted as a healthier alternative and this means that many children are being exposed to potentially large doses of this artificial sweetener.While, it’s important to reduce the sugar intake of children and adults, to replace that sugar with a controversial additive is just not the answer.“There are now credible international studies suggesting a link between aspartame and cancer in animals. Such studies, along with the health difficulties experienced by Ms McCormack, demand action by the Government. For more informationSue Kedgley, MP, 04 470 6728, 021 270 9088 Fran Tyler, Communications Coordinator, 04 470 6679, 021 936 940