I was disgusted to learn that a popular artificial sweetener is produced by what I can only call ‘unsavory practices’.  UPI reports:

The European patent for aspartame is now available online, and it confirms the artificial sweetener is made from the waste products of genetically modified E. coli bacteria.

Though this fact was reported as early as 1999, not much attention was paid at the time to aspartame and its maker Monsanto, which was allegedly adding GM aspartame to soft drinks in Britain.

The patent refers to “cloned microorganisms” later revealed to be genetically modified E. coli bacteria.

. . .

The bacteria waste is then treated … to produce aspartame.

There’s more at the link.

Yes, I know that aspartame has been certified to be safe by innumerable scientific studies, yadda, yadda, yadda . . . but I just don’t care.  If a sweetener is made from the same kind of bacteria found in my feces, no matter how ‘genetically modified’ they may be, I won’t be buying or using it, or any products made with it.  Yuck!



  1. Having worked at a sweetener factory for 18 years, I know how ALL artificial sweeteners are made. High fructose corn syrup is made using GM-bacteria waste products as well. One GM produced enzyme to help crack the long starch bonds, another to crack the shorter bonds into dextrose, a third to twist the dextrose into fructose.
    All of the "sweet alcohols" like erithritol, xylitol, etc. are produced as a by-product of a GM-based fermentation.
    I prefer cane or beet sugar in my drinks.

  2. Peter, not all E. Coli are created equal. You don't seem to have any problem with Insulin produced by genetically modified microorganisms, which is nothing more than a series of amino acids forming peptide bonds. Aspartame is just two amino acids, a "monopeptide" as opposed to polypeptide.

    The best processes involving GM micro-organisms are the ones where the waste of some process (such as brewery waste) becomes the feedstock for another product (such as feeding GM E. Coli to make something). E. Coli are used a lot because they are a model organism, have their entire genome mapped out, and replicate faster than anything else we know about. Makes sense to use them to produce proteins.

  3. Interesting, Tim. Thanks. Didn't know that. Knowing what I do about metabolism of fructose (liver only, sort of like alcohol) I avoid any sort of added fructose, particularly HFCS, and try to make sure there is nearly as much fiber as sugar in any sort of processed food I eat.

  4. Safe? Not so much. Causes an allergic reaction when I consume any of it. Big problem because the food makers don't bother to clean the production line between the normal sugar and fake sugar versions.

    Sweet-n-Low makes their own version of aspartame, (and probably all the generic sweet-n-low), and it is all contaminated. Idiots.

  5. Aspartame fries neurons in your brain. Check out Dr. Russell Blaylock's book, "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills."

    Not to mention the methanol bonds holding the aspartame molecule together, or the fact it degrades into formaldehyde, formic acid, and other lovely things you don't want in your body!

    And regarding "studies" that say aspartame is safe…. All you have to do is look to see who was funding a particular study. Then you know what the study will say without even having to read it! So when a manufacturer of aspartame says it is safe, take that with a pound of salt!


  6. That stuff is powdered migraines for me anyway. Even the tiny amounts used in some medications and toothpaste. I avoid it at all costs.

  7. And about fifteen percent of the population are subject to high fevers and potential seizures upon exposure to too much aspartame.
    Be aware that only a handful of breath fresheners and chewing gum brands do NOT use aspartame.
    My children and I are subject to this. It caused a lot of problems when they were younger and we didn't know about the aspartame link to the seizures they were having. My in laws were firm believers in artificial sweeteners at the time so whenever the kids went to the in laws they had seizures inside of a day. The police were actually concerned about abuse over this.

  8. armedlaughing,

    I mean if we're talking mold there's the whole wide world of booze. Lotta bacteria involved there too. Like, y'know, in Guinness for example.

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