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Author Topic: DEBUNKED: The Dangers of Aspartame  (Read 4205 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« on: August 29, 2009, 11:07:08 PM »

Avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame-it's terribly dangerous and a known carcinogen. It's worrisome how they manage to sneak it into so many products, including nearly all chewing gums. Every time you have a craving for a soda etc. tell yourself it is not a soda, but pure chemicals, dyes and sugar.
Unless you've read some sources of which I possess no knowledge, I'm afraid this stuff you've read/heard about aspartame being so dangerous has been debunked as the urban myth it is.  I don't necessarily endorse drinking diet soda--or any soda, for that matter--for a whole host of other reasons, but the false belief in any mythological danger of aspartame is NOT one of those reasons.

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/aspartame.asp
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 12:08:07 AM »

My wife and I use Stevia (sweet leaf product) to sweeten our beverages, but we're not opposed to artificial sweeteners like Splenda and so forth.
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009, 01:10:23 PM »

There are actual dangers to an extremely small population who have a condition called phenylketonuria. If you have that, stay away from aspartame. If you don't, it's a perfectly safe product despite its disgusting taste.
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2009, 01:57:05 PM »

Whew-glad to know it's safe after all!  Wink Having said that, it is unfortunate how many chemicals are in the foods we eat. That's one thing I'll always appreciate about Eastern Europe-their avoidance of chemicals in their foods and appreciation for natural, wholesome products.
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2009, 02:09:15 PM »

There's a woman I used to know who told us her son was allergic to Aspartame. She could never say no to him, so she let him drink gallons of sweet fizzy drinks and then had to peel him off the walls: obviously, it was the evil Aspartame that made him behave like that...

Not sure I like the idea of unnecessary additives in my food either, but an awful lot of the people who think Aspartame makes children hyper seem to have permanently hyper children for other, less self-excusing, reasons.
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2009, 05:22:07 PM »

Then why do they suggest that pregnant and nursing women avoid aspartame?
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2009, 06:03:07 PM »

Then why do they suggest that pregnant and nursing women avoid aspartame?
Perhaps if you told us who suggests it, we might be able to tell you their reasons.
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2009, 06:14:17 PM »

Every midwife, nutritionist or doctor I have spoken to about nutrition while breastfeeding or pregnant. You know when you are pregnant and they start the lecture about too much fish, lunchmeat ect? Well that always has included aspartame in all 7 of my pregnancies. And I have seen a couple OB's, a couple midwives and a couple doctors that were all at different practices.
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2009, 06:19:08 PM »

Every midwife, nutritionist or doctor I have spoken to about nutrition while breastfeeding or pregnant.
Okay, sorry, I don't know them and can't vouch for their reasoning. Maybe you should ask them?

Quote
You know when you are pregnant and they start the lecture about too much fish, lunchmeat ect?
Nope. I've never been pregnant, and I've never heard any of the midwives, nutritionists, or doctors (the antecedents of that pronoun) lecture. Can't help you.

Quote
Well that always has included aspartame in all 7 of my pregnancies. And I have seen a couple OB's, a couple midwives and a couple doctors that were all at different practices.
Okay. I still don't know those people, so I still can't tell you why they would have said so.
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2009, 06:56:15 PM »

Every midwife, nutritionist or doctor I have spoken to about nutrition while breastfeeding or pregnant.
Okay, sorry, I don't know them and can't vouch for their reasoning. Maybe you should ask them?

Quote
You know when you are pregnant and they start the lecture about too much fish, lunchmeat ect?
Nope. I've never been pregnant, and I've never heard any of the midwives, nutritionists, or doctors (the antecedents of that pronoun) lecture. Can't help you.

Quote
Well that always has included aspartame in all 7 of my pregnancies. And I have seen a couple OB's, a couple midwives and a couple doctors that were all at different practices.
Okay. I still don't know those people, so I still can't tell you why they would have said so.

I can't think of many healthy things that include Aspartame anyway. You shouldn't be drinking fizzy pop anytime, especially during pregnancy. Surely that would be part of the reason?
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2009, 07:45:57 PM »

Nope it is in gum and most mints as well. I use mints and gum for nausea during pregnancy. When you can't hold any food down and dry heave constantly nothing helps more than mints and gum. I have found things I can use that don't contain aspartame that I can use for that purpose (altoids and tic tacs don't). Gum is the hardest item to find without aspartame unless you get it from a healthfood store or buy the cheap sugary gum marketed to children.

Mr. Y you have a wife that has been pregnant, so I figured she would talk to you about the stuff she shouldn't eat during pregnancy. Maybe you aren't as involved as my husband is in that sort of stuff. My husband (when he isn't deployed) and all my friend's husbands go to as many prenatal appointments and such as they can. Maybe being highly involved during pregnancy is a nw thing?
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2009, 07:56:47 PM »

Mr. Y you have a wife that has been pregnant, so I figured she would talk to you about the stuff she shouldn't eat during pregnancy. Maybe you aren't as involved as my husband is in that sort of stuff. My husband (when he isn't deployed) and all my friend's husbands go to as many prenatal appointments and such as they can. Maybe being highly involved during pregnancy is a nw thing?
No, she'd tell you I'm quite involved. Seems your assumption is no more valid than your vague use of "they."
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2009, 07:57:27 PM »

So no one ever tells her dietary recommendations? Maybe you should get a new doctor laugh Her diet doesn't change at all during pregnancy?

Methinks you are being a bit cranky about this. I said less involved "in that sort of stuff." You don't care/are unaware of dietary restrictions for your wife during pregnancy, that is fine. It doesn't make you uninvolved in the pregnancy as a whole. My husband (and most fathers-to-be I know) tend to watch what their wives eat in pregnancy pretty closely to make sure that a)they are eating enough and b)they eat as healthy as possible. Which includes what they can and cannot eat. (soft cheeses, raw sushi, lots of certain fish, lunchmeat unless it is heated and the like) I have been given handouts every single time I am pregnant about food restrictions and dietary recommendations.

As far as my usage of "they" goes; I have seen in my 7 pregnancies; 13 midwives (two practices and one lay midwife), 3 OBGYN's (two practices) and 2 nutritionists as well as the four primary care givers I already had. Would you rather I listed all their names? Somehow I doubt you care what their names are and even if I listed them it would mean nothing to you.
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2009, 08:01:53 PM »

Nope it is in gum and most mints as well. I use mints and gum for nausea during pregnancy. When you can't hold any food down and dry heave constantly nothing helps more than mints and gum. I have found things I can use that don't contain aspartame that I can use for that purpose (altoids and tic tacs don't). Gum is the hardest item to find without aspartame unless you get it from a healthfood store or buy the cheap sugary gum marketed to children.

Mr. Y you have a wife that has been pregnant, so I figured she would talk to you about the stuff she shouldn't eat during pregnancy. Maybe you aren't as involved as my husband is in that sort of stuff. My husband (when he isn't deployed) and all my friend's husbands go to as many prenatal appointments and such as they can. Maybe being highly involved during pregnancy is a nw thing?

Ah, fair enough. I've never had gum, so I wouldn't know. But obv., whatever works for you.
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2009, 10:29:35 PM »

So no one ever tells her dietary recommendations? Maybe you should get a new doctor laugh Her diet doesn't change at all during pregnancy?

Methinks you are being a bit cranky about this. I said less involved "in that sort of stuff." You don't care/are unaware of dietary restrictions for your wife during pregnancy, that is fine. It doesn't make you uninvolved in the pregnancy as a whole. My husband (and most fathers-to-be I know) tend to watch what their wives eat in pregnancy pretty closely to make sure that a)they are eating enough and b)they eat as healthy as possible. Which includes what they can and cannot eat. (soft cheeses, raw sushi, lots of certain fish, lunchmeat unless it is heated and the like) I have been given handouts every single time I am pregnant about food restrictions and dietary recommendations.

As far as my usage of "they" goes; I have seen in my 7 pregnancies; 13 midwives (two practices and one lay midwife), 3 OBGYN's (two practices) and 2 nutritionists as well as the four primary care givers I already had. Would you rather I listed all their names? Somehow I doubt you care what their names are and even if I listed them it would mean nothing to you.
ISTM like you're making generalizations from your specific pregnancy experiences and applying them to someone else's pregnant wife.  I imagine you should know better than this, since no two people have exactly the same biochemistry.

Even if your information does come from general handout type publications, you've named no specific authority outside of yourself.  So who knows who this nebulous "they" are?

Lastly, I don't see any crankiness in Mr. Y's replies to you, so I have to wonder who's really the cranky one here.
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2009, 10:56:42 PM »

ISTM? I see the ?

I don't see just naturopaths and such, I see regular doctors, some of whom help decide parameters for the medical community around here. (one of my primary doctors helped write up the vaccination recommendations for the Puget Sound area) I haven't known anyone that has had a doctor in this area ever say it was OK to consume aspartame during pregnancy ever. I worked in childcare and all the mothers that came in talked about not being able to have diet sodas and such because of the aspartame (not just because they were soda, because it was OK for them to have regular soda). So for the last 10+ years to my knowledge it has been recommended that women avoid aspartame. I never said I agreed with them or not. I simply stated that in my experience and in that of everyone that has been pregnant that I have ever known in my area- that it is advised that women that are nursing or pregnant avoid aspartame and sacchrin (sacchrin is unsafe period in pregnancy, there is no debate about that!) I have been on no less than 3 due date bulletin boards and every woman on those sites (300 hundred altogether from various parts of the world) were also advised either to avoid aspartame entirely or to limit it to two servings (or packets if used in coffee/tea) a day.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2009, 11:02:00 PM »

ISTM? I see the ?
It seems to me...
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2009, 11:20:25 PM »

It isn't just soda either. There is often aspartame in;

Gum
Breath Mints
Cereals
Chewing Gum
Flavored Syrups for Coffee
Flavored Water Products
Frozen Ice
Frozen Ice Cream Novelties
Fruit Spreads
Gelatin
Hard Candies
Ice cream Toppings
Ice Creams
Iced Tea Powder
Iced Tea Ready to Drink
Instant Cocoa Mix
Jams & Jellies
Juice Blends
Juice Drinks
Maple Syrups
Meal Replacements
Mousse
Nutritional Bars
Powdered Soft Drinks
Protein Nutritional Drinks
Pudding
Soft Candy Chews
Chocolate Syrup
Cookies
Ketchup
Vegetable Drinks
Yogurt

For the last 9 years I have been nursing or pregnant everyday barring a short two month period of time between weaning #1 and getting pregnant with #2. I have had to check labels that entire time. And if I had been told it was ok to have aspartame it would have made my life MUCH easier.
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2009, 11:26:20 PM »

So no one ever tells her dietary recommendations? Maybe you should get a new doctor laugh Her diet doesn't change at all during pregnancy?
Nope. Never said that. You're still assuming.

Quote
As far as my usage of "they" goes; I have seen in my 7 pregnancies; 13 midwives (two practices and one lay midwife), 3 OBGYN's (two practices) and 2 nutritionists as well as the four primary care givers I already had. Would you rather I listed all their names? Somehow I doubt you care what their names are and even if I listed them it would mean nothing to you.
That may well be, but your question was asking the members here to relate the motivations of a certain group of unspecified people who may or may not have ever met each other. Until you tell us whom you're talking about, there's no way for us to get an answer. This is the logical (and grammatical) fallacy of the ambiguous pronoun reference.

Or, to put it another way: Your question was "Why do they suggest that pregnant and nursing women avoid aspartame?" As it is asked, you could mean "Why do gynecologists suggest this?" or "Why do nutritionists suggest this?" or even "Why do circus clowns suggest this?" There's no way to know unless you tell us.
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2009, 11:30:05 PM »

I typically type one handed since I have one or more kids on my lap or attached to me in some form, so "they" was easier to type than 22 names. If you wanted clarification there are politer ways to ask for it.
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« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2009, 06:06:03 AM »

It isn't just soda either. There is often aspartame in;

Gum
Breath Mints
Cereals
Chewing Gum
Flavored Syrups for Coffee
Flavored Water Products
Frozen Ice
Frozen Ice Cream Novelties
Fruit Spreads
Gelatin
Hard Candies
Ice cream Toppings
Ice Creams
Iced Tea Powder
Iced Tea Ready to Drink
Instant Cocoa Mix
Jams & Jellies
Juice Blends
Juice Drinks
Maple Syrups
Meal Replacements
Mousse
Nutritional Bars
Powdered Soft Drinks
Protein Nutritional Drinks
Pudding
Soft Candy Chews
Chocolate Syrup
Cookies
Ketchup
Vegetable Drinks
Yogurt

For the last 9 years I have been nursing or pregnant everyday barring a short two month period of time between weaning #1 and getting pregnant with #2. I have had to check labels that entire time. And if I had been told it was ok to have aspartame it would have made my life MUCH easier.

The vast majority of things you list are not particularly healthy (and are highly processed) foods. You sound like someone very on-the-ball with your medical requirements, but not everyone is. Maybe the doctors just want to remind all pregnant women they see that they shouldn't assume, just because these foods contain sweetener rather than 'real' sugar, that they're somehow a good idea to rely on. Clearly if you are feeling sick considerations like that go out the window and you stick with whatever works. But otherwise, surely 'this food contains Aspartame' is going to be a pretty good yardstick for 'this food is processed c***'? I can see how someone might think they were still be healthy to eat it because it's not 'sugary' or 'high calorie' - and not eat enough of the right things as a consequence?

(But you can see I'm really just trying to think laterally about your doctors' reasoning, I'm sure. Btw, it looks like Aspartame is much more widely used in the States than here in the UK.)
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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2009, 06:30:39 AM »

Sorry to double-post, but two further things occurred to me:

1) A very recently-qualified doctor once told me to avoid caffeine. She said that, 'Earl Grey tea is fine, though - it's decaffeinated'. (It's not: doctors do make mistakes and sometimes, they're very simple ones. Doctors are human too.)

2) In the UK, increasingly, doctors are recommended to tell all pregnant women to avoid alcohol entirely, throughout their pregnancies. Many doctors have acknowledged that a small glass of wine every now and then is not harmful, and that - especially later in pregnancy - it may be quite good for the mother if she feels she is able to drink a little red wine on rare occasions.

Despite this, many of the same doctors nevertheless agree that they would recommend pregnant women to avoid alcohol, despite the above. Firstly, they do so because, sadly, some people will think that if a small amount of wine infrequently is ok, then so is a large amount regularly. Secondly, they do so because there is so much scaremongering in the press about the dangers of alcohol that it is much better for women's peace of mind if they have a single, simple piece of advice to follow.

--

It seems to me that there could be something similar going with Aspartame, Quinault?
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2009, 12:27:51 PM »

The yogurt was the most shocking to me. Yogurt is typically a nice fairly healthy item to eat. But a good percentage of the flavored yogurts here have aspartame in them. So I have been buying a certain brand plain and adding the flavors myself. (Not to mention as Mr Y said before, the flavor isn't as good when you add aspartame)
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2009, 01:46:47 PM »

The yogurt was the most shocking to me. Yogurt is typically a nice fairly healthy item to eat. But a good percentage of the flavored yogurts here have aspartame in them. So I have been buying a certain brand plain and adding the flavors myself. (Not to mention as Mr Y said before, the flavor isn't as good when you add aspartame)

That's actually a nice idea in general - I'd not thought of it, but fruit puree or similar stirred into natural yogurt ought to be tasty.
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« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2009, 02:06:35 PM »

^It is very tasty. Although this company also makes a whole milk "honey" yogurt as well. It is made here in the NW so I don't know how widely available it is. But is is by far my favorite yogurt.
http://www.nancysyogurt.com/

But while breast feeding I can't have anything from the teat of a cow so I have to eat either this (they make a wonderful mozzarella too!)
http://www.bufaladivermont.com/
or this
http://vitanetonline.com/Organic-Foods/75321-0/vitamins/Yogurt-buffalo-milk-chai/
(although I am able to buy it cheaper. The company website is down)

Or I can have goat milk/yogurt/cheese. But there is something about cow based dairy (along with a long list of other foods) that makes my children scream in agony if I eat it while breast feeding. (soy garners an even worse reaction)
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« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2009, 05:09:52 PM »

^It is very tasty. Although this company also makes a whole milk "honey" yogurt as well. It is made here in the NW so I don't know how widely available it is. But is is by far my favorite yogurt.
http://www.nancysyogurt.com/

But while breast feeding I can't have anything from the teat of a cow so I have to eat either this (they make a wonderful mozzarella too!)
http://www.bufaladivermont.com/
or this
http://vitanetonline.com/Organic-Foods/75321-0/vitamins/Yogurt-buffalo-milk-chai/
(although I am able to buy it cheaper. The company website is down)

Or I can have goat milk/yogurt/cheese. But there is something about cow based dairy (along with a long list of other foods) that makes my children scream in agony if I eat it while breast feeding. (soy garners an even worse reaction)


Ouch, you have my sympathy!  Sad

... But now I shall try and retire gracefully from this thread before I get accused of derailing two in one day. Oops ...
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« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2009, 07:25:14 PM »

I typically type one handed since I have one or more kids on my lap or attached to me in some form, so "they" was easier to type than 22 names. If you wanted clarification there are politer ways to ask for it.
I don't think you're taking this personally enough. I think you should inject at least three more sob stories into this thread. And make sure you don't ever actually clarify the question. That would be silly.
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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2009, 08:19:19 PM »

^Wouldn't that be an ad hominem? I could go there too, but I won't. Wink
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« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2009, 08:21:43 PM »

Or you could just clarify your original question. That would be much simpler. And I know you've had time, since you've posted in this thread nine times since I asked for clarification.
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« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2009, 08:22:42 PM »

^It is very tasty. Although this company also makes a whole milk "honey" yogurt as well. It is made here in the NW so I don't know how widely available it is. But is is by far my favorite yogurt.
http://www.nancysyogurt.com/

But while breast feeding I can't have anything from the teat of a cow so I have to eat either this (they make a wonderful mozzarella too!)
http://www.bufaladivermont.com/
or this
http://vitanetonline.com/Organic-Foods/75321-0/vitamins/Yogurt-buffalo-milk-chai/
(although I am able to buy it cheaper. The company website is down)

Or I can have goat milk/yogurt/cheese. But there is something about cow based dairy (along with a long list of other foods) that makes my children scream in agony if I eat it while breast feeding. (soy garners an even worse reaction)


Ouch, you have my sympathy!  Sad

... But now I shall try and retire gracefully from this thread before I get accused of derailing two in one day. Oops ...

No need for sympathy. Water Buffalo cheese/yogurt is wonderful. It tastes even better than the cow version. And anyone that has had much Greek food has has the various goat milks/cheeses. They are wonderful too.
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« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2009, 05:06:10 PM »

Apparently you don't care to have your question answered. Okay, whatever.
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The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2009, 05:21:50 PM »

Apparently you don't care to have your question answered. Okay, whatever.
Methinks she doesn't care to have her answers questioned, either. Cheesy
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Quinault
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What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2009, 05:36:02 PM »

I am interested in having my questions answered. But obviously he is not interested in answering them. He wants to argue about how I ask them. I will not be baited into an argument. I could personally attack him like crazy if I liked but I will not stoop to his level. If he truly wanted to answer my question (although he obviously isn't qualified to since he seems unaware of the dietary restrictions that doctors give nursing and pregnant women) then he would have some modicum of respect in how he asked me to clarify. It seems you can be a mod and ad hominem attack others all you like and still remain a mod. He knows ad hominems are not allowed and yet he persists without apology. Why should I continue to interact with him? If there was an "ignore" button he would be first on my list for it. Why he remains a mod even though he ignores the very rules he is put in place to enforce is beyond me. His personal insult to me above is beyond my tolerance. And he is now incapable of having my respect until he can interact respectfully. His wife and other mods can disagree with someone without personal attacks. Why a mod can be a mod and ever be on a warning status, or choose to ignore the rules, while currently being a mod makes no sense to me. Would you have the prison guards be parolees? And having another mod egg him on is just the icing on the cake. PtA- you see the ad hominem above and you are choosing to ignore it as well. I would report the post but what would be the point? He would continue to be a mod and continue to be the disrespectful person he is anyway.

-Go ahead, warn me and delete my post. Whatever......
 You are hereby on warned status for publicly criticizing the work of a moderator and for criticizing the admins for not punishing said moderator for alleged misdeeds.  For acknowledging the consequences of this and for defiantly voicing your criticism anyway, your warning will last for 40 days.  Any more outbursts like this while you are on warned status, and you will be placed immediately on Post Moderation.  If you think my actions unfair, please feel free to appeal my decision to cleveland.

- PeterTheAleut
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 08:04:50 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
SolEX01
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« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2009, 07:43:20 PM »

I rarely drink diet soda and continue to avoid foods with aspartame.  The allergy to that chemical which starts with phek is far more dangerous than the aspartame.

I also heard that aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde although that might have been discredited by Snopes.
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PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
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Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2009, 08:00:36 PM »

I also heard that aspartame breaks down to formaldehyde although that might have been discredited by Snopes.
Yes, that myth is busted in the Snopes article to which I posted a link.
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