Consumer advocate attorney Jim Turner, who was instrumental in the 1969 banning of cyclamate in the U.S. for its link to various forms of cancer, met with representatives of aspartame approval petitioner Searle in 1974. The main topic of discussion was neuroscientist Dr. John Olney’s 1971 study which showed that aspartic acid caused lesions in the brains of infant mice. According to Turner, arguably the world’s foremost authority on aspartame’s dubious legal history, Rumsfeld was apparently hired by Searle for one specific purpose: To obtain FDA approval for aspartame.
Among the many ironies of our modern world is that Gerald Ford awarded the Presidential Medal of FreedomAmerica’s highest civilian honor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on January 19, 1977. Just a few weeks later on March 8, Rumsfeld became the CEO of G.D. Searle to take point on a mission to force the Food and Drug Administration to approve for human consumption a known carcinogen and neurotoxic poison. Mission accomplished: Today some 9,000 commonly consumed products are laced with this weapon of mass misery and millions of people live with chronic illnesses linked to the artificial sweetener aspartame.