Institute of Medicine - National Academy of Sciences [FO3030B]
2101 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington D.C. 20418
STATEMENT TO COMMITTEE ON IDENTIFYING
FOR GULF WAR VETERAN'S HEALTH PROBLEMS
Thank you for this opportunity to share our research with the Committee today. For over half a decade, our organization has been concerned about the far reaching effects of Gulf War Syndrome touching the lives of the brave men and women who served so valiantly in the Persian Gulf.
Last year, as the invited guest of the Desert Storm Justice Foundation, I attended the Gulf War Veteran's Annual Conference in Las Vegas to observe and gather more evidence to support our allegations that aspartame ingestion may be partially responsible for many of the very real symptoms suffered by a large number of those who served in Desert Storm. In talking with various attendees, I learned that most had been exposed to the toxic breakdown products of aspartame: methanol, formaldehyde, diketopiperazine and formic acid during their tour of duty.
The fact that ingestion of degraded, toxic substances due to breakdown of aspartame in desert heat
[sugarfree sodas, kool aids, MREs] can not be disputed. What is important now is that further damage is not done by ingesting more aspartame.
Those unfortunate individuals suffering the devastating effects of Gulf War Syndrome - from whatever the cause of their initial illness – must now know that GWS is exacerbated by further use of any product containing aspartame. The risk of greater neurological damage is a very real threat. Aspartame may commonly be found in the following items: chewing gums, breath mints, diet sodas, instant coffees, teas, kool aids, protein drinks, yogurts, puddings, toppings, tabletop sweeteners, cereals, fiber drinks,
Tums, Alka Seltzer formulas, etc.
Therefore, I submit that all treatment of Gulf War illnesses must include a warning to avoid all products containing aspartame. Avoidance of further toxic assaults on the immune system is a very important part of the healing process and should not be ignored by those who remain ill and health care providers entrusted with their treatment. Beyond that, we've found the normal attempts to observe the principals of a healthy lifestyle - proper rest, exercise, Re hydration with pure water and eating real fruits, vegetables, grains and unprocessed foods allows the body to attempt to heal itself. Obviously, those who have suffered the most severe physical damage will need to work with health care providers to find the best therapies and medications for their particular needs and symptoms.
Thank you for allowing us to enter our data into the public records. Please feel free to call upon me if you have further questions. I have enclosed [in triplicate] copies of articles from the
U.S.A.F. Flying Safety magazine; Hazards International, [a scientific journal in the U.K.]; The Plano Star Courier [article on
GWS] and a press release from the Las Vegas Gulf War Veteran's Conference.
Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder and President