- RF: Dr. Sandra Cabot is well-known in the health arena
for commenting and writing books on a number of health issues. Some time
ago she wrote about hormone replacement therapy for women. She is the
author of an extremely good selling book, called 'The Liver Cleansing Diet',
and it is in the area of livers that I guess we're talking to her tonight
Last night we raised the topic of artificial sweeteners, and a claim
by a number of eminent people that it is not only poisonous, but we should
not be using it. In a moment of course, we will talk to the Australian
Soft Drink Association spokesman who will explain why they think it's safe.
But in the meantime, Dr. Sandra Cabot is joining us. Good evening.
- SC: Oh hello Ray.
- RF: Good to talk with you again.
- SC: Yes.
- RF: Now, the artificial sweetener, if it is so bad for
us, why is it that it's freely available and that our health authorities
have given it the all-clear?
- SC: Well the most common sweetener which is Aspartame,
is so widely distributed in foods, and in hotels and motels, for sweeteners
for tea and coffee that it's very, very difficult to reverse this. I guess
it kind of snuck in when all the government regulatory bodies weren't as
vigilant as they should have been and probably didn't understand the consequences
of people having these things regularly. But, it's made by a company called
Monsanto, which is also responsible for a lot of the genetically engineered
seeds that are now so ubiquitous on the planet. And these companies have
a lot of money and they advertise and they brainwash people - it's as simple
- RF: Yes, the American FDA apparently passed it. I presume
then, now health authorities would give it a rubber stamp if it was good
enough for them they would Okay it in Australia?
- SC: No not always. Actually, a lot of drugs that are
in America take many years before they get into Australia. And we have
drugs here that aren't always accepted by the American FDA. But, I think
when it comes to food, that's really something to do with the health department
and I think there's just a lot of misunderstanding and lack of awareness
of the metabolic imbalances that these things can cause. And you know,
there's people in America that've dedicated their whole lives to try and
stop these things. There's an organisation called Mission Possible, which
has a web site called dorway.com, and you know, there's so much research
on there, a lot of it coming from medical specialists that show that these
things can cause symptoms of disease.
- RF: And you're convinced by the documentation, by the
experiments, that artificial sweetener Aspartame causes all of these things
it's accused of? I think in the book that I've read, it's caused, ah,
it's accused of forming formaldehyde within the body and then causing toxins
in the liver.
- SC: Yes. Well, aspartame is broken down into formaldehyde
and methanol, which is wood alcohol, which causes brain damage. And formaldehyde,
of course, is used to embalm people, so, you know, if you want to preserve
yourself before you die, I suppose it's a good thing to take. (Laugh in
- RF: Formaldehyde is also accused of being carcinogenic.
- SC: Indeed. Look, really people are meant to have real
sugar, and the best form of sugar is from fruits and, you know, unprocessed
whole grains, cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds, which have complex carbohydrates.
And yeah, people should be eating real food rather than artificial things.
It's a bit like margarine; which is very close to plastic in its molecular
structure. You know, people are better off to have unprocessed natural
foods, but, when it comes to the liver, it's much happier if you give it
organic molecules rather than inorganic molecules. Now, Aspartame is inorganic.
People were never designed to ingest formaldehyde and methanol.
- RF: All right, now let me.
- SC: Because they're liver toxic!
- RF: Now let me take you back a couple of sentences there.
You're telling me that margarine is close to plastic?
- SC: Yes, in molecular structure. Indeed, it's been
shown that trans fatty acids can have adverse effects on blood lipids.
And, you see, these molecules don't fit our cell membranes and they don't
get recognised by the cells. They're like aliens; in cellular society,
whether it's artificial sweeteners or trans fatty acids. And, you know,
you've got to, really, you've got to look around and ask yourself, why
has the incidence of type two diabetes tripled since 1952. That's incredible!
And that's a big problem for this country and even bigger for the United
States, because we haven't always had trans fatty acids in such huge amounts
in our food chain. We haven't had artificial sweeteners - it's only in
the last decade that these things have become so ubiquitous. And yet,
diseases are escalating so these things don't help to prevent this area
of diseases. We need to go back to inorganic - oh, say again, - organic
foods, natural unprocessed foods. And, you know, the principles of the
liver cleansing diet are very simple - you know, getting people to have
the good fat, the essential fatty acids, getting them to have natural sugars.
You know, you're going to talk to somebody from a soft drinks company.
- RF: Yep.
- SC: and that's fine. Because there's nothing wrong
with having some sugar in a soft drink. I mean, if you're diabetic, obviously
you can't do that. But, for the average person, out there, the occasional
soft drink isn't going to hurt them. And they are far better off.
- RF: But the people, obviously, are worried about ordinary
soft drinks because they are trying to lose weight. It all gets back to
people worrying about what sugar does to their waist line.
- SC: Yeah, you're right Ray. And you know, it's like
everybody wants to be slim but, see, the interesting thing about metabolism
is, that, if you have a healthy liver, you'll have a much more efficient
metabolism. And it's not so much how much you eat, but it's what you eat.
Unless, you know, people are obviously, ,just sitting down and eating
all day, because calories do count a bit. But, it's far more significant
what you eat. And if you have the good fat, the essential fatty acids,
and the correct sugars and the correct complex carbohydrates and amino
acids, your mitochondria, which are the little energy factories in your
cells, will turn these nutrients into the chemical of energy, which is
ATP, and you'll have efficient metabolism.
- RF: You're telling me to go back to butter and to go
back to sugar.
- SC: No, I don't think butter is good if you have a weight
problem. I think, go for the essential fatty acids which are found in
things like cold pressed vegetable oils, ah, tahini, nut spreads, um, there
are lots of different things we have in 'The Healthy Liver and Bowel' book
that you can put on your bread, other than butter and margarine. But,
butter's better than margarine.
- RF: So, effectively, you are convinced by the research
from the US, that you wouldn't touch the artificial sweetener Aspartame?
- SC: Correct, because I want my brain to work properly,
and my brain needs sugar. It needs glucose which is the fuel for my brain,
and I'm not going to feed it methanol, which is wood alcohol, which causes
brain damage in severe alcoholics, or formaldehyde because I don't . I'm
not ready to preserve my body yet.
- RF: Thank you for your time tonight.
- SC: Okay.
- RF: Dr. Sandra Cabot, renowned author, who was giving
us a few health tips there. In a moment, Tony Genteel, the Chief Executive
of the Australian Soft Drink Association of Australia is joining us from
Sydney to give us his point of view.
- (Commercial break.)
- RF: Twenty-five minutes before 9 o'clock. You're with
Ray Fewings on Adelaide Tonight. Tony Genteel is, the Chief Executive
Officer of the Australian Soft Drinks Association. Of course the artificial
sweeteners, Aspartame included, I think, are used in some of the diet drinks
that are out at the present time. He talks to us from Sydney. Good evening.
- TG: Good evening Ray.
- RF: Have you heard this argument before, of er.. the
claims that Aspartame is in fact a toxin.
- TG: Oh, absolutely.
- RF: .. and can have these effects.
- TG: I've heard 'em and if you log on to the Internet
there are millions of - well they seem like millions any way, of all sorts
of claims, and one of the wonderful things about the Internet is that no-one
can check your credentials. So you can make all kinds of claims. And
what worries us is that a lot of these unsubstantiated statements have
frightened individuals and their families quite unnecessarily. And, uh,
look, the Australia New Zealand Food Authority is the eminent scientific
body in Australia as far as what goes into our food and beverages. And
they have given Aspartame a clean bill of health. Now, uh, one, uh, can
say whatever one wants,
- but at the end of the day, you have to go back to the
experts. And one of the things, Ray, that um, I learned a long time ago,
and I've been in the food industry 20 years, now. And I heard this quite
a while back, and that is that you really should be able to eat and drink
whatever you like in moderation. And one of the things you must be most
careful of is people telling you what to eat and drink. Because, invariably,
they've got something to sell you, whether it be a diet or a book or something
else. So my suggestion to your listeners is, they should have faith in
the regulatory system of this country and in the Australia New Zealand
Food Authority, and they should be very careful about people trying to
- RF: By the same token, it's pretty frightening if, er,
if there is evidence that Aspartame breaks down into wood alcohol and formaldehyde.
I mean, you wouldn't drink formaldehyde, would you? Or eat it, and you
wouldn't take on wood alcohol..
- TG: Ray, do you appreciate, do you appreciate, that
if you eat fruits, and you drink their juices, right,
- RF: Mm hum.
- TG: . you will get methanol. It will convert some
of it to methanol. In fact if you were to drink a glass of grape juice,
you would get more methanol than you would get from drinking a can of soft
drink. Now, that is a normal body process that breaks down all of the
things that we eat and drink. So we've gotta be careful about claims that
are made throwing chemical names around to frighten people. And now, if
what is suggested is true, what they're in fact accusing.. See, they are
accusing the Australia New Zealand Food Authority, they're accusing the
American Food and Drug Administration of neglect of the facts. Now I certainly
don't believe that our food authorities are criminal in their behaviour.
- RF: Couldn't it be though, Tony, couldn't it be that
some of these multinational companies are so huge and they are so wealthy
that they could have undue influence on the decision makers, sir? I'll
give you an example, the state health ministers recently decided that we
would have better labelling of all food products in Australia, and the
Prime Minister said, 'Hold on, hold on! We'd better just be a bit careful
about this because it could affect the profitability of the Food Industry.
Now, there's and example - there's an answer to your question immediately
- TG: Well, the issue of labelling and you're talking
- RF: .. modified foods ..
- TG: ..modified foods that contain genetically modified,
ah, foods, is a totally different issue and really, there again there has
been a huge amount of scare mongering. The issue of labelling is not argued
with by the food industry, ah, what has been argued about, is the extent
of labelling that has been requested by some people, which would add an
enormous cost, which in the end would have to be born by consumers. So
the issue is not whether we label or not label, but you know exactly what
you put on the label and to what degrees you have to go to test foods,
as to their ingredients.
- RF: Right, ah, let me ask you, a quick question. If
the food we eat is Okay because its been authorised by the various authorities,
why is it then, that we are seeing more people Alzheimer's, with cancers,
with diabetes - or why is it then that we are coming up with these diseases
at an increased rate?
- TG: Well, I doubt it that, ah, you will find that they
are necessarily at an increased rate. What is happening is that our medical
system has been steadily improving.
- RF: Mm hmm.
- TG: And with its, with its improvements we are identifying
diseases which once we did not identify. So it's not that we are experiencing
- I'm not a doctor. So I think you should ask these sort of questions
to maybe the Minister of Health. But, I would put to you that we're not,
we're not suffering any epidemics of these things. What we are doing is
we have a much better health system which is identifying these diseases
and problems a lot sooner than what they used to, so they have become more
widespread in terms of knowledge within society. But, look, I heard Sandra
talk about diabetes. Now the American Diabetes Association has stated
publicly, that Aspartame is a safe sugar substitute for those with diabetes.
Now why would those people make those comments? I mean, ah, one has
to ask themselves those questions as to why, ah, . What would be in it
for the American Diabetes Association to say that if Aspartame was likely
to be harmful?
- RF: Right I understand the point you're making, and
I thank you very much for your time. I have to leave Tony there, Judy
had a question, we'll take that on notice and we'll get a response from
Tony. If you'd just hold the line a second please Tony. Brad can you
deal with that? And we'll broadcast the question and answer on the air
in a moment.
- RF: I ran out of time and couldn't put Judy's question
to air. Judy's question was 'How much ethanol is in soft drinks that are
produced with Aspartame." And Tony couldn't give an answer to that,
he said he's not a chemist, but he believed that the amount of ethanol
in soft drinks was about the same as in fruit juice.
- Note: the book that Ray Fewings read was 'The Aspartame
Files" that I edited. And of course "Judy" is an abbreviation
of my name - I'm only called Judith. My disguise! I was allowed only
one question - alas!
- Regards, Judith Thamm.
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