Aspartame is the most commonly used alternative to sugar. It’s deceptively labeled with pleasant names like Splenda and Equal, masking the documented adverse effects it has on the body, from neurological disorders to brain lesions. Even worse, however, most don’t know that much of the aspartame supply is genetically modified.
As early as 1999, Monsanto admitted that genetically modified bacteria was used to make aspartame. According to a company spokesperson, “[Monsanto has] two strains of bacteria – one is traditionally modified and one is genetically modified. [The GM strain’s] got a modified enzyme. It has one amino acid different.”
The difference sounds small, but the outcome on the body can be detrimental. GMO food has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, from allergies and skin disorders, to tumors and cancer. In fact, visual documentation of the harms of GMO feed has begun to garner attention in recent years, with animal testing resulting in premature death and horrifying tumors in rats, to turning the stomachs of pigs fed GM-feed to mush.
According to Dr. Erik Millstone of Sussex University and the National Food Alliance, “Increasingly, chemical companies are using genetically engineered bacteria in their manufacturing process without telling the public.”
It’s important to mind that the majority of our GMO intake comes from opaque labeling and FDA-sanctioned non-disclosure laws lobbied for by the food and pharmaceutical industries. Corn syrup, maltodextrin, vegetable oils and shortenings, and lecithin are some of the more common culprits, but there are a number of substances less obvious that have contaminated the American food supply, both in the US and with exported products abroad. The best defense is to eat organic, but when that’s not possible, avoid the foods most likely to contain GMO ingredients—anything derived from corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed oil are the most common.