|09-06-2011, 10:18 PM|
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EFSA boss: “We were pressured by industry to hijack science”
1st September 2011 | By Dr. Betty Martini
Dr. Betty Martini
This is the candid confession of Dr. Herman Koeter, head of the European Food Safety Authority, after resigning from the corrupted agency. His conscience got the best of him.
PICTURE THIS: A powerful multinational gang of criminals has been operating for years completely protected from prosecution by any enforcement agency. Finally the count of murders and maimings has raised a public outcry that can’t be ignored, so a special government tribunal is charged to investigate the atrocities.
The tribunal is given voluminous evidence with a multitude of victim’s testimonies that defy contradiction and confirm the guilt of the gang. 20 “experts” are to weigh the evidence, well qualified to understand the technical nature of the matter at hand. Things are looking up, soon the carnage will end and EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, shall announce to the world that aspartame is a deadly neurotoxin, unsafe for humans in any form.
But eleven of the “experts” have connections with the aspartame industry, are enriched by it. Somehow the evidence is “lost”, so EFSA declares this chemical poison is safe as rain. Safe for babies, safe for children, safe for pregnant mothers, safe for diabetics, safe for everybody!
On 6/11/2011 the watchdog organization, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) named the eleven industry flacks in the aspartame whitewash. The report begins: “New research by CEO has identified conflict of interest among the scientific experts advising EFSA on the safety of food additives, including the controversial sweetener aspartame. Not only were EFSA’S own rules on conflicts of interest breached in some cases, but that these rules fail to protect the public from potentially industry-biased opinions on food safety”. Think of it this way: the Godfather is on trial, and half the jury is in the Corleone Family.
“Not to worry” proclaimed EFSA’s top dog, Dr. Koeter, as reported in the UK Guardian by Felicity Lawrence 6-15-06:
“It was an unusual opening gambit for the director of the European food safety authority, but Dr Herman Koéter wanted to tackle the persistent controversy that has swirled around the artificial sweetener aspartame head on. His expert scientists were gathered at a press conference in Rome ten days ago to give their latest opinion on whether the sweetener causes cancer. Aspartame is eaten every day by millions of people around the world in over 6,000 well-known brands of food, drink and medicine. Any review of its safety has enormous political and economic implications.
“The latest episode in the drama began a few months ago when Italy’s independent Ramazzini Foundation published a new and exceptionally large study, which said that aspartame caused several types of cancer in rats at doses very close to the current acceptable daily intake for humans. Dr Koéter commissioned an urgent reassessment of aspartame. It was the first big test for the recently formed authority, which has already lost its first director and 10% of its staff. Over 1,000 people were waiting for the webcast of its judgment on the Italian research.
“But first, Dr Koeter said, he wanted to clear up misunderstandings about “conflicts of interest” among his advisory panel overseeing the review. MEPs complained last month that the scientist who chairs the advisory panel, Dr Susan Barlow, works for the International Life Sciences Institute, a body funded by sweetener manufacturers and major aspartame users such as Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Monsanto. The European commission was also told by MEPs of other “conflicts of interest”. One scientist involved in the review had declared a research grant from Ajinomoto, the leading Japanese manufacturer of aspartame, they said. Other panel members listed links with food processors such as Nestlé in their declarations of interest.
“But to say that these scientists therefore have a conflict of interest was a misunderstanding. Dr Koeter explained to the Rome conference. The panel had been “fully impartial”. Finally Koeter got sick of the cover-ups and just couldn’t take it anymore. He left EFSA and let the truth be known as is revealed in these several recent posts.”
EFSA’s defense of its independence reveals another conflict of interest, 18 June 2011:
1. Former EFSA top official criticizes EFSA’s management
2. Response to CEO report on EFSA conflicts of interest, from Steve Pagani of the EFSA
“NOTE: Recently we announced a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory about yet more conflicts of interest at the EU’s GM food/pesticide/food safety regulatory body, EFSA, this time within the ANS Panel, which gives scientific opinions on food additives. http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listin...ws-items/13249
Our attention has been drawn to an interview of 2008, in which former ex-EFSA top official Herman Koeter strongly criticized EFSA’s management after he left office (item 1), warning that it compromised EFSA’s independence. In response to the latest CEO report, EFSA defended its independence in an email to GMWatch (item 2): “It is worth noting that EFSA has been benchmarked against 10 other peer organizations by an external consultancy who found EFSA to have one of the most advanced and robust systems in place towards ensuring independence of scientific expertise and advice.”
“What is the unnamed “external consultancy” that came up with this ringing endorsement of EFSA’s independence? A company called Milieu Ltd:http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/mb11031...10317-ax8b.pdf
“Who are they? According to their website, Milieu is “a consultancy focusing on international and European law and policy. Our lawyers, economists & technical experts work closely with our public sector clients to help develop more effective policies and regulatory structures in the areas of environmental protection, climate change and sustainable development, worker health and safety, consumer protection, fundamental rights, development of civil society and related fields.”http://www.milieu.be/
“Milieu’s senior technical associate is one Dr Iona Pratt, “a consultant toxicologist and chemical safety specialist” with “wide experience in the area of chemicals regulation in Europe as well as internationally”. http://www.milieu.be/iona_pratt.html.
But this is not Pratt’s only job. Amazingly, she is also vice-chair of the EFSA’s ANS Panel on food additives. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/ans/ansmembers.htm
“More specifically, she is one of four members of this expert panel named in the CEO report as having failed to declare an active collaboration with the food industry-funded think tank and lobby group, the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI Europe).http://www.corporateeurope.org/syste..._ANS_panel.pdf.
While Pratt is not listed as an author of the Milieu report that praised EFSA’s independence, in the light of this further conflict of interest, it can hardly be called an objective endorsement. We find it interesting that even EFSA’s defense of its independence turns out to reveal yet more evidence of conflicts of interest.”
Former EFSA top official criticizes EFSA’s management Vroege Vogels (Netherlands) 10/21/08 [English translation of excerpt from Dutch original]
“Koeter warned that the independence and quality of the agency is at risk. He sees a lot of politically motivated requests from the European Commission, including a request to review the position on genetically modified organisms. Koeter believes that many requests for a rapid assessment of food additives could jeopardize the quality of the judgments. An internal survey shows that the staff is very dissatisfied. Koeter said fewer and fewer scientists are willing to work for EFSA. While in 2003, 235 people responded to a vacancy, now it’s only 70. Internally, scientists are afraid to have a diverging opinion, fearing for their contract. An internal survey in January  showed that less than one third of the staff called the working atmosphere ‘good’. More than half believed the environment was degrading. Koeter finds it incomprehensible that EFSA head Catherine Geslain ignores all this”.
Aspartame is in thousands of foods and drinks. There are big advantages to producers:
It’s much cheaper than sugar. It retards spoilage, since the chemical formula is not food for bacteria. It’s addictive, induces compulsive consumption, sales skyrocket! It’s also easy to mix into a product since so little is required. These benefits come to the thousands of food processors using it.
Nevertheless aspartame sales are in the toilet. Holland Sweetener, The largest European, producer, closed their doors 12/2006. Chicago’s Merisant went into temporary bankruptcy in 2009 due to midget sales.
Ajinomoto, Japanese producer, gave aspartame an alias in 2010; AminoSweet. The aspartame industry will fight like tigers to hide the truth. They flood the Internet with hundreds of sites pushing their poison. Don’t bet your life on their lies! Splenda sales have a large share of the market. It’s toxic too: Trichlorinated sugar!
When you put the whole issue together you understand why aspartame has not been banned in the UK. Aspartame was approved in England through a business deal with Paul Turner of the agency there. http://www.mpwhi.com/how_aspartame_g...in_england.htm.
Parliament had a big blow out and the story was in the Guardian. Unfortunately they did not rescind the order. When aspartame was reviewed in 2002 I flew to Brussels with Felicity Mawson, Mission Possible UK, and gave damning information on aspartame and turning over stacks of records to the EU. It was obvious they were not interested because the decision had already been made. The damning information was deleted from the review. I had shown them records explaining how industry did studies so they would not use those flawed. They ended up using those very studies and deleted the ones they needed. However, OLAF, European Anti-Fraud agency found that indeed there was no committee making the decision, simply one person. No more European Commission on Food, and the agency, EFSA, European Food Safety Authority was born. They have done no better rebutting independent scientific peered research because they were pressured by industry as Dr. Koeter confessed.
Aspartame was approved through the political chancery of Don Rumsfeld in the US, no science. The FDA attempted to have the original manufacturer, G. D. Searle indicted for fraud, and revoked the petition for approval, without success. In the UK there weren’t even any studies done. Now EFSA is up at bat again, this time after 11 of their team have been exposed with links to industry.
When will someone consider the health and welfare of consumers? What does it take to remove a deadly addictive, excitoneurotoxic, carcinogenic and genetically engineered drug that damages the mitochondria and interacts with drugs and vaccine? Aspartame Disease is now a global plague triggering epidemics of obesity, diabetes, MS, lupus, cancer, seizures, blindness, psychiatric problems, birth defects, sudden cardiac death and neurodegenerative diseases, for starters. Further, the free methyl alcohol is 35 times too high in the UK and 44 times too high in the US, with consumers dying of methanol poisoning. Charles Fleming was one of them, and his wife Diane, who passed 3 lie detector tests, was sentenced to 30 years in prison where she still remains after 9 years of efforts to free her.