CBS Evening News for Monday, Jan 16, 1984
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(Studio) Sugar's relationship to health problems noted; amount of soft drinks consumed annually per person in United States mentioned. Concern over possible carcinogenic nature of cyclamates and saccharin recalled.
REPORTER: Dan Rather
(DC) New sugar substitute, Nutrasweet, its pros and cons, examined; FDA's recent approval recalled. [Nutrasweet president, Searle Company Robert SHAPIRO - believes product is of primary importance in history of foods and beverages.] Prod.'s presence in human food described; Searle's research on Nutrasweet noted. [Food Service Labs director Woodrow MONTE - believes Nutrasweet is most dangerous food product yet.] Monte said seeking ban on Nutrasweet in Arizona pending further tests; his concern said based on presence of methyl alcohol in Nutrasweet. [MONTE - notes lack of information on long-range impact of methyl alcohol consumption on humans.] Methyl alcohol said combined with 2 amino acids to form aspartame, the scientific name for Nutrasweet. Nutrasweet noted breaking down in warm climates, releasing methyl alcohol as result. [MONTE - explains methyl alcohol converts to formaldehyde in body, a carcinogenic substance.] [Searle research president Dr. Daniel AZARNOFF - notes fruit juice contains more methyl alcohol than Nutrasweet product; claims FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and others feel Nutrasweet product is safe even after chemical breakdown.] Searle's use of saccharin in Nutrasweet prods. to prevent loss of sweetness when broken down discussed. [Consumer interest attorney James TURNER - accuses advertising of being deceptive; explains.] [Dr. James BOWEN - describes symptoms he experienced while drinking large quantities of substance containing Nutrasweet.] [MONTE - questions long-range health impact of Nutrasweet.] [SHAPIRO - responds to Monte's criticism.] Arizona reported conducting independent investigation into Nutrasweet.
REPORTER: Ned Potter