Aspartame, the silent and deadly killer in America today is a horrific chemical that never should have been approved by the FDA for human consumption' but was. See the previous post on sweeteners about the FDA Director taking a handout job for approving it. Also see the Wikipedia entry entitled Aspartame Controversy to read about other government graft.
Aspartame has been touted as safe by the manufacturer Searle, since the discovery. Stating that it is made up of two simple amino acids, it is therefore safe. And that part is true, an aspartic acid molecule and one of phenylalinine are both harmless, and in reality necessary for life. In Aspartame, they are held together with a methyl ester bond that comprises 10% of the compound. That is where the problem lies. Methyl ester breaks down into methanol by the human body. Wood alcohol. And as we all have heard about that causing blindness, madness and deaths back during prohibition when bathtub gin makers were making methanol out of ignorance and causing so many problems then. And of course there is Sterno, made from methanol, and the favorite drink of absolute bottom of the barrel alcoholics and referred to as "Squeeze" by those on Skid Row. Well this is the same stuff. Methanol is further broken down by the body into formaldehyde. Embalming fluid. Formaldehyde destroys myelin, the sheath that protects the nerve cells of the brain. This is the beginning of a whole host of neurological disorders from ALS type symptoms to birth defects, blindness, and all the not so serious ones like headaches, blurred vision and memory lapses.
The Feds, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency, declare that formaldehyde is toxic, and a known carcinogen. They have established a maximum exposure to it of just 7.2 micrograms per day. If a person drinks 8 diet sodas a day, they are ingesting 250mg per day. Over 32 times the EPA recommended limit.
The conclusion is obvious, don't ingest Aspartame. The reason it is still legal to put into out food supply is the same reason so many toxic additives are allowed - some people are making buttloads of money on it.