Here we go again!
Scientists tied to American tort law firms (Predatorts), via their Ramazzini network of Good Old Boys, have influenced IARC to produce a monograph to link a popular consumer product to different cancers upon which these law firms could then embark on decades of lawsuits worth billions against one targeted company. Is this another story about benzene, glyphosate, talc…?
No, not this time.
There’s a new substance for Predatorts to gorge upon but their playbook is exactly the same. US tort law firms, imbibed with billions from the recent glyphosate settlements, are again generously funding a group of ethically-challenged scientists from the Ramazzini cabal to produce jury-ready scientific doubt via an IARC hazard assessment. They then follow the playbook to pay off groups of anti-corporate NGOs to create public fear and outrage over substance X and its connection to cancer Y. Upon which time these misery merchants will process a few hundred thousand plaintiffs on the victim exchange and extort billions from a single targeted and easily reviled company (never having to go to court and never having to pay the plaintiffs more than a mere pittance). And the NGOs and activist scientists just adore these slimeballs.
We are seeing the next Predatort Playbook unfold next month with the upcoming IARC monograph on aspartame, due to take place in Lyon on 6-13 June 2023. As those involved have no conscience and the media has no interest to be perceived to be defending corporate interests, the Risk-Monger will narrate the stages, as it happens, of how tort lawyers tempt greedy scientists and activists to manufacture an association with cancer, generate public outrage, label a company as negligible and harvest a honey-pot through the broken American justice system. In a few years, when aspartame will be more feared than glyphosate (another benefit-benign but media-maligned substance), claimed to be everywhere, coming out of rainclouds, in our urine and in foetal tissue, I hope a few people will remember this curation of the failure of science to self-correct this audacious internal abuse by a group of scoundrels in white coats.
In the following three sections of SlimeGate, I will not only show how a small group of angry scientists will manipulate the research process to produce a meaningless connection between aspartame and some forms of cancer, but also that IARC is fully aware of this and is not only complying with this research fiction, but fighting to ensure their pre-determined verdict will be allowed to happen. By the time IARC publishes their findings in the Lancet on 14 June 2023, we will then be able to see which US tort law firms are behind this scam as they all race to be on the lucrative Aspartame Plaintiff Steering Committee and which IARC panel members will be signing up to serve as their litigation consultants (with the potential to reap millions per year at 500 USD/hour).
Maybe these former scientists will milk that cash-cow a bit more and write a book about it.
Aspartame is the most widely used artificial sweetener, presently found as a food additive in over 6000 products. Its most common brand names are NutraSweet, Equal, and Canderel and most often associated as a diet soda sweetener. The availability of an effective, low-calorie sugar substitute has been key in the fight against rising diabetes and obesity levels (a known cause of cancer).
Used since the early 1980s, aspartame is probably one of the most widely tested food ingredients. It is produced from two common amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are found naturally in many foods. All government food agencies from the FDA to EFSA have determined aspartame to be safe. The American Cancer Society has rejected the claims of the disputed 2005 Ramazzini study and concluded that aspartame is not carcinogenic.
But like other artificial sweeteners, aspartame has been under sustained activist attack. First it was widely known that the sugar industry was creating fears and hiring activist mercenaries to raise doubts about the health safety of sweeteners like aspartame. Activist groups like US Right to Know have recently picked up the campaign as a foil to attack large corporations like Coke or Nestlé. Certain food purists have attacked aspartame as a non-natural synthetic chemical. But as much as these interest groups have common cause, the science on the risks of aspartame remain thin, if not mediocre.
But if what we have seen with glyphosate is anything to go by, scientific evidence can be produced and expressed in such a manner as to provide a perception of a health risk or a distrust of regulatory authorities.
- If you force-feed certain types of mice enough of anything, they will get anxious and they will develop tumours.
- Previous test results confirming the safety of aspartame can be discounted as industry-funded.
- Studies highlighting any cancer risks that have been rejected by the scientific community can be hailed as heroic efforts in the fight to stop regulatory capture.
If doubt is all you need to get a campaign against a well-tested food ingredient moving, then you can easily find some scientists with axes to grind. If you add unlimited funds from the US tort law industry, then anti-aspartame campaigners will get whatever they need.
In short, with enough funding, passion and outrage, the scientific consensus on the safety of a well-tested substance like aspartame doesn’t really matter. The Coca-Cola money tree needs to be shaken so the first step is to go to IARC to manufacture some jury-ready evidence.
Fraud in Three Chapters
Chapter 1 of AsparTort will look at the Collegium Ramazzini and their efforts to lay the groundwork to legitimise an association between aspartame and certain cancers. A series of low quality papers published by well-known Ramazzini fellows will be examined. It will show how they were used to push aspartame onto the IARC agenda. At the same time, Ramazzini scientists have been demanding a new methodology, establishing what they are calling the “key characteristics of carcinogens” that are so vague and so open that even breathing (clean) air could be considered as carcinogenic. So anything that had been previously determined by risk assessments to be non-carcinogenic (like, say, aspartame), could now, under this new Ramazzini standard, be considered as … well, finish that sentence yourself – I’m just too annoyed.
The second chapter will look at how IARC is intentionally gaming the system. Aspartame was due to be re-evaluated by another WHO agency, JECFA, that is responsible for food additives. Aspartame is a food additive so the logic within the WHO made sense. It is curious why IARC not only stepped forward to insist on their own study, but also why they ignored the pleas of some of its main governing council Member States to step back to avoid the confusion of two separate, and assumedly contradictory evaluations. Curiouser and curiouser were choices of the IARC aspartame panel members, their motivations and past publications. As well as the Ramazzini network, there are also some media darlings that will use their time in Lyon to augment their YouTube rankings. Has IARC simply become a kangaroo court for activist scientists?
The final chapter, post publication of the IARC aspartame monograph, will curate the Predatort scum scrum. (Spoiler alert: aspartame will earn a 2A – probably carcinogenic – not because it is, but because that is the word the lawyers need.) Which US tort law firms have been working in the background? Who have they planted on the IARC panel? How important is this tainted tort money compared to their scientific reputations? Will IARC speak out against this abuse of their scientific process? Will the companies targeted by the Predatorts be proactive or will they quietly abandon this safe sweetener, replacing it with a sub-standard, less-tested alternative? Where have I heard this song before?
The Predatorts have a winning strategy here. The tobacco and asbestos honey-pots are drying up. They have sponged all they can from the glyphosate scam; talc will bankrupt a good part of Johnson & Johnson; 3M will soon leave litigators to take what the liquidators can capture; so aspartame, used in more than 6000 products, is an important next step to keep feeding the beast. Then what? That mobile phone in your pocket will soon line the pockets of thousands of Predatorts. Or maybe those hand sanitisers you used during the COVID lockdowns…
What this living case-study will also burden its readers with is the question of how many more times reasonable people will passively tolerate this abuse of scientific integrity. Companies will, of course, pass the settlement billions onto their insurers and the costs will filter down the supply chain to the consumers. How many more times will I have to lock myself in my dusty basement to record and publish what we already know to be the greatest abuse in the history of regulatory science?
Mr Monger is a Coca-Cola Shill!
Here we go again!
After more than 30 articles on glyphosate and IARC, activists were unable to find any ties between the Risk-Monger and Monsanto. With the millions of internal documents released to the public, if there were any links, they surely would have told the world. What these investigative activists did find is a mutual respect between Dr Zaruk and a large number of farmers in Europe, Asia and North America who have been trying to farm sustainably. Since they could not get much leverage exposing that relationship, instead these malcontents just made shit up and published unfounded innuendo. Actually, it was hilarious and I joined in the fun.
NGOs in Brussels assume that nobody does anything unless they get paid for it (and the reason they hate industry is that they assume they pay their shills more than what the activists can get). This is sad, cynical and shallow. Sorry, but I don’t share their 9-to-5 values.
So why does he bother writing these exposés if the facts are widely ignored by the media, policymakers, judges and larger public? The Risk-Monger is motivated by a concern for the future reputation of science and innovation; he is terrified by how activist idealism will threaten the well-being of the most vulnerable in the Global South; he deplores the lies, fear-mongering and greed of NGOs and activist scientists; he abhors the consequences from the loss of trust in research and technology; he is shocked by the failure of regulatory risk management and the abuse of the precautionary principle. How could someone with a conscience find profit for himself when these activist opportunists are destroying the hard-earned prosperity of our parents’ generation?
My voice is modest but my disgust of these sick little creatures is strong enough for me to continue to find the energy to write. I acknowledge that too few will read and understand the present egregious abuse of science by Predatorts, activist scientists, NGOs and their interest groups and yellow journalists who only read tweets. I also acknowledge that those who had published similar cases on IARC in the past are no longer in their jobs or will pass over this story in silence to avoid an institutional onslaught. I see my job as a curator of the downfall of Western affluence.
This SlimeGate chapter on the abuse of science to generate wealth for a self-appointed few by manufacturing doubt and fear about a beneficial sweetener is one more case study in the decline of the ideal of the progressive, innovative West advancing humanity, improving health and providing safe food.
This story starts in a chateau in Italy…
2 Comments Add yours
“Predatort scum scrum”, a pithy justified insult of the unethical and morally bankrupt abusers of “The” (TM) science, clearly based on the lucrative tobacco prohibitionist playbook. Paraphrasing William Pitt the Younger, appealing to health “emergencies” and manufacturing moral panic is the mealy mouthed justification of tyrants, the creed of slaves.
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You’re going back further than me Mark. My next article goes to the moral panic of prohibitionists – the founders of precaution as a principle.