The Sweet Life

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A December 26, 2005 article by Lisa Ryckman in The Monitor quotes ACSH president Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, albeit a smidge condescendingly, on artificial sweeteners:

And what of cyclamates? That faux- sweetener saga began in 1937 with a discovery by chemistry graduate student Michael Sveda, who tasted something sweet on the cigarette he'd just stuck in his mouth while mucking about in the lab.

By the late 1960s, Americans were sucking down more than 21 million pounds of cyclamates a year. That ended after studies connected the substance with chromosome damage and those bladder tumors in rats.

"Sadly, in his lifetime he saw his contributions vilified and rejected as a result of antiscientific, technophobic witch hunts," wrote Elizabeth Whelan, co-founder of the American Council on Science and Health and author of books including Panic in the Pantry and The l00% Natural, Purely Organic, Cholesterol-Free, Megavitamin, Low-Carbohydrate Nutrition Hoax.

The ACSH is a smidge hyperbole-prone. Often called industry shills, Whelan's group grew directly out of what she considered misguided government regulation of lots of absolutely dandy chemicals. Many substances labeled carcinogens "would more properly be called high-dose rodent carcinogens," the group says.