Question from reader: [I thought that the EU was strict about food. I just read that they have approved aspartame. Frequently when I read about some food controversy here, the article would include that the EU is protecting its citizens and banning the product while the FDA is seemingly caving to big business to the detriment of US citizens. Does this mean that aspartame is really safe or that the EU is now going the political route of the FDA?]
(Aspartame is an artificial sweetener commonly used in sodas and other drinks.)
When it comes to natural health, there isn't one person or organization whose information can be taken as gospel 100% of the time. Even when the decision of what is healthy to consume and what isn't is based upon research, it depends upon which research is reviewed, and who is reviewing it.
I can't claim to know anything about who the people are or what motives are behind any ruling from the FDA or the European Union. Here is an informative article on the topic of acceptance by the EU: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/aspartame.htm
For myself, I wouldn't ever consume aspartame, no matter who approved it; it is a synthetic sweetener, and I ascribe to the concepts put forth in this very interesting documentary, "Sweet Misery, A Poisoned World":
If the EU's report doesn't convince you that aspartame is safe in small amounts, then I would say stay away from it.
In the end, it's the idea of "total load" as opposed to "safe in small amounts" that is the operating factor. We are all exposed to toxic substances every day, and every little bit adds up. If you saw your friend eating a tiny bit of arsenic, for example, would you not care? Even if a study said "safe in small amounts?