The Vindication Files

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The dairy industry is proposing that the FDA break their own rules to allow them to change the definition of what milk is— to allow them to add aspartame and/or splenda to milk without labeling.

This move would affect milk, heavy and light cream, yogurt, eggnog, whipping cream, and 11 other dairy products. 

We have to believe also that any products made from or with the above mentioned products would also be contaminated. 

Public comments are being taken via the Federal Register website below until May 21st of this year. Please add your bad reactions to splenda or aspartame, if that applies to you.

Part of what the dairy industry is arguing is that aspartame and splenda are ‘safe’ sweeteners that do not change the composition of milk. Readers of this blog and our sister blog will know this is an out-and-out lie, a falsehood of he most evil kind. Aspartame and splenda are toxins ravaging this earth and warping almost every body on this earth and they should be banned, not added to milk and dairy products. 

Again, even if you don’t ingest dairy products, you may be ingesting products that use dairy or have dairy in their ingredients. Do you really believe those companies making those other products are going to go out of their way to use non-aspartame, non-splenda tainted milk?

Leave your comment today. Don’t wait. This could really wreck our entire food supply.

PLEASE MAKE VIRAL—We must startle the FDA with sheer numbers, folks! Tidal wave! Show them that the public knows how harmful aspartame and splenda are, and that we DON’T want them in our food supply!


Related Reading

Organic Consumers Association

Occupy Monsanto

Doctor, No

Mindy McCready was the fifth celebrity from Dr. Drew’s show, “Celebrity Rehab,” to die. While her death was very tragic, we also thought it was appropriate to shine a spotlight on the (now, forgotten) allegations in this article. 

Allegedly Dr. Drew “accepted $275,000 in 1999 for touting Wellbutrin SR’s ability to ‘increase libido’ while on-air… even though the drug company lacked FDA approval to promote the drug as having fewer side-effects.” 

According to the article, the doctor “doesn’t deny taking the dough.”

While we here at VF have many bones to pick with the FDA and their “approval” “practices,” drugs are approved for specific purposes, and with very few exceptions, most ‘off-label’ uses of drugs can have varying degrees of risk and danger. 

Decisions on medications to be prescribed should be medical decisions, not decisions made by a Big Pharma company paying a doctor to ‘recommend’ their drug. 

And one last thing: maybe mental illness should not be made into a reality show for fun and profit. Surely it didn’t help Mindy’s mental health.  Maybe our entertainment is less important than the lives of these artists.

Lindsay Goldwert, New York Daily News, 7/4/12, p. 26

Go back to Sleep, America

Enjoy those hamburgers.

This is for people who need to explain to others why they don’t eat beef.

An epidemic is on its way. A long latency period means mad cow disease could be highly widespread. 

Best to cut beef out of your diet altogether, or only eat imported, grass-fed beef. There’s a reason Japan and other countries won’t touch our beef.

It’s what’s not for dinner.

Note how powerful the beef industry is, that there is so little coverage of this in the media.

Reuters, 6/23/2006, p. 7, appeared in New York Post.

From our friends at the Environmental Defense Fund: is Nemo yet another example of more extreme weather heading our way? The Northeast is still reeling from Hurricane Sandy; is it possible that our eroding ozone layer and melting ice caps are shifting weather to become more and more severe? 

Relevant quotes:

  • "…we do know that weather is getting more extreme, with records being broken with far more frequency, and not just for heat waves or droughts. In this case, Nemo could dump historic amounts of snow while wind speeds could reach 50-70 mph. It’s those “record breaking” potentials that have climate scientists concerned.” [You’ve all seen your friends’ pictures on Facebook by now.]

[continued on following page:]

  • [Weather will get more erratic:]
    As the planet heats up, our climate is changing, becoming less predictable and more extreme—not just hotter, but wilder. In fact, this recent onslaught of record breaking events is a disturbing preview of the “new normal” climate change will bring.”
  • [Snowstorms will stop being quaint and start becoming destructive:]
    Recent extremes: In late January 2011, one of the worst snowstorms on record struck several Northern U.S. cities. It was the “snowiest January on record” for New York City, breaking the 1925 record.”
  • [Dry areas get dryer, wet areas get wetter— and it isn’t what nature intended:]
    While large swaths of land are drying out, some areas are getting wetter. Rising temperatures mean more evaporation of water into the atmosphere, from oceans, lakes and rivers. That means more clouds holding more moisture—leading to more extreme downpours. With warmer ocean water also comes stronger hurricanes.”
  • [It’s getting hot in here:]
    Summer heat waves are becoming more frequent, prolonged and intense as the planet’s atmosphere heats up.”
  • [2012 needs to be a turning point:]
    Recent extremes: 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States and, more importantly, one of the 10 warmest years globally—with all of those occurring in the past 15 years. “
  • [Increasing droughts will mean food production will become more erratic:]
    Recent extremes: In July 2012, more than half of the U.S. was experiencing drought conditions. By September, nearly two-thirds of the country was suffering moderate-to-exceptional drought. This is expected to persist in 2013.” [VF Editor: and will be reflected in higher food prices for the foreseeable future.]


Action needed NOW. Comments close 2/15/13. 

If Europe takes the lead on this, perhaps Americans will open their eyes. Don’t wait until the FDA bans it— stop consuming it now and watch your mysterious, vague health problems and run-down feelings go away (it can take up to 60 days to get aspartame out of your system, and its addictive properties have been established). 

It’s only when sales of aspartame start falling that the FDA will re-evaluate aspartame honestly and ban it for good.

Individual comments will be displayed as anonymous; if you are part of an organization, you can have your name and organization displayed (say, if you work for a nurse’s union or if you’re some kind of healthcare professional— your clout is needed now!)

PLEASE MAKE VIRAL. We don’t get shouty about many issues here, but aspartame is a bona-fide poison breaking down into the body into formaldehyde, aspartic acid (ant poison), and methanol (wood alcohol, contributing to its addictive properties). It has been linked to over 100 side effects, such as cognitive impairment, severe headaches/migraines, and visual disturbances (pilots are not allowed to ingest the stuff before flight), and has been implicated in causing Parkinson’s (Michael J. Fox was apparently a HUGE Diet Coke drinker) and MS, among other illnesses. Haven’t heard about any of this? PLEASE, open your horizons, get out of your filter bubble for half a minute and find some independent research. Good intro sources are,, and the Aspartame Support group on YahooGroups. 

Also, if you look into the history of how aspartame was approved, you’ll see it boils down to total corruption, conflict of interest, and deliberate lies (suppression of studies showing aspartame to cause tumors and cancer). 

We also have reported on aspartame at our sister site, VF: Focus on Health. There we explain why Splenda is to be avoided as well.

—Please Distribute Widely—

Site for Public Comment:


And here’s a fresh-off-the-presses article in the mainstream media that can’t hide everything about aspartame anymore:

Yahoo! Shine: “Study: Diet Soda Increases Risk of Diabetes. Why do we still drink this stuff?” 2/8/13, Lylah M. Alphonse

Better look at it before it’s taken down.

Select quotes from this article:

"With respect, in particular, to ‘light’ or ‘diet’ drinks, the relationship with diabetes can be explained partially by a greater craving for sugar in general by female consumers of this type of soft drink," the researchers explained. "Furthermore, aspartame, one of the main artificial sweeteners used today, causes an increase in glycaemia and consequently a rise in the insulin level in comparison to that produced by sucrose."

Translation: Drinking artificially sweetened drinks makes you crave other sweet things (hello, chocolate!). And your body reacts to aspartame— also known as NutraSweet and Equal—much in the same way that it reacts to plain old sugar.”

Quibbles with the article —because it still defends aspartame WAY too much:

  • The results of this French study were not “unexpected” to those of us who have been following aspartame and its toxic side effects for years. Many studies have proven that aspartame contributes to weight gain (& therefore diabetes), but the mainstream media, which gets quite a lot of its advertising from beverage companies, hasn’t reported on it. 
  • Your does does not react “much in the same way that it reacts to plain old sugar.” This is the author speaking, not the researcher, and she is dead wrong on this one. Um, no, your body can actually handle sugar (we evolved to, in *small* quantities). Your body can’t handle aspartic acid, formaldehyde, and methanol, which is why aspartame makes you sick. And tell people with PKU that aspartame is basically like “plain old sugar.” But the fact that people who drink diet sodas usually overeat other items—particularly refined carbs and other weight-packing fare— has been proven. You know, with science. 
  • Also *highly problematic* is that this article links to [removed here—we don’t publish trash] the highly misleading [and no doubt, sold out] Wikipedia article on aspartame [linking to its also highly biased and aspartame-apologetic article on the “aspartame controversy”]. Wikipedia is really disappointing on this issue in that it has allowed a few articles with really dubious sources and information to dominate all its aspartame discussion. Please open your mind and do not support Wikipedia or take what it has on its pages as gospel. Critical thinking, folks!
  • Quoting the American Diabetes Association, which has historically promoted aspartame like it is harmless, is like asking Wayne LaPierre what his opinions on gun control are. The ADA has always been in the pocket of Monsanto (original manufacturer of aspartame/ Equal/ NutraSweet) and, later, Searle. You see, if people stopped getting diabetes, there wouldn’t be such a need for funding for the American Diabetes Association, would there?
  • We don’t need “additional research” on aspartame. Aspartame has been vigorously studied. The studies to pay attention to are the ones that are truly financially independent of aspartame’s manufacturers and investors. 
  • The takeaway is to not wait to throw all of your aspartame and artificial sweeteners away immediately, and urge everyone you know to do the same. Remember, aspartame is also in gums, foods, “diet” products, “low-calorie” products, and “sugar free” products. Get rid of all of them in order to be truly free of its side effects.  
  • If you are really serious about weight loss, you should abstain from all soda and sweetened beverages entirely, including juices— all of those impair your body’s ability to handle insulin, a hormone that not only manages sugar, but stores fat as necessary. More circulating insulin=> insulin resistance => more bodily fat => diabetes (“diabesity”). All of this is established science. The processed food industry, however, makes huge profits off refined carbs and cheap sugar, so that’s what they push in their products.
  • On our sister site we explain why our society is an obesogenic one and lay out our anti-obesity platform that, if fully implemented, would decrease obesity by at least 70%. Just scroll for it or search our tags.

Bosses Behaving Badly

Quote of the day: “Because I’m the president of the company, I should be held personally responsible? That’s nonsense.”— John Catsimatidis, CEO of Gristedes

Context: Mr. Catsimatidis is accused of denying his workers overtime wages. A $3.5 million settlement was reached in 2008. Additionally, “the workers filed to hold Catsimatidis liable if Gristedes failed to pay. The judge ruled in their favor.” 


Let this case be an example to those executives who think they can cheat their workers of their entitled wages. This man is a billionaire. And, yes, Virginia, CEOs are responsible for the actions of their company, and cannot act like they don’t know what’s going on. That’s where the phrase “the buck stops here” comes from. 

Carl Campanile ” ‘Cat’ in grocery Owe-T battle,” 2/4/13, p.23, [photo omitted]

Misogyny in High Places


Did you hear about this? A week after women were cleared to serve in combat, women working at the Defense Intelligence Agency—the Agency that “manages the flow of sensitive information from the military”— were ‘treated’ to a presentation on “How to Dress for Success” and told not to be “a plain Jane” at work. Among the recommendations (see article), were to favor skirts over slacks and to avoid flats. 

It seems there’s no shelf life on sexism.

DIA Director Lt. General Michael Flynn sent an email apology to employees apologizing for the “highly offensive” presentation.

Why, yes, this is offensive. So is the headline, by those snappy folks at the Post.

Still, we’re surprised the Post reported on this at all. Their paper is full of casual misogyny, usually in the form of “lifestyle” spreads shilling high-end consumer gods (clothing, etc) to women, as though to say a woman is not attractive unless she buys her way into fabulousness.

Pedro Oliviera, “Feds training Victoria’s Secret agents,” 2/4/13, NY Post, p.25

The Equal Rights Amendment would state, definitively, in our national Constitution, that women deserve equal rights in our society. It has been stalled for decades (the original dates to 1972). According to the petition, these states have not ratified this important Amendment that would improve the lives of women: “Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, N. Carolina, Oklahoma, S. Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

This petition is to light a fire under the White House to take the ERA seriously, to advocate for making it a national issue again, and make progress on getting it ratified into the Constitution now. 6,456 additional signatures needed before February 10th to get the White House to look at this. Over 18,000 received so far. Let’s make it happen.

[White House account required.]

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, releases its latest report: “Who Pays? A distributional analysis  of the tax systems of all 50 states.” 

Among the highlights you can use to talk to those in your life who complain that their taxes are too high [from the splash page and the Executive Summary]:

  • [The poorest pay the highest tax rates:] “The average overall effective state and local tax rates by income group nationwide are 11.1 percent for the bottom 20 percent, 9.4 percent for the middle 20 percent and 5.6 percent for the top 1 percent.”
  • [Some states are more regressive than others:] “Ten states with the most regressive tax systems are: Washington, Florida, South Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Indiana.” [In these states] “the bottom 20 percent pay up to six times as much of their income in taxes as their wealthy counterparts. ” [Of these states, most have high consumption’sales taxes to make up the difference in tax revenue.] [Some of these states are called regressive because they have a low tax rate for the wealthy. See the states with the highest taxes on the poor, below.]
  • [Why sales taxes as a main source of state income is a problem:] “Of the three broad kinds of taxes states levy (income, property, consumption), the income tax is the only one that is typically progressive in that its rate rises with income levels. Property taxes are usually somewhat regressive. Sales and excise taxes are the most regressive, with poor families paying eight times more of their income in these taxes than wealthy families, and middle income families paying five times more.”
  • [More on why sales taxes are regressive and particularly hurt the poor:] “Because food is one of the largest expenses for a low-income family, taxing food is a particularly regressive tax policy; five of the ten most regressive states tax food at the state or local level. Excise taxes on things like gasoline, cigarettes or beer take about 1.6 percent of the income of the poorest families, 0.8 percent from middle income families and 0.1 percent of income from the most well-off.”
  • States praised as “low tax” are often high tax states for low and middle income families.”
  • "…virtually every state’s tax system is fundamentally unfair, taking a much greater share of income from middle- and low-income families than from wealthy families.”
  • [Why it’s important for low-income taxpayers to claim their Earned Income Tax Credit/ EITC:] “Earned Income Tax Credit improves progressivity in 24 states and the District of Columbia…” [In other words, the EITC helps level out the playing field just a bit by slightly reducing the tax burden of the poor and lower-middle-class. —We’re just promoting awareness of the EITC, not providing tax advice. Consult your tax professional to see if you are eligible.]
  • [And finally: the states with the highest taxes on the poor:] “The ten states with the highest taxes on the poor are Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas,  and Washington.”

    Read more and download the full report at

Highlights from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ latest bulletin:

On the economy:

  • [On an appearance on MSNBC, Sen. Sanders said,] “We have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth, worse today in the United States than at any time since 1928 before the Great Depression.”
  • "… two-thirds of Americans are planning to delay retirement because of the financial losses.” [—MSNBC’s Ed Schultz]
  • [On jobs, the Senator said:] ““we need to invest significant sums of money rebuilding … roads, bridges, water systems, mass transit, et cetera” and “given the threat of global warming, we need to invest very heavily and create jobs in weatherization, energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

On Veterans’ Affairs:

  • "A Department of Veterans Affairs study released on Friday said 22 veterans a day commit suicide."
  • [Sen. Sanders is the chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.]

On Social Security:

  • [Senator Sanders is against the Chained CPI, which he says] “is not the right way to treat seniors whose average benefit check is only about $1,200 a month.”

On National Budget Priorities:

  • Sanders says that “one of every four profitable U. S. corporations is paying ‘zero in federal taxes’….”

On End-of-Life issues: 

  • A Vermont Senate committee voted 5-0 Friday for a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients who request it, though the bill’s future is far from certain. The vote in the Health & Welfare Committee will send the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it is expected to face some opposition, reported the AP.”


Senator Sanders is one of the few progressives we have left, a man of integrity, and a good source of information on national issues as well as issues relating to his home state of Vermont. The entire brief is worth a good look, as Vermont goes through a controversy about wind power. The end-of-life legislation proposed is particularly interesting and important, as Baby Boomers age. We support enlightened and compassionate dialogue about allowing patients to die with dignity. 

Read the rest at

Consider signing up for his alerts and supporting his causes. We can’t get enough of the guy, who continues to fight for a government that works for the people and not for the elite.

Here in my air car

Let’s hear some more about why the Big Three can’t do this. 

Turns out no number of tax incentives, tax breaks, or bailouts can beat “innovation” in “the competitive free market.”

Those last two items are in quotes because the parties who so often insist on getting subsidizes and tax breaks are usually the ones who prattle on and on about how well the “free market” works.

Newsflash: if you’re getting any kind of subsidy (aka corporate welfare), you’re not in a “free market.” You’re actually subverting any possibility of a free market by getting the bailout/ subsidy/ handout/ ‘tax incentive’/ ‘tax expenditure.’

Newsflash 2: Anyone working for a corporation that gets handouts or bailouts (aka corporate welfare) but dislikes individuals getting basic subsistence welfare needs to shut up before they get strangled by their own hypocrisy. The people who despise any kind of ‘redistribution of wealth’ for workers are oddly often pro-redistribution of wealth upward for corporations.

Also important sidenote: the auto industry is one of the few industries (though eviscerated) at least partly based in the U.S. And yet if we keep making excuses about how we supposedly can’t increase fuel economy standards, people who care about fuel standards (pretty much everyone, given gas prices) will, sooner or later, go to fuel efficient cars, and so the U.S. will have its lunch eaten in yet another industry, and not for lack of technology or know-how, but from greed and stubbornness. 

No author, NY Newsday, “Box score,” [editorial page,] 1/27/13, pA32

Damian Carrington, “Insecticide ‘unacceptable’ danger to bees, report finds,” The Guardian, January 16, 2013.


Frankly, any class of pesticide— or any industrial chemical, for that matter— that has been shown to kill bees needs to be banned immediately. Without bees, food production would grind to a lethal halt.

Relevant quotes:

  • “Bees and other pollinators are critical to one-third of all food, but two major studies in March 2012, and others since, have implicated neonicotinoid pesticides in the decline in the insects, alongside habitat loss and disease.” 
  • “Prof David Goulson, at the University of Stirling and who led one of the key 2012 studies, said: “‘It is very pleasing that EFSA [European Food Safety Authority] now acknowledge there are significant environmental risks associated with these chemicals. It begs the question of what was going on when these chemicals were first approved.Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was 50 years ago but we have not learned the lessons.’ “
  • “The chemical industry funded a report published on Tuesday claiming that banning neonicotinoids would cost farmers £620m in lost food production. But [Professor] Goulson said the report contained “not a shred” of serious evidence.” 

Ah, here’s something that got virtually no mainstream media attention.

If gas is so safe, why do entire bus terminals—and sometimes entire towns, as we’ve reported on— need to be evacuated? 

Oh, because gas is neither safe nor ‘green.’ 

In this context, expanding fracking is a horrendous idea, both for the environment and for general human safety.

These gas leak incidents are far more common than the mainstream media would have you believe. 

And when gas explosions damage infrastructure— when, not if— the economic burden of gas will far outweigh any potential ‘benefit’ (that actually has been disproven by non-industry economists and scholars).

AMNY, “Gas odor shuts Port Authority,” 1/3/13, p.4, AMNY.

MLK is quite possibly the only rebellious figure in American history we have a holiday for. (For example, we don’t have a Rosa Parks day, etc.). So we would do well to learn from history and remember a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for goals larger than himself.

That said, MLK’s more radical comments about the role of labor, the need for healthcare as a human right— one of the most “shocking and inhumane” inequalities, he called it—and the need for a truly equal society are usually minimized. 

Here, some history about the great leader not often remembered:

  • "In 1968, 1,300 Memphis sanitation workers went on a successful strike for union recognition, better wages and benefits and something more fundamental— respect in the workplace. The African-American workers—members of AFSCME Local 1733— became enraged after two sanitation workers were killed in an accident involving a city trash truck. They went on strike 11 days later, holding their iconic signs, ‘I Am A Man,’ for the entire nation to see. It sent a message that more was a stake than a raise."
  • "In April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr…. traveled to Memphis to support sanitation workers. On the evening of April 3, he delivered his famous ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech to a packed room of supporters. The next day, we was killed by an assassin while standing on the balcony of his motel room. Dr. King had been planning to lead a protest march for the strikers."
  • "If it hadn’t been for Dr. King coming to Memphis, we wouldn’t have won the strike."— Alvin Turner, one of the striking sanitation workers.

AFSCME WORKS, Fall 2011, “1968: Respect Demanded and Won” (part of feature on labor protests). 

Some man-on-the-street reportage on the (recently declared unconstitutional) practice of stop-and-frisk in New York City.

Of the 5 people asked this question, 4 got it right. The first [omitted] was a security officer and (not surprisingly) took law enforcement’s side. — VF Editor

William Freeman (51) particularly got it right and deserves to have his response showcased: “In my opinion, they only do it in the ghetto. I work at Midtown Manhattan. You don’t see no stop and frisk with Caucasians. A better way to lower crime would be jobs. If a person commits a crime, even if a person didn’t commit a crime, if you came from a neighborhood like this [VF editor: neighborhood not specified for any respondent], you’re guilty. When you come out of jail that’s on your record and no one wants to hire you. The system is a revolving door.”

Kudos to the Epoch Times for having the balls-aka integrity— to publish such an honest— and tragically accurate— response.

Other notable responses: 

Kayvone Brown, 16 [omitted]: “They ask me where the gun is at. That’s what they always ask. I guess they think everyone has a gun. But I don’t have a gun. They always go into my pockets [quite possibly a 4th amendment violation, but we’re not giving legal advice—VF editor].” 

Clarence Book, 36: “Communication is key. You should sit down and talk to the people instead of just locking them down all the time.”

Tyquain Frazier, 18: “I get stopped just because I’m a black male. I get stopped once every week.” 


The only thing stop-and-frisk has accomplished is alienating whole communities for generations, and reducing the legitimacy of the police. Stop-and-frisk remains a critical civil rights issue of our time, until it is fully stopped. The line between so-called ‘targeted policing’ and profiling is a fine one, one that is regularly crossed. We as a culture need to acknowledge the discriminatory nature of profiling before we can end it. Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In, about the drug war, also makes several excellent points about how profiling erodes community faith in the police, and how ‘geographically targeted’ policing is a thinly-coded excuse for racist policing.

Epoch Times,”Local Q & A: ‘What do you think of stop and frisk?’,” January 11-17, 2013, p. A3