There is a short and chemically sweetened story about Monsanto’s Aspartame FDA approval. There are many comical coincidences that are weaved into this monumental day. First you have to remember that Monsanto Company has been around for about a century and knows its way around the business and political landscapes. They are one of the original companies to coin the concept of “revolving door”, which is the:
The movement of high-level employees from public sector jobs to private sector jobs and vice versa. The idea is that there is a revolving door between the two sectors as many legislators and regulators become consultants for the industries they once regulated and some private industry heads receive government appointments that relate to their former private posts. (“Investopedia.com, 2013).
In 1981, Donald Rumsfeld, Chairman of G.D. Searle Company, the company that held the patent on “Aspartame”, was fighting to get FDA approval. After Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president, Rumsfeld, part of Reagan’s transition team hand-picked Dr. Hayes as the FDA commissioner. Dr. Hayes was the approving authority for Aspartame in liquid drinks. He only served at the FDA until 1983 and a few years later became the chief medical officer at a large public relations firm for both Monsanto and GD Searle. Click here to See Huffington Post Article about Aspartame’s Corrupted Approval Process.