JUST SO WE'RE ALL TOTALLY CLEAR -
Donald Rumsfeld (he who as we all know armed Saddam Hussein, one of W's chief architects of the Iraq/Afghan wars, was recent US Defense Secretary under Bush, and if you care to believe such things, involved in the 9/11 inside job) - before he got up to his neck in the Neocon plan for world domination, worked as CEO for Searle, who make the popular and widely used sweetener Aspartame.
"Among the many ironies of our modern world is that Gerald Ford awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom-America,s highest civilian honor-to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on January 19, 1977. Just a few weeks later on March 8, Rumsfeld became the CEO of G.D. Searle to take point on a mission to force the Food and Drug Administration to approve for human consumption a known carcinogen and neurotoxic poison." 
Aspartame (widely used - you probably had some today) "aspartame causes headache, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma and cancer. It worsens or mimics the symptoms of such diseases and conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue and depression. Further dangers highlighted is that aspartame liberates free methyl alcohol. The resulting chronic methanol poisoning affects the dopamine system of the brain causing addiction. Methanol, or wood alcohol, constitutes one third of the aspartame molecule and is classified as a severe metabolic poison and narcotic." 
"For 16 years the FDA refused to approve it, not only because its not safe but because they wanted the company indicted for fraud. "
"Donald Rumsfeld was on President Reagan's transition team and the day after he took office he appointed an FDA Commissioner who would approve aspartame. The FDA set up a Board of Inquiry of the best scientists they had to offer who said aspartame is not safe and causes brain tumors, and the petition for approval is hereby revoked. The new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, over-ruled that Board of Inquiry and then went to work for the PR Agency of the manufacturer, Burson-Marstellar, rumored at $1000.00 a day, and has refused to talk to the press ever since. " 
MY QUESTION: Is any of this a surprise? At all?
I think it says something about the world however, and it's corporations and structures, that we are still consuming this "chemical weapon" daily in our food and drinks.