The approval of aspartame was the most contested in FDA history. The sweetener was not approved on scientific grounds but because of strong political and financial pressure.
Aspartame was 'discovered' in 1965 by Searle, a Chicago drug company. The FDA finally approved aspartame in 1981, even though scientific research had clearly shown that aspartame caused brain cancer in lab animals.
See article below on Stevia's sudden adoption by major food corporations.
YouTube - Aspartame Brain Cancer amp the FDA Approval Process
The Stampede is on to Stevia! (external - login to view)
Tags: SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)
Interesting that we had to wait until the end of the Bush administration to get this!
The Cargill challenge: New sweetener (external - login to view)