When we started the documentary, "Sweet Misery", we did not know that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was the CEO of Searle at the time aspartame was approved. Not until our first interview with Dr. Jim Bowen.
According to a G.D. Searle's salesperson, Patty WoodAllott, Donald Rumsfeld stated "he would call in all his markers and that no matter what, he would see to it that aspartame be approved this year."
This interview with consumer attorney Jim Turner reveals how Donald Rumsfeld "called in his markers" as part of Reagan's transition team in 1981. Here is why G.D. Searle felt compelled to reapply for aspartame's approval one day after Reagan's inauguration.
This is despite rejection of aspartame over brain tumors.