James S. Turner, Esq., a principal in the firm Swankin & Turner, represents businesses as well as individuals and consumer groups in a wide variety of regulatory matters concerning food, drug, health, environmental and product-safety matters. Turner has appeared before every major consumer regulatory agency, including the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission and Federal Trade Commission, as well as the Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health.
Mr. Turner has served as special counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Food, Nutrition, and Health and to the Senate Government Operations Subcommittee on Government Research. He has also been a policy consultant to major corporations in the food, pharmaceutical and telecommunications industries, including such companies as Kraft Foods, The Quaker Oats Company, Hoffmann-LaRoche and AT&T. He is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Law.
In a special on the dangers of the artificial sweetener aspartame, Dr. Betty Martini was joined by a panel of experts throughout the evening. Aspartame, which she described as addictive, can cause a number of problems that people might not realize stem from its consumption, including headaches, dizziness, mood change, and joint pain. Its effects can be slow and subtle, but quite serious-- sometimes leading to miscarriages and seizures, she said. Consumer representative James Turner spoke about the history of aspartame and its pathway to approval. A public inquiry held in 1980 ruled it shouldn't be marketed because of its association with brain tumors, but Donald Rumsfeld (who served as head of the pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle at the time) managed to engineer its approval, he recounted. Stephen Fox, a consumer advocate, discussed efforts to get aspartame rescinded from the market, and suggested a new FDA commissioner was needed to carry this through. He recomme ... More »Host: George Noory