Jane Brody, Science Times, Congressional Record




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Cancer is a political problem more than it is a medical problem.

"Dr. Gross told Congress that aspartame violated the Delaney Amendment, which had forbid anything being put in food you knew would cause cancer, and this was because without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors."

"And if the FDA violates the law, who is left to protect the public?"

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Rich Murray: Gold:  Jane Brody: Science Times:
1985 article against aspartame  6.9.1 rmforall

[Just let me know if you want to be off my lists!]

June 9 2001   Hello, Jane E. Brody in 1985 in the New York Times well documented  serious concerns about aspartame toxicity.

Rich Murray, MA  Room For All  rmforall@earthlink.net
1943 Otowi Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

M.I.T. (physics and history, BA, 1964), Boston U. Graduate School (psychology, MA, 1967): As a concerned layman, I want to clarify the aspartame toxicity debate.

long 40K summary

Excellent 5-page review by H.J. Roberts in "Townsend Letter",
Jan 2000,  "Aspartame (NutraSweet) Addiction"
http://www.dorway.com/tldaddic.html      http://www.sunsentpress.com/
H.J. Roberts, M.D.   HRRobertsmd@aol.com   sunsentpress@aol.com
Sunshine Sentinel Press 6708 Pamela Lane West Palm Beach, FL 33405
800-814-9800 561-588-7628 561-547-8008 fax
1038 page text   "Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic"
published May 30  2001    $ 85.00 postpaid    data from 1200 cases
http://www.aspartameispoison.com/contents.html    34 chapters

Subject:   [Aspartame Support Group]
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 22:52:42 -0500
From:  Betty Martini <Mission-Possible-USA@altavista.net>
To:   "Dave Rietz (www.dorway.com)" <dorietz@awod.com>


Here is the article Jane Brody wrote about aspartame in l985. Yet she wrote aspartame in her hoax article in the New York Times. She KNEW all along the truth. How could she do such a thing. Her article against aspartame was strong enough to be added to the congressional record. This shows she knew about the craving of carbohydrates, the depression, etc. Her recent article in the New York Times was syndicated and could have caused deaths throughout the US, since I've already been told of several severe reactions in Atlanta, one even causing hospitalization. They thought it was okay to use it again.  Sure glad the Hall of Shame is set up now on www.dorway.com which, of course, was dedicated to the Atlanta Journal Constitution which refused to retract their articles.

All my best,   Betty Martini

Science Times, Feb 5, l985,
By Jane E. Brody (also appeared in the Congressional Record
Senate Vol 131 No.58 May 7 1985
Proceedings and Debates of the 99th Congress, First Session,
ppS5493-5494 - the following is transcribed from that document)

As sales of aspartame, the nation's newest artificial sweetener, expand rapidly among millions of users, scientific concern is also growing among some researchers about its safety.

The researchers are alarmed by recent reports that a small percentage of users, including at least two young children, may have suffered severe adverse reactions to aspartame.  Especially worrisome are reactions involving the brain, including seizures, incapacitating headaches, dizziness, behavioral changes and depression.

Although there is at present no evidence, there is concern, too, over the possibility that in some consumers, aspartame may cause subtle disruptions in the balance of brain chemicals that influence mood, alertness and hunger for certain nutrients. Animal studies have raised the issue but its investigation is only just beginning.

Two scientists, Dr. C. Keith Conners of Children's Hospital in Washington and Dr. Richard Wurtman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believe that the Food and Drug Administration misled the pubic on aspartame's safety by understating the concern voiced in a recent official scientific analysis of consumer complaints.

"If you read the CDC report," Dr. Wurtman said in an interview, referring to the national Centers for Disease Control, "it doesn't sound nearly so complacent as the F.D.A. Talk Paper that interpreted the findings for the public."

According to the C.D.C. its detailed investigation of 200 consumer complaints, out of more than 600 received, suggests the need for a systematic study of adverse effects, especially neurological and behavioral effects which accounted for 67 percent of the complaints received.

"The number of instances of persons challenging themselves several times with aspartame - containing products and reporting symptoms with each rechallenge suggests that some individuals may be sensitive," the report states. "The only way to clearly determine this is through focused clinical studies." Citing the "subtlety and potential seriousness of some of the manifestations" reported by consumers, the disease control centers said the studies should concentrate on such symptoms as "headaches, mood alterations and behavior changes."

The manufacturers of aspartame, G.D.Searle & Company, said a proposal for a clinical study has been submitted to the F.D.A., but there are as yet no plans to actively monitor
the effects of aspartame in the general population.

Searle says the C.D.C. findings are not surprising, given the fact that more than 100 million people now use aspartame. Dr Gerald E. Gaull, vice president for nutrition and medical affairs for aspartame at Searle, said it is possible that "a few people may be allergic or sensitive to it." He added that "for those few people, the issue is not one of safety but rather of food selection."

Both the drug agency and Searle say aspartame is the most extensively studied food additive in history and that the studies clearly establish its safety. Dr. Gaull noted, "It's not just the F.D.A. that has viewed the tests as adequate, but also the World Health Organization and comparable regulatory agencies in Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and about 37 other countries."

Dr. Sanford Miller, head of the F.D.A.'s Bureau of Foods, said: "I don't know of any substance in recent years that's been looked at with the intensity of aspartame. No one had yet come up with the slightest evidence to show we were wrong in approving it."

However, some researchers and consumer organizations assert that the studies have not been careful or far-reaching enough to establish the safety of aspartame, which is now entering the food supply at an unprecedented rate following its approval in 1983 for use in soft drinks.

For example, Dr. Walle Nauta, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology psychologist who heads a public board of inquiry that was asked by the F.D.A. in 1980 to review safety concerns about aspartame, has said that had the panel known how widely aspartame would be used, it would have issued stronger recommendations. He told Common Cause, a public affairs organization that completed a nine-month investigation of aspartame last year, that use of aspartame in soft drinks "never figured in our decision making."

Dr. Nauta's panel was also limited in its assessment to interpreting the results of safety tests. Whether the tests were properly conducted in the first place was not considered, he said.


Aspartame, marketed as NutraSweet (when used as a food additive) and Equal (the table-top version), is now found in such foods as soft drinks, gum, breakfast cereals, mixes for hot chocolate and cold drinks and pudding mixes. Although in most products it is combined with either sugar or saccharin, a trend is already evident toward the use of aspartame as the sole sweetener in processed foods. Coca-Cola and Pepsi-cola, for-example, announced they would be using it alone in diet soft drinks, and Ralston - Purina has just introduced a new cereal, Sunflakes, sweetened only with aspartame. Several food processors have filed proposals to use the sweetener in yogurt, ice cream and flavored drinks.

Since it was approved for use in this country in 1981, worldwide sales of aspartame have drown from $74 million in 1982 to $800 million last year. It has been an enormous financial boost for a company that a decade ago was embroiled in costly controversy over the quality of its safety tests on several major drugs and aspartame.

Aspartame was originally approved for marketing in 1974, but the approval was quickly stayed when a scientist, Dr John Olney of Washington University, and an attorney, James S. Turner, objected on the basis of Dr. Olney's findings in animals that aspartame might cause cancerous brain tumors. Dr. Olney remains a strong critic of aspartame approval. Mr. Turner, a consumer advocate with the Community Nutrition Institute in Washington, said the studies needed to clarify this risk had not yet been property done. The Institute recently petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to halt further marketing of aspartame products pending the outcome of a requested public hearing on aspartame's safety.

Nor were a number of key studies that had been called into question as scientifically lacking in design and execution ever redone, according to Common Cause and Mr. Turner. Nonetheless, in 1981, Arthur Hull Hayes, then Commissioner of Food and Drugs, approved aspartame for use in dry foods and as a table-top sweetener. Two years later Mark Novich, as acting commissioner, approved aspartame for use in soft drinks. Soon after, Dr. Hayes left the agency and took a job as senior medical consultant for Burson - Marsteller, a public relations agency that represents Searle. The company says Dr. Hayes, who is also dean of New York Medical College, has never consulted on anything having to do with aspartame or any other product he ruled on at the drug agency.


Among the reasons aspartame is so popular are that it provides the sweetening power of sugar at one-tenth the caloric cost; unlike products made with saccharin, it does not carry a warning about cancer risk and it tastes very much like sugar but, unlike saccharin, has no unpleasant aftertaste.

The drug agency has set an allowable daily intake of 50 milligrams of body weight, and the agency predicted that actual average use would run around eight to ten milligrams. According to Dr. Gaull of Searle, levels of use found in a national survey last spring showed that the average was then already twice that - 19 milligrams - and the maximum level consumed by "aspartame abusers" was 28 milligrams. A United States attorney representing the F.D.A. said in court last month that average consumption is now 30 milligrams and that many consumers are above the 50 milligrams maximum suggested.

According to Dr. Wurtman, some consumers can easily reach consumption levels that have been linked in animal studies to adverse effects on brain chemicals. Ironically, he added, those using the sweetener to control calories may be defeating their purpose, since his studies show high levels of aspartame may trigger a craving for carbohydrates by depleting the brain of a chemical that registers carbohydrate satiety.

Dr. Conners is worried about aspartame's effects on certain highly sensitive individuals.  He has studied two young children who suffer extreme agitation following doses of aspartame equivalent to the amount found in a six-once serve of Kool-Aid sweetened with NutraSweet. One of the children becomes so agitated he has to be restrained, Dr. Conners said. The other, who is sensitive to sugar, becomes even more aggressive when given aspartame, he said.

Aspartame is the product of two amino acids (the chemical building blocks of protein), aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are found in rather large amounts in ordinary protein-rich foods. When digested and metabolized, aspartame breaks down into its component amino acids and methyl alcohol.

Scientific concern has focused on phenylalanine, since some people are unable to process it properly, causing a buildup in the body that can damage the developing brain.  A phenylalanine buildup, should it occur in response to aspartame, could endanger an unborn child whose mother has high levels of phenylalanine in her blood in pregnancy, some scientists say. Dr. William Partridge of the University of California at Los Angles, for one, is worried about possible detrimental effects on I.Q. in the children of phenylalanine - tolerant women who consume large amounts of aspartame in pregnancy.

Phenylalanine is also the precursor to tyrosine, neurotransmitter in the brain. A recent study in rats by researchers in Dr. Wurtman's laboratory showed that aspartame can cause large buildups of phenylalanine and tyrosine in the brain. However, Dr. Wurtman has noted that rats process phenylalanine differently from people. He added that a federally financed study of the behavioral effects of aspartame in animals and people was now under way in his laboratory.

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UPI reporter Gregory Gordon: 96K 3-part expose Oct 1987:

Pediatr Clin North Am 1999 Oct;46(5):857-70, vi
Clinical use of rating scales in diagnosis and treatment of attention - deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Prof. Carmen Keith Conners  [male]  919-416-2080
Prof. of Medical Psychology
Dept. of Psych. & Behavioral Sci.
Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center,
Durham, NC 27710, USA.   conne011@mc.duke.edu

Rating scales for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD capture a lot of information at a relatively low cost and are of particular value in pediatric settings. They identify the expectations for children at a given age and gender for most behavioral problems encountered in practice. Used appropriately, these rating scales help to avoid some of the excesses decried by critics and the controversies. This article reviews problems in diagnoses, problems in treatment, methodology of rating scales, a description of new scales, a diagnostic utility of new scales.
PMID: 10570692, UI: 20037282

Prof. Richard J. Wurtman, MD  dick@mit.edu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Brain and
Cognitive Sciences, MIT    617-253-6731
Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, HST
Director, Clinical Research Center, HST

Aspartame Toxicity Information Center    Mark D. Gold
http://www.HolisticMed.com/aspartame    603-225-2100
"Scientific Abuse in Aspartame Research"
mgold@tiac.net    12 East Side Drive #2-18 Concord, NH 03301
Aspartame History by Mark Gold


In March of 1979, the FDA somehow concluded that G.D. Searle's aspartame studies could be accepted. They decide to convene the Public Board of Inquiry (PBOI) which was agreed to by Dr. John Olney and Attorney James Turner more than four years earlier (Federal Register 1979).

In April of 1979, the FDA outlined the specific questions which were to be addressed by the PBOI. The FDA limited the scope of the PBOI to (Federal Register 1981):

a. Whether the ingestion of aspartame either alone or together with glutamate poses a risk of contributing to mental retardation, brain damage, or undesirable effects on neuroendocrine regulatory systems.

b. Whether the ingestion of aspartame may induce brain neoplasms (tumors) in the rat.

c. Based on answer to the above questions.

(i)Should aspartame be allowed for use in foods, or, instead should approval of aspartame be withdrawn?

(ii) If aspartame is allowed for use in foods, i.e., if its approval is not withdrawn, what conditions of use and labeling and label statements should be required, if any?

Dr. John Olney, G.D. Searle, and the FDA's Bureau of Foods were allowed to nominate scientists for the 3-person PBOI panel (Farber 1989, page 34, Federal Register 1981, page 38286).

It is important to note that the scope of the review was very limited in light of all of the various adverse reactions reported to the FDA. The PBOI also disallowed any discussion of the validity of the pre-approval experiments because it accepted the word of certain FDA officials that these experiments had been "validated." Finally, the PBOI was told not to consider aspartame in beverages, only in dry goods.

In June of 1979, the acting FDA Commissioner, Sherwin Gardner selected the 3-person Public Board of Inquiry. The panelists were Peter J. Lampert, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology, University of California (San Diego), Vernon R. Young, Ph.D., University of Nutritional Biochemistry, M.I.T., and Walle Nauta, M.D., Ph.D., Institute Professor, Department of Psychology and Brain Science, M.I.T.

Dr. John Olney strongly objected to the Commissioner's selection of one of the panelists, Dr. Vernon Young, on grounds of conflict of interest and lack of qualifications (Olney 1987, page 3). Dr. Young had written non aspartame- related articles in collaboration with G.D. Searle scientists (Brannigan 1983, page 196). In addition, Dr. Olney stated that the question of aspartic acid's neurotoxicity should be looked at by a neuropathologist and that Dr. Young was unqualified since his field was Nutrition and Metabolism. Dr. Olney's objections were overruled by acting FDA Commissioner Sherwin Gardner and the panelists who he objected to was assigned to study the issue of aspartic acid toxicity.

One of the PBOI members, Dr. Walle Nauta stated (Graves 1984, page S5498 of Congressional Record 1985a):

"It was a shocking story we were told [about Searle's animal testing] but, there was no way we could go after it. We had absolutely no way of knowing who was right. We had to take the FDA's word."

Dr. Nauta stated that he would have "definitely" considered other tests and factors if he had known that aspartame was planned for use in soft drinks (Graves 1984, page S5503 of Congressional Record 1985a).


The Public Board Of Inquiry voted unanimously to reject the use of aspartame until additional studies on aspartame's potential to cause brain tumors could be done. The PBOI was particularly concerned about experiment E33/34 where 320 rats received aspartame and a much higher percentage of animals in the aspartame group developed tumors than in the control group (Brannigan 1983, page 196). In addition, the PBOI was concerned about experiment E70 where 80 rats received aspartame. Both the aspartame group and the control group had an unusually high number of tumors, leading one to suspect that both groups were actually given aspartame (Federal Register 1981).

The PBOI did not believe that aspartic acid presented a neurotoxic hazard. Yet, Dr. Olney pointed out that (Olney 1987, page 3):

"[Dr. Young had a] lack of qualification" and that he "based his decision on a consideration of [aspartic acid] alone without regard to the real issue, i.e., is it safe to add [aspartic acid] to the large amounts of [glutamic acid / MSG] that are already adulterating the food supply?"

In addition, the "conservative" safety plasma level of aspartic acid  used by Dr. Young was the level at which half the animals developed brain damage (Brannigan 1983, page 197). These errors by Dr. Young throw the question of safety of aspartic acid as part of aspartame into doubt. We will address this issue in more detail in a later section.


On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan takes office as U.S. President, G.D. Searle reapplied for the approval of aspartame. G.D. Searle submits several new studies along with their application. It was believed that Reagan would certainly replace Jere Goyan, the FDA Commissioner. G.D. Searle president, Donald Rumsfeld's connections to the Republican party were also thought to play a part in Searle's decision to reapply for aspartame's approval on the day after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated (Gordon 1987, page 499 of US Senate 1987).

According to a former G.D. Searle salesperson, Patty Wood- Allott, G.D. Searle president, Donald Rumsfeld told his sales force that, if necessary, "he would call in all his markers and that no matter what, he would see to it that aspartame would be approved that year." (Gordon 1987, page 499 of US Senate 1987)

In March of 1981, a 5-member panel of scientists was established by the FDA Commissioner Jere Goyan to review the issues raised by the PBOI (Gordon 1987, page 498 of US Senate 1987; Mullarkey 1994b, page 8).

In April 1981, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. was appointed FDA Commissioner by Ronald Reagan (Graves 1984, page S5502 of Congressional Record 1985a).

On May 18, 1981, three of the scientists in the 5-member panel sent a letter to the panel lawyer, Joseph Levitt discussing their concerns about aspartame. Those three scientists were Satva Dubey (FDA Chief of Statistical Evaluation Branch), Douglas Park (Staff Science Advisor), and Robert Condon (Veterinary Medicine). Dubey thought that the brain tumor data was so "worrisome" in one study that he could not recommend approval of aspartame (Gordon 1987, page 495 of US Senate 1987). In another study, Dubey said that key data appeared to have been altered (Gordon 1987, page 499 of US Senate 1987).

In his UPI Investigation, Gregory Gordon went on to describe the unusual events that followed (Gordon 1987, page 499 of US Senate 1987):

"[Douglas] Park said that [panel lawyer Joseph] Levitt hurried the panel to decide the issue. 'They wanted to have the results yesterday,' he said. 'We really didn't have the time to do the in- depth review we wanted to do.'

"Park said Levitt met frequently with Hayes and 'was obviously getting the pressure to get a resolution and a decision made.'

"With three of five scientists on the commissioner's team opposing approval, it was decided to bring in a toxicologist for his opinion on isolated issues [Barry N. Rosloff]. Goyan said if the decision were his, he never would have enlarged the team. While the panel did not vote, it ended up split 3-3.

"Levitt, who normally would have been expected to draft an options paper spelling out scientific evidence on key issues, took an unusual tack. He circulated an approval recommendation and only backed off when Dubey, Park, and Condon objected, team members said. Levitt said he was not directed to draft the approval memo, but did so as a 'tactical' step to break the team's weeks-long impasse by forcing each scientist to state his views. 'It worked, didn't it?' said Levitt, who later was promoted to a post as an executive assistant to the FDA Commissioner."

On July 18, 1981 aspartame was approved for use dry foods by FDA Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. overruling the Public Board of Inquiry and ignoring the law, Section 409(c)(3) of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 348), which says that a food additive should not be approved if tests are inconclusive (Federal Register 1981, Farber 1989, page 38). In an article in Common Cause Magazine, Florence Graves states that two FDA officials said that Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr. wanted to push aspartame approval through in order to signal reforms of the Reagan Administration. The "reasoning" behind the FDA Commissioner's decision will be discussed in a later section (Graves 1984, page S5497 of Congressional Record 1985a).


On October 15, 1982, G.D. Searle petitioned the FDA for approval to use aspartame in soft drinks and children's vitamins (Gordon 1987, page 499 of US Senate 1987; Farber 1989, page 38)

On October 1, 1982 an amendment was attached to the Orphan Drug Act (an act which encourages the development of drugs for rare diseases) which modified the U.S. Patent law (Congressional Record 1982). The amendment extended the patent on only one product -- aspartame -- by 5 years, 10 months and 17 days (Gordon 1987, page 504 of US Senate 1987). The amendment did not mention aspartame or G.D. Searle by name and there was no debate or discussion on the amendment.

The amendment was proposed by Senator Howell Heflin, brought up for a vote by Senator Robert Byrd, and pushed through by Representative Henry Waxman and Orrin Hatch. G.D. Searle asked Senator Heflin to sponsor the amendment. Heflin received $9,000 in campaign donations shortly after this amendment was approved from G.D. Searle company executives and their wives. Senator Byrd had received a $1,000 campaign contribution from the CEO of G.D. Searle before the amendment was proposed. Representative Waxman received a $1,500 campaign contribution from the soft drink political action committee including $500 before the amendment was proposed. Senator Hatch received $2,500 from the soft drink political action committee prior to his reelection and $1,000 each from Daniel Searle, Wesley Dixon (Daniel Searle's brother-in-law), and William Searle (Gordon 1987, page 506 of US Senate 1987). Senator Hatch repeatedly blocked hearings looking into the safety of aspartame (Gordon 1987, page 506 of US Senate 1987).

It could be argued that the amendment to extend G.D. Searle's patent of aspartame rectified the lost marketing time caused by the FDA investigations. However, it was G.D. Searle's horrendous pre-approval studies which led to the FDA investigations and the delays. Had they performed the studies with any competence, aspartame could have been approved quickly like any other FDA-approved food additive.

(Actually, had the studies been done right, it is likely that aspartame would never been approved due to serious adverse reactions.)

In addition, the amendment was applicable to one product and cannot be used similarly for other products.

Between 1979 and 1982, four FDA officials who took part in the aspartame approval process went through the FDA revolving door and took jobs in industries that are closely linked with the NutraSweet issue (Gordon 1987, page 498 of US Senate 1987):

1. Mike Taylor was an FDA lawyer who represented the FDA Bureau of Foods at the PBOI and was part of the team that prevented the quality and validity of G.D. Searle's studies from being considered (Gordon 1987, page 498 of US Senate 1987).

2. Sherwin Gardner was the Deputy FDA Commissioner in 1979. In July, 1974, he had signed the initial approval for aspartame's use in dry foods. (This initial approval was later block by objections from James Turner, Esq. and Dr. John Olney.)

In December, 1979, Sherwin Gardner became a Vice President of Grocery Manufacturers of America, Inc. (GAO 1986). While Mr. Garden claims that he did not discuss aspartame is his 4 meetings with the FDA within a year of leaving that agency or his 20 meetings with the FDA between 1980 and 1986, the organization he worked for does deal directly with aspartame products. It is unlikely that he would have been rewarded with the job had he called for another delay in approval and proposed that safety tests be conducted independently in order to protect the public.

3. Stuart Pape was the Health and Human Services (HHS) Chief Counsel for Foods from October 1976 to March 1979. He served as special assistant to the FDA Commissioner from March 1979 to December 1979. He participated in meetings and discussions on aspartame as well as representing the FDA at the PBOI.

In December 1979, Mr. Pape was given a job by the law firm of Patton, Boggs, and Blow. This law firm provided counsel to the National Soft Drink Association (NSDA). Mr. Pape and Howard R. Roberts of the NSDA (who formerly fought for approval of aspartame at the FDA) met with the FDA twice in 1983 where aspartame was discussed. In 1983, the NSDA inexplicably withdrew their objection to aspartame in diet beverage (GAO 1986).

4. Albert Kolbye was the Associate Director of the FDA Bureau of Foods for toxicology.


Acting FDA Commissioner, Mark Novitch approved aspartame for use in carbonated beverages and carbonated beverage syrup bases (Federal Register 1983). FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes was out of town the day that the approval was signed, but he worked closely with Mark Novitch on this issue (Gordon 1987, page 499 of US Senate 1987). Ignoring the FDA's own safety standards, the more than doubled the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of aspartame from 20 mg/kg to 50 mg/kg (Metzenbaum 1985).

Shortly after the FDA approval for aspartame in carbonated beverages, FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes left the FDA under charges of improprieties, took a a position as the Dean of New York Medical College and was hired as an a consultant ($1,000 per day) with G.D. Searle's public relations firm, Burston Marsteller (Gordon 1987, page 499 of US Senate 1987).


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