EU Food Safety Authority Evaluating Aspartame Again
Four times before, the European Food Safety Authority has advised the European Commission that the artificial sweetener is safe for consumers, but the commission wants another review completed by July 2012.
Another full scientific review of the safety of the artificial sweetener Aspartame is beginning in Europe. The European Food Safety Authority, based in Parma, Italy, has advised the European Commission four times previously that aspartame is safe for consumers and does not present an increased cancer risk, but the commission wants another review completed by July 2012.
New scientific studies suggest aspartame may increase cancer risk or be harmful to pregnant women; aspartame has been authorized for use in the European Union since 1994 and already was scheduled for a full review in 2020 as part of the agency's systematic re-evaluation of all authorized food additives.
The Calorie Control Council in the United States, which was established in 1966 and represents manufacturers and suppliers of alternative sweeteners and other low-calorie ingredients, maintains aspartame is safe.
EFSA has accepted the mandate for this accelerated aspartame re-evaluation, stipulating the need for a public call for new data as well as a thorough literature review. The agency said it will work closely with the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety on its nutritional risk/benefit assessment of sweeteners and will post more information on the public call for new data soon on its website.