ATLANTA (October 24, 2012) — Over 200 studies have demonstrated the safety of aspartame, and nutrition experts and regulatory bodies world-wide continue to reaffirm that the low-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame are safe for all populations. Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly studied food ingredients in the food supply. In fact, aspartame has been tested for over three decades in over 200 studies, with the same result: aspartame is safe.
Long- and short-term studies have been conducted in laboratory animals and humans, including infants, children, healthy adults, lactating women, diabetics, obese people and people with the rare genetic disease phenylketonuria (PKU). In addition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) of the European Union and regulatory agencies of more than 100 countries have reviewed aspartame and found that its use was safe.
In 2007, an extensive evaluation of the safety of over 500 studies related to aspartame, “Aspartame: a safety assessment based on current usage rates, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies” was published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology. “The expert panel concluded that aspartame is a safe sweetener, which has been studied exhaustively and can help reduce the calorie content of many foods,” said Dr. Berna Magnuson, lead author of the analysis and assistant professor of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto. The panel also concluded that amount of aspartame found in the human diet is not a health issue, there is no credible link between aspartame and diseases linked to the nervous system and behavior, or any other symptom or disease and there is no evidence indicating a genetic toxicity or carcinogenicity, or evidence to support a link combining aspartame and the development of obesity.
This year, nutrition experts reaffirmed scientists’ position that aspartame is a safe and beneficial low-calorie sweetener. Using low-calorie sweeteners like aspartame in beverages and other foods has the potential to help people reach and maintain a healthy body weight and is helpful for glucose control for people with diabetes, according to a July 2012 scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). This statement confirmed previous statements from these two major health organizations. The AHA and ADA position paper reiterated what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, concluded earlier this year – that consumers can safely enjoy a range of sweeteners, both full-calorie and low-calorie ones, including aspartame, as part of a healthy diet guided by current nutrition recommendations. The Academy’s position statement restated their support of low-calorie sweetener use.