Aspartame is not toxic, says EFSA

Tuesday, 29 January, 2013

Aspartame has been accused of causing a seemingly endless list of health conditions, including multiple sclerosis, headaches, hearing loss and blindness. But a recent assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) suggests that the sweetener is not toxic at current levels of exposure.

The EFSA has developed a draft scientific opinion on aspartame, following an in-depth review of peer-reviewed scientific and other literature, including new human studies, on aspartame and its breakdown products.

The EFSA’s scientific experts say they have drawn upon all available information on aspartame and its breakdown products and, following methodical analysis, have concluded that “they pose no toxicity concern for consumers at current levels of exposure.”

The safety of aspartame has been assessed many times over since the 1980s, but this is the first full evaluation of aspartame that has been requested of the EFSA and has been carried out by the Authority’s Scientific Panel on Food Additive and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS) Panel.

The EFSA has launched a public consultation on its draft scientific opinion on the safety of aspartame, with stakeholders and interested parties invited to comment through the online consultation by 15 February 2013. The EFSA will also hold a meeting with interested parties to discuss its draft opinion and the feedback from the online public consultation.

Interested parties can submit comments on the draft scientific opinion here. More information on the draft opinion on the evaluation of the safety of aspartame is available here.

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