Aspartame, more commonly known as Nutrasweet, is the world’s most widely used artificial sweetener.
Nutrasweet is found in thousands of products around the world including diet soft drinks.
Since 1974, scientists have warned of the risks of brain damage, liver and lung cancer, and brain lesions from consuming Nutrasweet.
In a recent study from the University of Sussex, researchers argued that this artificial sweetener may not be safe for human consumption.
The study is published in Archives of Public Health. One author is Professor Erik Millstone.
The team has forensically detailed serious flaws in the reassurance provided in 2013 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) about the safety of Nutrasweet.
They point out the EFSA panel discounted the results of every single one of 73 studies that indicated that Nutrasweet could be harmful.
EFSA also treated 84% of studies providing no prima facie evidence of harm as unproblematically reliable.
But according to the team, the EFSA scientists failed to acknowledge numerous inadequacies in the reassuring studies but instead picked up on tiny imperfections in all the studies providing evidence that aspartame may be unsafe.
The team calls for the suspension of authorization to sell or use aspartame in the EU pending an independent and thorough re-examination of relevant evidence.
They say the question of whether commercial conflicts of interest may have affected the panel’s report can never be adequately ruled out because all meetings all took place behind closed doors.
The global health advice is to reduce sugar intake, yet much of the food industry—especially soft drinks—maintains the sweetness by substituting artificial sweeteners.
This scientists paper is very important and timely.
The team suggests that all people need to reduce both sugar and artificial alternatives.
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