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Business News/ News / World/  How much use of Aspartame ‘possible cancer-causing’ artificial sweetner is safe for human consumption?
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How much use of Aspartame ‘possible cancer-causing’ artificial sweetner is safe for human consumption?

The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) may declare Aspartame as a possible carcinogen in July.

The safety of Aspartame and its recommended usage levels remain subjects of debate.Premium
The safety of Aspartame and its recommended usage levels remain subjects of debate.

 The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is reportedly planning to declare Aspartame as a "possible carcinogen" in July.  The popular artificial sweetener is said to be 200 times sweeter than table sugar and found in various food products. According to Reuters, the decision comes after a thorough assessment of published evidence by external experts. 

However, the safety of Aspartame and its recommended usage levels remain subjects of debate.

How much consumption of Aspartame is safe? 

The assessment does not take into account how much of a product a person can safely consume. This advice for individuals comes from a separate WHO expert committee on food additives, known as the Joint WHO and Food and Agriculture Organization's Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), alongside determinations from national regulators, Reuters reported.

The FDA pins the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for aspartame at 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, while the European regulatory body recommends a slightly lower ADI at 40 mg/kg/day.

Garima Dev Verman, Certified Nutritionist and Medical Content Analyst with The Healthy Indian Project (THIP), says “Artificial sweeteners have a long history of development, starting with saccharin in the late 19th century, followed by cyclamate, aspartame, and others. Some studies have suggested a possible connection between aspartame and cancer, leading regulatory agencies like IARC to reassess its safety and ongoing research is being conducted. It's essential to stay informed."

“However, not all artificial sweeteners are considered carcinogens. They undergo rigorous testing and have established limits for safe consumption."

Several products commonly use Aspartame

Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by American chemist James Schlatter. It gained popularity due to its zero calories and lack of bitter aftertaste. Approved by the FDA in 1974, it is used in various food products as a tabletop sweetener and in chewing gum and cereals.

Diet Coke, a product of Coca-Cola, is a popular soft drink that contains aspartame. Apart from that, it is found in gelatin, confectionery, desserts, and sugar-free cough drops. It is also used to enhance flavoring of baked and canned foods, powdered drink mixes, candy and puddings. 

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Published: 30 Jun 2023, 12:30 PM IST
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