EFSA published a draft opinion on aspartame safety and call a public consultation

EFSA, for the sixth time since 1994 (when it was authorized for the first time),  has re-evaluated aspartame‘s safety as food additive in this draft opinion.

This substance was previously evaluated also by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), the latest in 1981 (JECFA, 1975; 1980; 1981) and by the EU Scientific Committee for Food (SCF), the latest in 2002 (SCF 1985; 1989; 1997; 2002), and every evaluation was positive.

The European Commission had requested an urgent re-evaluation after several studies linked high aspartame consumption with increased risk of lung cancer in rodents and with higher risk of pre-term delivery in an epidemiological study on 60.000 women.

Nonetheless, EFSA’s scientific experts assessed the safety of the current sweetener’s acceptable daily intake (ADI) level of 40 mg/kg bw/day.

In line with EFSA’s policy on openness and transparency and in order to receive comments from the scientific community and stakeholders, EFSA has launched a public consultation on the draft opinion developed by the ANS Panel. Interested parties are invited to submit written comments by 15 February 2013. The call concerns all available information on toxicity, carcinogenicity and genotoxicity, as well as possible reproductive and developmental effects, related to aspartame and its metabolites and breakdown products.

 

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