Not So Great Britain

FDA says unmoved by aspartame- cancer report

June 29, 2007
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A U.S. consumer group called for an urgent Food and Drug Administration review of the safety of aspartame on Monday, but the FDA said there was no immediate need to do so despite a new study showing the sweetener may cause cancer.

Italian researchers published a new study last week that showed aspartame — widely used in soft drinks — might cause leukemia, lymphoma and breast cancer in rats.

“This is the second study by the same lab showing that aspartame causes cancer in rats,” Center for Science in the Public Interest executive director Michael Jacobson said in a telephone interview.

Aspartame is used mostly in soft drinks but is also sold in packets to use in coffee, tea or on food. “People can easily avoid products using Nutrasweet or Equal and keep these products away from kids,” Jacobson added.

Morando Soffritti of the Ramazzini Foundation in Bologna, Italy and colleagues tested aspartame in rats, which they allowed to live until they died naturally.

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Posted in Aspartame, Health

FDA Should Reconsider Aspartame Cancer Risk, Say Experts

June 27, 2007
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A new long-term animal test from an Italian cancer institute raises serious safety questions about the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is marketed generically as well as under the NutraSweet and Equal brand names. A dozen toxicology and epidemiology experts and the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest are calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to immediately review the study, which found increases in lymphomas, leukemias, and breast cancers in rats. If FDA concludes that aspartame does cause cancer in animals, the agency is required by law to revoke its approval for the controversial sweetener, which is used in Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, tabletop packets, and countless other foods. The new study, conducted by the respected Ramazzini Foundation and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found statistically significant increases in lymphomas and leukemias in rats that were fed as little as 20 milligrams of the sweetener per kilogram of body weight—an amount that’s in the ballpark of what some people consume. The new study is superior to a similar one released in 2005 in that it began exposing the rats to aspartame before their birth.


Posted in Aspartame, Health

British Supermarket Bans Aspartame

April 25, 2007
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Artificial colours and flavours including the controversial sweetener aspartame are being banned by Sainsbury’s.

Other supermarkets and manufacturers are expected to bring in similar bans following studies linking the additives to allergies and hyperactivity.

Sainsbury’s is replacing aspartame with sucralose, a low-calorie sweetener made from sugar. It is also removing the widely-used artificial colouring E150d from its cola drinks. E150d also appears in beer and bread.

The chemicals will generally be replaced by natural colours and fruit and vegetable extracts, while flavourings will be from named fruits and other natural sources.


Posted in Aspartame, Health

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