The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that the artificial sweetener aspartame is safe and poses no threat to consumers’ health.
At the request of the European Commission the European Food Safety Authority has finalised its review, which was originally planned for completion by 2020.
The risk assessment conducted by the EFSA was thorough and complete in order to investigate the number of medical studies that have questioned aspartame's safety since its market introduction in the 1980s.
In addition to analysing the available clinical evidence, the EFSA stated to have taken stakeholders’ views into consideration and evaluated over 200 comments put forward on its online public consultation.
According to the EFSA findings, the artificial sweetener aspartame (frequently labeled as E951) along with its breakdown products, are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure.
Used in a number of foods and soft drinks, low-calorie sweetener is roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar and its Acceptable Daily Intake, or ADI, is set at 40mg per kg of body weight per day. For an average British adult this equates to 2800mg, whereas for an average 3-year-old child the amount is reduced to about 600 mg. Patients diagnosed with the rare genetic disease phenylketonuria were identified as the only group of people not able to safely consume aspartame.
The report further stated that in order to order to exceed the ADI consumption of most products containing aspartame would need to be exceptionally high and regular over a person's lifetime.
Dr Alicja Mortensen chaired the EFSA's aspartame review panel and she believes the investigation is among the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame ever conducted and characterised it as a step forward in strengthening consumer confidence in the scientific underpinning of the EU food safety system and the regulation of food additives.
11 December 2013