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Food and Feed Safety (14-07-2005)

Commission asks EFSA to evaluate new information in safety of Aspartame

The European Commission has been informed of a new study being made public today on the possibly carcinogenic effects of the sweetener aspartame. All food additives are subject to rigorous safety evaluation before they are permitted for use in the EU. When new data becomes available, this should be reviewed to assess any impact on previous evaluations and authorisations. The Commission has therefore asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to urgently assess this new study and urges the researchers to provide all available data at the earliest opportunity. Aspartame is an intense sweetener, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. It has been used in soft drinks and other low-calorie or sugar-free foods throughout the world for more than 25 years. The use of aspartame as a sweetener and the conditions for its use are authorised by Directive 94/35/EC. Aspartame was last evaluated by the Scientific Committee on Food in 2002, at which time the Committee maintained the previous opinion that aspartame is acceptable for use in food.

EFSA’s press release can be found here: