In recent years, there’s been a growing concern over the use of aspartame as an artificial sweetener. It’s led to numerous controversies with medical professionals on both sides trying to sway consumers’ opinions. Earlier this month, however, a huge breakthrough on this debate occurred when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) performed a thorough review on the artificial sweetener before making a public statement claiming that aspartame was not in fact toxic.
The EFSA originally began looking into the safety of aspartame towards the end of 2011. Back then, there was a growing concern by consumers in the public on whether or not the artificial sweetener was safe for consumption. Ever since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974, people have remained critical on its use. Since these fears never truly went away, the EFSA launched their own independent investigation into the product to try and shed some light on it.
So, just why exactly is aspartame constantly under fire by critics? Medical studies are somewhat conflicting at best, but there’s some evidence linking consumption of aspartame to tumors, multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s and diabetes. In addition, it’s believed that as much at ¾ of all adverse food reactions are directly caused by aspartame consumption.
You might be skeptical on using aspartame after reading the information above, but the EFSA is assuring the public that it’s safe and poses no toxic concern for consumers when ingested in moderation. Several smaller studies have been done in the past which have also revealed aspartame to be safe for consumption, but this is the first complete evaluation done by the EFSA. For a more thorough report, the EFSA teamed up with Scientific Panel on Food Additive and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS) Panel. After years of research, the two organizations determines that aspartame was safe for consumption and posed no risk of toxicity.
Findings on the aspartame study by the EFSA have only been released as a draft; therefore, it’s likely that some of the details may change before the full report is released to the public. Even so, the European organization is already being attacked for its early report on aspartame. This should come as no surprise since there are so many people against the use of the artificial sweetener. Hopefully more independent studies will be performed on aspartame in the near future so consumers can have a better understanding on its safety and usage.