Today (July 13), IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer), WHO (the World Health Organization ), along with another significant organization known as FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization) Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) released evaluations of the health effects of the non-sugar sweetener aspartame. For instance, IARC designated aspartame as possibly carcinogenic to humans (IARC Group 2B) based on “limited evidence” for carcinogenicity in humans. And that’s not all. JECFA validated the recommended daily dose of 40 mg/kg body weight.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally. Every year, 1 in 6 people die from cancer. Science is continuously expanding to assess the possible initiating or facilitating factors of cancer; […] the assessments of aspartame have indicated that, while safety is not a major concern at the doses which are commonly used, potential effects have been described that need to be investigated by more and better studies, said Dr Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, WHO.
Following a review of the accessible scientific literature, the two analyses identified evidence limitations for cancer (and other health consequences).
Since the 1980s, aspartame has been widely used as an artificial (chemical) sweetener in numerous food and beverage products, including ice cream, yogurt, toothpaste, chewing gum, diet drinks, chewing gum, gelatin, breakfast cereal, toothpaste, and cough drops and chewable vitamins.
IARC categorized aspartame as potentially harmful to humans (Group 2B) based on little proof for cancer in humans (in particular, hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer).
JECFA’s hazard assessments establish the likelihood of a particular form of damage, such as cancer, occurring under specific conditions and exposure levels. It is typical for the JECFA to consider IARC classifications in its deliberations. The IARC and JECFA assessments of the effects of aspartame centered on scientific data compiled from mixed sources, such as government reports, peer-reviewed papers, and research performed for regulatory reasons.
IARC and WHO will keep track of emerging data while urging independent research groups to conduct additional research on the possible association between aspartame consumption and consumer health consequences.
Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.