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NewsBites February 2014 Issue

European Agency Says Aspartame Safe

After “one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame ever undertaken,” the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded the artificial sweetener is safe at recommended levels of consumption. The EFSA’s current acceptable daily intake for aspartame is 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, or about 2.7 grams daily for a 150-pound person. That’s about the amount of aspartame in 15 diet sodas.

The review of both animal and human studies concluded that aspartame does not increase the risk of cancer or damage genes, the brain or nervous system. The breakdown products of aspartame were also deemed safe at recommended levels, with the panel noting that such compounds are naturally present in higher amounts in other foods. Only people with a condition known as phenylketonia need to limit aspartame consumption, according to the report.

The findings echoed a recent aspartame review by the Food Standards Agency, the UK’s version of the FDA.

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