Diet Soda Drinkers Rejoice: No Cancer Link to Aspartame
Posted on May 5, 2006
The results of a big European study of the artificial sweetener confirm those of a huge U.S. study released last month, which found no link to cancer.
Go ahead, pop that Diet. Mr Pibbs.
Editor’s Note This story used to contain a picture of a packet of Sweet n Low. But reader Amanda Goertz points out that Sweet n Low does not contain aspartame—rather, sodium saccharin. She also writes “To my knowledge, the debate about cancer in lab rats was about saccharin and not aspartame. Did the story perhaps confuse the two?”
Thanks for the fact-check, Amanda.
European food safety experts have good news for dieters with a sweet tooth, announcing Friday that the popular sugar substitute aspartame does not raise the risk of cancer.
An Italian study last year wrongly concluded that the sweetener led to higher rates of lymphoma and leukemia in rats, said an independent panel of scientists advising the European Food Safety Authority.
The new review found that the number of tumors did not increase in relation to the dosage of aspartame fed to the animals. Many of the rats in the study had suffered from chronic respiratory disease and that was the most likely cause of the tumors, the panel said.
The findings support a huge U.S. federal study released last month, which found no link to cancer in a study of aspartame use among more than half a million Americans.