The EFSA is taking another look at health concerns around aspartame

The EFSA is taking another look at health concerns around aspartame

A full public consultation on the safety of aspartame has been launched by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) today (8 January).

The body is seeking comment on a “draft” opinion which says that the artificial sweetener offers “no toxicity” concerns for consumers. Interested parties have until 15 February to respond to the opinion. 

The EFSA previously carried out a review of the latest scientific evidence on aspartame in February 2011. But, in November 2011, the European Commission said that the sweetener was due for another review because of “new scientific evidence”

The EFSA said today that its scientific experts have “drawn upon all available information on aspartame and its breakdown products and, following a detailed and methodical analysis, have concluded in this draft opinion that they pose no toxicity concern for consumers at current levels of exposure”. 

It added: “The current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is considered to be safe for the general population and consumer exposure to aspartame is below this ADI”. 

Aspartame is present in many low-calorie drinks and food and has been dogged by health concerns since it emerged in the 1980s. However, drinks and food firms have strongly denied that the sweetener poses a health risk and studies by regulatory authorities around the world have concluded that it is safe.