Sweetener “to be declared a possible carcinogen”, reports claim

IARC will list the popular artificial sweetener Aspartame as “possibly cancerous to humans” for the first time in July, according to the latest reports.

According to Reuters, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (IARC), Aspartame is set to be declared a potential carcinogen by July.

Reuters states that it has received its information from “two people who are familiar with the process” and that the IARC will list the sweetener as “possibly cancerous to humans” for the first time in July. An official announcement is expected to take place on 14 July 2023.

According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, a “carcinogen ” is “a substance or organism capable of causing cancer,” making its presence in foods and beverages a risk to consumer health.

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According to the American Cancer Society, aspartame has been used in the US under the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, and other artificial sweeteners since the 1980s. ASC explains aspartame’s use as a tabletop sweetener as well as its inclusion in foods and beverages.

Reuters claims that aspartame “is used in products ranging from Coca-Cola Diet sodas to Mars Extra chewing Gum and some Snapple beverages,” but BBC claims that the sweetener can be found in “Diet Coke Zero,” “Pepsi Max,” “7 Up Free”, and “Diet Coke.” It also states that it’s present in around 6,000 foods

Reuters claims that the IARC’s ruling was “finalised” earlier this month following a meeting of the group’s external experts. The verdict was “intended to determine whether or not something is a possible hazard, based on the available evidence.” Reuters claims that the ruling does not consider how much a product a consumer can safely consume.

Reuters, however, has highlighted the fact that “similar IARC decisions in the past” have led to concerns from consumers regarding sweetener use. The article noted that “similar IARC rulings in the past” for various substances led to consumer concern regarding sweetener usage.

New Food keeps its readers informed in the coming week.

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