ISA refutes allegations from the Ramazzini Institute

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Brussels, 7th November 2016: The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) refutes the conclusions in a publication by Soffritti et al. 1 reporting findings from a study in mice, completed in 2012, claiming that sucralose causes cancer.

These conclusions, based on one single study, are totally inconsistent with the significant body of scientific research demonstrating that this ingredient is safe for use in foods and beverages. Sucralose is among the most thoroughly tested ingredients in the world. Sucralose safety has been confirmed following extensive review by regulatory and international health authorities worldwide, including the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)2 and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)3.

Furthermore, a recent review by academic experts, industry researchers and independent consultants in the areas of toxicology, pathology, carcinogenicity and genotoxicity (Berry et al, 2016) concluded that sucralose is safe, noncarcinogenic and safe to ingest.4

Previous publications by Soffritti et al. have been criticized by scientific and regulatory authorities for their study designs and analyses, which do not always follow the guidelines for standard scientific research. Therefore, it is important to be cautious before drawing any conclusions.

EFSA has been mandated to evaluate the findings of this study by Soffritti et al, following the publication of the study in February 2016. The ISA looks forward to the conclusions of the EFSA scientific experts.

In light of the obesity epidemic and the increased risk in the development of obesity-related diseases, low-calorie sweeteners such as sucralose can play an important role in helping consumers reduce their energy intake. Foods and beverages sweetened with low calorie sweeteners have been proven to help with weight loss and weight management by helping reduce energy intake and body weight.5 Furthermore, scientific organisations affirm that low calorie sweeteners are a safe choice for people with diabetes as they do not affect blood glucose and insulin levels.6

  1. Sucralose administered in feed, beginning prenatally through lifespan, induces hematopoietic neoplasias in male swiss mice”, Soffritti et al. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health:
  3.; SCF (Scientific Committee on Food) 2000. Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food on sucralose. Opinion adopted 7 September 2000. Available online:
  4. Berry C, Brusick D, Cohen SM, Hardisty JF, Grotz L and Williams GM. Sucralose Non-Carcinogenicity: A Review of the Scientific and Regulatory Rationale. Nutrition and Cancer. Sep 2016. Available online:
  5. Rogers et al., Does low-energy sweetener consumption affect energy intake and body weight? A systematic review, including meta-analyses, of the evidence from human and animal studiesInternational Journal of Obesity advance online publication 10 November 2015; doi: 10.1038/ijo.2015.177
  6. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Use of Nutritive and Nonnutritive Sweeteners. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112:739-758; Nonnutritive Sweeteners: Current Use and Health Perspectives: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Care August. 2012;35:1798-1808