EFSA reaffirms sucralose safety, dismissing allegations of the Ramazzini Institute

Brussels, 8 May 2017 – The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) welcomes the publication of the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)1, which reconfirms sucralose is safe and does not cause cancer.

Following their scientific evaluation of a study on sucralose in mice by Soffritti et al.2, EFSA experts rejected the reported findings of the Soffritti study, concluding that sucralose poses no safety concern for consumers. The EFSA opinion, published today, states, “the available data did not support the conclusions of the authors (Soffritti et al., 2016)”. The EFSA Opinion also highlights serious flaws in the methodology used by Soffritti et al., including the lack of a dose–response relationship and lack of a cause–effect relationship between intake of sucralose and the development of tumours.

The Chairman of the ISA, Mr Robert Peterson commented, “this scientific opinion from EFSA is entirely consistent with the global scientific and regulatory consensus that sucralose is safe”. Safety evaluations conducted by the Joint Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), the United States Food & Drug Administration and regulatory authorities around the world, including the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Food (now EFSA), all agree that sucralose is safe.

Used in foods, beverages and tabletop sweeteners, low calorie sweeteners such as sucralose can provide people with a wide choice of sweet-tasting options with low or no calories, thus can be a useful tool, when used in place of sugar and as part of a balanced diet, in helping reduce overall sugar and calorie intake, as well as manage blood glucose levels. Low calorie sweeteners are also non-cariogenic, which means that they do not contribute to tooth decay.

  1. EFSA scientific opinion on sucralose. Available online: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4784
  2. “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: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10773525.2015.1106075