Sucralose is safe and does not cause cancer: New review of the scientific evidence is consistent with regulatory decisions

A new comprehensive systematic review, published in September 2016 by Berry et al. in Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal, reviewed all the available evidence and studies testing the safety and carcinogenicity of sucralose and confirmed that the sweetener is safe to consume and does not cause cancer.

The experts who conducted this systematic review, entitled “Sucralose non-carcinogenicity: A review of the scientific and regulatory rationale” conclude that “the evidence confirms that sucralose is non-carcinogenic and safe to ingest. Sucralose does not demonstrate carcinogenic activity even when exposure levels are several orders of magnitude greater that the range of anticipated daily ingestion levels”.

Reviewing the scientific literature in this area through a systematic search of the available studies, including both independently conducted and industry-supported research on sucralose safety, the experts concluded that:

  • There is no evidence of chemical concerns or toxicity;
  • No metabolites in sucralose were found to be carcinogenic;
  • No changes to genes were observed to indicate cancer-causing effects;
  • At doses thousands of times the maximum expected daily intake in humans, toxicity and long-term carcinogenicity studies “showed no evidence of sucralose having carcinogenic potential”.

All low calorie sweeteners including sucralose are amongst the most thoroughly researched ingredients worldwide, with scientific studies consistently confirming their safety, as shown also by this recently published systematic review by Berry et al. Globally recognised regulatory authorities that have approved their use include the Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) / World Health Organisation (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA); the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Specifically, sucralose has been approved for use as a “general purpose sweetener in foods” by the US FDA in 19992, and a year later by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) of the European Commission (2000)3 – now the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

According to a press release distributed by Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal, concerns are raised from time to time on what components of our lifestyle affect the rates of cancer. Professor Dr. Sir Colin Berry, Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University of London and lead author of the study, stated “This latest review of sucralose studies should reassure those who choose sucralose, and can be particularly useful to scientists and healthcare professionals, who may be asked for information on low calorie sweetener safety”.

You may access the original publication by Berry et al. at the official website of Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal by clicking here.

For more information about sucralose, please download the technical factsheet about sucralose on our website here.

By providing sweet taste without the calories, low calorie sweeteners can also make a useful contribution in empowering people to make smart choices without compromising on the pleasant taste of sweetness and help them achieve a balanced diet and lifestyle.* The study was funded by McNeil Nutritionals