No risks associated with aspartame consumption

ISA statement in response to two new studies on aspartame

Brussels, 26th September 2023: As an international non-profit organisation focused on providing science-based information to support public understanding of low/no calorie sweeteners, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) believes there is important context missing in recent media attention on two studies on aspartame recently published1,2, which has potential to confuse and mislead consumers, health authorities and the general public.

On recent Florida State University research on learning and memory deficits1: Collective evidence from animal and human studies does not support adverse effects of aspartame on cognitive function, as confirmed by regulatory food safety bodies who support that aspartame is safe for human consumption up to the acceptable daily intake level.3,4,5

On recent University of Texas San Antonio research on children’s risk of autism2: The safety of aspartame, including during pregnancy, has been repeatedly and consistently confirmed by food safety authorities.3,4,5 In the press release accompanying this study6, the researchers themselves have clarified that the study does not prove causality, nor that ingestion of aspartame or beverages containing the low/no calorie sweetener during pregnancy increases the risk of a child being born with autism. There were clear limitations to this study, including a small study population with low statistical power and a retrospective approach to data collection, which hinder any certain conclusion to be drawn from this research.

Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly researched ingredients in the world and has been found to be safe by over 90 global food safety agencies time and time again. As part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, aspartame can be used to further public health objectives on sugar intake reduction and ultimately assist in weight and diabetes management7, as well as with dental health.8

  1. Jones, S.K., McCarthy, D.M., Stanwood, G.D. et al. Learning and memory deficits produced by aspartame are heritable via the paternal lineage. Sci Rep 13, 14326 (2023).
  2. Fowler SP, Gimeno Ruiz de Porras D, Swartz MD, et al. Daily Early-Life Exposures to Diet Soda and Aspartame Are Associated with Autism in Males: A Case-Control Study. Nutrients. 2023; 15(17):3772.
  3. European Food Safety Authority. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E 951) as a food additive. EFSA J. 2013;11:3496. doi:10.2903/ j.efsa.2013.3496.
  7. Diabetes UK. The use of low or no calorie sweeteners. Position Statement (Updated December 2018). Available at:
  8. EFSA Scientific opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to intense sweeteners. EFSA 2011 Journal 9(6): 2229, and 9(4): 2076