Brussels, 14th July 2023: In response to two World Health Organization (WHO) evaluations of aspartame, one of the most thoroughly researched ingredients in the world, released today, the International Sweeteners Association (ISA) applauds the WHO’s reaffirmation of aspartame’s safety by its leading scientific body responsible for evaluating the safety of food additives, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). These conclusions are consistent with the findings of over 90 global food safety agencies who have confirmed aspartame’s safety, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), that has reviewed aspartame twice, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“JECFA has once again reaffirmed aspartame’s safety after conducting a thorough, comprehensive and scientifically rigorous review” said ISA Secretary General Frances Hunt-Wood. “Aspartame, like all low/no calorie sweeteners, when used as part of a balanced diet, provides consumers with choice to reduce sugar intake, a critical public health objective.”
As part of its comprehensive assessment, reconfirming the safety of aspartame, JECFA examined IARC’s conclusions and found no concern for human health. Importantly, IARC is not a food safety body and its 2B classification does not consider intake levels nor actual risk, making an IARC review far less comprehensive than the thorough reviews conducted by food safety bodies like JECFA and potentially confusing for consumers.
To put this in context, IARC’s 2B classification puts aspartame in the same category as kimchi and other pickled vegetables. IARC would be the first to say that they don’t suggest people should stop using kimchi at meals.
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 management, as well as with dental health.