Letter to the editors regarding the article “Consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners in pregnancy”

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Author(s): Pyrogianni V.
Publication name: Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020; 223(5): P776-777
Publication year: 2020

Abstract

This is a letter from the International Sweeteners Association in response to an article by Palatnik et al regarding the effects of the consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners (NNSs) during pregnancy on maternal and child health. The authors claim that emerging evidence from animal studies warns against the consumption of NNSs. This assertion is not supported by regulatory food safety authorities worldwide, including the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Scientific Committee on Food Additives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and of the World Health Organization, the European Food Safety Authority, and the US Food and Drug Administration, who confirm that NNSs are safe, including the consumption of NNSs during pregnancy and lactation.

Summary

The review by Palatnik et al is incomplete with regard to assessing the safety of the consumption of approved low/no calorie sweeteners during pregnancy. The key studies required by the regulatory agencies for the safety evaluation of food additives including sweeteners are ones using the validated Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) test guidelines and principles of good laboratory practice. Such substantial evidence has not been considered in the review by Palatnik et al. Importantly, also, as chemically diverse substances with varied kinetics and metabolic pathways, low/no calorie sweeteners should be evaluated individually with regard to their potential health effects.

Food safety authorities around the world, including the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Scientific Committee on Food Additives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and of the World Health Organization, the European Food Safety Authority, and the US Food and Drug Administration, have consistently confirmed that low/no calorie sweeteners are safe for use, also during pregnancy.

An ISA statement in response to the study by Palatnik et al is available on the ISA website by clicking here.

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