Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Category : NUTRILEGAL, food safety | Author : experts
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In a news published in January 17th 2011, we raised the question of the safety of artificial sweeteners in response to alarming results reported by the authors of two studies (Soffritti et al., 2010; Halldorsson et al., 2010). After thorough analysis, EFSA reverted to these results in a press release dated of the 28th February.

Indeed, the EFSA concludes that two recent publications on the safety of artificial sweeteners, namely a carcinogenicity study in mice (Soffritti et al., 2010) and an epidemiological study on the association between intakes of artificially sweetened soft drinks and increased incidence of preterm delivery (Halldorsson et al., 2010) do not give reason to reconsider previous safety assessments of aspartame or of other sweeteners currently authorised in the European Union. EFSA’s review of these studies has been carried out in co-operation with the French agency for food, environment and occupational health safety, Anses.

EFSA scientists concluded that, on the basis of the information available in the Soffriti et al. (2010) publication, the validity of the study and its statistical approach cannot be assessed and its results cannot be interpreted. Regarding the design of the study, EFSA advised that experimental studies carried out over animals’ lifetimes can lead to erroneous conclusions.

EFSA also assessed the Halldorsson et al. (2010) publication and concluded that there is no evidence available in this study to support a causal relationship between the consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks and preterm delivery and that additional studies would be required either to confirm or reject such an association, as indicated by the authors.

References : Soffritti M. et al., “Aspartame administered in feed, beginning prenatally through life span, induces cancers of the liver and lung in male Swiss mice”, Am. J. Ind. Med. 2010, 53, 1197-1206. Halldorsson T.I. et al., “Intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks and risk of preterm delivery: a prospective cohort study in 59,334 Danish pregnant women”, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2010, 92: 626-33.,,

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