Recent studies suggesting increased risks of cancer and premature birth have once again brought the safety of aspartame into question. However Prof Renwick, a former scientific advisor for the International Sweetener Association, told FoodNavigator that the recent research has already been assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), who found that there is no health concern from the data provided.
Renwick said that human intakes of sweeteners are set to be 100 time lower than the safe levels found in animals such as rats, adding that regulatory agencies such as EFSA assess the evidence for a sweeteners safety and only approve it for use if they are satisfied that it is safe for use.
“There are strict regulatory procedures that have to be followed for a sweetener to be approved for use in the human diet,” said Renwick.
"I find it very difficult to understand why European MEP's would not accept advise from the agency that they have helped to organise and establish to give them advice on the safety of food and food components," he said.
Professor Renwick will be speaking in depth on the safety of artificial sweeteners at the upcoming International Sweeteners Association conference in Brussels. For more information about the coming conference, please click here.