The European Commission Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) reaffirms the safety of aspartame
10 December 2002
After a review of over 500 documents including scientific papers, conference proceedings and abstracts, the European Commissions Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) has, once again, reaffirmed the safety of aspartame. The SCF previously reviewed the science on aspartame in 1984, 1988 and 1997. On each of these occasions the SCF found aspartame to be safe.
In its comments the SCF said that
"Aspartame is unique among the intense sweeteners in that the intake of its component parts can be compared with intakes of the same substances from natural foods."
The review was originally requested by the UK Food Standards Agency which has said that it supports the conclusions of the Committees review. The SCFs report incorporates the findings of the recent report from the Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (AFSSA) and is further independent and authoritative confirmation of aspartames safety.
A full copy of the SCF report on aspartame can be downloaded here (PDF, 264KB).
The European Commission Scientific Committee on Food
During December, 1984, the EEC's Scientific Committee on Foods delivered its analytical report on sweeteners to the Directorate General for Internal Market and Industrial Affairs. That report noted: "The data provided no evidence that the occasional transient changes in blood amino acid levels, following simultaneous ingestion of aspartame and glucose, could produce changes in neurotransmitter levels which might affect mood or behavior."
"The Committee saw not reason for concern over the amounts of methanol likely to be produced by the metabolism of aspartame when compared with those present naturally in food."
"The blood level of phenylalanine in these individuals were raised only slightly and none of them showed any neurological or other clinical abnormal findings, thus supporting the view that large intakes of aspartame in the diet would not cause any untoward effects in these geneotypes."