Hard to Swallow: Aspartame Risk Highlights FDA Chemical Review Loopholes

July 13, 2023 | Source: EWG | by Scott Faber

Consumers digesting the news that aspartame may be linked to cancer will probably develop heartburn once they learn about loopholes in the Food and Drug Administration’s food chemical safety system.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, which is part of the World Health Organization, today announced its new findings on aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in many popular drinks, snacks and other food products.

Aspartame is just one of many chemicals lurking in food sold in the U.S.

For decades, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed chemical companies to decide whether most chemicals used in food are safe. EWG recently found 99 percent of the food chemicals that have entered the marketplace since 2000 were reviewed for safety by industry scientists, not the FDA.

But even when the FDA reviews food chemicals for safety, it rarely evaluates old decisions approving substances for use – even if there is new evidence of their health harms.