Pseudoscience: Consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method (unproven, not testable, or opposed to the consensus of traditional science).
Definition: Aspartame is an artificial sweetener sold under brand names such as NutraSweet® and Equal®, which has been in use in the United States since the early 1980s. Aspartame has been falsely linked to cancer for decades.
Reasoning: Since aspartame was first approved in 1974, both FDA scientists and independent scientists have raised concerns about possible health effects and shortcomings in the science submitted to the FDA by the manufacturer, G.D. Searle. (Monsanto bought Searle in 1984).
In 1987, UPI published a series of investigative articles by Gregory Gordon reporting on these concerns, including early studies linking aspartame to health problems, the poor quality of industry-funded research that led to its approval, and the revolving-door relationships between FDA officials and the food industry.
In July 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Aspartame is a “possible carcinogen.” The WHO states the new classification “shouldn’t really be taken as a direct statement that indicates that there is a known cancer hazard from consuming aspartame. This is really more of a call to the research community to try to better clarify and understand the carcinogenic hazard that may or may not be posed by aspartame consumption.”
The consensus, however, is that Aspartame is safe when consumed within the recommended guidelines. According to the FDA, “the use of aspartame as a general-purpose sweetener… is safe.” The American Cancer Society reports, “The results of epidemiologic studies (studies of groups of people) of possible links between aspartame and cancer (including blood-related cancers) have not been consistent.” The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that “the use of aspartame as a general-purpose sweetener… is safe.” The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has stated, “Studies do not suggest an increased risk associated with aspartame consumption for… leukemia, brain tumors or a variety of cancers, including brain, lymphatic and hematopoietic (blood) cancers.”
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Conclusion: Based on long-term research, the consensus is that Aspartame is safe and does not cause health issues when consumed within the recommended guidelines. Although research into a possible link between aspartame and cancer continues, the majority of agencies agree that studies done so far have not found a conclusive link.
Last Updated on July 17, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check