January 14, 2013
By Eleni Stamatoukou
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) invites all the interested bodies and stakeholders to participate in a public consultation on its draft scientific opinion on the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame. The public consultation will conclude on 15 February 2013.
The evaluation of the safety of aspartame has been conducted by regulatory bodies around the world in 1980. But this is the first full evaluation that has been requested of EFSA and has been carried out by the Authority’s Scientific Panel on Food Additive and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel). This re-evaluation showed that the reasonable consumption of aspartame and its breakdown products isn’t harmful. According to EFSA, the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is considered to be safe for the general population and consumer exposure to aspartame is below this ADI. The ADI levels are based on long term studies and experiments conducted by the ANS Panel.
EFSA published all these scientific studies and experiments on aspartame and its adverse effects and also published publicly all the unpublished scientific data. EFSA’s experts evaluated and interpreted all these data and included them in its draft opinion. Furthermore, EFSA prepared a set of Frequently Asked Questions to help explain some of the key scientific concepts and initial conclusions of the draft opinion. It is notable to say that EFSA will hold a meeting to discuss its draft opinion and the feedback received from the online public consultation. Feedback from the consultation will be compiled in a report and, where appropriate, incorporated into the final scientific opinion, which the ANS Panel aims to adopt by May 2013.