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Expert Panel: Aspartame Sweetener Safe

No Cancer, Seizure, Obesity, Birth Defect Risk Seen in Aspartame Studies

Aspartame Widely Used continued...

"The [Soffritti] study had numerous methodological and interpretation errors," Magnuson said. "It provided no credible evidence that aspartame is carcinogenic."

Jacobson admits the study had flaws but says it raised nagging questions the panel dismissed, but did not answer.

Over the years, there have been suggestions that aspartame might cause brain tumors, brain damage, birth defects, headaches, and impaired cognitive function. The panel found no convincing evidence linking aspartame to these or other human health issues.

"The panel concludes aspartame is a well-characterized, high-intensity sweetener, thoroughly studied, with a long history of safe use in the food supply," Magnuson said. "We found no effect on cancer or neuronal function. Overall, we thought aspartame could reduce the caloric content of a wide variety of foods."

The panel's 100-page report appears in the September issue of Critical Reviews in Toxicology.

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