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Results of New Aspartame Study Released

March 20, 2015

The results of research into aspartame sensitivity by scientists at Hull York Medical School have been released by the Food Standards Agency.

The study, which looked at participants who reported reactions after consuming the sweetener, while comparing them to a control group, enabled researchers to conclude that aspartame had no adverse effects.

Researchers gave each group cereal bars some of which contained aspartame in a double blind, randomised, crossover study; this technique is used in the highest standard of scientific research. The result was that neither consumers, nor researchers were aware which bars contained the substance, thus eliminating any risks of participants predicting the outcome.

Guy Poppy, FSA Chief Scientific Advisor, said “While the best available evidence shows that aspartame can be consumed safely, a number of individuals have reported adverse reactions after consuming food and drink containing aspartame. Given this anecdotal evidence it was appropriate to see if more could be found out about these reported effects. The Hull/York study was not designed to evaluate the overall safety of aspartame as it is already an approved additive.”

Aspartame which is also known as E951 has been used as a sweetener in soft drinks and other low calorie and sugar free foods around the world for the past 25 years. In December 2013 the European Food Safety Authority undertook a full risk assessment of aspartame and its breakdown products, finding it safe for human consumption at current levels. 

You can download a copy of the full report HERE