Aspartame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that is widely used and highly controversial.
When metabolized by the body, aspartame breaks down into two common amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylanine, and a third substance, methanol.
Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use in 1981, aspartame use has steadily grown. It is available generically as Amino Sweet and sold under the Equal and NutraSweet brand names. It can be found in more than 6,000 products, including most diet soft drinks and many sugar-free or reduced-sugar gum, yogurt, gelatin and pudding products.
But despite this prevalent use, the artificial sweetener’s safety has been repeatedly questioned. A study released in 2005 by the European Ramazzini Foundation (ERF) concluded that aspartame is a carcinogen. The study found significant increases in lymphomas and leukemias in rats that were fed doses of the artificial sweetener at rates that were both greater than and less than the 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight that is the current Acceptable Daily Intake of aspartame in the United States.
Despite requesting information from the ERF, the FDA said in 2007 that it was unable to complete a “definitive review” of the study. Based on the data it did receive, the FDA said it was unable to agree with the ERF’s conclusion that aspartame causes cancer.
As these different conclusions show, the safety of aspartame is a question that remains up for debate in both scientific and legal circles.
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If you believe you have developed health problems that may be associated with consumption of aspartame, including cancer or tumors, contact us today to learn more about your legal options. The experienced Pennsylvania product liability attorneys of Munley, Munley, & Cartwright will meet with you to evaluate your information and determine if you have a case. We fight to protect the rights of consumers. Contact us today for a free claim evaluation at 877-421-9173 or use our online form.
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