ICBA: Aspartame safe, reaffirm WHO and FAO

Washington / DC. (icba) Aspartame-sweetened foods and beverages are safe, according to a definitive new finding issued jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The WHO and FAO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) reviewed decades of high-quality evidence and real-world consumption data, establishing an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) at which aspartame can be safely consumed daily over the course of an entire lifetime.

ICBA Executive Director Kate Loatman applauded the WHO and FAO finding: «This definitive conclusion by the world’s leading health and food safety experts once again affirms that aspartame is safe. After rigorous review, this landmark WHO and FAO finding further strengthens confidence in the safety of aspartame and will play a vital role in informing consumers as they consider all options to reduce sugar and calories in their diets.

«JECFA’s comprehensive conclusion that aspartame is safe builds on the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence for more than four decades, as well as positive determinations by food safety authorities in more than 90 countries.»

«Addressing an opinion released simultaneously by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which was first leaked on June 29, Loatman added: «IARC, which is not a food safety agency, has now officially conceded that aspartame poses no more of a hazard than aloe vera and hundreds of other substances that it places in the same category based on evidence IARC itself describes as «limited» and ‘«less than sufficient».

«While IARC’s leaked opinion may have needlessly confused consumers with sensational speculation, IARC has already deferred to the WHO and FAO joint expert committee – which just once again found aspartame safe – as the appropriate global authority to comprehensively assess the safety of consuming aspartame.»

About the International Council of Beverages Associations: ICBA is an international nongovernmental organization established in 1995 that represents the interests of the worldwide non-alcoholic beverage industry. The members of ICBA include national and regional beverage associations, as well as international beverage companies that operate in more than 200 countries and territories and produce, distribute, and sell a variety of non-alcoholic sparkling and still beverages, including soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, bottled waters, flavored and/or enhanced waters, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices, nectars and juice drinks, and dairy-based beverages.