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Government Statements in Response to the World Health Organization Review of Aspartame Safety

5:00 pm ET – July 20, 2023

United Kingdom Food Standards Agency

"JECFA’s report supports the Food Standards Agency’s view that aspartame is safe to consume at current permitted use levels.”


Food Standards Australia New Zealand

“This is good news for consumers in Australia and New Zealand who can be assured our food standards for aspartame align with international benchmarks. The JECFA conclusion is in line with numerous international studies which have found aspartame to be safe at current permitted levels of use with exposures below the ADI. The JECFA work confirms the standards for aspartame in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code are appropriate and current.”


Health Canada

“…scientific advisory bodies such as the Scientific Committee for Food of the European Community, and the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization have reviewed all the available safety studies and have found aspartame to be safe. More than ninety countries world-wide, including the United States, countries of the European Union, and Australia and New Zealand, have also reviewed aspartame and found it to be safe for human consumption and allow its use in various foods.”


Chile: Diego Varela, Executive Secretary of the Chilean Agency for Food Safety and Quality (ACHIPIA), Vice-Chair of the WHO/FAO Codex Alimentarius Commission

“JECFA notes that there is insufficient evidence to change the previously established Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) from 0 to 40 mg/kg of body weight for aspartame. Therefore, the Committee reaffirmed that the consumption of a daily amount that is within this limit is safe. [...] I highlight the need to be informed responsibly, seeking the primary sources of information and avoiding the dissemination of incomplete, superficial, sensationalist and irresponsible information. Call goes also to the press to be responsible when communicating food issues.”

7/14 - 05:10AM

The Swedish Food Agency


“…there are no known risks of eating aspartame […] The EU's Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced in connection with the publication that the new assessment is consistent with the conclusion of the authority's most recent evaluation of aspartame (from 2013), confirming an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 40 milligrams/kilogram of body weight per day for this additive.”


Food Safety and Standards Authority of India   

“FSSAI has taken cognizance on the WHO’s report in the Indian context. All the major highlights of the report and the related Scientific facts about the non-Sugar sweeteners were discussed. It was found that country specific studies are needed to explore the NSS/Aspartame’s impact on metabolic processes, as well as its links to other diseases. FSSAI is in agreement with JECFA & IARC conclusions & accord the response of other global regulatory bodies. In the absence of substantive established evidence on the safety of NSS/Aspartame, FSSAI is retaining the existing limits.”


Taiwan Food and Drug Administration

“Lin Jinfu, deputy director of the Food and Drug Administration, pointed out that aspartame is an artificial sweetener, which is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose. At present, the food safety law is nuclear and can be used […] Internationally, it is roughly the same as the food safety law of the same as that of China, such as the European Union, Japan, etc.”


Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety

WHO/JECFA findings that “there is no convincing evidence that aspartame has adverse effects” […] are in line with the conclusions of [the European Food Safety Authority] 2013 assessment on aspartame.” Moreover, “daily intake of aspartame in [Austrian] children, adolescents, adults and pregnant women was between max. 0.16-1.38 mg/kg bw/day. This means that their intake is only about 3.5% of the Acceptable Daily Intake.”


Czechia: Vlastimil Valk, Minister of Health

“It’s not even that there is a huge risk, but it’s that even a minimal risk doesn’t occur, that’s why we’re always much more careful and strict. In practical terms, it will mean absolutely nothing for the Czech citizen.”

7/14 - 07:05AM

Portugal Economic and Food Safety Authority (ASEA)


"The ASAE Scientific Council understands that there is no new data that would allow changing the EFSA recommendations regarding the use of aspartame as a sweetener. The admissible daily dose of 40 mg/kg body weight does not pose an increased health risk. There is, for now, no reason for alarm."


Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment


“There is, therefore, no reason for JECFA to change the acceptable daily intake of 40 mg of aspartame per kilogram of body weight per day. The consumption of aspartame within this limit is, therefore, still considered safe.”

7/16 - 09:57AM

Greek Hellenic Food Authority (EFET)

“It is emphasized that IARC does not have the authority to make health-related recommendations. IARC therefore does not recommend legislation or other public health interventions, which are the responsibility of other international organizations and national bodies.”

7/14 - 05:52PM

Republic of Korea Ministry of Food and Drug Safety


South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has decided to retain the country's daily intake level of 40 mg/kg, considering the JECFA's recommendation and the aspartame consumption of South Korean people.

7/14 - 12:07PM

Food Safety Authority of Ireland 


“JECFA concluded that there was no convincing evidence from experimental animal or human data that aspartame has adverse effects after ingestion. […] The findings of JECFA are in line with the conclusions of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) latest assessment on aspartame in 2013. Aspartame has also been evaluated by numerous scientific committees internationally over many years and has been found to be safe. It is authorised for human consumption in many countries following thorough safety assessments.”


Japan Food Safety Commission


The Japanese Food Safety Commission referenced long-standing positive research from agencies including the European Food Safety Authority, which said there are no safety concerns and there is no need to change the ADI, as well as the FDA, which concluded there is no reason to change the ADI of 50 mg/kg body weight per day for aspartame as a general sweetener in foods.


Estonia: Mari Reinik, Deputy Director of the National Centre for Laboratory Research and Risk Assessment


"Since the acceptable dose has not been changed based on current research, it does not give a direct signal to change people's behavior.”

7/14 - 06:03AM

Brazil Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa)


"In Brazil, the use of sweeteners must be authorized by Anvisa, which carries out safety assessments, including the definition of maximum limits. This assessment is carried out based on the FAO and WHO guidelines, which have remained the same. Aspartame has been the subject of extensive investigation, including experimental studies, clinical trials, epidemiological and exposure studies, and post-market surveillance. […] There is a consensus among several international committees considering aspartame safe, when consumed within the acceptable daily intake. […] So far, there is no change in the safety profile for the consumption of aspartame […] Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that there are no new recommendations approved by the WHO.”

7/14 - 09:12AM

China National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center

“The National Food Safety Risk Assessment Center (CFSA) and the National Cancer Center reviewed the latest assessment results of JECFA and the consumption of Chinese residents to conduct safety assessment, and confirm that aspartame can be used in accordance with China's current standards and specifications to ensure safety.”


Ministry of Health of Israel


“There is currently no warning not to consume beverages containing aspartame.”

7/16 - 12:57PM

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA)

SFDA explains that it has conducted many scientific evaluations on the safety of the substance during the past years, which included reviewing all scientific evaluations from international organizations and international bodies concerned with food safety control and sharing information and research with those bodies, which proved that there are no concerns associated with aspartame.


The Authority also pointed out that aspartame has been used for more than 40 years and is found in more than six thousand products in various countries of the world, and there is no evidence or scientific evidence proving the danger of its consumption.


Taiwan Food and Drug Administration

“Lin Jinfu, deputy director of the Food and Drug Administration, pointed out that aspartame is an artificial sweetener, which is about 200 times sweeter than sucrose. At present, the food safety law is nuclear and can be used […] Internationally, it is roughly the same as the food safety law of the same as that of China, such as the European Union, Japan, etc.”

7/14 - 04:16PM

United States Food and Drug Administration

“The FDA disagrees with IARC’s conclusion that these studies support classifying aspartame as a possible carcinogen to humans. FDA scientists reviewed the scientific information included in IARC’s review in 2021 when it was first made available and identified significant shortcomings in the studies on which IARC relied. We note that JECFA did not raise safety concerns for aspartame under the current levels of use and did not change the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI). Aspartame is one of the most studied food additives in the human food supply. FDA scientists do not have safety concerns when aspartame is used under the approved conditions. The sweetener is approved in many countries. Regulatory and scientific authorities, such as Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority have evaluated aspartame and also consider it safe at current permitted use levels.”


German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

“In the past, the suspicion that aspartame (E 951) could be carcinogenic was repeatedly expressed by various parties. Therefore, aspartame is one of the most studied sweeteners and repeatedly rated by various international expert bodies. Scientific reviews by the competent bodies of EFSA and other institutions have not yet confirmed this suspicion. So far, the evaluation panels have come to the conclusion that there are no health concerns provided the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 40 mg/kg body weight and day is not exceeded.”


Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food

IARC, as an integral part of the World Health Organization, assesses the danger of certain substances that may be carcinogenic to humans by convening a commission of independent experts. They review the evidence, then vote and place it into one of five potential categories. Group 2B, which also includes aspartame, means that there is currently evidence of carcinogenicity, primarily in animals, but the evidence of carcinogenicity in humans is far from conclusive. It is interesting to point out that this category includes, among other things, Aloe vera leaf extract, traditional Asian pickled vegetables, coffee extract and ginkgo biloba. 


Aspartame and its breakdown products have been approved for human consumption for many years after thorough safety assessments, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is in charge of assessing the safety of food additives in the EU, conducted the last aspartame risk assessment in 2013. New findings from IARC and JECFA confirmed the conclusions of EFSA's assessment of aspartame.


Oman Food Safety and Quality Center

Oman authorities reaffirmed the conclusion from JECFA that aspartame is safe, saying of the acceptable daily limit established by JECFA that “it is not easy to reach this quantity per one day.”


Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA)

“JFDA clarified that the classification of aspartame as a potential carcinogen indicates a lack of definitive scientific evidence proving its link to cancer. He noted that aspartame use is allowed under applicable legislation and the Codex Alimentarius Commission.”


Thai Food and Drug Administration

“Pharmacist Lertchai Lertwut, Deputy Secretary-General of the [Thai] Food and Drug Administration revealed that the FDA there is an inspection and assessment of the safety of the use of aspartame […] consumers are requested to be confident that the sweeteners that are approved by the [Thai] FDA and supervise their use in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health's announcement are safe.”


Indonesia Food and Drug Authority (IFDA)

“The IFDA still permits the use of aspartame. Currently the regulations for aspartame-made sweetener food additives are still within the maximum limit.”

Read More >


 Nigeria National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)

“Aspartame is safe to consume in food products within established limit of 40mg/kg body weight.” 


Hungary - National Food Chain Safety Office (NEBIH)

Comments from György Pleva, Director of Food and Feed Safety at Nébih- 

 "This means that the carcinogenic effect of aspartame itself has not been directly confirmed, but it may happen that under certain circumstances, above a certain amount, the possibility of cancer increases." For this reason, it was judged that the current average daily intake value does not need to be reduced, since the results of the research were not considered to be well-founded, and further investigation is needed to assess a more serious tightening. This means that, as in the world, in the European Union as well, 40 mg per kilogram of body weight is the permissible value in the future.


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