WHO: aspartame ‘possibly carcinogenic’

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Do you have to think about how much diet soda you drink?

Aspartame, the most popular artificial sweetener used in sugar-free sodas and thousands of other foods, has been classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization.

While the results show that aspartame-containing foods can cause cancer, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a diet soda or two.

Dr. Samuel Cohen, MD, who specializes in chemical carcinogenesis, said the risks for the average person are quite low.

“Food agencies, including the Joint Review Committee on Dietary Additives and the Food and Drug Administration, periodically re-evaluate aspartame and continue to confirm that it is a safe ingredient,” Cohen said.

He said Thursday’s WHO findings could be misleading.

“Aspartame up to the level of 40 milligrams per kilogram per day is considered safe for life. Now, to put this into perspective, this is about 10 times higher than even an active aspartame user on any given day. So it’s a big margin of safety,” Cohen said.

News4JAX spoke to several people who drink diet soda. Most said they were not overly concerned about the possible health risks.

“It won’t change my habits. Everyone needs a Diet Coke from time to time!” said Crystal Owens, a diet soda lover. “I’m going to die, that’s obvious. For carcinogens? Probably no.”

Dr. Cohen said more research could always be done, but you only need to worry if you’ve been drinking 15-20 diet sodas a day for your entire life.

“That’s about 15 to 20 cans a day for a lifetime. Not just periodically, but literally for life,” Cohen said.

Click here read the full report from the World Health Organization.

Security Aspartame.com also compiled a list of 100 studies and 200 scientists from 90 countries that confirm the safety of the popular artificial sweetener.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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