WHO to declare aspartame, a sweetener in Diet Coke carcinogenic
According to reports, an artificial sweetener that is frequently found in diet coke will be declared as potentially carcinogenic to people.
This development is expected to spark a clash between the food industry and regulatory authorities.
In July, for the first time, aspartame will be classified as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer research division of the World Health Organization (WHO), according to sources. Aspartame is a chemical found in a variety of products, including carbonated drinks, chewing gum, and diet sodas.
The decision by the IARC was reached earlier this month after a gathering of specialists assessed the potential risks of this substance based on comprehensive and published evidence. However, they did not take into account the acceptable levels of consumption.
The decision on the levels of safe consumption of aspartame is determined by JECFA. JECFA is the expert committee of the WHO that specifically scrutinizes food additives. JECFA has also been looking into the usage of aspartame this year and is expected to make public its findings on July 14 2023, the same day the IARC releases its verdict.
Past decisions by IARC regarding other drugs have resulted in legal action, increased consumer concern about their safety, and compelled manufacturers to modify their formulas and explore substitutes. The IARC's assessments have received criticism from food manufacturers as a result.
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