Popular artificial sweetener aspartame linked to cancer

“If you’re having an occasional can of diet soda, I wouldn’t be too worried. Though I would be very concerned if you are exceeding ten or more drinks per day, consuming some kind of artificial sweetener.” Photo: Pexels

(Kevin Jiang/ Toronto Star) — Aspartame — a popular artificial sweetener found in diet sodas, breakfast cereals, medications, toothpaste and much more — will be declared a possible carcinogen next month by the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), reports say.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is poised to declare aspartame as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” following review by independent international experts, two sources with knowledge of the process told Reuters Thursday.

The IARC told the Star it “assessed the potential carcinogenic effect of aspartame,” but that it hasn’t researched how likely this harm is to occur, including how much aspartame one can safely consume in a day. That’s being handled by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a spokesperson for the agency said; both the IARC and JECFA reports will be published on July 14. (…)