In the Opinion issued following the last EU review of the science which supports understanding of the metabolism and safety of aspartame, the Scientific Committee on Food (EFSA’s predecessor) stated:
“Aspartame is unique among the intense sweeteners in that the intake of its component parts can be compared with intakes of the same substances from natural foods. It is clear that the consumption of aspartame represents only a minor source of aspartic acid, phenylalanine or methanol in the diet“.
SCF Opinion 2002
The facts about aspartame’s composition and metabolism are not in question.
Comments submitted in response to the consultation on the draft scientific opinion on the safety of aspartame, published in January, can be put in context by understanding that aspartame’s components occur widely and in greater quantities in our diet.
The review by EFSA of all of the science that supports the safety of aspartame is the most recent in a long line of reviews by regulatory authorities around the world, all of which have concluded that aspartame is safe. In Europe, where aspartame has a history of thirty years safe use, aspartame was reviewed and found to be safe by EFSA’s predecessor the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) in 1984, 1988, and 2002. In addition, EFSA reconfirmed the safety of aspartame in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The current review is part of the re-evaluation of all food additives being undertaken at the request of the European Commission.
Aspartame is unique in that it is the low calorie sweetener which tastes most like sugar. By providing the great sweet taste that people enjoy without the calories, aspartame enables food and beverage manufacturers to deliver against commitments to tackle the health challenges of overweight and obesity.