United States General Accounting Office Report

At the request of Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, the General Accounting Office (GAO), an agency independent of the Executive Branch, investigated the entire regulatory process over some ten years which led to the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of aspartame as a safe food ingredient.

On June 18, 1987 the GAO’s Executive Summary reported:

“FDA adequately followed its food additive approval process in approving aspartame for marketing by reviewing all of Searle’s aspartame studies, holding a Public Board of Inquiry to discuss safety issues surrounding aspartame’s approval, and forming a panel to advise the Commissioner on those.

Furthermore, when questions were raised about the Searle studies, FDA had an outside group of pathologists review crucial aspartame studies. GAO found that throughout aspartame’s approval history, the FDA addressed safety issues raised internally and by outside scientists and by concerned citizens.

18 June 1987