The Center for Science in the Public Interest has downgraded it’s safety rating of the artificial sweetener sucralose for the second time in 3 years due to possible health risk. This is in response to a recently published study by an independent laboratory.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit food safety and nutrition watchdog organization, downgraded its safety rating of sucralose, an artificial sweetener which is also known by the brand name Splenda, from “caution” to “avoid.”
This comes in response to a new animal study that indicates a cancer risk. According to a study by the Ramazzini Institute, the chemical caused leukemia and related blood cancers in male mice. The Ramazzini Institute is an independent laboratory based in Italy
This is not the first time the sweetener has been downgraded by CSPI.
In 2013, the group downgraded sucralose from “safe” to “caution” after the Ramazzini Institute presented their findings at a conference.
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The study was officially published on January 29th of this year in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.
The only other long-term feeding studies conducted on sucralose were carried out by the manufacturer, and their studies did not find a problem.
According to CSPI, the recent Ramazzini Institute study is more powerful than the industry-funded studies. Their studies tested fewer animals, started exposing the animals beginning at adolescence as opposed to in utero, and ended earlier in the animals’ lives.
Sucralose can be found in more products in the United States than any other artificial sweetener. It is commonly used in diet sodas, where it is often combined with another artificial sweetener, such as acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) and/or aspartame. Acesulfame potassium is sold under the brand names Sunett and Sweet One. Aspartame is sold under brands like NutraSweet and Equal. Other products containing sucralose include yogurts, diet dressings, and prepared foods.
According to CSPI president Michael F. Jacobson:
“We recommend that consumers avoid sucralose, or Splenda, and we recommend consumers also avoid saccharin, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium. That said, the risk posed by over-consumption of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, particularly from soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, far outweighs the cancer risk posed by sucralose and most other artificial sweeteners. Consumers are better off drinking water, seltzer, or flavored waters, but diet soda does beat regular soda.”