WHO to declare sweeteners used in Diet Coke as possible cancer risk — Report

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    The International Agency for Research on Cancer, (IARC) says Aspartame, one of the world’s most widely used artificial sweeteners, is expected to be classified as a possible carcinogen.

    Aspartame will be classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” for the first time by the IARC in its upcoming assessment of the substance’s potential risks based on published research.

    The sweetener, which is popularly used in products like diet soda and chewing gum, is pitted against the food industry and authorities in this ruling.

    The ruling, which is set to be announced in July, has alarmed the food industry and regulators.

    “The IARC classification does not take into account safe consumption levels, which are determined by the Who is separate expert committee on food additives, known as the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, or JECFA.

    “The IARC’s previous decisions on various substances have had a big impact, leading to consumer concerns, legal action, and recipe modifications. However, the agency’s assessments have also faced criticism for causing unnecessary alarm or confusion.

    The organisation divides substances into four categories based on the strength of the evidence rather than the level of risk they pose: carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic, and not classifiable.

    International Agency for Research on Cancer added that the first group consists of substances with strong evidence that they cause cancer, ranging from processed meat to asbestos.

    Working overnight and consuming red meat fall into the “probable” category, which denotes that there is only weak evidence that these things can cause cancer in people but stronger evidence that they can cause cancer in animals or that they share traits with other human carcinogens.

    The “radiofrequency electromagnetic fields” associated with mobile phone use are “possibly cancer-causing.” Like aspartame, this means there is either limited evidence they can cause cancer in humans, sufficient evidence in animals, or strong evidence about the characteristics.

    “IARC is not a food safety body and their review of aspartame is not scientifically comprehensive and is based heavily on widely discredited research,” Frances Hunt-Wood, secretary general of the International Sweeteners Association, said.

    The body, whose members include Mars Wrigley, a Coca-Cola unit and Cargill, said it had “serious concerns with the IARC review, which may mislead consumers”.

    “The International Council of Beverages Associations’ executive director, Kate Loatman, said public health authorities should be “deeply concerned” by the “leaked opinion”, and also warned it “could needlessly mislead consumers into consuming more sugar rather than choosing safe no- and low-sugar options.”

    Queen Ferry
    Queen Ferry
    Chinyere Treasure Ikechukwu known professionally as Queen Ferry, is a Nigerian business Executive, Journalist and Content Editor. She serves as the Vice-Chairman of Naijatraffic Limited. If Treasure is not blogging, she will be making delicious delicacy.

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