Ajinomoto welcomes the European Commission's request to EFSA to bring forward the re-evaluation of aspartame

Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe welcomes the decision by the European Commission to ask the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to bring forward the re-evaluation of aspartame. Aspartame, in common with all other approved low calorie sweeteners, was scheduled for re-evaluation in the next eight years. Bringing forward the re-valuation of aspartame will provide EFSA with a timely opportunity to restate its position on the ingredient. EFSA reaffirmed the safety of aspartame in 2006, 2009 and 2010. In addition, recent allegations about the safety of aspartame made in France and by a handful of MEPs have already been dismissed by EFSA. This review of the extensive body of science on aspartame will provide additional confirmation of the ingredient's safety.

Of all the low calorie sweeteners, aspartame has a sweetness that most closely replicates the taste of sugar. It is, therefore, integral to many of the low calorie products people all over Europe choose and enjoy. By providing an excellent sweet taste, aspartame makes a useful contribution to a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and can help people to avoid overweight and obesity, and their associated diseases.

Aspartame is the only low calorie sweetener that is digested naturally to small amounts of common dietary components. It brings nothing new to our diet. In 2002, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food 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."

Aspartame is also the most thoroughly tested ingredient in our food supply. It has been the subject of over 200 scientific studies, many of which have been conducted at world-class research institutes and universities. All these studies have been scrutinised meticulously and repeatedly by regulators. Aspartame has been reviewed and found to be safe by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation, by EFSA and by the regulatory agencies in more than 100 countries.