Expert Statements on WHO Aspartame Reports

Statements by Coalition Advisory Committee Members and Community Leaders.

Coalition Co-Chairs

Secretaries Dr. Donna Shalala and Alex Azar

“There is only one WHO review that addresses the safety of foods and beverages. It is the JECFA review, which reaffirmed aspartame’s safety, and is consistent with the FDA’s long-standing position.

They even kept the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level. The American people can be confident that the products they consume are safe because of FDA reviews. According to the World Health Organization, even the most frequent consumers of products with aspartame are nowhere near the recommended limits on consumption: in fact, they are 10 times under the limit.

Nothing has changed as a result of these reviews.”

Dr. Arnold Baskies

Past Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Fellowship-Trained Surgical Oncologist

“The WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives’ (JECFA) review says that aspartame is safe for human consumption. JECFA is the authoritative international agency when it comes to food safety. The FDA relies on JECFA’s assessments as part of its process to determine not only what is safe to consume, but also what quantity. The American people should have confidence in their food and beverage choices because JECFA is the WHO agency that measures risk to humans from ingredients.”

“It is irresponsible to needlessly scare or confuse people. If there was any cause for concern, they would have adjusted the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI).”

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has affirmed and reaffirmed aspartame’s safety in six comprehensive reviews. JECFA’s current review lends further credence to this consensus and should be considered authoritative.”

Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona

M.D. and Former Surgeon General

“JECFA has reaffirmed the safety of aspartame based on the latest evidence, including more than 100 studies by 200 scientists. This should reassure us all of the safety of the foods and beverages that use this sweetener to reduce sugar.  

As distressing as it sounds, many people look to social media and elsewhere for information on diet and too often are given misinformation instead. JECFA is the WHO equivalent of our FDA. As a former U.S. Surgeon General who worked closely with the FDA, I know that the public can trust the FDA in its findings about food and drug safety. The FDA has kept us safe for more than a century, and it conducts its work with integrity and transparency. The FDA staff has long relied on JECFA’s rigorous review process for food safety, because it matches its own. I encourage people to listen to the FDA when it comes to the safety of food and medicine here in the United States.”

Mario H. Lopez

President – Hispanic Leadership Fund

“JECFA’s review has reaffirmed once again that aspartame is a safe food ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided consumers in the U.S. with expert reviews and decisions regarding food safety for more than 115 years. The FDA relies on JECFA, the international food safety agency within the World Health Organization (WHO), for its analysis of food ingredients.  

JECFA’s review backs up a formidable scientific consensus. The FDA has affirmed aspartame’s safety six times over 40 years based on more than 100 studies, and 90 countries have also said aspartame is safe.

Families should feel confident about the safety of their food and beverage choices. The scientific review process set forth by the FDA on food safety empowers communities and working families to make safe choices on what they eat and drink. We should support and back up the FDA’s work, especially on these important issues that impact the health of Americans.”

Dan Glickman

Former Secretary – U.S. Department of Agriculture

“The FDA is known for continuously reviewing the latest scientific research on what we eat and drink to ensure the safety of our food supply. The goal of the FDA is to protect the public health of all Americans, a role it has filled since 1906. And it has spoken on aspartame.

FDA’s reviews of the studies on aspartame show that this low-calorie sweetener is safe. This is important, because aspartame can help people reduce their sugar consumption, which can help them manage their weight and lower their risk for health outcomes such as obesity.”