What the frak is aspartame and why does it concern you? Well, if you consume diet colas or artificial sweeteners, this is something you might want to read.
Diet colas use Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium as substitutes for sugar, in their drinks. Both ingredients are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and have a set Acceptable Daily Intake rate. That is to say, you can consume this much everyday and still be fine.
The first study of the effects of aspartame was conducted in the 70s and they found that it was safe to consume in certain amounts. But of course, some scientists thought that the results were questionable because, surprise, surprise, the research was funded by a producer of artificial sweeteners.
Then, a second study in 2005 by the ERF (European Ramazzini Foundation), who are independent from the first study, found evidence that aspartame is carcinogenic. They tested 1800 rats over a period of 8 years and found that "aspartame increases the incidence of malignant tumours".
See see, the EU got a wee bit worried and asked the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) to assess the ERF study. The results?
EFSA: "It's alright, folks. You can get on with your lives because we're dismissing the ERF results. We found so and so to be irrelevant and so and so caused by something else and not really aspartame". (note: this is not a quote)
Well obviously the docs at the ERF weren't too happy about that. They then did a second study of their first study, this time, with the rats being fed lower dosages of aspartame. The results, released in 2007, confirmed the carcinogenicity of aspartame. Again.
I wonder why this news never got picked up by Malaysian media, though, I'm not entirely sure if it was. It's not like I read the newspaper everyday.
*I was prompted to write about this while watching an interview of Miranda Kerr when she mentioned this. Damn, that girl is fine. And smart to boot! Orlando Bloom is a lucky bastard.
Photo by Brett Robson (Freelance Media - Fashion - Model Photographer)