March 21, 2016 — Results of a new study by the Ramazzini Institute are at odds with the wealth of scientific studies and regulatory opinions confirming that sucralose is safe and approved for use in foods. The study, published online in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, alleges an increased risk of tumors in male mice when given sucralose. While regulatory authorities have not commented on the results of this study, previous studies from the Ramazzini Institute with a similar objective have been dismissed by regulatory agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) due to their unorthodox methodology.
“No regulatory agency has changed or proposed to change its opinion on the safety of any sweetener based on the work of the Ramazzini Institute,” said Robert Rankin, president of the Calorie Control Council. “The methods and protocol used by Ramazzini have not been validated and therefore any results must be questioned.”
Dr. Berna Magnuson, a food toxicologist and Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Science, who has extensively reviewed studies by the Ramazzini Institute added, “Here we go again. The Ramazzini Institute reports yet another extensively tested and well documented non-cancer-causing compound to be associated with tumors, only in their animals. The bottom line is that it has been well documented that the work of this laboratory is not reliable – especially when it comes to lymphomas and leukemias. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publicly stated that they will not rely on the lymphoma and leukemia data from the Ramazzini Institute. Unfortunately, their work still gets published and causes unfounded concerns.”
The safety of sucralose and other commonly used low-calorie sweeteners has been confirmed through decades of scientific research. Following significant review, global regulatory agencies and standard setting bodies, such as the FDA, Health Canada, EFSA and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Commission of Food Additives (JECFA) have supported the safe use of low-calorie sweeteners in food and beverage products. Additionally, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has stated, “Before approving sucralose, the FDA viewed more than 100 safety studies that were conducted, including studies to assess cancer risk. The results of these studies showed no evidence that these sweeteners cause cancer or pose any other threat to human health.” Through robust review, authorities have substantiated that low-calorie sweeteners do not cause cancer, a position supported by NCI.
The Council was also disappointed to learn that The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) changed its position on sucralose based on one study, as opposed to the wealth of scientific literature and regulatory opinion demonstrating the safety of sucralose.
For more information about sucralose, please visit: www.sucralose.org.