EFSA launches a public call for scientific data on aspartame
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is launching a public call for data on the artificial sweetener aspartame (E 951) for consideration in a full re-evaluation to be completed in 2012 as requested by the European Commission. EFSA is undertaking a risk assessment of the safety of this food additive based on all available scientific and technical data. Due to EFSA’s scientific cooperation efforts, particularly with its partners in EU Member States, ongoing liaison with international partners and its stakeholder dialogue, EFSA can draw on a well-established network to ensure that all the relevant data are considered. The deadline of the call is 30 September 2011.
In May 2011, EFSA accepted a request from the European Commission for the re-evaluation of the artificial sweetener aspartame in 2012.
This call, running from 1 June to 30 September 2011, has been launched to ensure that EFSA’s risk assessment of the safety of aspartame will be the most thorough and up-to-date yet. To complete its evaluation, EFSA requires all available scientific and technical data – published, unpublished and newly generated – related to the use of aspartame in food and drinks and as a table-top sweetener.
Thanks to EFSA’s scientific cooperation efforts, particularly with its partners in EU Member States, ongoing liaison with international partners and its dialogue with stakeholders, EFSA can draw on a well-established network for support. This network helps to disseminate news of the call and identify sources of data and scientific literature. EFSA’s partners can also provide advice and assistance to scientists, researchers and other interested parties to help them identify the data that could support EFSA’s forthcoming evaluation and its robustness.
Following the public call for data, a document summarising the relevant data available will be prepared. These data will then be considered for the risk assessment.
Aspartame is a low-calorie, intense sweetener, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. European legislation harmonising its use in foodstuffs was introduced in 1994.