Aspartame opinion rescheduled until November 2013

News Story
8 May 2013

EFSA and the European Commission have agreed to extend the timeframe for the Authority’s full re-evaluation of aspartame to allow sufficient time to consider and address feedback, including new information, resulting from the public consultation on its draft opinion.

From the comments received, experts on EFSA’s Scientific Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel) have identified aspects of their draft opinion and key steps in their scientific approach that they would like to clarify further, including the expression of uncertainties, before finalising their conclusions. This will ensure that EFSA’s scientific advice fully integrates information received and that those with an interest in this work will be able to easily understand how the Panel derived its conclusions.

From 9 January to 15 February 2013, EFSA held an online public consultation on its draft Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E 951) as a food additive. On 9 April, the Authority wrapped up this process by holding a follow-up meeting to discuss the comments received. EFSA received over 200 comments on such issues as how EFSA’s experts select studies for its risk assessments, the safety of the metabolites of aspartame and how best to express uncertainties highlighted in the draft opinion.


Notes to editors:

  • On 8 January 2013, EFSA launched a public consultation on its draft Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E 951) as a food additive. All stakeholders and interested parties were invited to comment on the draft opinion through the online public consultation by 15 February 2013.
  • Aspartame is a low-calorie, intense sweetener that is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). The re-evaluation of aspartame is part of the systematic re-evaluation of all food additives authorised in the EU prior to 20 January 2009. For the EU regulatory framework on food additives such as sweeteners and EFSA’s role in relation to aspartame.
  • While EFSA has reviewed new studies on aspartame in the past, this is the first full risk assessment of aspartame requested of EFSA and carried out by the Authority’s ANS Panel. For extensive information on EFSA’s draft scientific opinion on the safety of aspartame made available for the public consultation.

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