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Follow-up meeting on the web-based Public Consultation on Aspartame

Scotland Europa meeting centre

Rond-Point Schuman 6, Brussels


Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on food additives requires that food additives are subject to a safety evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) before they are permitted for use in the European Union. In addition, it is foreseen that food additives must be kept under continuous observation and must be re-evaluated by EFSA.

For this purpose, a programme for the re-evaluation of food additives that were already permitted in the European Union before 20 January 2009 has been set up under Regulation (EU) No 257/2010. The re-evaluation of all sweeteners is foreseen to be completed by the end of 2020. However, in 2011 the deadline for the re-evaluation of aspartame was moved forward to May 2013 in light of new scientific information.

In line with EFSA’s policy on openness and transparency, two public calls for scientific data were launched in 2011 and 2012, and EFSA received access to a large number of published and unpublished scientific studies and datasets. On 8 January 2013, EFSA launched an open consultation on a draft opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E951) in order for EFSA to receive comments from the scientific community and stakeholders. This document is the first full evaluation of aspartame that has been conducted by EFSA. EFSA’s Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel) has taken all available information including new human safety data into consideration, and the draft opinion addresses the potential safety concerns related to toxicity, carcinogenicity and genotoxicity as well as possible reproductive and developmental effects related to aspartame and its metabolites and breakdown products such as diketopiperazine. Interested parties were invited to submit written comments via EFSA’s website by 15 February 2013.

In order to ensure a full understanding of the comments received during the consultation phase on the draft opinion on the full re-evaluation of aspartame (E 951) prior to the final adoption of the scientific opinion in May 2013, EFSA wishes to hold a public information session in the form of a scientific meeting to engage in discussion with all the contributing stakeholders and other relevant parties on the comments received during the consultation phase.

Objective of the meeting

The main objective of the scientific meeting is to discuss, as part of the public consultation process, the comments received during the consultation phase on the draft opinion on the full re-evaluation of aspartame with contributing interested parties, scientific experts and EFSA staff.

Structure of the technical meeting

The scientific meeting will focus on the comments received on the ANS Panel draft opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E951). The draft opinion and the comments received during the public consultation will be presented by EFSA’s experts for discussions at this scientific meeting. Before its adoption by the ANS Panel the draft opinion will be revised if needed taking into account the meeting’s discussions and the comments received during the public consultation process. A separate report on the public consultation and the comments received will be published with the opinion.

Who should attend the scientific meeting?

This scientific meeting is intended for scientific experts in the field of food safety and interested parties who have contributed to the public consultation on aspartame. In order to ensure thorough discussion, the number of participants will be limited. If the meeting is oversubscribed, participants will be selected on the basis of their scientific contributions to the public consultation on the ANS Panel draft opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E951), their experience in the field, taking into account the need for an appropriate range of expertise to be represented in the meeting.

On-line registration closes at midnight on 24 March 2013.

After closure of registration, potential participants are informed whether or not they have been selected for participation. Selected participants are asked to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements at their own expense.

Date and venue

Further details on the venue and logistics will be communicated to participants upon confirmation of selection/attendance.


English is the official language of the meeting. No translation is provided.


For any questions please contact: events [at]