EFSA to conduct a full risk assessment of aspartame

Since its establishment, EFSA has provided advice to the European Commission on four occasions relating to the safety of the artificial sweetener aspartame. Each time, the Authority reconsidered the need to re-evaluate the work on aspartame previously conducted by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF). Had any evidence been found that would have led EFSA’s expert Panel to reconsider the safety of aspartame, a re-evaluation would have been immediately initiated.

In May 2011, EFSA has been asked by the Commission to bring forward the full re-evaluation of the safety of aspartame to be delivered in 2012. Previously planned for completion in 2020, the review of this individual sweetener is part of the systematic re-evaluation of all authorised food additives in the European Union.

EFSA has accepted the mandate for the aspartame re-evaluation, stipulating the need for a public call for new data as well as a thorough literature review. Additionally, the Authority will liaise closely with the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) on their nutritional risk/benefit assessment of sweeteners.

Further information on the public call for new data will be published in the coming weeks on EFSA’s website.