The World Health Organization has gone so far as to declare that the popular sweetener aspartame can cause cancer.1 I warned about the cancer-causing potential of aspartame on my website 25 years ago, in my best-selling book, “Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet, and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health,” in 2006, and in articles. I wrote for The Huffington Post.2 It has since been removed – but you can see how long this horror has been known.
The decision comes from sources at the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which said aspartame will be listed as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in July 2023.3 The findings from the Joint WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), which is in the process of revising its assessment of the risk of aspartame, are also expected.4
Donald Rumsfeld’s Hand in the Legalization of Aspartame
JECFA has verified the safety of aspartame for many years, stating since 1981 that it is safe for normal daily use.5 It was in 1981 that the US Food and Drug Administration first approved aspartame.6 At the time, the late Donald Rumsfeld, former US defense secretary, was chairman of GD Searle, the makers of aspartame, and is said to have helped get it approved.
At the 1980 FDA Board of Inquiry, the FDA refused to approve aspartame because of concerns that it could cause brain tumors.7 The late John Olney, a well-known neuroscientist who tried to stop the approval of aspartame, also wrote a letter to the Board of Inquiry in 1987, warning about the neurotoxicity of aspartame, including the possibility of brain tumors and brain damage in children.8 According to Rense.com:9
“The FDA actually banned aspartame based on these findings, but Searle chairman Donald Rumsfeld … vowed to ‘call his records,’10 to be approved.
On January 21, 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, Searle again applied to the FDA to approve the use of aspartame in food sweeteners, and Reagan’s new FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hayes Hull, Jr., appointed a five-member Scientific Committee to it will work. review of the opinion of the investigating agency.
It soon became clear that the club would approve the ban with a 3-2 decision, but Hull then put a sixth member on the committee, and the vote was lost. He then broke the tie in favor of aspartame.
Hull later left the FDA due to allegations of impropriety, served for a time as Provost at New York Medical College, and later joined Burston-Marsteller, a major Monsanto and GD Searle communications firm.
Aspartame’s Cancer Link Known For Years
Despite the approval of aspartame, by 1987 a number of research reports raised concerns that the drug’s approval was hampered by conflicts of interest, anti-industry research and tight ties between the FDA and the food industry.11
By 1996, a team with the Department of Medicine at Washington University Medical School questioned whether the increase in brain tumors had a connection to aspartame. A “significant increase in brain tumors” was observed in rats fed aspartame compared to rats not given aspartame, they explained, adding:12
“Compared to other natural substances that are closely related to brain tumors, the sweetener aspartame is more likely to explain the recent increase in the incidence and prevalence of brain tumors.”
Then, in 2006, a study led by Dr. Morando Soffritti, an Italian cancer researcher who is head of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences, found that, even at low doses, animals developed several types of cancer. eating aspartame.13
That year, the group concluded that aspartame was a “multipotential carcinogenic agent, even at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg of body weight, lower than that allowed today” and said that a review of the use of aspartame was “urgent and cannot be delayed. .”14
A subsequent study in 2007 confirmed the findings of the “multipotential carcinogenicity” of aspartame, even at doses close to those allowed daily for humans. Furthermore, it was also shown that when life time is examined, the “carcinogenic effect” of aspartame increases.15 In 2010, Soffritti and his colleagues also warned that aspartame is a carcinogenic drug in rats and mice.16
Research Supporting Carcinogenicity of Aspartame Is Widespread
These studies were just the beginning of the evidence showing the cancer-causing potential of aspartame. In 2012, Harvard researchers published a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found:17
“In the most comprehensive long-term clinical study, to the best of our knowledge, to examine the relationship between aspartame consumption and the risk of cancer in humans, we have seen a positive relationship between diet soda and the amount of aspartame and the risk of NHL. [non-Hodgkin lymphoma] and multiple myeloma in men and leukemia in men and women.”
Adding to concerns about the safety of aspartame, US Right to Know stated:18
“In a 2014 review in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine,19 and [Cesare] Malton [Cancer Research] The researchers of the Center wrote that the studies presented by GD Searle to accept the market ‘do not provide sufficient scientific support for [aspartame’s] security.
In contrast, recent results of cancer longevity in rats and mice published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as prospective clinical studies, provide consistent evidence for [aspartame’s] the potential to cause cancer.’”
The 2020 study also supports the initial findings of the Ramazzini Institute (RI), revealing a significant increase in hematopoietic and lymphoid tumors (HLTs) as well as leukemias and lymphomas in female rats exposed to aspartame.
“After the HLT cases were reviewed, the results obtained are consistent with those reported in previous RI publications and strengthen the hypothesis that APM. [aspartame] have a leukemogenic and lymphomatogenic effect,” the researchers explained.20
Again in 2021, a review by the Ramazzini Institute confirmed that aspartame is carcinogenic in rats. The researchers also said that the findings “confirm the fact that prenatal exposure to aspartame increases the risk of cancer in the offspring of rats. They confirm the results of the first studies of RI.”21
In response, he called on international and national health organizations to review the dangers of aspartame, especially long-term exposure and after childbirth.22
Eating Artificial Sweeteners Increases Cancer Risk by 13%
In a 2022 study of 102,865 adults from France, published in PLOS Medicine, eating and drinking artificial sweeteners were found and analyzed for their association with cancer events. A large cohort study found that people who consumed artificial sweeteners had a higher risk of all cancers compared to non-consumers.23
Among the artificial sweeteners studied, aspartame and acesulfame-K, in particular, were linked to an increased risk of cancer, while aspartame consumption was linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and obesity-related cancers, including stomach cancer, liver , colon and rectum.
In particular, the risk of cancer increased by 13% among consumers of sweeteners, while the risk of breast cancer increased by 22% and the risk of obesity-related cancer increased by 15%.24 “These results suggest that artificial sweeteners, which are used in many foods and beverages around the world, may represent a risk factor for preventing cancer,” the researchers said.25 description:
“[E]xperts have recommended a review by health authorities of the role of aspartame in the development of cancer, based on past and recent findings in animal models, in vitro studies, and, to a lesser extent, human data. The findings regarding other artificial sweeteners also raise questions about their role in carcinogenesis based on in vivo studies. “
WHO warns against artificial sweeteners for weight loss
Aspartame’s cancer link is particularly concerning because of its abundance in foods and beverages. Aspartame is used in 1,400 foods in France and more than 6,000 products worldwide. These chemicals are commonly found in foods such as sugar-free chewing gum, soft drink mixes, sugar-reduced flavors and table sweeteners, including Equal and NutraSweet.26
Its taste is great – 200 times more than sugar27 – and the low calories make it popular among people who want to make sweet drinks and foods without the corresponding sugar calories.
But, in addition to citing artificial sweeteners as a possible cause of cancer, in May 2023, even the WHO, which was highly criticized, issued a guideline recommending against the use of sugar-free sweeteners (NSS) for weight loss because they do not provide long-term benefits. benefits in reducing body fat in adults or children.28
Previously, the WHO conducted a systematic review and detailed analysis that showed “there is no clear agreement whether sugar-free sweeteners are effective for long-term weight loss or maintenance, or whether they are associated with other long-term effects on nutrition. in ADI.”29
The systematic review also reported “potential adverse effects of long-term NSS use, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and death in adults.” Although cancer was invited in the analysis, which included 283 studies and found artificial sweeteners are associated with an increased risk of:30
Too much weight
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Glucose very fast
Death of all causes
Death from heart disease
High blood pressure
Premature birth and possible adiposity in children later in life
In addition, according to WHO research:31
“The mechanisms by which NSS as a group of molecules can have effects that increase the risk of obesity and other NCDs. [non-communicable diseases] have been extensively reviewed and include interactions with oral taste receptors, possibly with changes in the gut microbiome.
Because sugars and NSS are all known to produce sweet taste through the TAS1R heterodimeric sweet-taste receptor, which has been identified not only in the mouth but also in other sugar-sensitive tissues, it is not surprising that such a group of different medicinal products. may have similar effects on health.”
Artificial Sweeteners Don’t Have To Be Scared
It is unclear why the WHO is suddenly warning people about this drug, when it has been recommended by health authorities for a long time. But I have been advocating their use from the beginning. In many cases, there are drivers of sugar cravings, which is why I have been encouraging you to learn Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a psychological acupressure tool, to overcome them.
Beyond dealing with your subconscious mind to curb your cravings for toxic sweets, consider stocking up on ripe fruits that can satisfy these cravings. Additionally, if you’re eating more than 30% fat, then you’ll want to reduce your carbs. But, if it is below 30% and you are able to change its metabolism, you will improve your health by having several hundred grams of ripe fruit.