A recent, wide-ranging study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio on the adverse effects of Aspartame on people consuming diet flavored drinks has raised concerns over a recent FDA filing by U.S. dairy federations to receive approval to use the artificial sweetener in milk. The IDFA and NMPF (International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation) have filed a petition to the FDA that, if approved, would allow the use of any safe and suitable sweetener, which includes non-nutritive sweeteners like Aspartame.
With recent statistics showing that about one in three American children and teens today are either overweight or obese, petitioners have made this one of the main selling points of their proposed amendment to the milk standard of identity. According to the petition, the amendments would supposedly help foster honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers by not necessitating nutrient labels that indicate the use of a non-nutritive sweetener (i.e. reduced calorie) that could make the product less appealing.
While the IDFA and NMPF have sought to characterize this petition as being in the interest of improving public health by fighting childhood obesity, critics argue that the mounting evidence against Aspartame — as outlined in the recent UT Health Science Center study — suggest that the petition is more a play on avoiding regulation and could exacerbate the childhood obesity issue.
According to Global Research:
“A study was done by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio which showed adverse health effects to people who consumed aspartame flavored diet drinks. The study suggested that instead of fighting obesity and its associated hazards, the use of aspartame might actually contribute to the conditions. Honesty and fair dealing would necessarily preclude adding even more aspartame to our diets. Right off, that alone is reason enough to question their motives, however, there is more.”
While there have been hundreds of studies explaining the link between non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame and many of today’s most prevalent chronic diseases, the petition remains publicly posted on the Federal Register to receive the public’s comments and concerns.
For more information on these proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity, visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/20/2013-03835/flavored-milk-petition-to-amend-the-standard-of-identity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products.