The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will not be releasing its “full re-evaluation” of the sweetener, Aspartame, next month as scheduled. Instead they have asked the European Commission (EC) for an extension, which would push the release to 2013. The extension would allow for consideration of new scientific data and research. As well as give time for a complete compressive risk management of the product. Originally the re-evaluation was not scheduled to be released until 2020, however the EC asked the EFSA to make an early release in 2012.
Since the requested early release date, EFSA has called on the public for scientific data for a “thorough literature review.” So far there was little data showing potential DKP (a byproduct of aspartame that has been linked to brain tumors) and other degradation products of aspartame. Therefore the EFSA would like to see more data.
Controversy has arisen over the past couple of decades over the sweetener. Some have claimed it causes health issues such as brain tumors, epilepsy, birth defects and even cancer. As of now aspartame has been proved safe. EFSA certified aspartame last in 2009. The FDA in the US first approved aspartame in 1974.