Diet Coke and chewing gum sweetener possibly causes cancer, WHO set to say

It comes a month after the WHO advised against used non-sugar sweeteners to control weight.

One of the world’s most common artificial sweeteners is set to be declared as potentially causing cancer next month, according to reports.

Aspartame, which is used in the majority of sugar-free beverages and foods, is expected to be listed as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in July by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to sources who spoke with Reuters, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ruling was finalized after a meeting of the group’s external experts.

It reportedly looked at the health hazards surrounding consumption of aspartame, as opposed to the amount of aspartame which a person can safely consume before it becomes dangerous.

It comes a month after the WHO advised against using non-sugar sweeteners (such as aspartame) to control body weight or reduce the risk of disease.

The recommendation was based on the findings of a review of available evidence, which suggested that their use does not have any long-term benefit in reducing body fat in adults or children.

Results of the review also suggest that there may be potential undesirable effects from long-term use of these sweeteners, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality in adults.

In the UK, aspartame is considered a safe and acceptable alternative to sugar, with the NHS specifying all available sweeteners “undergo a rigorous safety assessment” before they can be used.

The law determines how much sweetener can be used and in which products.

As part of the evaluation process, the UK Government sets an acceptable daily intake, which is the maximum amount considered safe to consume every day.

The NHS adds that, while there have been reports that use of sweeteners is linked to other health issues, the evidence base for this is limited.

Cancer Research UK also says that sweeteners do not cause cancer.

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