I have received the following article from Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director, McGill University Office for Science and Society. It originally appeared in The Montreal Gazette. It shows that only the old strategem of giving rats HUGE doses of stuff produces evidence of problems. Excerpt only below. Full article on FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC

The current “Acceptable Daily Intake” (ADI) for aspartame in North America is 50 milligrams per kilogram body weight, while in Europe it is 40 mg/kg. Based on numerous laboratory, animal and human studies, adverse effects below these levels are unlikely. Using the lower European value, the ADI for an average adult weighing sixty kilograms is then 2400 mgs, which is the amount of aspartame found in roughly four liters of diet drink. Average consumption of course is way below this, but unfortunately there are people who drink abusive amounts. Perhaps they will re-evaluate their habit after hearing about what researchers at the European Ramazzini Foundation found.

Dr. Morando Soffritti and colleagues fed pregnant rats aspartame-laced food, and then did the same to their offspring throughout their natural lives. The rats were then autopsied and all signs of cancer recorded. One group of rats was fed aspartame at a dose of 100 mg per kilogram of bodyweight, another group at 20 mg/kg, and a third group, given no aspartame, served as a control.

Soffritti was following up on similar research he had published in 2005 which had concluded that aspartame was a carcinogen. That study was criticized by a group of toxicologists assembled by the European Union as having poor methodology and coming to an unwarranted conclusion. Soffritti was understandably angered by the criticism and undoubtedly vowed to “show them.” And apparently he has. The current results do show that animals fed at 100 mg/kg per day developed more tumours than those fed no aspartame. This is the amount of aspartame found in ten liters of diet drink. However, when it comes to the 20 mg/kg dose, the incidence of tumours found was essentially the same as in the rats given no aspartame. Based on these results, Soffritti and colleagues correctly conclude that their study showed aspartame to be a carcinogen, and that the effect is dose related.

What do we make of this? It is surprising that a carcinogenic effect was found, given that a large number of other studies have failed to find a link between aspartame and cancer. But the important finding here is the dose-response relationship. As the dose is decreased, so is the risk of tumour formation. At the equivalent of two liters of diet drink a day, the percent of animals bearing tumours is the same as in the control group. So, are these results convincing enough to alter the Acceptable Daily Intake? Before taking such an action, at the very least, we need to see if the experiment can be reproduced by another lab.

The Ramazzini Foundation study [by Soffritti] comes on the heels of a paper recently published in the Annals of Oncology, in which researchers from Italy and France examined the potential association between the risk of cancer and the consumption of artificial sweeteners. They evaluated the rates of consumption of saccharin, aspartame, and other sweeteners in approximately 7,000 individuals with various types of cancers and compared these with a similar number of people who did not have the disease. No link between artificial sweeteners and cancers of the esophagus, colon, rectum, larynx, breast, ovaries, prostate, kidney or mouth was found. And this was a human, not a rat study. Let’s remember also that the amount of aspartame found in a couple of diet drinks and artificially sweetened yogurts is way less than the 20 mg/kg per day dose that was shown to cause no increase in tumours in the Ramazzini study.

(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

Be Sociable, Share!