Aspartame removed from Diet Pepsi in the US amid health concerns

Wed, 29 Apr 2015
PepsiCo have dropped the sweetener aspartame from a number of its diet drinks in the US amid health concerns.

The sweetener - which has been anecdotally linked to a number of troubling side effects - has been blamed for the steady drop in sales (five per cent last year) of diet sodas.

Aspartame-free Diet Pepsi will go on sale in the US in August.

Aspartame, which is 200 times sweetener than sugar, is also low in calories, making it a great sugar substitute for diet drinks. But it has been controversial since its approval in the 1980s. Anecdotal evidence has indicated that the sweetener might be linked to unpleasant side effects, including multiple sclerosis, brain tumours, blindness, mental health issues, and type 2 diabetes, but the science doesn't support these claims.

In fact, aspartame is one of the most closely studied artificial sweeteners, and research has yet to find any real links between it and other health problems. The US Food and Drug Administration claims there are over 100 studies of aspartame, and none of them have concluded that it carries such dangers.

The decision has been made purely as a response to concerns raised by consumers. Because consumers in the UK have yet to raise an issue with the sweetener - which, to reiterate, has not been found to cause health problems - there are no plans to release an Aspartame-free Diet Pepsi.

A spokesman said: "Consumers in the UK market love Diet Pepsi just as it is today.

"Pepsi uses a variety of approved sweetener options to create great-tasting colas, including Aspartame, which remains an important sweetener in some Pepsi beverages around the world, including Diet Pepsi in the UK market."
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