Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 1 decade ago

Why doesn't the US just ban the controversial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low?

it's known to be controversial sweeteners for the fact that it could cause cancer, so why don't the FDA just ban it so that companies can use extracts from the Stevia plant instead?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    What is controversial about Sweet & Lo (Saccharine) or Splenda (Sucralose, Maltodextrin, and Glucose)? And with some controversy about Stevia, why do you think that is an acceptable substitute?


    "Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations. With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Medical research has also shown possible benefits of stevia in treating obesity and high blood pressure. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets. However, health and political controversies have limited stevia's availability in many countries; for example, the United States banned it in the early 1990s unless labeled as a supplement. Stevia is widely used as a sweetener in Japan, and it is now available in Canada as a dietary supplement. Rebiana is a trade name for a zero-calorie sweetener containing mainly the steviol glycoside rebaudioside A (Reb-A), which is extracted from stevia.[1] Truvia is the consumer brand for a sweetener made of erythritol, Rebiana and natural flavors[2] marketed by Cargill and developed jointly with The Coca-Cola Company.[3][4] In December 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration permitted Reb A based sweeteners as food additives.[5] PureVia is the PepsiCo and Merisant brand of sweetener made of erythritol, isomaltulose, Reb A, cellulose powder and natural flavors.[6][7]"

    Splenda: "Health and safety regulation

    Sucralose has been accepted by several national and international food safety regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, The European Union's Scientific Committee on Food, Health Protection Branch of Health and Welfare Canada, and Food Standards Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ). Sucralose is the only artificial sweetener ranked as "safe" by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest[10][11]. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, the amount of sucralose that can be consumed on a daily basis over a person’s lifetime without any adverse effects is 15 mg/kg/day[12]. No safety data was provided for amounts over this limit. “In determining the safety of sucralose, the FDA reviewed data from more than 110 studies in humans and animals. Many of the studies were designed to identify possible toxic effects including carcinogenic, reproductive, and neurological effects. No such effects were found, and FDA's approval is based on the finding that sucralose is safe for human consumption.”[13] For example, McNeil Nutritional LLC studies submitted as part of its U.S. FDA Food Additive Petition 7A3987 indicated that "in the 2-year rodent bioassays...there was no evidence of carcinogenic activity for either sucralose or its hydrolysis products..."[14]." Wikipedia


    "Throughout the 1960s, various studies suggested that saccharin might be an animal carcinogen. Concern peaked in 1977, after the publication of a study indicating an increased rate of bladder cancer in rats fed large doses of saccharin. In that year, Canada banned saccharin while the United States Food and Drug Administration also proposed a ban. At the time, saccharin was the only artificial sweetener available in the U.S., and the proposed ban met with strong public opposition, especially among diabetics. Eventually, the U.S. Congress placed a moratorium on the ban, requiring instead that all saccharin-containing foods display a warning label indicating that saccharin may be a carcinogen. Many studies have since been performed on saccharin, some showing a correlation between saccharin consumption and increased frequency of cancer in rats (especially bladder cancer) and others finding no such correlation. No study has ever shown a clear causal relationship between saccharin consumption and health risks in humans at normal doses, though some studies have shown a correlation between consumption and cancer incidence.[15] It appears that there is insufficient data to test hypotheses about humans from certain animal studies that have been performed.[16] According to, a group which represents the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry, the products of those it represents containing saccharin are perfectly safe: "Concerns over saccharin's safety were first raised twenty years ago after a flawed study that administered huge quantities of the sweetener to laboratory rats produced bladder tumors in rats. New and better scientific research has decisively shown that the earlier rat studies are not at all applicable to humans." The U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences came to the same conclusion in 2000, recommending that saccharin be removed from the list of known or suspected human carcinogens.[17] The mechanism appears to be due the way that rats metabolize sodium, and bladder cancer which cannot be replicated in other mammals has also been observed with rat consumption of other sodium salts such as sodium citrate and bicarbonate. Saccharin has, however, also been linked to thyroid cancer in mice. [18] In 1991, after fourteen years, the FDA formally withdrew its 1977 proposal to ban the use of saccharin, and in 2000, the U.S. Congress repealed the law requiring saccharin products to carry health warning labels."

    If you had any knowledge of how the cancer tests are done, you'd not ask such a silly question. In order to match the doses given to test animals, you'd have to drink GALLONS of pure sweetener every day for 50 years to get a 1% increase in the probability of getting a cancer.

  • 3 years ago

    until now you place the manufacturers of splenda and candy and coffee out of commercial company for no reliable reason, do a dash learn. If we outlawed each thing that would reason maximum cancers, we would all be residing like cavemen. (Oh wait, BBQ smoke reasons maximum cancers. uncooked food only.)

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