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Study Links Aspartame to Cancer (in mice)
CBSNews.com ^ | July 28,2005 | Daniel J. DeNoon

Posted on 07/28/2005 9:07:32 PM PDT by gusopol3

Edited on 07/28/2005 9:20:18 PM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

A study of rats links low doses of aspartame -- the sweetener in NutraSweet, Equal, and thousands of consumer products -- to leukemia and lymphoma.

But food industry officials point out that many other studies have found no link between aspartame and cancer. The rats in the study were fed various doses of aspartame throughout their lives. In female but not male rats, lymphoma and leukemia were significantly associated with daily aspartame doses as low as 20 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight. And there was a trend toward these cancers at doses as low as 4 mg/kg of body weight.

To reach a dose of 20 mg/kg, a 140-pound woman would need to drink three cans of diet soda a day. A 180-pound man would need to drink four cans of diet soda a day.

And diet soda isn't the only source of aspartame. The sweetener is in thousands of products, ranging from yogurt to over-the-counter medicines.

The average person consumes about 2 or 3 mg/kg aspartame each day. However, that figure goes way up for children and young women.

The study comes from an independent research team led by Morando Soffritti, MD, scientific director of the European Ramazzini Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences in Bologna, Italy.

"What I am recommending is for healthy children and women -- if they do not have diabetes -- to avoid consumer use of aspartame," Soffritti tells WebMD. "We cannot continue to use aspartame in 6,000 types of products, soft drinks, yogurt, and whatever."

Consumer Group Reacts

A consumer watchdog group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has called for FDA action. At a minimum, the FDA should start its own studies and warn consumers of the potential danger, says CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson, PhD.

"The U.S. government really should analyze this study very carefully. If it is accepted as top quality, it could lead to a ban on aspartame," Jacobson tells WebMD. "I think a lot of companies are going to see the writing on the wall from this study and switch to newer artificial sweeteners. Meanwhile, I think consumers should switch to Splenda, the sweetener known as sucralose."

But Jacobson urges consumers not to panic.

"The risk to an individual is quite small," he says. "So people shouldn't fear that if they have one diet soda a day they are going to develop cancer. And I must say, the one qualm I have about the study is they found an increased risk of cancer at such a low level of exposure. If aspartame were that potent a carcinogen, I wonder if we wouldn't be seeing a real epidemic of cancer."

Soffritti has presented his findings to the European Food Safety Authority. In its 2002 review of aspartame safety, the EFSA found no cause for alarm. It promises that the new data will get a "high priority" evaluation.

"EFSA does not consider it appropriate to suggest any change in consumers' diets relative to aspartame on the basis of the information it currently has," the EFSA announced on July 14.

Low-Calorie Industry: No Cause for Alarm

The new findings fly in the face of all previous studies of aspartame safety, says the Calorie Control Council, an international association representing the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry.

The Soffritti study findings "are not consistent with the extensive scientific research and regulatory reviews done on aspartame," the CCC says in a statement. "Aspartame has been used by hundreds of millions of consumers around the world for over 20 years. With billions of man-years of safe use, there is no indication of an association between aspartame and cancer in humans."

The CCC points to four long-term studies on aspartame that failed to find any relationship between aspartame and any form of cancer.

It's true that reports linking brain and breast cancer to aspartame had little merit, says blood-cancer specialist Martin R. Weihrauch, MD, of the University of Cologne, Germany. Last year, Weihrauch reported on his analysis of all published studies on artificial sweeteners in the Annals of Oncology.

"The entire stuff about brain tumors and breast cancer was really nonsense, Weihrauch tells WebMD.

So what does he think of the new study linking aspartame to leukemia and lymphoma?

"I think it is shocking news," he says. "However, the data have to be carefully reviewed and the study redone. Not because of their methods, probably they are fine. But for a study like this, which brings out data that would make a big change in what consumers do every day, it certainly has to be confirmed. It is worrisome."

What Happened to the Rats

Soffritti's study findings may be a first report, but the study was quite thorough. It looked at 1,800 rats fed various doses of aspartame -- or no aspartame at all -- from age 8 weeks until death. When the animals died, the researchers did a thorough autopsy.

They found that:

A daily dose of 20 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of body weight was linked to lymphomas and leukemias in female -- but not male -- rats.

Rats that got daily doses of as little as 4 mg/kg aspartame got lymphomas and leukemias 62% more often than those that got no aspartame, but this finding could have been due to chance.

A few brain tumors were seen in rats fed aspartame, while those who did not get the sweetener did not get brain tumors. But this finding, too, could have been due to chance.

The findings are scheduled to appear in the European Journal of Oncology.

Sources: Soffritti, M. European Journal of Oncology, 2005; vol 10. Weihrauch, M.R. and Diehl, V. Annals of Oncology, 2004; vol 15: pp 1460-1465. News release, Center for Science in the Public Interest. News release, European Food Safety Authority. News release, European Ramazzini Foundation for Oncology and Environmental Sciences. News release, Calorie Control Council. FDA. The National Toxicology Program. NutraSweet web site. Morando Soffritti, MD, scientific director, European Ramazzini Foundation for Oncology and Environmental Sciences, Bologna, Italy. Michael F. Jacobson, PhD, executive director, Center for Science in the Public Interest. Martin R. Weihrauch, MD, research fellow, University of Cologne, Germany.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aspartame; leukemia; lymphoma; mice

1 posted on 07/28/2005 9:07:32 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/07/28/health/webmd/main712605.shtml


2 posted on 07/28/2005 9:08:53 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

so if i drink around 20 diet cokes a day am i gonna die?


3 posted on 07/28/2005 9:14:49 PM PDT by Will_Zurmacht
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To: gusopol3
I think the foul wind coming from the Democrat side of the Isle causes Cancer and should be eliminated :-)
4 posted on 07/28/2005 9:14:54 PM PDT by MJY1288 (Whenever a Liberal is Speaking on the Senate Floor, Al-Jazeera Breaks in and Covers it LIVE)
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To: gusopol3

Whenever I drink something with Aspartame in it, it causes a sweet, metallic taste in my mouth that can last for hours. No more for me, thank you.


5 posted on 07/28/2005 9:15:19 PM PDT by clearlight
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To: gusopol3

This is quite interesting, but I do think someone is going to have to do another study. I wouldn't panic because of this, but I'll probably cut back on the diet stuff I drink. I am not an alarmist at all, but if I can do without all that crap anyways, why bother?


6 posted on 07/28/2005 9:17:22 PM PDT by Paradox (I just neutered my cat, now he's a Liberal.)
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To: gusopol3
Meanwhile, I think consumers should switch to Splenda, the sweetener known as sucralose."

Until he finds something wrong with that as well. I'm sick of these ninnies telling me what I'm allowed to comsume. Last time I checked, I didn't have whiskers and a long pointy tail.

I can tell you this much though...eveyone who drinks Aspartame is going to die.

7 posted on 07/28/2005 9:22:01 PM PDT by hopperbach (hopperbach.blogspot.com - news and views from a baroque hare)
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To: Will_Zurmacht

Right, 20 diet cokes would be considered excessive. I don't think 1 or 2 would do anything, as long as it is less than 5


8 posted on 07/28/2005 9:22:12 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: Paradox

Why not just hedge and buy stock in Splenda? (maybe why both Coke and Pepsi have brought out Splenda-sweetened products recently?) (they taste terrible, flat)


9 posted on 07/28/2005 9:22:14 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

More pseudo science baloney. Always check with Snopes first: http://www.snopes.com/toxins/aspartame.asp


10 posted on 07/28/2005 9:22:21 PM PDT by garyhope (The Islamofascists want Western civilization dead. Simple as that.)
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To: Paradox

I do drink a fair amount of Diet Mountain Dew . . . hmmmm


11 posted on 07/28/2005 9:24:04 PM PDT by Augie76 (My vote sent Daschle back to Aberdeen)
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To: hopperbach
Rush absolutely despises this Michael Jacobson from CSPI. He calls him the food police, etc.
12 posted on 07/28/2005 9:26:14 PM PDT by Augie76 (My vote sent Daschle back to Aberdeen)
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To: garyhope

are you saying this is a forged but accurate study?


13 posted on 07/28/2005 9:27:49 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3
Actually, the truth about Aspartame, is that it has been found in connection with a certain kind of brain tumor and not by "Science and the Public Interest" liberal lobby but the industry has kept this information from being made public for years but my doctor told me "under no certain circumstances, eat or drink anything at all containing any form of it."
14 posted on 07/28/2005 9:28:20 PM PDT by zerosix
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To: garyhope; gusopol3
garyhope wrote: More pseudo science baloney. Always check with Snopes first: Snopes

That Snopes report is from two years ago - September 2003.

15 posted on 07/28/2005 9:28:22 PM PDT by bd476
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To: Will_Zurmacht

"so if i drink around 20 diet cokes a day am i gonna die?"

Yes. Yes you will. Of that much I am certain.


16 posted on 07/28/2005 9:29:59 PM PDT by xroadie
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To: gusopol3
Coke and Pepsi have brought out Splenda-sweetened products recently?) (they taste terrible, flat)

Nasty, nasty stuff.

17 posted on 07/28/2005 9:32:16 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: garyhope

RIght, I remember this being one of the first internet e-mail hoaxes, passed by "health=conscious friends and acquaintances. Never did figure who started it, maybe someone with an interest in high sugar prices? (like Congress?)


18 posted on 07/28/2005 9:32:22 PM PDT by xroadie
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To: zerosix

It's true that reports linking brain and breast cancer to aspartame had little merit, says blood-cancer specialist Martin R. Weihrauch, MD, of the University of Cologne, Germany. Last year, Weihrauch reported on his analysis of all published studies on artificial sweeteners in the Annals of Oncology.

"The entire stuff about brain tumors and breast cancer was really nonsense, Weihrauch tells WebMD.


19 posted on 07/28/2005 9:32:37 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Will_Zurmacht

Yes!


20 posted on 07/28/2005 9:35:43 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: gusopol3

Well, I prefer to follow my doctor's direction as she heads up the entire department at the University of Kansas Medical School, rather than an unknown (to me at least) from Cologne but thank you very much for the information.


21 posted on 07/28/2005 9:41:11 PM PDT by zerosix
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To: xroadie

"Yes."

dangit!

I'll quit drinking pop.
I don't want to die someday.


22 posted on 07/28/2005 9:41:38 PM PDT by Will_Zurmacht
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To: gusopol3
I get headaches if I eat, drink or chew anything with this junk in it. Besides it just tastes nasty.

Glad a lot of companies are either switching to Splenda or adding another line like Coke and Pepsi have.

The Diet Coke with Splenda is pretty good, not as sweet as reg. Coke but still a lot better than Diet Coke.

Now they need to expand the line to include all the other Coke products, especially Cherry, Vanilla and Lime.

Diet Rite uses Splenda - the best flavor is the Tangerine.

23 posted on 07/28/2005 9:42:24 PM PDT by CARDINALRULES (Tough times never last -Tough people do. DK57)
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To: gusopol3
To reach a dose of 20 mg/kg, a 140-pound woman would need to drink three cans of diet soda a day. A 180-pound man would need to drink four cans of diet soda a day.

uhhh... RUT-ROH SHAGGY!

24 posted on 07/28/2005 10:16:47 PM PDT by Echo Talon (http://echotalon.blogspot.com)
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To: gusopol3
Everything causes cancer in rodents.
25 posted on 07/28/2005 10:20:50 PM PDT by Redcloak (We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singin' "whiskey for my men and beer for my horses!")
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To: gusopol3

Rummy's old company. He was CEO when this product came out.

SEARLE products. MMMN. I've seen this twice this month. Don't know what to make of it.


26 posted on 07/28/2005 10:23:38 PM PDT by Finalapproach29er (America is gradually becoming the Godless,out-of-control golden-calf scene,in "The Ten Commandments")
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To: Augie76

I do drink a fair amount of Diet Mountain Dew . . . hmmmm
----
Me too. 3-4/day

Is that okay for me?


27 posted on 07/28/2005 10:25:51 PM PDT by Finalapproach29er (America is gradually becoming the Godless,out-of-control golden-calf scene,in "The Ten Commandments")
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To: Finalapproach29er
Diet Mountain Dew

Must be an upper-Midwest thing.

28 posted on 07/28/2005 10:31:55 PM PDT by Augie76 (My vote sent Daschle back to Aberdeen)
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To: gusopol3

If it tastes like poison, it is poison.


29 posted on 07/28/2005 10:32:47 PM PDT by John Lenin (Hillary Clinton: Voted 6th most evil person of the last millennium)
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To: Augie76
Rush absolutely despises this Michael Jacobson from CSPI. He calls him the food police, etc.

Yes, I've heard Rush talk about him and he gets pretty fired up. It's just annoying when people get in your business like that. How appropriate that the study he references comes from a place called Balogna. At a certain point you have to decide that certain things are an acceptable risk and ENJOY YOUR LIFE!

30 posted on 07/28/2005 11:02:37 PM PDT by hopperbach (hopperbach.blogspot.com - news and views from a baroque hare)
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To: gusopol3

No I'm not,..."all I am saying is give peace a chance",...no, just kidding. I don't know or care if it's flawed. I've got more important things than diet soda to worry about (I put de lime in de Coka)......LIKE THE ISLAMOFASCISTS NUKING US!!!

AND ALL THE LEFT WING SCUM TRAITORS IN OUR MIDST.

Then I'll worry about Equal and diet Sprite. Sorry.


31 posted on 07/28/2005 11:07:50 PM PDT by garyhope (The Islamofascists want Western civilization dead. Simple as that.)
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To: hopperbach

My dad always likes to say "life is sweetened by risk" -- in this case, literally!


32 posted on 07/28/2005 11:09:04 PM PDT by Augie76 (My vote sent Daschle back to Aberdeen)
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To: bd476

Oh sorry, then it's just newer BS.


33 posted on 07/28/2005 11:09:18 PM PDT by garyhope (The Islamofascists want Western civilization dead. Simple as that.)
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To: gusopol3
the Center for Science in the Public Interest

Three lefties with a fax machine.

34 posted on 07/28/2005 11:10:17 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: gusopol3

I was young but the first product I remember them actually pulling was Gatorade because of cyclomates(sp?).

Or was I hallucinating that year?


35 posted on 07/28/2005 11:12:31 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (When a Jihadist dies, an angel gets its wings)
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To: xroadie

"maybe someone with an interest in high sugar prices"

or the insane, nutball, health food nannies fascists.


36 posted on 07/28/2005 11:12:48 PM PDT by garyhope (The Islamofascists want Western civilization dead. Simple as that.)
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To: Graybeard58

Is Splenda safe???


37 posted on 07/28/2005 11:13:46 PM PDT by pollywog (Psalm 121;1 I Lift my eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help.)
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To: gusopol3
A daily dose of 20 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram of body weight was linked to lymphomas and leukemias in female -- but not male -- rats.

So if I'm reading this correctly--since no previous study showed any link to cancer at all--not one study has ever linked aspartame to cancer in males.

38 posted on 07/28/2005 11:15:16 PM PDT by denydenydeny ("Liberty is not a suicide pact."--Fouad Ajami)
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To: pollywog
Is Splenda safe???

Splenda is sugar, more or less. It can't cause cancer unless it's discovered that sugar does.

39 posted on 07/28/2005 11:19:10 PM PDT by denydenydeny ("Liberty is not a suicide pact."--Fouad Ajami)
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To: facedown
the Center for Science in the Public Interest

I've read their Nutrition Action Newsletter. It reads like DNC talking points. Just replace "George W. Bush" with "T-bone steak" and "Hillary Rodham Clinton" with "leafy, green vegetable." They even have a section called "Food Porn" where they lambast their high-calorie victim-of-the-week.

40 posted on 07/28/2005 11:24:28 PM PDT by Augie76 (My vote sent Daschle back to Aberdeen)
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To: pollywog
Is Splenda safe???

I don't know that it's unsafe but it leaves a terrible aftertaste.

41 posted on 07/29/2005 4:11:23 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: gusopol3

I hate nutrasweet and anything with aspartme. Feels like I'm drinking clorox. I do like splenda but most of the time I use raw honey or sugar.


42 posted on 07/29/2005 4:14:51 AM PDT by cyborg
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To: gusopol3

A diagnosis of good health only means you are dying with excruciating slowness.


43 posted on 07/29/2005 9:30:50 AM PDT by wildbill
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