Health risk controversy
Aspartame has recently been the centre of some recent public controversy with regards with regards to its safety and its links to various health conditions. In 1995 it was reported that complains about aspartame accounted for about 75% of all reports regarding adverse reactions to substances in food between the years 1981 and 1995.
The most frequent concerns about the sweetener are the various symptoms and conditions that are supposedly caused by the sweetener. Example include arthritis, asthma, hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia, chest pains and depression. In total 92 different health effects were reported by doctors and their patients.
Although these conditions were not on the reported cases, there has been recent interest into links between aspartame and brain cancer, leukaemia and other genotoxic effects. It is well worth noting that aspartame was not approved for dry foods until 1981. The FDA (Food and Drink Association) refused to approve its use for 8 years due to the fact that aspartame lead to seizures, brain tumours and central nervous damage in test animals.
In 2005 an Italian study linked aspartame again to higher rates of lymphoma and leukaemia in rats.
For the foreseeable future it seems that opinions will continue to be divided about aspartame. There are many scientists and people who strongly believe that aspartame is having an adverse effect on our health while the official view of FDA and most health organizations worldwide is that it is perfectly safe.