Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do you want some Sweet and Low with that?

Is Sweet and Low safe to consume?  We see it in restaurants and in stores, so why in 1977 was the FDA trying to ban saccharin?  Read the information below.

Saccharin is a product that demonstrates the sometimes backwards momentum gained in the food additive industry. Saccharin is used in Sweet and Low and in 1977, the FDA recommended that it be banned from use; the government responded by requiring a warning label to put onto products containing saccharin. The diet industry in 1997 petitioned the World Health Organization, and the U.S. and Canadian governments to remove saccharin from their list of cancer causing chemicals. The governments buckled by removing the requirement that products containing saccharin have a warning label. This will likely increase usage. This product has been shown to cause bladder and other cancer in rats and mice.

The safety concerns of consuming products with saccharin remain even with the removal of the warning. According to a report written in 1997 by the Center for the Science in Public Interest (CSPI) in response to the National Toxicology Program (NTP) removing saccharin from the list of potential carcinogens, "It would be highly imprudent for the NTP to delist saccharin. Doing so would give the public a false sense of security, remove any incentive for further testing, and result in greater exposure to this probable carcinogen in tens of millions of people, including children (indeed, fetuses). If saccharin is even a weak carcinogen, this unnecessary additive would pose an intolerable risk to the public. Thus, we urge the NTP on the basis of currently available data to conclude that saccharin is 'reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen' because there is 'sufficient' evidence of carcinogenicity in animals (multiple sites in rats and mice) and 'limited' or 'sufficient' evidence of carcinogenicity in humans (bladder cancer) and not to delist saccharin, at least until a great deal of further research is conducted."
Another possible danger of saccharin is the possibility of allergic reactions. The reaction would be in response to it belonging to a class of compounds known as sulfonamides, which can cause allergic reactions in individuals who cannot tolerate sulfa drugs. Reactions can include headaches, breathing difficulties, skin eruptions, and diarrhea. It's also believed that the saccharin found in some infant formulas and can cause irritability and muscle dysfunction. For these reasons, many people still believe that the use of saccharin should be limited in infants, children, and pregnant women. Without research to support these claims, the FDA has not imposed any limitations.

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