Europe Says Diet Coke Is Safe

Aspartame is "safe for human consumption," the European Food Safety Authority said yesterday.
More
QuinnDombrowski/flickr

“This opinion represents one of the most comprehensive risk assessments of aspartame ever undertaken,” said Dr. Alicja Mortensen of the European Food Safety Authority, an independent agency funded by the E.U., yesterday. That opinion: "Aspartame is not a safety concern."

Safe doesn't mean perfect; it just means safe. They concluded that we do not have grounds to believe that the artificial sweetener causes cancer or affects behavior or cognitive function, in children or adults—in quantities up to 40 milligrams per kilogram, which, for the average person, is the equivalent of around 17 cans of Diet Coke per day.

Conspiracy theories about aspartame still have massive audiences, credible detractors predictably trace links to food and chemical industries in every corner of the earth, and the acids in soda still erode your teeth; but the opinions of professional organizations have steadily accumulated in attestation to aspartame's safety since its 1974 FDA approval.

I think it is healthy to be innately skeptical of anything that's 200 times sweeter than sugar, including people who claim to be. At some point in this discussion, though, it's probably best to choose a side and live on it with resolute confidence. Drinking with guilt and regret is no way to go about things.

Jump to comments
Presented by

James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The Atlantic.

 
 
More

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In