An artificial sweetener used in some of the most popular soft drinks including Diet Coke will be the subject of an EU safety review after a number of recent studies linked it to premature birth and cancer.
A number of European health agencies, including Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have maintained that the sweetener, Aspartame, is not harmful to the body. Aspartame is used in a number of popular drinks, food and in medicines.
Health campaigners believe that sweeteners contain methanol which lead to the production of nerve toxins in the body, including formic acid and formaldehyde which are used to preserve dead bodies. A number of recent studies have come up, linking the sweetener to premature birth and cancer even though Britain's Committee on Toxicity (CoT) recently came out saying that the consumption of methanol through the sweeteners are not harmful to the body.
The European Commission has now accepted the request for an expedited safety review of the sweetener though it maintains that aspartame is harmless.
"In the past year, there have been a couple of studies looking at aspartame and concerns by consumer groups and others. The re-evaluation is scheduled for 2020 but the Commission asked us to do this re-evaluation now in the light of recent events", EFSA spokesperson, Lucia De Luca said.