Researchers at the Ramazzini Institute for cancer research in Italy say their study shows that aspartame causes lymphomas and leukemia in female laboratory animals "at doses very close to the acceptable daily intake for humans". The authors of the study also say that while rats fed aspartame ate less food, there was no difference in body weight between treated and untreated animals. The study was performed in 1,800 rats during their full lifespan by giving six different dose levels and a control group. The results of the study are to be published in the European Journal of Oncology.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, which is used by most people to prepare food, sweeten chewing gums, soft drinks, yoghurts and desserts and it is also used in low-calorie foods, medicines as it helped people to reduce their calorie intake.
The Japanese multinational company "Ajinomoto" is one of the largest manufacturers of aspartame as remarked strongly to the Ramazzini Institute for cancer research study reports by commenting that the study were "not consistent with the extensive body of scientific research which already exists on aspartame". The Ajinomoto Company explained that the four earlier studies using aspartame as found no relationship between the use of aspartame and incidence of cancer. It was also proved that aspartame does not contain any carcinogenic property or compound.
Aspartame apart from giving taste to the food it breaks down the building blocks protein of the body and helps to reduce obesity. The company also questioned the methods and records used by the Ramazzini institute in this study.
Ramazzini institute for cancer research has submitted the results of the study to the European Food Safety Authority and the full data would be published in 6 weeks time. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has commented that Aspartame has been used in foods for a long time in many countries and the effects of aspartame is being discussed in scientific community for a long time, regarding its carcinogenic property and the breakdown products from aspartame. Results from all these studies have not proved any harmful effects of aspartame. EFSA has asked his scientific panel members to review the results submitted by Ramazzini Institute. EFSA has said that until the final comments of the review, it is not necessary for the consumers to change their diet in respect to aspartame.