According to a new brand statement from Splenda, the artificial sweetener is safe to consume. Hooray! Wait, what?
After researchers at the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy published a study suggesting that sucralose, an ingredient in Splenda, was contributing to the development of leukemia and other blood-related cancers in mice, the sugar replacement brand took a hit. The Center for Science in the Public Interest even downgraded its Splenda rating from “caution” to “avoid,” which further damaged the brand’s reputation.
But early this week, Heartland Food Products Group, the company that makes Splenda, announced that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also has some skepticism with the Ramazzini Institute’s research methods.
In fact, the EFSA published a statement on the validity of the conclusions drawn by the Ramazzini Institute, which called into question the “unconventional design leading to inconclusive, unreliable results,” and how the researchers “drew conclusions that were not supported by data.”
More specifically, the EFSA explained that the study’s researchers had no proof that sucralose could create tumours since the mice that were studied were given sugar until they died (and most mice naturally get tumours as they age).
“EFSA’s decision puts good science first, and it is consistent with the movement to bring greater scrutiny to poorly designed studies that draw false conclusions and unjustifiably alarm consumers,” reads the statement from Splenda. “This is a topic we are particularly passionate about.”
But while we can probably trust the EFSA’s skepticism, it doesn’t exactly mean Splenda’s safe to consume.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a new statement saying that “consumers, especially children and pregnant women, [should] continue to avoid sucralose and aspartame, as well as the artificial sweeteners acesulfame-potassium and saccharin.”
And now, thanks to the debate around Splenda, we aren’t quite sure what to put in our coffee. It may be time to start taking it black.