The letter "Diet drinks have genetically altered substance" (Sept. 30) failed to include several important facts about the low-calorie sweetener aspartame.
The fact is, despite Internet myths, low-calorie sweeteners have been approved by regulatory agencies around the world, including the World Health Organization, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority, as safe for use in foods and beverages.
Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly tested ingredients of all time with more than 200 scientific studies confirming its safety. Despite the author's letter stating otherwise, a study by the National Cancer Institute involving over 500,000 people, including those who drank the equivalent of three or more diet soft drinks every day for almost a decade found that there was no increased risk of any type of cancer even among those who consumed the most aspartame. Since its introduction, no scientific evidence has been found linking it to any disease in humans.
What we know for certain is that decades of scientific research have shown that low- and no-calorie sweeteners, including aspartame, are safe, can help reduce calories consumed and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. This position is supported by The American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The bottom line is that consumers should have complete confidence in low-calorie sweeteners based on the findings of the vast body of available studies, conducted by some of the world's leading toxicologists.