Experts: WHO's cancer research agency to list aspartame sweetener a possible carcinogen

Published: 19 July 2023

Aspartame, used in products such as diet sodas and chewing gum, will soon be listed as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" for the first time by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization's (WHO) cancer research arm. (Reuters)

It is important to specify that the classifications by the IARC only tells us about the hazardous nature of the chemicals rather than possible associated risks being low or high. Considering the widespread presence of aspartame in human diet, industry and food safety agencies should work to quickly provide further assessments and recommendations to consumers, in a clear and transparent manner.”

Stéphane Bayen, Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry

Stéphane Bayen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. His research interests include analytical chemistry applied to the detection of trace contaminants in food and the environment, the fate of contaminants and ecological and human health risk assessments.

Contact Stéphane Bayen for further comment in English or French at stephane.bayen [at] Read comments from other McGill experts in the University newsroom.

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