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WHO reports Diet Coke and Some Chewing Gum contain Aspartame Sweetener, which is “a Carcinogen”

Diet Coke and some chewing gums are known to contain an artificial sweetener, aspartame. This chemical will be identified as possibly being a carcinogen by the WHO (World Health Organization)’s cancer research agency next month, according to Fox Business. In July, the sugar substitute will be listed as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

This substance is used as a substitute for sugar but it is 200 times more sweetened than table sugar. Surprisingly, it is found in Ricola cough drops and sugar-free extra chewing gum products, and of course, the Coca-Cola diet sodas. It is sold under different brand names sweeteners, like Equal, Nutrasweet, and Sugar Twin.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aspartame in 1974 for use as a tabletop sweetener and in various products. Since then aspartame is used broadly as a general-purpose sweetener since 1996.

The FDA says it also continues to monitor the scientific literature for any new information on aspartame. The JECFA (Joint WHO and Food and Agriculture Organization’s Expert Committee on Food Additives) is also reviewing the use of aspartame this year. The JECFA is set to announce its findings on July 14, the same day that IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) will make a decision to the public.

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