New Cancer Worries For Diet Soda Drinkers

A new study on the effects of low daily doses of the artificial sweetener aspartame shows a statistically significant increase in leukemia, lymphoma and breast cancer in rats. Consumer advocates are calling for the FDA to take another look at the safety of aspartame in light of the study, but the FDA seems uninterested.

“Because aspartame is so widely consumed, it is urgent that the FDA evaluate whether aspartame still poses a ‘reasonable certainty of no harm,’ the standard used for gauging the safety of food additives,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “But consumers, particularly parents, shouldn’t wait for the FDA to act. People shouldn’t panic, but they should stop buying beverages and foods containing aspartame.”

The study, which can be read here, followed a group of 4,000 rats who were given low daily doses of aspartame (comparable to what a dedicated human diet soda drinker might consume, were he/she a rat) beginning during “prenatal” life. The rats were dissected after natural death and the effects of the aspartame calculated. From the study:

The results of this carcinogenicity bioassay not only confirm, but also reinforce the first experimental demonstration of APM’s multipotential carcinogenicity at a dose level close to the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for humans. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that when lifespan exposure to [aspartame] begins during fetal life, its carcinogenic effects are increased

The authors of the study claim that current research on the effects of aspartame are based on studies that did not use a large enough sample of animals and did not allow the animals to live out their natural lifespan.The authors also took issue with a study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Retired Persons, in which a number of Americans responded to self-administered questionnaires about what they ate and the results compared to their rate of brain cancer.

The FDA responded to the CSPI in an email to Reuters, claiming not to have reviewed the study:

“However, the conclusions from this second European Ramazzini Foundation are not consistent with those from the large number of studies on aspartame that have been evaluated by FDA, including five previously conducted negative chronic carcinogenicity studies,” Herndon said in an e-mail.

“Therefore, at this time, FDA finds no reason to alter its previous conclusion that aspartame is safe as a general purpose sweetener in food.”

The CSPI has downgraded aspartame to “everyone should avoid,” and recommends choosing drinks that contain Splenda instead. CSPI regards Splenda as safe. If you drink a lot of aspartame, or you have kids who do, you might want to read the study and decide for yourself.

FDA Should Reconsider Aspartame Cancer Risk, Say Experts [CSPI]
FDA says unmoved by aspartame/cancer report [Reuters]
Lifespan Exposure to Low Doses of Aspartame Beginning During Prenatal Life Increases Cancer Effects in Rats [Environmental Health Perspectives]


Edit Your Comment

  1. bluegus32 says:

    Oh good God!

    So do we switch to regular soda now? Is there anything that’s still safe to drink? We’re not importing any water from China are we?

    The FDA really needs to answer this question of the relative safety of diet drinks. You’d think that might be a little important.

    Wait, you guys don’t think that maybe the FDA has been paid off, do you?

  2. alk509 says:

    Holly crap! I have a four-can-a-day Coke Zero habit! WTF am I gonna do now?!

  3. Hawk07 says:

    I was watching this Al Gore and Michael Moore co-produced documentary, and it said there has been a 967% increase in unsafe food consumption in the US since Bush came to power.

    Basically, Bush is protecting his cronies in the food industry and allowing them to do whatever they want.

    Since it’s a documentary, it must be true.

  4. bluegus32 says:

    Holy Sh!t, Batman! George Bush is making us eat more unhealthy food? How did he do that?

    I knew that everything was his fault. God bless you Michael Moore.

  5. l951b951 says:

    I find it hard to believe that Mr. Bush would ever ignore the truth in favor of what suits his interests.

    *Edit: We’re sorry to report that this user has suffered a massive, Irony-induced aneurysm. Condolences will be sent to the next of kin.

  6. ironchef says:

    ever notice brands like Colgate and Crest using Saccharin (that infamous cancer causing sweetener) in your toothpaste?

    I noticed it when the Diethylene Glycol scare came up. Looks like many of us have been exposed to saccharin after all…ON A DAILY BASIS.

    Thanks Colgate!

  7. QuirkyRachel says:

    Isn’t this report old news? Or am I thinking of something else. Either way, hallelujah!

  8. mconfoy says:

    My doctor said if I eat too much sugar, it would be bad for my health for certain. Do you think that there is any studies to back that up?

  9. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    As I’m a cynic [who does drink a lot of diet pop] I have to wonder if the saccharine, ACE K & cyclamate manufacturer’s are behind this study.
    The last time studies came out attacking aspartame, it turned out that Sherwin-Williams was behind them.
    S-W was at the time the largest maker of saccharine, as originally it was a byproduct of paint manufacturing.
    That’s why Se. Howard Metzenbaum was the biggest critic of aspartame in Congress. He was owned by Sherwin-Williams.

  10. JimmyKumbaya says:

    CSPI has done the Chicken Little dance waaaaay too often to foster any kind of confidence in their conclusions; someone should irretrievably revoke their right to use “science” in their title and then force that weeny spokesman to eat a steak like a real frickin’ red-blooded American male!

    But you gotta love this: “People shouldn’t panic, but they should stop buying beverages and foods containing aspartame.” Uhhh, yeah, that’s not panicking?

    They’ll be happy only when they’ve enlisted Big Brother in banning anything more tasty than Chico-San rice cakes. Mmmmm, styrofoam.

  11. tcp100 says:

    @ironchef: Actually, recent, more modern studies found that the saccharin cancer link was far overblown, and it no longer has to carry the warnings it used to.

    Funny about this though, if things were flipped, you’d get the “refined sugar” nuts coming out telling us how bad that is. You can’t win.

    Listen folks, if you drink 4 liters of any one product in a day – day in and day out – you’ll probably have a problem. Try some moderation. I am always shocked at how much diet soda some people drink. If you’re drinking two two-liters or 8-10 cans a day like some folks, you’re probably overdoing it. Switch it up a bit.

  12. astrochimp says:

    The study, which can be read here, followed a group of 4,000 rats… beginning during “prenatal” life.

    So, the conclusiveness of this study only directly applies to people born of a mother who had drank aspartame whilst they were in the womb?

    Seems a little limited on the ‘applicability to people in general’ front.

  13. eli_b says:

    Know what never causes problems in rats? Tap water. Preferably through a Brita Filter.

  14. XopherMV says:

    These sweeteners are some of the most heavily tested substances in the world. If the FDA ignored the FUD caused by this one study, then it’s probably with good reason.

    Let the study be duplicated and verified, then we can address this issue. At this point in time, it’s not worth it to get all worked up.

  15. If you have any hope that the FDA will protect you, you need to watch the PBS Frontline episode about the FDA…

  16. Topcat says:

    So, they’re recommending that you avoid a product which has been consumed by hundreds of millions of people every day for decades with very little proven ill effect, and instead use one that has only been approved for use for 8 years and has no associated long-term study of risks? Major retailers also make a point of not carrying sucralose (Splenda) for that reason- it has the potential to be dangerous, aside from being completely artificial.

    In my opinion, don’t eat anything your body can’t metabolize. Avoid this Splenda crap and just have real sugar in moderation.

  17. mrestko says:

    Your body can’t metabolize insoluble fiber, but I dare say that you should probably be eating a good quantity of that!

  18. leejames says:

    Hmm, why must these studies make life so difficult?

    Drink diet soda and get cancer of the everything OR drink regular soda and get fat and obliterate your health that way.

    Whelp, guess it’s back to good ol’ whiskey for me.

  19. Topcat says:

    @mrestko: I should have specified: substances you can’t metabolize because they are artificially produced specifically for that purpose.

    Olean/Olestra anyone?

  20. The_Shadow says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: You are very misinformed sir. Saccharin was discovered in 1879 at John Hopkins University by Ira Remsen and Constantine Fahlberg. For further disabuse from incorrect information about saccharin, the Wiki article would be a good start []

    @astrochimp: I would think that in the womb exposure would be of significant concern for many people born after 1981 [to 1983], and certainly many more/most everyone born after 1983 in the USA.

  21. Thrust says:

    Hmmm.. Aspartame-flavored drinks taste like ass, and has an aftertaste of unwiped ass. What could possibly be the first clue it may not be good to consume? After all, it was the same way people figured McDonalds was a bad idea.

    My condolances to diabedics, for no man, woman, or child (except Newfies) should ever have to give up real sugar.

  22. Crazytree says:

    I’m switching from Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi to beer immediately!

  23. synergy says:

    As someone who works in a lab and has worked with rats: holy crap that’s a lot of rats!!!!! I’m impressed that a single study was done with so many rats. If it’s “statistically significant” with such a large “n” (subjects/rats), then there’s a pretty good chance it’s real. Sure, it should be replicated, but who the hell is going to do another study with that many rats? And yes it’s still significant even if it was administered to rats prenatally. I’m pretty sure there’s a significant number of pregnant women probably drinking sodas with aspartame, especially if they’re attempting to avoid gestational diabetes but can’t give up their soda.

  24. Mom2Talavera says:

    My sil has diabetes & hypertension. I love how she chugs the diet soda and diet snackwells cookies thinking shes being “healthy”!

    Here is an idea eat foods as close to their original state as possible.

  25. inboulder says:


    Hey genius, don’t swallow toothpaste. If you think saccharin is bad for you, look up fluoride.

    “ever notice brands like Colgate and Crest using Saccharin (that infamous cancer causing sweetener) in your toothpaste?

    I noticed it when the Diethylene Glycol scare came up. Looks like many of us have been exposed to saccharin after all…ON A DAILY BASIS.

    Thanks Colgate!”

  26. azntg says:

    @thrust: Well said. Drinks or food with aspertame have that bitter and metallic aftertaste. Definitely feels and tastes unnatural to say the least. I don’t know how people can stand it! I’d rather eat and drink foods without it in moderation and face the consequences.

    Actually, this reminds me of a funny (perhaps pathetic to some) personal story of mine. While I was visiting Harvard, my ex-girlfriend took me to a private party with students in an advanced math class (so I was the only “outsider” there). To my surprise and horror, there was NO regular soda! Only Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet… you get the idea. And guess what almost everybody were drinking there? The funny (and sad thing) was, I ended up drinking alcohol for the first time and some water (nothing beats NYC tap water!), just to avoid drinking those aspartame laced soda. Thankfully, that isn’t the case at my college.

  27. suburbancowboy says:

    Aspartame was never supposed to be legalized for use in liquids. It becomes highly unstable and seperates into carcinogenic compounds. Besides cancer, you can also get decreased short term memory, migraines and aboput 100 other known side effects. Would you rather have some sugar, or a highly toxic chemical?

    Monsanto has so much money, and influence in government, that they can basically do anything.
    Agent Orange, DDT, Roundup Weed Killer, Roundup ready soybeans, bio-engineered foods and Nutra-Sweet, all courtesy of the same company. Monsanto.

  28. dotorg greg says:

    I’m pretty sure I read on the internet somewhere that Donald Rumsfeld was the CEO of Searle when they pushed aspartame approval through without the required testing.

    But could a sweet [sic] guy like him ever do something so ethically challenged? I remain skeptical. [And addicted to Diet Coke]

  29. hypnotik_jello says:

    hmmm. how about drinking water and eating bananas?

    go banana!

  30. colflesh says:

    I agree that with a sample size of 4000, the statistical significance probably does indicate that the results of the study are real. The problem that with that interpretation though is that there is no mention of effect size (granted, I didn’t read the paper, so it might be mentioned). With 4000 subjects, the chance of finding statistical significance isn’t that difficult, even for a miniscule effect. Therefore, eventhough there was a significant effect obtained, it might not really be as impressive as it appears on first glance.

  31. Havok154 says:

    The FDA said it’s safe so it’s ok to drink, so there is no need to worry.
    *takes sip of Diet Coke*
    *holds up can and smiles*

  32. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the need for diet sodas or diet anything else for that matter. What is so hard about simply eating a bit less of things that a high calorie or high fat.

    It seems so weak to say to companies, in effect, “please make diet products because I have to drink 10 cokes a days, I cannot control my intake, I am a piggie”.

    What ever happened to the idea of a “treat”? What ever happened to self control?

    Why not just have one regular coke every couple days? Why no just have small dish of ice cream once a week?

    I’m sure someone will have a smartass answer for these questions.

  33. Havok154 says:

    Just like raising my children, it’s not my job! Soon you’re going to tell me that if I break a law, it’s actually my fault when I get caught.

  34. Kurt's Krap says:

    I actually prefer the taste of Diet Coke/Pepsi to the regular stuff.

    Now if they would only dump the fructose and go back to real sugar, I would go back to drinking the real stuff in a heartbeat.

  35. Red_Eye says:

    @radleyas: I can agree with your moderation point except for one fact. The food industry dumps billions into research into how to get you to consume more product.

  36. nerdsavant says:

    As someone who’s allergic to artificial sweeteners, it’s been amazing to me to find out how many products apparently need to be artificially sweetened. I can’t have anything that says Sugar Free. Toothpaste, mouthwash, ok I can sort of understand those. Luckily I’ve been able to find products like Tom’s of Maine. But even chewing gum and some ice creams have fallen to the “Sugar Free” camp. Is it really that hard to have a little self-control? And how is it that simple solutions to lowering fat content like using carrageenan aren’t more prevalent, if we’re so concerned about our health?

  37. I’m sure someone will have a smartass answer for these questions.

    @radleyas: Ask a smartass question…

  38. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I can drink upwards of 6 cans of Diet Coke a day if I don’t pay attention. I love it. Regular Coke tastes like Karo, Splenda tastes like peaches soaked in pool water… aspartame is where it’s at.

    Of course, I smoke, drink beer, and cook food in butter, so the Diet Coke isn’t exactly the worst of my problems. Is this kind of thing worth worrying about? Probably. Am I worrying? Nah.

  39. @Red_Eye:

    Well, you don’t have to listen to the food industry. You do have control over you life and what goes into your body.

  40. synergy says:

    @colflesh: I am by no means the one who does the statistics in my lab, but it’s a small sample size usually where something can be magnified beyond what would actually show up in a larger population. This has happened in my lab recently. He took a small sample size of about 400 and had significance for something, but when another 900 samples were plugged in, the significance disappeared.

  41. DingoDigger says:

    Saccharin has been used for a very very very long time. Use that. The others are too new, and we can’t know.

  42. mopar_man says:


    My sister-in-law stupidly lives on Diet Mountain Dew and I can back up the side effects. She gets headaches all the time, she’s gained weight and is constantly tired. I keep telling her to lay off the pop and she just ignores it. I know it’s mean but I can’t wait for the day she gets breast cancer and I can go “I told you so.” I think her doctor is just as stupid. She’s told her doctor about her consumption and her doctor only told her that if she wants to stop drinking it, to do it gradually. SHE DIDN’T TELL HER TO STOP DRINKING IT. *Pounds head on wall.*

  43. Thrust says:

    @mopar_man: Ok… Umm… DIET Mountaindew? What is this heresy you speak of, that the sugariest of sugary sweets be made without SUGAR?

    Oh, another (so-far unmentioned) fun fact on the diet crap… Asparteme is usually paired with its retarded half-cousin Sorbitol. Good ol Sorbi can give you the shits in such a bad way that you’ll feel it all the way down to your toes… LITERALLY.

  44. DS28 says:

    I can’t wait for the media’s annual saccharin/aspartame rehash.

    Is it at all weird that people are going to panic, rid the shelves of aspartame-containing products, and forward obnoxious “warning” chain letters, while they continue to drive without seatbelts, overindulge in fat/calories, continue to smoke, and avoid exercise? The “American Way” is in due time going to consist of totaling your mega-Transformer SUV while downing a Big Gulp because we’re too busy looking for TERRORISTS on the road.

    @colflesh: right on. I haven’t read the paper yet, but I’d also be interested in seeing their p values. For those unfamiliar with stats, “science” has a threshold of p

  45. DS28 says:

    @synergy: yes, but if he jacked up the sample size again beyond 900, he’d start to find other “significant” results that were possibly meaningless. Think of it as a curve

  46. Havok154 says:

    I used to get stomach aches a lot and I told my doctor that I had 5 or 6 cans of soda in a day and he acted shocked. Also told me to drink more water and less crap. Guess what, he was right.

  47. MonkeyMonk says:

    Hasn’t sucralose (Splenda) been available in Canada for decades though? I’ve always assumed the slow approval by the FDA was more due to lobbying by the makers of saccarine and aspartame than any ill health related reasons.

    That said, moderation is still the key.

  48. LionelEHutz says:

    This is why I’m happy that I’ve switched to seltzer. All the bubbles without the poison. Add a little lemon juice and real sugar and you’ve got a decent drink.

  49. @LionelEHutz:

    I mix fruit juice with seltzer. Great treat and very refreshing!

  50. Dervish says:

    @mopar_man: Wow, if my sister got breast cancer I’m pretty sure “I told you so” would never come out of my mouth. That IS pretty mean.

    All snarkiness aside, I’m not too concerned about this study, as I seem to ingest much less aspartame than either of the two upper levels they test. Behold, some math:

    The study states that the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of aspartame (APM, for simplicity) is 40 mg/kg body weight (in the EU, which is lower than the US ADI). I weigh 130 lbs, so my ADI is about 2.36 grams. Another resource I found online estimates that a liter of diet cola contains about 600 mg APM, which translates to roughly 18 mg APM/fl oz diet cola. I usually drink 2 12-oz cans of diet cola in one day, but I eat low-cal yogurt and I’m sure I get APM from other sources as well. Let’s say for the sake of argument that I ingest 4 diet colas worth of APM in a single day. That translates to 864 mg APM, which is about 37% of the ADI. You’d have to drink a buttload of soda to even approach the ADI.

    But wait – there’s more! The study dosed rats at 2000, 400, and 0 PPM of APM, which translates to 100, 20, and 0 mg/kg body weight respectively. Even assuming the ADI was 20 mg/kg body weight, half of the EU ADI, my four can per day habit would still only represent 74% of the ADI.

    Finally, and most telling, is the fact that the data don’t reinforce the panic associated with this study. The increase in malignant tumors in female rats (although not males) dosed at 2000 ppm was not even statistically significant! Furthermore, no statistically significant increase in malignant tumors was found in either gender dosed at 400 ppm – in fact, nearly across the board, the numbers are worse for the group dosed at 0 ppm than for the group dosed at 400 ppm!

    If you get headaches/fatigue/whatever that you’re sure are related to aspartame, then by all means don’t drink it. In any case, don’t ingest a lot of it. But the vast majority of people don’t seem to be at risk when viewed in light of this study. It’s probably not good for you, but it’s not “OMG POISON!!!!,” and ingesting 200 extra calories a day isn’t good for you either.

  51. mermaidshoes says:

    ::looks at 12 empty diet coke cans on desk::

    yeah, i’m dying soon. crap.

  52. jamier says:

    dervish: You’re looking at the numbers like an aspartame lobbyist. Every single reported measure of cancer/tumors except one was higher in both aspartame groups. You’re looking at the raw count of tumors, not the percentage. There were many more animals in the control group so the raw count of tumors was higher in that group.

    Some of the increases in cancer were not statistically significant because there weren’t enough rats. If there were more rats, and they found the same effect, it would be statistically significant. We’re talking about a 12% increase in all malignant tumors in females.

    Aspartame probably won’t kill you, but tobacco probably won’t kill you if you’re a smoker. Tobacco lobbyists successfully used your kind of analysis to defend smoking for decades.

    Aspartame definitely needs more study, and I’ll lose all confidence in the FDA if they don’t review it again.

  53. doyama says:

    Dervish your assessment of the study is pretty much on the money. Going through most of the data it doesn’t seem to support the ‘doom and gloom’ of the headlines that cancer is just around the corner. There was basically zero statistical significnace in the male group between 0 and 400ppm. If you’re downing 2000ppm of aspartamine, I think cancer is probably the least of your concerns!!

    The study although claiming to support their first study (which was incidentally analyzed and then panned as being not very good) the data doesn’t seem to support this very broad conclusion.

  54. vyhd says:

    Honestly, is anyone truly surprised by this?

    Sugar may not be good for you under some circumstances, but how much better can artificially created substances be? We barely have medicines without side effects, or 100% effective detergents (and don’t even try drinking it) – humans do not have a good track record of making stable, safe substances.

    High-fructose corn syrup has been pinned in several studies as the main cause of obesity in America (it still pervades our food supply, because it’s cheaper). Aspartame has always been shrouded in mystery as to side-effects, but it has been similarly adopted as the staple of diet foods and drinks. I’m not surprised, and I’m steering clear of the stuff (as well as HFCS). You should do the same.

  55. Dervish says:

    @jamier: Your pardon, you’re absolutely right about me not looking at it in terms of percentages. I apologize. But the numbers are still not as shocking as the article and the above comments make it sound. Regarding significance, it’s true that if the trend held with a larger sample the results would be statistically significant – but as was pointed out above in one of synergy’s comments, a larger sample size usually reduces significance and not the other way around.

    And a 12% increase in all malignant tumors in females is misleading when you look at the column next to it – tumor-bearing animals. There is a .1% increase in tumor-bearing animals from the 0 ppm dose to the 400 ppm dose, which suggests that there are more multiple tumors per animal, and thus that perhaps certain animals are more prone to developing tumors when exposed to aspartame and some are not.

    I’m afraid I don’t understand your next comment – I was never trying to suggest that aspartame was/was not itself poisonous, just that it’s role as a carcinogen isn’t as clear and dangerous as the study and article made it sound. And I still stand by my math above – they claim that they’ve selected levels similar to what a human might ingest, but even at 130 lbs with all the aspartame I get I still don’t reach the level comparable to the 400 ppm dosage.

  56. medcat2010 says:

    I read the study, and I have to agree with Dervish. While the word “impartial” doesn’t come to mind when I think of the FDA, to make a correlation, you have to have support from your p values. Statistical significance for overall malignancy was found in the male group with exposure to aspartame elevated to twice the value of the US ADI. Statistical significance was found in females with lymphoma/leukemia again in the same dose grp. Is this a dose that can be reasonably applied to the population this study is trying to benefit? A study was quoted in which average consumption was much lower than the ADI, but that was in 2002 and it only addresses child-bearing aged women and children.

    I agree with Jamier in that I think more studies are needed: some to reproduce or better qualify results, and some to examine the current average daily aspartame consumption for male and female adults and children in US and Europe. Results should be correlated to actual consumption; not only what is recommended.

    But personally, I think everyone should give up sodas and drink more water, including myself. :)

  57. mconfoy says:

    Is it true that people that avoid artificial ingredients live longer, healthier lives? Surely there is a study to show this, right?

  58. medcat2010 says:

    Oh crap, water is probably bad for us too…. ;)

  59. browngt5 says:

    I, too, would love to see soda companies go back to using cane sugar in their sodas instead of high fructose corn syrup. Coke and Pepsi use sugar in their beverages in foreign countries, so why not in the U.S.?

    I drank diet soda for two years, and I never lost a single pound. I, did, however, develop a reaction to aspertame that causes me to have stomach aches whenever I do drink a diet soda. I switched back to regular soda and have not gained a pound.

  60. CyGuy says:

    One word people:


    Look it up.

    Available at your local health foods store, Whole Foods, or Trader Joes (or likely in your regular grocer as it is mixed into many Celestial Seasonings teas).

  61. CyGuy says:


    “Coke and Pepsi use sugar in their beverages in foreign countries, so why not in the U.S.?”

    Because the Sugar lobby puts protectionist policies in Agricultural bills that puts a quota on imported sugar, so while in other countries they pay the international market price for sugar, Americans pay three times that to support the executives at the big sugar companies.

    Meanwhile, Archer Daniels which control the corn syrup isn’t complaining because it means they can earn windfall profits on their product and still be undercutting the cost of sugar.

    There might be some argument that this system protects American jobs, but in reality most of the jobs protected are those of illegal alien cane harvesters in FL. Meanwhile, the high cost of sugar has forced many of those food manufacturers who can’t switch to HFCS to move off-shore, taking good unionized factory jobs in the candy industry with them.

  62. mathew says:

    You can buy soda made with actual sugar, just not from Coca-Cola or Pepsico. Solution? Develop better taste in soda.

  63. Rahnee says:

    I find it funny that at the end of the article there was a diet coke advert in the right hand corner.

    We drink a few different sodas we buy at the Mexican market. They are made with real cane sugar and not corn syrup. The CocaCola bottled in Mexico is VERY sweet. There is also a company called “Jones” who makes real sugar drinks in the US.

  64. j-o-h-n says:

    @DS28: “For those unfamiliar with stats, “science” has a threshold of p

    Which is why additional studies are done. By the 5th study at p

  65. j-o-h-n says:

    “You can buy soda made with actual sugar, just not from Coca-Cola or Pepsico.”

    Actually you often can — just go to your local foreign foods store and look for Coke in the Mexican foods aisle — still in real glass bottles to boot!

  66. PenguinBlue says:

    Aspartame has been known to cause cancer, ADD, and other illnesses since the 70’s, when Donald Rumsfeld and others at the FDA originally denied there was any risk. I think you are always better off consuming the extra calories in a non-diet beverage than you are exposing yourself to the toxins of artificial sweeteners.

  67. Firstborn Dragon says:

    Okay let’s see here.

    Rats get cancer. Rats? And this relates to humans how?

    Come on people. Asprin KILLS rats.
    Another medication I used to take, kills cats and dogs with just a few doses.
    And let’s not get into the chemicals that are safe for rats or dogs, or any other creature but deadly to humans.

    Sorry but the moment it’s an animal test I don’t pay ANY attention to it. We use too many products now that were deadly in animal testing but quite effective for us.

    Besides I like to you know DRINK POP not suguar slug. Which is what non-diet tastes like.

  68. bomani2k says:

    I find it interesting that quite a few comments use every logical fallacy know to man to either promote or discredit aspartame and give the FDA a free pass as if government bodies do not collude or become subject to political and corporate interests as opposed to food/medicine safety. When they can bend the rules history has shown that they will.

    I would certainly suggest people study more of the history of these organizations as well as the history and biological effects of exitotoxins like Aspertame and the rest. Of these toxins aspartame has the wonderful property of breaking down into formic acid and formaldehyde both in the body and in the container–reason enough to ban alone.
    While billions are being made off of the substance there is going to be a fight on some sides and collusion on others to avoid getting it off the market. Presently Monsanto is making and trying to clear its replacement without missing a beat. They clearly know that the product downfall is inevitable. Aspartame has been banned in a few other countries because studies showed it not to be generally accepted as safe and at the very least the burden of proof needs to be placed on the industry pumping it out to fund independent peer reviewed studies (not holding or hiding “work product” that shows contrary results).

    The past and present history of the FDA (or the AMA for that matter) and it’s ability to protect or warn the American public of the hazards in the food supply, drug supply, etc is very instructive.

    Have we forgotten cigarettes, some toxic vaccinations (claimed safe), rBGH, and a whole host of other harmful at most and highly suspect in the least products? It took the AMA till the late eighties to discover and early nineties to admit/publish a relationship to diet and cancer(causal or preventative)! That’s at least 50 years after science (quacks as they were called) discovered the links. At the least one should get a “hint” of the problem from the fact that Aspartame remains at the top of the list of complaints the FDA receives. Action was taken much faster on it’s more easily replaced exitotoxin cousin MSG. MSG had a tiny market in comparison to Aspartame and had quick replacements.

    The public has become lazy in watching it’s watchers and polemics stating that everything you eat is poison or begging the question about how could someone knowingly put something with longterm harmful effects on the market “somebody would surely blow a whistle”, or “Nobody is that evil” do a disservice to themselves and their readers. It’s easier to dismiss the possibility or arguments against Aspartame altogether than recognizing that we have a major problem with the fox running the chicken coup. (Republicans, Democrats and the like notwithstanding)

  69. anthrobug says:

    Don’t you know that the Consumerist has been invaded by astroturfers? People really aren’t this dumb.

  70. ljdmd444 says:

    Its time to stop drinking soda, but we need to address the public health.
    Join us at []

  71. sharonlives says:


    Me too!!! Seltzer with juice or seltzer alone is fantastic.

  72. wiser says:

    @MonkeyMonk: Splenda has not been approved by the FDA. Instead they have classified it as a food additive so they don’t have to. If you look it up on the net you will find that it is a pesticide and it is making a lot of people very ill. If I were to come up with a plot to “attack” an enemy country, what better than to come up with a product to make everything sweet with no calories? Everyone wanting to cheat calories would want it and they would put it in everything and assume that if it is in everything that it must be safe. But everything has a price. Oh, by the way, Splenda is made in China. Wonder where they make all of those other artificial sweatners?