Splenda, or sucralose, was previously given a rating of “safe” by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), but has recently been placed in the “caution” category after a pending unpublished study by an independent Italian laboratory discovered the sweetener caused leukemia in mice.
Tate & Lyle, the company that makes Splenda, responded in a statement to TakePart, saying the CSPI is basing this new rating on a study that has not been published or peer reviewed yet. The findings are also coming from a lab that has been questioned by global food safety authorities for not following the accepted standards necessary for evaluating safety.
The CSPI rates food additives on the following scale:
- Cut Back: Not toxic, but large amounts may be unsafe or unhealthy
- Caution: may pose a risk and needs to be better tested
- Certain people should avoid
- Everyone should avoid
The artificial sweeteners saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low), aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) and acesulfame potassium (Sunett and Sweet One) all received an “everyone should avoid” rating.
“Sucralose may prove to be safer than saccharin, aspartame and acesulfame potassium, but the forthcoming Italian study warrants careful scrutiny before we can be confident that the sweetener is safe for use in food,” says CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson.
Take a look at other diet foods that could be harming your health: 10 Diet Food Duds.