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Health Canada may end ban on saccharin and reintroduce the chemical sweetener to Canadian public

Thursday, March 15, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: saccharin, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Health Canada, the country's ministry of health, is considering lifting a 30-year ban on the artificial sweetener saccharin. According to ministry officials, new information has come to light that raises questions about whether the sweetener is truly carcinogenic or not.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View

• Saccharin is a high-intensity artificial sweetener, best known by the brand name Sweet 'N Low. It was banned from use in Canada in 1977, after it was found to increase test animals' risk of bladder cancer.

• Saccharin is widely used in the United States, particularly in oral care products and tabletop sweeteners, but used less in processed foods.

• In an article published in Consumer Magazine in July 2006, the FDA stated that there are no safety issues associated with any of the five artificial sweeteners approved for use as food additives in the United States. The sweeteners are saccharin, aspartame (NutraSweet brand), acesulfame-K, neotame and sucralose (Splenda brand).

• The Calorie Control Council, a U.S.-based industry group, expressed pleasure at the announcement from Health Canada. Many consumer groups, however, have expressed concerns that the government may be planning to expose Canadians to saccharin without definitive proof that is not a carcinogen.

• Quote: "We're in the process of reviewing that information to see if we should allow [saccharin] or keep it banned or change its regulatory status." - Health Canada Spokesperson Paul Duchesne

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center• Saccharin has been clinically proven to cause cancer in animal tests. The FDA used to require a warning label on any product containing the artificial sweetener, but food industry lobbyists were successful in reversing that requirement.

• The Calorie Control Council has a clear bias in representing the interests of industry over the interests of the public.

• A move by the Canadian government to lift the saccharin ban in that country would be a loss for consumers and a victory for profit-driven food and chemical companies that are more interested in making money than in making safe products.

Bottom line

• The Canadian government is reviewing whether to lift its ban on the artificial sweetener saccharin.

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