Artificial Sweeteners

Introduction to artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There is no evidence that the regulated artificial sweeteners on the market in the United States are related to cancer risk in humans. As new sweetening products come on the market, the FDA continues to investigate any possible short- or long-term health risks that these products might create.

Questions about artificial sweeteners and cancer arose when early studies showed that cyclamate, one of several types of artificial sweeteners, caused bladder cancer in laboratory animals. However, results from research studies do not provide clear evidence of an association between artificial sweeteners and human cancer.

Cyclamate

Because the findings in animals suggested that cyclamate might increase the risk of bladder cancer in humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of cyclamate in 1969. More recent animal studies have failed to demonstrate that cyclamate is a carcinogen (a substance known to cause cancer) or a co-carcinogen (a substance that enhances the effect of a cancer-causing substance). However, other issues must be resolved before cyclamate can be approved for commercial use as a food additive in the United States.