Are artificial sweeteners safe to eat?

Before artificial sweeteners (or intense sweeteners) could be added to foods and sold in supermarkets in Australia, the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) tested them to make sure they are safe to eat.

An example is aspartame, one of the most common artificial sweeteners. Aspartame has been declared safe by FSANZ for most people, with the exception of those people with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder that is screened for at birth.

There has been some concern in recent times regarding the safety of artificial sweeteners. The research that raised concerns about their safety was carried out on animals, not humans and the dosages of artificial sweeteners that were used were many times greater than it would be possible to eat or drink.

For further information on using artificial sweeteners as part of a healthy, balanced diet, contact an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).