CHICAGO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dropped the artificial sweetener saccharin from its list of hazardous substances, the agency said on Tuesday.
The white crystalline powder used in diet drinks, chewing gum and juice was dubbed a potential cancer-causing agent in 1980. While a review by the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer cleared saccharin in the late 1990s, it has remained on the EPA's potential hazard list.
The EPA said it is dropping saccharin and its salts from its hazard list after a request by the Calorie Control Council, which argued that the scientific basis for remaining on EPA's list no longer applies. The Calorie Control Council is an industry group representing manufacturers and suppliers of low-calorie foods and beverages.
The removal will reduce waste management-related paperwork and reporting requirements for manufacturers who use saccharin in their products.
While the most common use of saccharin is as a sweetener for diet soft drinks, it is also used as a table-top sweetener and in other food products like juice, sweets, chewing gum and jellies.
The artificial sweetener is also used in toothpaste, mouthwash and in coatings on pills.