Sunday, December 2, 2012

Skeptical Conversation #1: Aspartame is A-OK

So one day I was drinking a Diet Coke in class and a student sitting next to me was like "You know that has aspartame in it, and it makes holes in your brain?" I couldn't stop myself from saying, "Sorry, that's bullshit. I've been drinking these for like ten years and my brain is fine."
I guess I was a bit rude but I sure hope I made her think about pseudohealth claims more rationally.
Related links:
  • Skeptoid: The Truth about Aspartame "Aspartame has been looked into ad nauseum even after its approval, and found safe at every try; so at some point you have to depart from rationality to continue supporting the claims made against it. Enjoy your diet Dr. Pepper, it's not going to hurt you; if it was, I'd have been dead decades ago."
  • Aspartame "The legitimate attempts that have been made to confirm and replicate allegations of adverse reactions from aspartame ingestion have not been successful and the USFDA continues to consider this to a be among the most thoroughly tested of food additives and that this information continues to confirm the safety of aspartame."
  • Separating Fact From Fiction about Aspartame: "Aspartame is one of the most thoroughly studied food ingredients ever, with more than 200 scientific studies supporting its safety. In addition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization, the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Union (SCF), and regulatory agencies in more than 100 countries have reviewed aspartame and found it to be safe for use."
  • Wikipedia: Aspartame controversy "Aspartame has been found to be safe for human consumption by more than ninety countries worldwide, with FDA officials describing aspartame as 'one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved' and its safety as 'clear cut'. The weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe as a non-nutritive sweetener."

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