Aspartame dropped by Pepsi

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A potentially unhealthy artificial sweetener will no longer be included in Pepsi’s best-known diet soft drinks in the U.S., according to the beverage giant.

Aspartame, an artificial sweetener also known as Nutra Sweet and commonly found in sodas, will no longer be included in the versions of Diet Pepsi on American shelves, Pepsi Vice President Seth Kaufman stated. Instead, the sodas will contain sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Other Pepsi products such as Diet Mountain Dew and Pepsi products sold outside the U.S. will not be affected by the change.

Pepsi attributed the change to increasing consumer wariness of aspartame, a drug linked in some studies to the development of cancer in some lab animals. Both European food regulators and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintain that aspartame can be safely consumed in limited quantities, but according to Kaufman, consumer wariness has been reflected in sluggish soda sales and prompted Pepsi to allay soda-drinkers’ fears.

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