ATLANTA – In response to today’s release of the National Toxicology Report on Carcinogens (9th edition), by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Calorie Control Council issued the following statement:
“We welcome the news that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) is removing saccharin from its report of cancer-causing substances. This decision is based on a careful review of the extensive scientific evidence documenting saccharin’s safety for humans, and is consistent with the recommendations of three NTP committees, including the Executive Committee.
“Dr. Kenneth Olden, director of the NTP, recommended the delisting recently to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna Shalala, who endorsed the recommendation. Their decisions also are supported by recent actions of two working groups of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, who determined that the high-dose effects of saccharin in male rats are not relevant to humans. “Extensive new evidence compiled over the past 20 years, as well as safe use for over a century, has demonstrated saccharin’s safety. The case against saccharin rests on controversial high-dose rat experiments in which the animals were fed the human equivalent of hundreds of cans of diet soft drinks per day for a lifetime.
“Leading health groups have reviewed the scientific research on saccharin and have supported its safety. Among these groups are the American Cancer Society, American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association and American Diabetes Association.
“Over the past 20 years, new research has overwhelmingly demonstrated what was earlier evident to many scientists — that saccharin does not cause cancer in humans. Our rationale for the delisting request to NTP (petitioned by the Calorie Control Council in 1996) was simple: saccharin’s presence on the list is wrong, misleading to consumers, and not supported by current science.
“Consumers deserve to have confidence in the safety of the sweetener they are using. NTP’s decision to delist saccharin sends the American people the welcome message that government is finally catching up to the science on this one. We support Secretary Shalala’s decision to endorse this recommendation before sending the NTP report to Congress.”
The Calorie Control Council is an international, non-profit association of manufacturers of low-calorie, reduced-fat and light foods and beverages. Additional information on saccharin can be found on the Internet at www.saccharin.org.
[ Public policy support for the sugar substitute Saccharin. ]