The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit food safety and consumer watchdog group, is warning consumers about the active ingredient in Splenda. Sucralose, the active ingredient, can be harmful to human health and can cause leukemia as well as other blood cancers. Splenda is a well known sugar substitute that is widely used in the United States and is found in many products such as diet sodas.
The CSPI altered its safety rating for Splenda as well as for sucralose. Once rated as “caution,” the two items are now rated “avoid.” The food safety group cites a recent study conducted by an independent laboratory, the Ramazzini Institute, as their source for this new information on the artificial sweetener.
The Ramazzini Institute’s study, which was published in the peer-reviewed international Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health on January 29th, tested the effects of Splenda on male mice. Researchers formed five groups of male mice and gave each group different amounts of sucralose. The amounts of sucralose given to the groups were 0, 500, 2,000, 8,000, and 16,000 parts per million (ppm).
The study found that the mice, who were fed these doses from 12 days of gestation until their death, had 10 percent increased incidences of malignant cancer if they ate higher concentrations. The mice who were fed 2,000 ppm as well as the mice who were fed 16,000 ppm had an increased incidence of leukemia in addition to related blood cancers when compared to the group of mice who were not fed sucralose. These findings have led the CSPI to ask consumers to pause before using any of the 4,500 products that contain Splenda.