As previously reported, at an upcoming, November 15, 2016, public meeting of the Proposition 65 Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC), aspartame will be discussed prior to the CIC sending advice to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) relative to the prioritization of aspartame for possible preparation of hazard identification materials and prospective inclusion on the Prop 65 List of Chemicals Known to the State To Cause Cancer or Reproductive Toxicity.
CIC has received public comments (available here) on the prioritization of aspartame, pursuant to issuance of (i) a notice of the CIC meeting, published on September 9, 2016, and (ii) a compilation of the relevant studies identified during the preliminary toxicological evaluation of aspartame. The comment period closed on October 24, 2016. Significant comments were received, for example, from:
- Calorie Control Council, American Beverage Association and National Confectioners Association (recommending that CIC maintain aspartame’s current priority level, i.e., “at the bottom of the medium category”);
- International Sweeteners Association (highlighting the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E951) as a food additive and its conclusion that aspartame is not a safety concern); and
- Center for Science in the Public Interest (urging CIC to make aspartame a high priority for future review).
While no listing decision will be made for aspartame at the November 15 meeting, the advice that CIC sends to OEHHA will be important and potentially indicative of events yet to come.