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IARC Monographs – Volume 134

Aspartame, Methyleugenol, and Isoeugenol

Evaluation of the health effects of aspartame consumption

IARC has assessed the potential carcinogenic effect of aspartame (hazard identification). Following this, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) will update its risk assessment exercise on aspartame, including the reviewing of the acceptable daily intake and dietary exposure assessment for aspartame.

The result of the evaluations will be made available together, on July 14, 2023, and is confidential until the summary of the evaluations of IARC Monographs Volume 134 is published online, at 00:30 CEST, 14 July, by The Lancet Oncology, and simultaneous publication of the JECFA findings on the WHO website.

All IARC Monographs meeting participants, including Observers, have signed a confidentiality agreement, which notes that they have agreed not to share any information about the meeting or its results until the end of the embargo period.

View the Aspartame Q&A

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener commonly used since the 1980s. Its health effects have been evaluated in 1981 by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), a programme of risk assessment for chemicals and additives in food. The IARC Monographs, a programme of cancer hazard identification conducted according to a published Preamble, has never evaluated aspartame.
Given the availability of new research results, aspartame was recommended as high priority for evaluation by both the IARC Monographs programme and JECFA (the priority list of substances proposed for evaluation by JECFA). The two evaluations are complementary. IARC will assess the potential carcinogenic effect of aspartame (hazard identification), while JECFA will update its risk assessment exercise, including the reviewing of the Acceptable Daily Intake and aspartame diet exposure assessment.
IARC’s hazard identification is planned for 6–13 June 2023, and JECFA’s risk assessment for 27 June to 6 July 2023. The sequence of these evaluations and the close collaboration between the IARC Monographs and the WHO/JECFA Secretariat will permit a comprehensive evaluation of the health effects of aspartame consumption based on the latest available evidence.

View the IARC Monographs Q&A
View the infographic

IARC Monographs Evaluation:

Lyon, France

6–13 June 2023

Preliminary list of agents
Call for Data (closing date, 6 May 2023)
Call for Experts (closing date, 6 September 2022)
Request for Observer Status (closing date, 6 February 2023)
WHO Declaration of Interests for this volume
Code of Conduct
IARC/WHO Temporary Advisers Agreement
Instructions for Authors

IARC encourages the participation of Representatives of national and international health agencies.
Please contact IARC at monograph134@iarc.fr for further information.