The European Parliament has agreed to allow the use in the European Union (EU) of the new sweeteners salt of aspartame-acesulfame and sucralose, but has used its political muscle to insist on a safety review.

This would be staged two years after market approval is finally secured.

MEPs are particularly concerned about aspartame-acesulfame. A note said that although the EU's scientific committee on food gave aspartame the green light, "according to some scientific opinion it can cause brain tumours."

It continued: "The other component, acesulfame, could be carcinogenic, say some sources. And some scientists believe there are even more problems in any combination of the two sweeteners."