Heartland Consumer Products Group, the US maker of Splenda artificial sweetener, has rebuffed “negative allegations” recently published in a study linking the consumption of sucralose sweeteners to an increased risk of cancer.

In an open letter, Heartland Consumer Products Group chief executive Ted Gelov insisted Splenda is a “safe and healthy” alternative to sugar. 

“Splenda sweeteners are safely used by millions of people every day and are a valuable tool for managing weight and diabetes. Unfounded allegations about the safety of sucralose undermine the efforts of respected physicians and nutritionists to help their patients lower sugar intake – a goal now recommended by health care authorities around the world,” Gelov insisted. 

“The truth is that sucralose has been extensively researched, with more than 110 studies conducted over a 20-year period, and there is no known mechanism by which sucralose could cause cancer.  Sucralose has been found safe for use by health and safety regulatory agencies around the world, including the US National Cancer Institute.”

The comments follow a study undertaken by Italian researchers that found sucralose increased the risk of mice developing leukaemia when they were administered a dose four times higher than the recommended daily amount for humans. 

The study was conducted by the Ramazzini Institute  and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. The researchers said their findings threw into question previous work that concluded sucralose is “biologically inert” and that further studies were required. 

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