A key ingredient in soft drinks, chewing gum and juice, saccharin is approximately 300 times sweeter than sucrose or sugar.
The EPA has been the last agency to reevaluate saccharin’s toxicology. The National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer re-evaluated available scientific information on saccharin and its salts in the late 1990’s and reached the conclusion that it was not a potential human carcinogen. It therefore removed saccharin from its list of carcinogens, known as the Report on Carcinogens (ROC) in 2000.
California’s Proposition 65 had listed sodium saccharin as a carcinogen in 1988 but delisted it in April 2001 based upon NTP’s findings.
Eventually the EPA reviewed the findings of the public health agencies. Determining that saccharin and its salts weren’t reasonably expected to be human carcinogens, along with EPA’s own assessment of the waste generation and management information, the federal agency issued a proposed rule in April granted a petition from the food trade association, the Calorie Control Council, to remove saccharin and its salts from hazardous listing.
After a public comment period generated no opposing comments, the EPA ruled in April of this year to delist the sweetening agent from its hazardous list.
And so the wheels of bureaucracy slowly turn in the right direction. And now we can enjoy our little blue or pink packages without fear.