WASHINGTON-The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] today will formally ban saccharin as a food additive. However, reports indicate that the FDA may permit the sale of saccharin as an over-the-counter drug.
The United States consumes more than five million pounds of saccharin annually, 7.5 percent of it in diet soft drinks.
Diabetics, who must restrict their sugar intake, and people trying to control their weight are responsible for most of the saccharin use.
The FDA ban results from a Canadian study linking the sugar substitute with bladder cancer in rats. The Delaney Amendment, which prohibits the addition of any substance to food if studies show the substance to cause cancer in human or animals, requires the bans.