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Cheap sweeteners take over

October 1998

In a second survey, the Food Commission examined 25 top-selling orange drinks to see which ones were using artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and acesulfame. All the drinks labelled 'no added sugar' or 'light' used the chemical sweeteners, but so did virtually all of the regular versions of the same products.

'Artificial sweeteners cost a fraction of the price of sugar, so manufacturers have moved into the wholesale use of these chemicals to cut their costs,' said Food Commission co-director, Dr Tim Lobstein. 'There are continuing safety concerns about these additives, and we want their wide-spread use to be re-assessed. Five years ago the government admitted that one in twelve young children were exceeding the maximum recommended daily intake of saccharin, the cheapest sweetener. Since then the companies have increased the use of sweeteners in just those products that children like to drink.'