Artificial Sweetener Labeling Initiative

Support Our Artificial Sweetener Labeling Initiative

Thirty-years ago the number of ingredients used to sweeten foods and beverages could be counted on one hand. Today, there are 25 ingredients used to replace sugar. Regardless whether you think this change benefits our food supply or not, there is no question that consumer understanding of what is sweetening their foods and beverages has failed to keep pace with this dramatic change.

Example of Proposed Label
Example of proposed label

Today many foods, even foods that do not claim to be sugar-free, now contain artificial sweeteners. To assist consumers in making informed choices about what is sweetening the products they purchase, the Sugar Association petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting changes to labeling regulations on sugar and alternative sweeteners. In this petition we asked that artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols be identified on the front of the package along with the amounts, similar to what is required in Canada.

If it is important to you to know if the product you purchase contains artificial sweeteners, let your congressional representatives know that FDA needs to take action on this important consumer issue.

Consider the Following When Thinking About What is Sweetening Your Foods

Read the ingredient list.

You may know the popular brand names for the artificial sweeteners in the pink, blue and yellow packets but it is the generic name that is most commonly used in the ingredient statement on the back or side of a package. Without knowing it you may be consuming artificial sweeteners in everyday products.

Are you familiar with these ingredients?

Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Sucralose, Neotame

If you are not familiar with these ingredients, you are not alone. As you can see in the chart below the average consumer recognition of a sweetener declines significantly when the generic term is used in an ingredient statement and not the brand name.

Average consumer recognition of sweeteners

Did you know that there are Acceptable Daily Intake amounts for each Artificial Sweetener?

In a recent consumer poll we asked:

Are you aware of any official Acceptable Daily Intakes for artificial sweeteners?

Yes – 5%
No – 95%

The FDA has established Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) levels for artificial sweetener intake. The acceptable amount of milligrams you should consume is based on kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg bw/day). Monitoring the amount of artificial sweeteners that are being consumed is especially important for small children. (See ADI table below) Front of package labeling of artificial sweeteners and the amount will help you make informed decisions.

Sweetener Acceptable Daily Intake
Saccharin 5mg/kg bw/day
Aspartame 50mg/kg bw/day
Acesulfame-K 15mg/kg bw/day
Sucralose 5mg/kg bw/day
Neotame 18mg/day

Will all natural sugar be sweet enough?

Sweetener Times Sweeter than Sugar
Saccharin 200-700
Aspartame 60-200
Acesulfame-K 200
Sucralose 600
Neotame 7,000-13,000

With the increased use of these high intensity sweeteners in our food supply, the question is, will this change expectations for sweetness, especially for the next generation? Will we become accustomed and expect sweeter and sweeter foods?

Get Involved

If it is important to you to know if the product you purchase contains artificial sweeteners and the amounts, let your congressional representatives know and ask him to write a letter to FDA asking them to take action on this important consumer issue.