Popular soft drink company to remove potentially dangerous sweetener from drinks

Whether you’re a Coca Cola drinker, or you enjoy Pepsi, you’ll know that these drinks aren’t good for you, but they are refreshing. And if we do enjoy them, sometimes we’ll treat ourselves with a drink but will choose diet just to avoid too many sugars and calories. But what you may not have known is that choosing a diet drink may actually be more risky than previously thought.

In Diet Pepsi, there is an ingredient called aspartame and it will be removed from the drinks from August this year. According to Refinery 29, Diet Pepsi has been artificially sweetened with aspartame and acesulfame potassium (also known as ace-K) since 2013. It is reported that the new Diet Pepsi formulation will now be sweetened with ace-K and sucralose instead.

So why did Pepsi decide to remove this ingredient and what is it? Seth Kaufman, senior vice president of Pepsi, denied that consumers’ worry into aspartame’s health effects was a factor in the decision to change the recipe and told USA Today, instead saying that Pepsi is trying to keep up with consumers’ preferences: “Decades of studies have shown that aspartame is safe. This is not about safety”, he said.

Studies have shown a link between other artificial sweeteners (a combination of cyclamate and saccharin) and bladder cancer, but further studies have not shown a cancer risk from artificial sweeteners in humans. While aspartame is safe for human consumption, some are still skeptical.

Even now that Diet Pepsi’s recipe will be changed, the remaining ingredient ace-K is just as controversial. According to Michael Jacobson, director of the advocacy group Center For Science In The Public Interest, also told USA Today, “Diet Pepsi will still contain acesulfame-potassium (ace-K). Consumers should avoid that sweetener as well. It is poorly tested, but the tests done by the manufacturer in the 1970s suggest that ace-K, too, might pose a cancer risk”.

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At this stage, it is reported that Diet Coke, a type of cola made by Coca Cola Amatil, will not change their recipe despite these revelations.

Do you drink Pepsi or other soft drinks? Do you often choose the diet option? Tell us below.