News Bite: Some Are Sour on New Sweetener Study

A new study about the low-calorie sweetener sucralose (sold under brand names such as Splenda, Sukrana, SucraPlus, Nevella and Cukren) has been generating a lot of controversy in the news and on social media in recent days.

Sucralose, already one of the most-scrutinized food ingredients in the world, is in the crosshairs of Italy’s Ramazzini Institute (RI), which suggested a link between consumption of the sweetener and leukemia.

The news itself was something of a rehash, the release of previously unpublished data that was first presented in 2012—and prior to any peer review—leading some to ask why it took three to four years to disclose the data itself.

While many news outlets published stories uncritically, others questioned the study’s methodology and conclusions, as well as RI’s reputation. The Ramazzini Institute’s cancer research previously has come under criticism from government agencies such as the U.S. FDA, the EPA, and the European Food Safety Authority.

You can read more about the study and our own critique here.