Saturday, March 10, 2007

Remembering the Saccharin Scare

Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan at TechCentral Station notes that this week marks the 30th anniversary of the FDA's ban on saccharin (better known as Sweet'N Low) on the basis that it causes cancer in lab animals. Dr. Whelan writes that the "administered dose of saccharin has been compared to the equivalent of human consumption of 800 diet sodas a day for a lifetime." In other words, they pump the animal with more of it than any human could consume and watch its biology go haywire.

Today saccharin is freely available-the public outcry against the ban was too great-and it is clear it doesn't cause cancer. Remember this history lesson the next time you see something contains "cancer-causing agents;" it's more likely that the science isn't too sweet.

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