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Nutrition watchdog sours on Splenda after study links sweetener to leukemia

There’s a new reason for people with a sweet tooth to be cautious about using artificial sweeteners.

Sucralose, the artificial sweetener also known as Splenda that gives thousands of products their sugary taste, is generally considered safe.

But a study published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health finds that mice fed high doses of sucralose daily throughout their lives developed leukemia and other blood cancers.

The doses administered by researchers at the Ramazzini Institute, an independent laboratory based in Italy, were equivalent to 10 cans of artificially sweetened soda.

In response to the findings, the Center for Science in the Public Interest – a nutrition watchdog group that assesses the safety of food additives – has formally recommended that consumers avoid the sweetener.

Though scientists at the Ramazzini Institute have made these claims about sucralose for years and have been criticized in the past, the CSPI says this new study has more credibility because it was funded without money from special interests.

“For most food additives, the safety studies are conducted by the manufacturers who have financial incentives,” Lisa Lefferts of CSPI said in comments reported by the website Eatclean.com.

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