In the no news is no news department, one of the most studied chemicals ever - Aspartame, NutraSweet - has gotten a clean bill of health from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It s about time. But will it matter?

Since its discovery in 1965 and FDA approval in 1981, the artificial sweetener has undergone such rigorous scrutiny that one would think soft drink companies were trying to put plutonium in their drinks.

It has also been the poster child for conspiracy theories and phony scares, many of which have been the product of consumer groups, radical environmental groups and various other fringe conspiracy theorists.

Speaking of which, ACSH s Dr....

Foods and beverages containing sugar substitutes are widely used in the United States and other countries; they offer attractive dietary options for people who are trying to limit calorie intake and/or reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Extensive scientific research supports the safety of the five low-calorie sugar substitutes currently approved for use in foods and beverages in the U.S. acesulfame-K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose.

This report by the American Council on Science and Health summarizes the scientific facts about the safety of sugar substitutes.