LONDON, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A British parliament member, raising cancer concerns, wants a ban on aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in 6,000 types of food, drink and medicine.
Roger Williams, a member of the parliamentary select committee on food and the environment, says any items containing aspartame should be withdrawn, reports the Daily Mail.
Last summer, a study published by the European Ramazzini Foundation in Italy linked aspartame to cancer in rats. Williams received support from leading scientists in his demand for the sweetener to be taken off the shelves.
"There is strong scientific evidence that the components of aspartame and their metabolites can cause very serious toxic effects on humans," Williams said.
Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said based on an independent review of aspartame, conducted in 2001, Britain's food standards agency feels aspartame is safe for use in food.
"I am advised that aspartame does not cause cancer," she said.