The petition from the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation to allow aspartame and other “safe and suitable” sweeteners in milk and 17 other dairy products has left a sour taste in the mouths of consumers across the country.
However, as the debate rages on, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AOND) is taking a stance against the petition.
Aspartame in milk is unnecessary, they say.
"The Academy's recommendation to deny the petition is not based on the safety of artificial sweeteners," registered dietitian nutritionist and AOND President Ethan A. Bergman said in a news release. "Consumers can enjoy a range of non-nutritive sweeteners when consumed within a healthful eating plan."
"The petition largely focuses on the perceived benefits to children of revising milk's standard of identity, including the assertion that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity. However, there is a lack of evidence to substantiate those claims. In addition, flavored milk is not a major source of added sugar in children's diets," he added.
Many of the comments left with the petition have showed a “fair amount of confusion about what the labeling change would actually mean.” In addition, the petition has proven to be bad publicity for the dairy industry, which is still struggling against declining consumption rates. See, “Bad publicity for the dairy industry.”