Sir, As stated in your article, it is critical to tackle obesity and related diseases including diabetes. Low and no-calorie sweeteners have an important role to play in this context as they allow people to replace sugar and reduce calories in their diet, in line with public health recommendations worldwide. They also have the benefits of not affecting blood glucose levels and of being kind to teeth, as supported by the wealth of robust scientific evidence.

In addition, while we are born with a natural preference for sweetness, there is no evidence supporting the ‘sweet taste confusion’ hypothesis in humans. In your article, you refer to a study on appetite in fruit flies. Actually, the collective evidence in both human adults and children shows that low and no-calorie sweeteners do not increase appetite and may, on the contrary, help satisfy our desire for sweetness and can therefore be a useful tool in this context.

Importantly, low and no-calorie sweeteners are safe, as repeatedly and consistently confirmed by regulatory authorities around the world, including the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives and the European Food Safety Authority.

It goes without saying that in order to be approved for use, they all go through the same safety evaluation and the regulatory authorities thoroughly assess all kinds of studies examining potential toxicity or side effects.

Robert Peterson, chairman, International Sweeteners Association