Monsanto no longer makes aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in products such as Equal and NutraSweet. In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle & Company and created a subsidiary, the NutraSweet Company, which handled both NutraSweet and Equal. In 2000, the NutraSweet Company was sold to J.W. Childs and Equal was sold to Merisant. Monsanto no longer produces or sells this product. However, many people still search our Web site for information on aspartame.
Accidentally discovered in 1965 by a chemist working for G.D. Searle & Company, the product’s safety was contested for several years. In 1980, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that aspartame does not cause brain damage, but held its approval citing incomplete cancer research data. In 1981, the FDA relied on information from a Japanese study, and approved aspartame for use in certain dry goods. In 1983, the FDA approved aspartame for use in carbonated beverages and baked confections. By 1996, aspartame had FDA approval for all food products.
A significant amount of scientific research on aspartame has been performed, and the FDA asserts that aspartame does not cause any diseases or illnesses. Aspartame remains legal in the U.S. and is still approved for general consumption by the FDA.
For more information on aspartame, consider visiting www.aspartame.org.