The FDA approved aspartame in 1981 for use in tabletop sweeteners and various foods and dry beverage mixes. It was the first low-calorie sweetener approved by the FDA in more than 25 years. In 1983, the FDA approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages. Since then, aspartame has been approved for use in any food or beverage.
In addition to the FDA, aspartame has been reviewed and determined to be safe by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, the European Food Safety Authority, and the regulatory bodies of more than 100 countries.
Prior to its regulatory approval, aspartame underwent one of the most rigorous testing programs and thorough regulatory reviews in food ingredient history. Extensive metabolism, pharmacology and toxicology studies were conducted with aspartame on animals. Studies were also done in normal humans, both adults and children, as well as in special sub-populations, such as individuals with phenylketonuria, obese individuals, diabetics and lactating females. Today scientists continue to conduct new studies on this sweetener as they do many other ingredients used in the food supply. The FDA also monitors and evaluates all research on this and other food ingredients.