Diet sodas are usually spurned by health enthusiasts because the sugar in these soft drinks is replaced by the chemical aspartame (also known as Equal), which some scientists cite as one of the most dangerous chemicals found in processed foods and drinks today. But Pepsi’s diet soda formula is about to change. Although aspartame has been deemed safe by the FDA, and is only deemed carcinogenic in extremely high doses, PepsiCo has announced that it will be removing aspartame, the artificial chemical sweetener, from all diet drinks. By August, all Diet Pepsi cans and bottles will be clearly labeled “Aspartame-Free.”
"Diet cola drinkers in the U.S. told us they wanted aspartame-free Diet Pepsi and we're delivering," Seth Kaufman, senior vice president of Pepsi Co., said in a press release. "We recognize that consumer demand is evolving and we're confident that cola-lovers will enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of this new product."
The artificial sweetener will be replaced by a different mix of chemical sweeteners: sucralose and acesulfame potassium (also known by their brand names, Splenda and Sunett). Each of these artificial sweeteners has gone through rigorous FDA testing which found “no evidence that these sweeteners cause cancer or pose any other threat to human health.” However, in studies, artificial sweeteners including Splenda have been linked to weight gain and high insulin levels.
Coca-Cola confirmed with CNBC that the company has “no current plans to change the sweetener for Diet Coke.”