Aspartame in Milk

For the past week or so, I’ve been seeing posts on Facebook about the proposal to put aspartame in milk and other dairy products without labeling.

Aspartame, as you may know, is an artificial sweetener commonly used in Nutrasweet and Equal in the United States.

In the 1980s, when we first learned that many milk and dairy products contained growth hormones, my mother and I called the locally owned dairy where our milk originated, and they assured us their cows were not taking hormones.

Whew. But when that dairy sold to another corporation, we could no longer trust that and we started buying organic milk.

It wasn’t until many years later, when I started reading labels more frequently, that we realized that milk also contains sugar.

Now the powerful dairy lobby is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to allow them to put artificial sweeteners in milk and dairy products and not tell the public.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I believe science has a place in helping humanity develop safe medicine and safe food.

However, as a person who believes in science, I also need to see proof that something is safe, and I would also like to make informed decisions about what I eat, which means the products I buy should have the proper labeling.

According to this post on CNN, aspartame has been deemed safe by the FDA. But I’ve also read conflicting studies that suggest otherwise.

As with GMO, I cannot conclusively say that aspartame is not safe, but I choose not to partake in it, and I feel I have the right to know when a product contains the sweetener.

If you feel you have the right to know if dairy products you’re consuming contain aspartame, fill out this government comment form for the FDA.

Do you think you have the right to know if the products you buy for you and your children contain aspartame?




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28 Responses

  1. It should be on the ingredient list. I’m with Melissa, aspartame makes me sick too–gives me an instant headache.

  2. This is so ridiculous. Milk doesn’t need aspartame. And even if the FDA deems it safe (and like you, I question that), there are still some people who are allergic to it.

  3. This pisses me off. We can’t buy milk in it’s natural, raw state because it’s unsafe but it’s okay to add chemicals? Somewhere along the line our food system turned a very wrong corner. Yes, absolutely, we should KNOW if our milk has aspartame in it (and we should KNOW if our food is sourced from GMO ingredients, but that’s a whole ‘nother story).

  4. Lee Waggoner says:

    Aspartame has a really nasty aftertaste. Do the dairy industry people really think this product will make milk more palatable? We already have to endure blue milk (zero percent fat skim milk) because of the hype FDA has sold to the women in America. I can remember the vilification of the egg. If your kids are too fat, take the controller out of their hands and kick them outside. When they come back inside give them a glass of Vitamin D milk without any aspartame.

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, Lee, I had forgotten about the after taste. Yuck, I don’t eat that fake stuff so I didn’t remember it had that after taste. 🙁

  5. Trying to monitor the food industry will turn you into a conspiracy theorist.

  6. Peter says:

    Yet raw milk is vilified?!

    I read the petition summary, these two giant industry lobbies are targeting 17 milk products and are trying to get around existing regulations which prevent “non-nutritive sweeteners” from being added to milk products by asking to add them to “flavorings” which already don’t have to disclose their actual ingredients (as in ‘artificial flavors’ and ‘natural flavors’).

    Their justification for being allowed to do this? Kids like sweet things, so if they’re fed ‘low calorie’ foods that are sweet, it’s a good thing, even if it’s not certain the stuff in question is safe for them. Also, since kids are swayed by the marketing term ‘low calorie’ it shouldn’t go on the packaging and the parents shouldn’t be bothered with extra information that they aren’t expecting anyways because nobody thinks milk has sugar in it.

    It’s horrible and is just another example of the constant need for citizen action against the corporatist system which seeks to usurp even the government agency struggling to keep us safe.

  7. merr says:

    Why in the world would I buy milk with aspartame? If it’s going to be included, it should be on the ingredient list. On the other hand, why would it even be included?

  8. Donna Hull says:

    Why would the dairy industry need to add aspartame to milk? Have we become a nation that needs our food to taste ever sweeter? Luckily, I live in an area where there are still a couple of local dairy farms in operation that produce organic dairy products. 1% vitamin D fortified organic milk is an important source of Vitamin D and calcium in my diet.

  9. Alexandra says:

    I signed the petition. This idea horrifies me. Plain milk tastes so good. I don’t it adulterated with chemical additives. Thanks for alerting me to this issue.

  10. Alisa Bowman says:

    Recently because of this and other concerns about the whole industry, I just pledged to give up dairy altogether. Enough people do that and the industry will stop thinking only about $$ and will start thinking about what’s good for health and humanity.

    • Kerri says:

      I agree, Alisa. Money talks. I haven’t drank cow’s milk in several months, although my husband still does. I’ve switched to almond milk.

  11. Sheryl says:

    I believe the sugar in milk is not added sugar, but instead naturally- occurring sugar. But adding aspartame? Why do this? Very unsettling.

    • Kerri says:

      Actually, we do not really know if it is naturally occurring sugars or added, since they are not required to separate that on the labeling, Sheryl. (My understanding anyway).

  12. Olivia says:

    Wow . . . you scared me there, Kerri, so I had to run and check the milk carton. No added sugar . . . but then, I was thinking of ordinary white milk. I suppose chocolate milk would contain added sugar but we never drink chocolate milk.

    We have fairly strict regulations here, at least on PEI. Nothing is allowed to be added to (regular white) milk. Even if a cow is sick and has to be on antibiotics all the milk from that cow must be destroyed . . . and no growth hormones are permitted, either. . . altho they do add vit. a and D.

  13. Olivia says:

    Thank heaven I live in Canada!

    But why would anyone put ANY sort of sweetener in milk? I can’t think of anything more disgusting than drinking sweetened milk.

    • Kerri says:

      Unless you’re drinking raw milk or milk straight from a dairy farm, chances are, you’re already drinking milk with sugar. Here in the U.S., the argument is that artificial sweeteners will help stop the childhood obesity epidemic, although research suggests that is not the case.

  14. Melissa Greer says:

    I want to know if milk has something else in it. Especially Aspartame. Aspartame makes me feel sick to my stomach and gives me the shakes. The American people deserve the decency to know what is being added to their food and drink. Anything else sounds like a Hitler move.