The Dairy Industry Wants To Add Aspartame To Skim Milk


Aspartame is one of those controversial additives that causes trouble wherever it goes. Some think it is perfectly safe, others are wary of it, some even wonder if it causes cancer; all in all, it’s an artificial sweetener with both fans and foes. But fortunately, you can often avoid it by not consuming products like diet drinks where it is used very frequently. Unfortunately, you may not be able to avoid it for long — particularly if you’re down with dairy.

The dairy industry is presently requesting permission from the Food & Drug Administration to add aspartame to skim milk without having to add it to the front of the package. They say that by making it artificially sweetened, kids will be more likely to choose milk over sodas and other drinks.

As of now, artificially flavored milk exists — it just can’t be called milk. The dairy industry hopes to change this, effectively making diet milk products. While there are those who might say this is a good thing — less calories going into kids bodies and whatnot — there’s a great deal of proof that artificially sweetened drinks actually help cause weight gain, so this would be detrimental rather than positive.

There’s enough terrible and excess stuff that goes into a lot of milk coming from factory farms; does there really need to potentially be one more? Plus, kids should get used to not eating things that are so sweet all the time. The more sugary-tasting stuff children eat, the more they don’t have as much interest in foods that aren’t tasty in the same way and sadly, many of the best foods for you aren’t naturally sugary. As of yet, the FDA has not made a decision. Personally, I hope they say no, but we’ll see how this battle swings soon, I am sure.

Photo: Shutterstock

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    • Eileen

      Why does milk need to be sweet? It tastes fine the way it is.

      And actually, one of the first conversations-sparking-huge-agreement that I had with my now-boyfriend involved exactly what you’re saying about sweetness. Don’t put Splenda in your tea or coffee because you don’t want extra calories; learn to appreciate the taste for itself and you won’t need to put any sweetener in. Not everything needs to be sweet. Lots of healthy and delicious things aren’t sweet, or are only mildly sweet. Learn to appreciate flavors besides “sugar” and “salt.”

      • Samantha Escobar

        Exactly! Yes. Yes yes yes. One of the most beneficial phases I ever went through foodwise was when I suddenly started eating at taco trucks constantly. Granted, those weren’t healthy, but it taught me to embrace spicy food. Now, I appreciate so many more flavors — many of which have fewer calories than super sweet or savory dishes — as a result, including subtler ones and strange ones.

    • Concerned parent

      This is so wrong! Aspartame is a known migraine trigger, why would they want to knowingly add this to milk that children are going to drink??? Why make it artificial. Of course, Monsanto, is the company that makes it, so they must be behind the push, they are such a subversive company. Arrrrgh!

    • Concerned parent

      I believe there are former Monsanto executives who now work for the FDA, anybody wonder why the FDA would even consider this???

    • Concerned parent
    • deadharbor

      Kids already drink tonnes of diet sodas. This is inevitable. Guess we’ll find out about the repercussions in a few decades. I actually think it wouldn’t be such a huge deal. If you start on artificial sweeteners young, your body gradually learns to deal with it. The suspected effects such as extra cravings for sweets and your body not being able to estimate the amount of calories in real sweet foods would be diminished over time.

      No, I’m not siding with the industry. I’m just not a worrier by nature.

    • Alex

      If the dairy industry gets their way I will stop drinking milk and any other dairy product
      that has aspartame. Don’t let them fool you folks aspartame causes cancer.