The European Commission requested that EFSA brought forward the review to 2012. It had previously been planned for completion in 2020.
EFSA launched a public call for scientific data as well as a thorough literature review, enabling its Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food to start the risk assessment early this year.
The panel found there was too little information available on 5-benzyl-3,6-dioxo-2-piperazine acetic acid and other potential degradation products that can be formed from aspartame in food and beverages when stored under certain conditions.
EFSA is therefore calling for additional information on such degradation products. As a result, EFSA said the panel would be unable to finish its work by the end of September as planned. EFSA is discussing a new deadline for the final opinion.