PepsiCo does not intend to change its product portfolio following a report that artificial sweetener aspartame was set to be declared a possible carcinogen, chief financial officer Hugh Jonston told Reuters.
Aspartame, will be listed as 'possibly carcinogenic to humans' on 14 July for the first time by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organisation's (WHO) cancer research arm, Reuters reported in June.
"We don't have any plans to change the product portfolio relative to where we are right now with aspartame," Johnston said.
Aspartame, discovered in 1965 by American chemist James Schlatter, is about 200 times sweeter than the regular table sugar.
Johnston noted there had been over a 100 studies on aspartame, which had concluded it is safe as an ingredient.
"By far the weight of the scientific evidence suggests that aspartame is safe as an ingredient, and obviously has the benefit of being zero calorie," he added.
PepsiCo was one of the companies that used the sweetener in its US diet sodas but removed it in 2019. The company brought it back a year later, but again removed the ingredient in 2020.
Johnston said, "It is probably in a few products, but it's not a huge part."
The beverage giant, which raised its annual revenue and profit forecasts, said it could easily shift to using other kinds of sweeteners if the need ever arises.
"The only thing to keep in mind is aspartame is one sweetener. There are lots of different sweeteners we use and candidly it's relatively easy for us to shift sweeteners if it became something that was important to do," Johnston added.