The LazyTown company has requested that button badges marked with it be withdrawn from sale in Iceland, and this was done after a one-and-a-half-year-old girl swallowed a pin from such a badge. Last week, the young girl was playing with a badge from LazyTown and managed to take it apart. As a result, she swallowed the very pin from a badge, but fortunately the pin slid into her in such a way that ...
“Following a discussion in April that our vitamins contained aspartame, we decided to take them off the market. We canceled the production contract with Icepharma and now we are checking whether vitamins will be produced without these additives,” says Guðmundur Haukur Magnason, manager of LazyTown’s sales department. “Stores can sell the vitamins they have now. When this product first went on the market, knowledge of sweeteners was not as comprehensive and controversial as it is today. We have made the decision that in the future there will be no sweeteners in products from LazyTown,” says Guðmundur.
Is the content confidential?
LazyTown vitamins contain sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol and sorbitol. In addition, there are flavor enhancers, but the exact ingredients are not specified in the description. There have been doubts about the side effects of aspartame, but if it is consumed in very large quantities, it can cause cancer. Icepharma is the distributor of the LazyTown vitamins, and when they were contacted to get the exact amount of aspartame in the vitamins, that information was not received. Guðmundur at LazyTown could not give those numbers either. An employee of Ice-pharma said that recipes are confidential, but it is mandatory to specify active ingredients in the ingredient description. However, it is not mandatory to disclose the amount of sweeteners and binders the product contains. However, Icepharma claimed that the sweeteners were in very small amounts.
No need to take vitamins
Ingibjörg Gunnarsdóttir, associate professor in the Department of Food and Nutrition at the University of Iceland, says she can’t say whether it’s bad or good that aspartame is found in the LazyTown vitamins. “It is now generally said that people do not need to take vitamins if dietary recommendations are followed. However, fish oil must be taken in,” says Ingibjörg. In June of last year, the results of a new study on aspartame and cancer in laboratory rats were published. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is evaluating the implementation and results of the study in order to determine whether the dose of aspartame that is currently considered to be safe to consume needs to be changed.
“The European Food Safety Authority has set an upper limit for aspartame consumption. The amount of aspartame that is safe to consume per day considering that it does not cause health damage is 40 milligrams of aspartame per kilogram per day,” says Ingibjörg. “If this amount is transferred to a sugar-free soft drink, it is approximately four and a half liters per day for an adult, but children can tolerate less. This daily consumption value is the amount that people can consume daily throughout their lives without the risk of harmful effects,” says Ingibjörg. She adds, however, that these limits are based on results about the formation of cancer.
Not for research
When asked about the amount of aspartame in vitamin tablets, Ingibjörg says that the amount in them is presumably very small. “Today, not enough is known about the possible harmful effects of aspartame in terms of factors other than cancer, such as headaches or joint pain. There are no studies that support this, but it is also not possible to blame people who claim that they feel discomfort after consuming aspartame,” says Ingibjörg.