Companies Unaware of Formula Change Risks to PKU Sufferers

I have called on companies changing their formulae to reduce sugar content to beat the sugar tax to consider the need of sufferers of rare diseases like PKU (Phenylketonuria).

PKU is a genetic condition that prevents sufferers from digesting certain amounts of protein. This requires a lifetime of following a highly regimented and restrictive diet.

As companies try to reduce the amount of sugar in their products to avoid the impact of the sugar tax, many have switched to Aspartame, one of the most popular sugar substitutes.

Aspartame is also a source of protein and as such poses a risk to those with PKU exceeding their protein level and risking consequences as dire as brain damage.

Poor labelling and a reluctance to highlight the changes mean that people with PKU might accidentally consume these products or do so without knowing. I am therefore calling on companies to highlight the fact that ingredients such as Aspartame are present in their products, to avoid any unwanted consequences.

It should also be noted that not all substitutes are the same, Stevia is one such product which is a safer alternative for PKU sufferers.

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