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Food additives and cancer

Food additives are chemicals that help preserve, colour and flavour our food. It is very unlikely that food additives cause cancer.

Food additives are subjected to safety testing before they are even considered for approval by the Health Products and Food Branch, Bureau of Chemical Safety of Health Canada. Once approved and in use, all food additives are continuously monitored and reviewed for adverse reactions and hazards. If at any time the safety of a food additive is shown to be harmful, it is removed from the market.

Any food dyes or cosmetics that were once linked to cancer are no longer used in Canada.

Artificial sweeteners
Aspartame (also known as Nutrasweet) does not cause cancer. Cyclamates and saccharin in high doses have caused cancer in laboratory rats, but there is no proven link between these substances and cancer in humans. It is advisable to use these artificial sweeteners in moderation.



Dr Mani Larijani Studying a cancer-causing protein in 3-D

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Help for smokers trying to quit

Illustration of no smoking symbol

It’s okay to need help to quit smoking. The Canadian Cancer Society is here to support people who are ready to quit and even those people who aren’t ready.

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