Canadian Cancer Society logo
You are here: 
A-|A|A+

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.

A-|A|A+

Stories

Harold Johns His amazing career and legacy live on today, inspiring a new generation of scientists who are discovering new ways to harness the power of medical imaging to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Read Harold's story

Cancer information in over a hundred languages

Illustration of question mark

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) is Canada’s only national, bilingual, toll-free service that offers personalized comprehensive cancer information in over 100 languages.

Learn more