The Palestinian Authority is accusing Israel of spreading cancer among the Palestinian people by distributing food products containing the artificial sweetener saccharine, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but once thought to be carcinogenic, an Arab newspaper said on Tuesday.
Saccharine, the main ingredient in the popular “Sweet n’ Low” powdered sweetener, was once believed to cause cancer. However, the FDA approved it forhuman consumption again in 1977 after no evidence was found that it was carcinogenic.
“Sweet n’ Low” is one of the most popular sweeteners in the world and is commonly used in Israeli food products.
But Palestinian Environmental Affairs Minister Yousef Abu Safieh accused Israel of manufacturing drinks made with saccharine especially for distribution in the Palestinian Authority.
In an interview with the London-based Arab newspaper al-Shark al-Awsat, he said that in the past the PA had seized trucks loaded with juices and biscuits that contained the sweetener and that Palestinian traders manufactured the juices despite knowing of their health hazards.
Suspicious soft drinks
Other commonly used sweeteners sold internationally include aspartame, which is found in packets of powdered “Equal” and in Coca Cola and Pepsi-brand drinks, as well as acesulfame potassium and sucralose.
Abu Safieh added that Egyptian authorities found two trucks along the Israeli-Egyptian border that contained child’s games that emitted cancerous radiation.
This is not the first time the Palestinian Authority has blamed Israel of spreading “diseases” in the
West Bank and Gaza. Its late leader Yasser Arafat often accused Israel of using “depleted uranium” in the Palestinian territories, and his wife, Suha, said Israel distributed poisoned candy to Palestinian children.
Israel has always denied the charges.