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This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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Aspartame Scare

The headlines declare that aspartame has shown a statistically significant increase in malignant tumors.

Looking at the abstract, they state "statistically significant (p<0.01)", but decide not to tell you the RR. Looking through the document (rushing to the results section), I discover that the same wording is there. Once I dig down to the table of results I discover that 23 non-dosed rodents had tumors while 28 dosed rodents had tumors. More astonishing is the fact that at 400ppm there was no increase whatsoever.

Their conclusion, of course, was that we should avoid all Aspartame products.

I am confused however by their tables. They say in the methods that they necropsied all of the rats, but in the table they only list 70, 70, 95. I am sure that there is some very important reason that they didn't just put down all 4000. I hope someone with more common sense than I can explain it to me.