Ajinomoto, the Japan-based maker of Advantame, has filed a petition for approval of the non-nutritive sweetener, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and asking for public comments on the matter. The petition is being reviewed by the FDA. Under requirements of federal law, this petition for approval of a new food additive must be approved by the agency before the product can be marketed for its proposed use as a sweetener in foods. Detailed information on the food additive petition process is available at fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/FoodAdditives/default.htm. The Advantame petition was submitted with an environmental assessment. As required by the National Environmental Policy Act, the filing notice with its environmental assessment is available and the public is encouraged to comment on this or any petition under FDA review, said Arthur Whitmore, spokesman for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Some environmentalists have voiced concern about such additives that are not absorbed by the body and end up in sewage systems. The environmental impact study is worth review prior to commenting. The petition is available for viewing and comment through the Federal Docket Management System on the "Regulations.gov" website: regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#home. The docket number is FDA-2009-F-0303. You can also locate the petition and its EA by entering "Advantame" in the search window of the webpage.