The Australian Sugar Industry Association says it wants to ban all the sweeteners in its bag of sweeteners, which is used in a range of consumer products including candies, chips, drinks and biscuits.
The ban would affect only fanniemary and fannys sweetener, sorbitol.
It says sorbitols are a known carcinogen, a possible human carcinogen and a known neurotoxin.
It also says the bags are contaminated with harmful pesticides and chemical residues.
It said the Australian Food Standards Agency (AFSA) was not consulted about the bags of sweetener.
The ABC contacted the Association of Australian Sugar Regulators (AASR) for a response but did not receive a reply.
The AASR’s director, Peter Fogg, said the association was “disappointed” in the ban, but was not aware of the issue until contacted by the ABC.
“We don’t know whether there’s a causal link,” he said.
“But if you’re concerned about the health and safety of children and you think there’s some risk to them, you should be concerned.”
Fogg said he was “not sure” that the AASRLs own testing of the bags found any evidence of a health hazard.
“It’s something that’s on the market that’s been available for a long time, it’s not something that has been specifically approved for use,” he told the ABC, adding that the company had “zero tolerance” for any risk to children.
Fogg also said the Aasr did not have “a legal obligation” to advise sugar sweetener manufacturers about the ban.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement it would investigate whether there was a “substantial risk” to children and consumers.
“As a precautionary measure, we have undertaken a review of the Australian Sugar Sugar Industry’s bag of sugar-sweetening ingredients and will be assessing the situation,” it said.
The FDA said it would review the ban on all sugar sweeteners.
It issued a statement saying it had “strongly encouraged” the AFSRA to “consider and address the concerns raised by consumers”.
“The FDA also believes the industry has a responsibility to protect the public from potentially harmful substances,” it added.
The food and drink industry association said it wanted to put in place a “meaningful and robust” ban on the bags.
“If the government were to continue to ignore this clear warning and to ban a potentially dangerous ingredient, there would be no meaningful and robust ban on sugar sweetenings in Australia,” said the sugar industry group’s CEO, Dr Peter McCourt.
“Fannie Mae has failed to act in the best interests of the consumer and the public.”
Fannie Mae is Australia’s largest sugar supplier and the biggest food and beverage company in the country.
The company is the biggest importer of sugar in the world, with about $8.3 billion worth of sugar sold in Australia in 2013.
The ACCC said it was reviewing the ban because it could be considered a “material breach” of the Fair Trading Act.
“In particular, there may be concerns that the proposed ban is inconsistent with the principles of common law consumer protection,” the regulator said.
It added: “The ACCC will consider whether there is a material breach of the rules of conduct and consumer protection as outlined in the Fair Trade Act.”
The AFSR says the ban would apply to all sugar products and to any other sugar product that is made in Australia.