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Aspartame safe to eat, European agency finds

Wed., Dec. 11, 2013

AMSTERDAM – The European Food Safety Authority has found that the artificial sweetener aspartame is safe for people to consume at the levels currently used in diet soft drinks.

After conducting a major review of evidence, the agency said Tuesday it has ruled out any “potential risk of aspartame causing damage to genes and inducing cancer.”

Aspartame, the sweetener used in Diet Coke and other sugar-free soft drinks, is also known under the brand name NutraSweet.

MasterCard announces plan to roll back stock

PURCHASE, N.Y. – MasterCard will roll back the price of its stock with its first split as a public company. It also plans to reward shareholders with an 83 percent increase in its dividend and spend up to $3.5 billion buying back its stock.

The maneuvers announced Tuesday are designed to provide another lift to a stock that has soared nearly twentyfold from its initial public offering price of $39 in May 2006. The stock closed Tuesday at $763.61, a run-up driven by MasterCard Inc.’s steadily rising profits as people increasingly rely on debit and credit cards instead of cash.

The 10-for-1 split calls for stockholders to receive nine additional shares for each one they already own. That means MasterCard will issue nearly 1.1 billion more shares Jan. 21, an increase that will dramatically drive down its stock price.

GE credit card division will refund $34.1 million

WASHINGTON – General Electric Co.’s credit card division will refund $34.1 million to consumers who government regulators say were misled about the potential costs of relying on a deferred-interest plan to pay their medical bills.

The settlement announced Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau affects more than 1 million people who obtained CareCredit cards from GE Capital Retail Bank since 2009. GE Capital didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing in consenting to the order.


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