AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A company is shutting down a major portion of its Augusta production plant and laying off about 200 employees.
NutraSweet announced that it will no longer make the artificial sweetener aspartame because of competition from foreign companies. The company's Augusta aspartame plant will be shut down by the end of the year.
"Low cost imports now dominate the aspartame market, making it impossible for us to sustain a profitable business while maintaining our unmatched standard of quality," CEO William DeFer said in a statement.
The company will offer severance payments and outplacement services to all affected employees, according to a press release.
NutraSweet will continue to produce, sell and distribute two other artificial sweeteners - neotame and Twinsweet - from Augusta. According to the Associated Press, 10 to 20 employees will be left in Augusta to focus on those products.