/ SITE MAP
SAFETY AND REGULATIONS
 
Safety
Stevia sweeteners have a long history of use in South America and in Japan for more than 40 years, with no adverse effects ever being recorded. There have been literally hundreds of independent objective studies conducted worldwide on stevia leaves and stevia extracts (sweet components) to determine the potential toxicity and mutagenic propensity of this plant. The test results have always been negative. No abnormalities in weight change, food intake, or cell, membrane, or chromosome characteristics have been noted. Stevia has been proven to be non-carcinogenic (not cancer causing), not cause birth defects, and showed to have no acute and no chronic untoward effects. Results have shown unilaterally that stevia leaves and stevia extracts are safe for human consumption.
Many studies have also indicated very interesting positive side effects from stevia extracts. Amongst other things, stevia has been shown to regulate blood glucose levels, aid in the suffering of hypertension, assist in retarding plaque on teeth, and suppress antibacterial growth. Additional research studies are currently being conducted to further support these findings.
Many internet links, books, and scientific publications are available regarding the safety of stevia leaves and stevia extracts. Please feel free to contact us if you require more information on the subject.
Regulations

While the Safety of Stevia has been well proven worldwide and the plant and extracts have been widely used in South America for hundreds of years and in Asia for over 40 years, stevia products are still facing many restrictions.

Most countries in Asia and South America have embraced stevia has the ideal sweetener where it is used as a food ingredient or equivalent. However, countries such as the United States and Canada have yet to allow stevia derivatives to be used as a food ingredient. For now, it can only be used as a nutraceutical ingredient or food supplement. In Europe, stevia derivatives are officially not allowed to be used in any food or nutraceutical products.

Ironically, stevia was freely sold in North America in the 1980’s but in a strange twist of fashion US FDA started to seize stevia products in 1991 claiming that they were insufficient scientific evidence to assure that stevia could be used safely as a food substance. This decision was made despite the fact that stevia had been widely consumed by millions of people from its native origins in South America to Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, USA, and other countries for so long with no side effects ever being recorded.

Due to public pressure, the FDA was forced to change its stance and in 1994 allowed the sale of stevia under a ‘food supplement’. Since then, several lobbying groups in the United States have filed petitions with the FDA to make stevia to be considered as GRAS (generally recognized as safe). In all cases, US FDA has rejected the petition emphasizing that JECFA ((FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives) had yet to establish an ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) for stevia.

Recent events hopefully will assist US FDA review its position again since in May 2004, JECFA for the first time determined a temporary ADI for stevia glycoside sweetener at 2mg/kg body-weight/day.

View the JECFA summary and conclusions of the meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 8 to 17 June 2004.
Type of Government Approval by Country
The current status of approval for stevia varies in different parts of the world. The table below gives a brief overview of Government Approval for some selected countries.

Food Ingredient or Equivalent

Japan
Korea
China
India
Indonesia
Israel
Malaysia
Taiwan
South America
Russian Fed.
Switzerland
Dietary or Food Supplement
United States
Canada
Australia
New-Zealand
Unspecified

Asia

Europe

Middle East

Bangladesh
Croatia
Armenia
Brunei
Cyprus
Bahrain
Burma (Myanmar)
Czech Rep.
Jordan
Cambodia
Estonia
Kuwait
Laos
Hungary
Lebanon
Pakistan
Latvia
Oman
Philippines
Lithuania
Saudi Arabia
Sri Lanka
Norway
Syria
Thailand
Poland
United Arab
Turkey
Romania
Yemen
Vietnam
Slovak Rep.
Slovenia
Turkey
Ukraine

Not Approved

Europe Asia
Austria
Hong Kong
Belgium
Singapore
Denmark
 
Finland
 
France
 
Germany
 
Greece
 
Ireland
 
Italy
 
Luxembourg
 
Netherlands
 
Portugal
 
Spain
 
Sweden
 
United Kingdom
 
 
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