Stevia. Most people probably haven’t heard of it. Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical South America and
With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Medical research has also shown possible benefits of stevia in treating obesity and high blood pressure. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets. However, health and political controversies have limited stevia’s availability in many countries; for example, the
The question to ask is: Why it was banned unless labeled as a supplement by the US FDA? Is it because it’s potentially harmful to humans? In reality, stevia is natural and non-toxic. Compared to nutra-sweet or Splenda which are both derived through a chemical process, it’s actually much healthier for you.
In 1991, when the FDA labeled the plant as an “unsafe additive,” it restricted the import of stevia. This brought on much controversy that brought up questions of whether the FDA acted on results from empirical data that stevia was “inadequate to demonstrate its safety,” or if it was pressure from lobbyists in the artificial sweetener industry. Most likely we all have our opinions on that!
Well guess what…last year the FDA lifted the restriction and stevia can now be used as an additive. Wow, just when you thought our government did not act in the best interest of the people they TOTALLY redeem themselves…or NOT.
The real reason the restriction was lifted is not because they find that it’s in the best interest of public health. Forget that there is this all-natural product that grows from the ground that could be used as a sugar substitute rather than using nasty chemicals that we are finding cause an array of symptoms. Instead, what really pushed them to make the change…COCA COLA. That’s right folks. The beverage giant pushed and the government tipped over.
At least the soda giants took a turn for the better **applause**:
In December 2008, the FDA gave a “no objection” approval for GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) product status to Truvia (developed by Cargill and The Coca-Cola Company) and PureVia (developed by PepsiCo and the Whole Earth Sweetener Company, a subsidiary of Merisant), both of which are wholly-derived from the Stevia plant.
NikiNorman Wellness Infotainment