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Stevia, A Natural Sugar Substitute

Stevia comes from a plant that originated in South America and was used by the locals as a sweetener for mate tea.  In the 1960ís, Japan banned many sugar substitutes because the government felt they were unsafe for long-term human consumption. 

Stevia was introduced there in 1970 and has now become one of the largest selling natural sugar substitutes in Japan.  Japan has done extensive safety studies on this sweetener and has found that is it safe for human consumption.

Humans have safely used Stevia for a very long time compared with most other sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners.  Unfortunately, many products made with this sweetener have a slight licorice aftertaste, which some people find unpleasant.  Luckily, there is now a version that has been taste corrected so that it has no strong after-taste.

Is Stevia Safe?

The FDA has approved stevia as a food supplement/additive but not as a sweetener.  This seems to be a political issue with the FDA because companies producing sugar substitutes feel stevia will compete with their products. 

Because no one company or organization is willing to put up the millions of dollars it would cost to get approval from the FDA, this great sugar substitute is not approved in the US even though it has been approved by many other countries and has been safely used for many years.  A few of the countries that have approved stevia include:  Japan, China, Germany, Israel and Brazil.


 Find on This Web Site

More about Stevia

This long and detailed article from the Herb Research Foundation gives all the background information you could want on this topic.
Stevia Leaf:  Too Good to be Legal?
 

 


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