International Regulatory Status of Stevia

San Antonio, TX. SVETIA® CALORIE FREE SWEETENER is a stevia extracted sweetener produced by METCO FOODS INC.  According to the Global Stevia Institute, the authoritative, science-based resource for information on the nutritional and sweetening properties of plant species Stevia rebaudiana, stevia and its sweet tasting components, scientifically called steviol glycosides, have a long history of use in several countries, including Japan and Paraguay.  Stevia sweeteners are approved for use in many other countries, including Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Russia, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and Malaysia.

In December 2008, in response to Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) notifications submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this institution stated it had no questions regarding the conclusion of expert panels that rebaudioside A, one of stevia sweeteners, is GRAS for use as a general purpose sweetener in foods and beverages, excluding meat and poultry. Rebaudioside A is isolated and purified from the leaves of the stevia plant. In June 2009, FDA stated it has no questions regarding the conclusion of an expert panel on the GRAS status of another steviol glycoside extract with high rebaudioside a content for use as a tabletop sweetener. Similar GRAS notifications are before FDA for other steviol glycoside extracts isolated and purified from Stevia rebaudiana. The US FDA has not approved the use of stevia plant leaves; in US only purified extracts of stevia leaves can be used in foods and beverages; however, according to the Calorie Control Council, stevia has been approved as a dietary supplement in the US while in Canada, it is sold as a natural health product.

Leading international organizations support the safety and benefits of naturally sourced, zero calorie stevia: the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the Calorie Control Council, the European Food Information Council, the International Food Information Council (IFIC), and the Institute of Food Science And Technology.

In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the safety of steviol glycosides from stevia and established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for their safe use. In November, 2011, the European Commission authorized the use of steviol glycosides as a sweetener in foods and beverages.

In Mexico, METCO® was the first company to get a patent on the use of stevia. Now, METCO®has just signed by HEB to supply SVETIA® CALORIE FREE SWEETENER, a stevia extracted sweetener, obtained from a co-crystallization process patented by METCO®.

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SVETIA® Calorie – Free Sweetener is made with cane sugar and stevia extract. One packet of SVETIA® contains only one gram of carbohydrates. People with diabetes are advised to check with their registered dietitian or physician.

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