Is Stevia Safe?

A. This year, a few noncaloric sweeteners made from an extract of the Stevia rebaudiana plant arrived on grocery-store shelves. The stevia plant has a long history of use as a sweetener in South America. These new sweeteners—sold under brand names like Truvia and PureVia—include a highly purified extract of stevia called Rebaudioside A (a.k.a. Rebiana or Reb A). Reb A is 200 times sweeter than sugar and does not raise blood sugar.

Until December 2008, stevia and its derivatives could be sold in the U.S. only as dietary supplements, due to safety concerns. In the 1980s, animal studies linked stevia with adverse effects on fertility and reproductive development and possible genetic mutations. But in 2008, the makers of Truvia and PureVia submitted research to the Food and Drug Administration regarding Reb A’s safety and petitioned for it to become a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) ingredient.

The FDA affirmed the GRAS status, but did not change the previous ruling on stevia. “Reb A is different than whole-leaf stevia or [other] stevia extracts, which can only be sold as dietary supplements,” says FDA spokesperson Michael Herndon. “Nobody has provided the FDA with evidence that whole-leaf stevia is safe.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a consumer advocacy group, believes that the Reb A’s GRAS status was granted prematurely. “In the past, FDA protocol required repeated testing in two separate animal species prior to approval, but in this case it didn’t,” says David Schardt, nutrition expert with CSPI. “We are not warning people to avoid Reb A, but the public should be aware that the FDA did not follow all the usual safeguards.”

Bottom Line: The FDA considers Reb A a safe sugar substitute, but has not approved other forms of stevia. If you want to use stevia, we suggest sticking with Reb A (look for it on the ingredient label).

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If the FDA knew for a fact, that Stevia adversely effected fertility and reproductive development, they would approve it in a heartbeat! Then some high ranking executive from the FDA would get a nice cushy job, with a six figure salary, with whatever company was the major lobbyist for the product.


02/22/2013 - 2:30am

any brands such as truvia, are not the real stevia and should be addressed. they have dextrose in them, which act as artificial sweetners and effect our brain cells, once the body temperature welcomes it in our inner body, iur neurotransmitters get damaged, when a condition known as excitotoxicity occurs. Just like objects, we have energy flowing through our bodies. Our system is not designed to accept these types of sweeteners. if you would like to find out more, please visit my site divasmasas, go to the stevia section and do some research. good luck matt.

any of the larger stores, you should not give them business for one and with supply and demand theory, they cannot produce the demand nationwide without putting those pesky additives in products. sad but true.


02/18/2013 - 8:04pm

The FDA and UsDA are all crooks. They have absolutely no interest in the health of Americans. I'm disgusted by how they run food stuff and will never trust them or buy ANYTHING approved by them. The Chinese have been using Stevia for centuries and have been avoided by the FDA for just as long. They now are feeling the heat from all the other lab created artificial ingredients that are killing us, so they decide to jump on the Stevia band wagon and then have the nerve to find a way to process more efficiently by adding a bunch of other crap to it. Open your eyes people, boycot, boycot, boycot. Grow a vegetable plot, support locally grown sustainable farms. Don't buy processed or cannd foods. Ef the FDA!


02/17/2013 - 9:58am

I don't trust the FDA at all. They are killing us with all the bad chemicals in our food.


02/13/2013 - 11:10am

where can I get seed or plants of Stevia?


02/04/2013 - 9:21pm

Bottom Line: The FDA considers Reb A a safe sugar substitute, but has not approved other forms of stevia. If you want to use stevia, we suggest sticking with Reb A (look for it on the ingredient label).

Buy online pure Stevia Rebaudiana extract: 100 % Rebaudioside A 98 (Reb-A 98)


02/04/2013 - 1:25am

Anyone know if Natvia is safe?


01/02/2013 - 9:26pm

Stevia (Pure stevia not the branded products produced by big ag) is a wonderful substitute for cooking and beverages. We have been using it for years (since around 2001 when we were looking for an alternative to sweetener that wasn't chemical). We use it even more now with one of us on a Paleo diet. As to the reference to Super Size me I strongly recommend watching the movie FatHead and doing some related research. eat at home if you want to eat healthy but eat smart not corn syrups etc (unnatural cornsyrup causes so many problems!) Stevia is economical and while it can't be directly substituted in some recipes it can be used with great success in many. Thanksgiving saw my first effort in sugar and gluten free pumpkin pie with just a wee bit of stevia powder (3/4 tsp of pure) and well.... they want more!!


12/26/2012 - 11:05am

Oddly enough, Stevia plants grow very well on the Central Coast of CA. Dried and ground up leaves seem to be a very good sugar substitute. Prof. D. Williamson


12/17/2012 - 4:02pm

I've been growing it my garden for years. It really does satisfy a sugar craving on a hot summer day, even my 4 year old daughter likes it. I also just found a new soda called "Zevia" which contains Reb A, and its pretty good.


12/10/2012 - 1:33pm

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