Stevia is globally approved as safe for use by leading medical, scientific and regulatory authorities, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).   These approvals were based on an extensive volume of safety data, including human clinical trials.

 

Regulatory Milestones for Stevia:

United States:  In response to Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) notifications submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA has stated it has no questions regarding the conclusion of expert panels that stevia is GRAS for use as a general purpose sweetener in foods and beverages, excluding meat and poultry.

European Union: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the safety of steviol glycosides from stevia and established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 4 mg/kg bw/day for their safe use.  Then, the European Commission authorized the use of steviol glycosides as a sweetener in foods and beverages. It is also approved as a dietary supplement in the EU.

Canada: In Canada, Stevia was approved for use as a tabletop sweetener and in certain food categories in 2012.  For more information, visit: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consult/steviol/document-consultation-eng.php#t2.

Global:  Stevia and steviol glycosides have a long history of safe use in several countries, including Japan (since 1971) and Paraguay. Stevia sweeteners are approved for use in over 60 other countries, including Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Russia, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and Malaysia.

References:

Carakostas M, et al. Overview: the history, technical function and safety of rebaudioside A, a naturally occurring steviol glycoside, for use in food and beverages, Food and Chemical Toxicology (2008) vol 46:S1-S10., doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.05.003

Joint WHO/FAO Expert Committee on Food Additives Monograph

For more information regarding the FDA’s GRAS process visit FDA’s food ingredient approval process: Safety assurance based on scientific assessment (pdf).