Saturday, 11 August 2007

Stevia, safety, EU

In the previously mentioned article about stevia, a paragraph in the safety information section reads:

“More elaborate safety tests were performed by the Japanese during their evaluations of stevia as a possible sweetening agent. Few substances have ever yielded such consistently negative results in toxicity trials as has stevia. Almost every toxicity test imaginable has been performed on stevia extract or stevioside at one time or another The results are always negative. No abnormalities in weight change, food intake, cell or membrane characteristics, enzyme and substrate utilization, or chromosome characteristics. No cancer, no birth defects, no acute and no chronic untoward effects. Nothing.”
Now, if the Japanese have already assessed the safety of stevia, how come we in the eu now have to jump through hoops in order to have stevia approved as a “novel food”?