Stevia & The FDA

Look closely. This plant, Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is under tighter security than any brick of heroin, pound of marijuana, or for that matter, meth lab. In fact, after reading a few dozen internet articles about the FDA tearing up cookbooks or raiding Celestial Seasonings, you get a sense the DEA should be taking lessons from the FDA on how to control drug trafficking.

Some would have us believe the FDA is looking out for OUR best interests, protecting us from what they claim is an untested, pontentially dangerous herb.

If that were really true, why did they approve Aspartame, albeit not a herb, which has been proven to TRULY be dangerous: death, hearing loss, memory loss, hypertension, arthritis, brain cancer, and if you’re really lucky, only headache and migraines.

In between visits to Iraq, it looks like Donald Rumsfeld, will be answering a lot of questions, right along with Monsanto, the creator of Aspartame (Nutrasweet). There’s mystery, intrigue and drama with a $350 million dollar plus lawsuit and the potential for this to become known as Deep Pockets if the prosecution is able to adequately show Rumsfeld used his political power to get Aspartame approved. We’re not, of course, holding our breath. Airing laundry THAT huge and dirty just isn’t done. It’s enough to tempt me to read Libertarian literature.

Waiting in the wings is Stevia, but Deep Pockets will continue to fight against it, as they’ve done for many years, because it poses such an incredible deadly risk. Not to us or our health, but a deadly risk to their highly profitable, albeit destructive, chemical business. And for that, we all continue to suffer and lose.

According to, as well as several hundred other sites, With hundreds of scientific studies attesting to stevia’s safety, as well as documented historical usage, the FDA cites vague safety concerns as the reason for denying stevia sweetener status. When the agency was asked by a journalist in 1997 for a list “of all studies FDA is aware of alleging a detrimental effect from stevia or steviosides,” it eventually came up with 19 studies. (FDA officials would not say if they had actually reviewed any of the “studies” mentioned, some of which were just brief reports and one a letter to the editor of a foreign journal). But this list, which the FDA supposedly issued to validate its misgivings, does raise new questions—only not about stevia.

I’ll be growin’ my own Stevia this summer.

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