Stevia Extracts with a purity of more than 95% have been approved as a food ingredient in the European Union in December 2011. The Commission Regulation can be read under: European Legislation.
A unit of the World Health Organization (WHO), the JEFCA, has allocated an ADI-VALUE, or an average daily intake recommendation for the use of Stevia. For many people, this is a confirmation of the fact that Stevia is safe for human consumption. This value is 4 mg per KG body weight Steviol equivalents, which roughly equals 11 mg per KG body weight Reb A. This means that an European with 60 kg body weight would be allowed to safely consume about 660 mg Reb A per day, which equals about 200 g sugar and 800 calories!
There are numerous big names in the food industry which have plans to get into the Stevia market, after it received official approval. It is already being highly recommended by doctors and health care practitioners, who approve of it. A concern that remains valid is the fact that there is no quality control system in place for Stevia products which are sold in the European marketplace
We, at SteSweet, are greatly concerned with this issue. For our own products, we are dedicated to only selling food, which is of food grade quality. To ensure this we send our products to a well-respected German food analysis lab for independent testing.
Stevia is already a success the world over. The United States has finally just given approval to Reb-A for use in food. Stevia was approved as a food in Australia a few months ago. Its popularity as a supplement has continued to grow unchecked over the years. In the Japanese marketplace it is the predominant sugar substitute. For over 30 years it has been legal there and has been marketed on the basis of its health benefits. It has more that 25% of the sweetener market in Japan. Stevia is also being grown, marketed and used in a variety of other countries around the world.
Some of the countries in which Stevia is approved for use include Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Columbia, Japan, China, Taiwan and Russia. In the United States and Canada it is approved only as a dietary supplement. In several countries such as Pakistan, Cambodia and Venezuela, its status is non-specified. In the Philippines, Hong Kong and Mexico, it is not approved.