Stevia ban lifted.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: New News on Stevia - Ban Lifted!
From: (Kathjokl)
Date: 8 Oct 1995 08:18:46 -0400

In September the FDA finally lifted the import ban on stevia but it must be imported as a dietary supplement. The FDA reiterarated it's stand that stevia used as a sweetener is an unapproved food additive and therefore illegal. As long as stevia is not labeled for food use but rather for use as a dietarty supplement or an ingredient in a dietary supplement and no sweetening claim are made, it can now be sold.

What this means is that stevia should become available again soon and at reasonable prices. I occasionally see sources for stevia in this newsgroup and the prices are outrageous as compared to what they were 3 years ago before the import ban. I guess it has to do with smuggling overhead and supply and demand. This should be remedied as large quantities are imported and flood the market.

So, we have won part of the battle. Even though stevia can't be labeled as a sweetener, at least we can get it again and there is a lot of information available elsewhere on how to use it, such as independantly published cookbooks.

Meanwhile the herb industry is continuing its fight to get the FDA to allow stevia's use as a sweetener - so maybe in another 3 years...