Uh-Oh: FDA Now Calls Stevia Unsafe
October 02, 2007
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The South American herb stevia, which is used as a natural sweetener, has been called an “unsafe food additive” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA sent a letter to Hain Celestial Group Inc, maker of Celestial Seasonings herbal teas, saying the stevia used in some of their teas may be dangerous to blood sugar and reproductive, cardiovascular, and renal systems.
Stevia is several hundred times sweeter than sugar, and has no calories. Though it’s approved as a dietary supplement in the United States, it is not approved as a food additive. A dozen other countries, including Japan, China, and Brazil, have approved the sweetener however.
Beverage giants including Coca-Cola Co. are eyeing stevia as a new low-calorie sweetener, but while the FDA has received requests to use stevia in food, they say "data and information necessary to support the safe use have been lacking."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest also believes that data is lacking to support the safety of stevia in food.
Coca-Cola and Cargill Inc. are working to prove the safety of the herb, but in the meantime, Hain plans to change their stevia-containing teas’ labels to state that they are supplements, not foods.
Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Warning Letter August 17, 2007
Reuters September 18, 2007
What Are GMOs?
From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.
GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.
Help Support GMO Labeling
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.
Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.
The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.
Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve
Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.
Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.