Dec 18, 2008 | 4
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last night declared that a controversial new sweetener is safe, raising the ire of consumer advocates who charge that not enough tests have been done to rule out possible risks. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) today denounced the FDA decision, saying that previous animal studies showed a possible link between potentially cancerous genetic mutations and the no-cal sugar sub stevia, which is derived from a shrub grown in South America.
"It is far too soon to allow this substance in the diet sodas and juice drinks consumed by millions of people," CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson said in a statement.
Dec 16, 2008 | 9
Consumer advocates are slamming Coca Cola Co. for plans to begin selling three Odwalla drinks containing the zero-calorie sweetener stevia as early as this week, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet deemed it safe, the Wall Street Journal reports. Coke rival PepsiCo, meanwhile, says it will wait for FDA okay before selling its stevia beverages Trop 50 and SoBe Life Water, according to the Associated Press.
Stevia is actually a shrub that grows in Paraquay and Brazil; an extract from it known as rebaudioside A is being touted by foodies as the "Holy Grail" of sugar subs because it's 300 times sweeter than the real thing and just as natural sans the calories. Other low or no-cal sugar alternatives such as aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet) saccharin (Sweet'N Low) and sucralose (Splenda) are artificial products.
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