Aspartame is BAD. We know this and
there's plenty of information on this
all over the Net. But what if you could have a safe alternative the was not artificial like aspartame/nutrasweet or too refined/overused like sugar?
Well, there is such an alternative, but unfortunately The FDA and All EU countries are essentialy banning this harmless herb from being sold. I recenlty started a Sugar elliminating diet and was adviced to get Stevia as it is totaly safe , has no aftertaste and does not have the bad effects of aspartame/ nutrasweet and sugar. However, I can not find this herb anywhere in the UK and apparently it is unlawfull to even import or have it.
In 1991, the FDA banned the importation of stevia. The powder of the leaf has been used for hundreds of years as an alternative sweetner. It is used widely in Japan with no adverse effects. Scientists involved in reviewing stevia have declared it to be safe for human consumption - something which has been well known in many parts of the world where it is not banned. Everyone that I have spoken with in regards to this issue believes that stevia was banned to keep the product from taking hold in the US and cutting into sales of aspartame.
The UK standards Web site states:
Stevia and Stevioside
There has recently been considerable interest in the use of Stevia and the sweetener Stevioside. This article explains why neither the sweetener Stevioside or Stevia, nor the plants and dried leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, are permitted for sale in the EU.
Stevioside, a high intensity sweetener 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose, is isolated and purified from leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant which is native to South America.
The European Commission considered an application for its use in 1998. The data was considered by the EC Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) who indicated that the extract has the potential to produce adverse effects in the male reproductive system that could affect fertility and that steviol, a metabolite of stevioside produced by human gut microflora, damages DNA. The Committee therefore concluded that stevioside was not acceptable as a sweetener. As stevioside and other Stevia products are not listed as permitted sweeteners in the relevant regulations, it is illegal to sell them as sweeteners in the UK.
Stevioside was first considered by the SCF for approval for use as a sweetener within the EU in 1985 and again in 1989. On both occasions the Committee raised a number of questions and concluded that, based on the submitted documentation, it's use could not be accepted. Stevioside extracts from Stevia rebaudiana leaves were also considered as toxicologically not acceptable.
In 1998 the EC Standing Committee for Foodstuffs concluded that Stevia, the plants and dried leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni was a novel food under EC Regulation 258/97. An application to market Stevia was evaluated initially by the Belgian authorities who recommended that the product should not be approved. The product was then considered in the UK by the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP) as part of the approval process for novel foods. The ACNFP agreed with the opinion of the Belgian authorities and recommended that the product should not be approved due to lack of information supporting the safety of the product. This view was also supported by a number of other Member States. The application was subsequently referred to the SCF who concluded that insufficient information had been submitted on the plant products with regard to specification and standardisation and that it contained no safety studies. There was no satisfactory data to support the safe use of these products as ing In December 1999, the Government wrote to companies known to be trading in Stevia products to inform them of the SCF's opinion and to advise that these products are not permitted for sale in the UK.
So, when it comes to aspartame and nutrasweet where the are at least hunderds of commonly known problems, everything is OK, and they can sell it. You know who. But when it comes to selling / importing a harmless herb , you can't.
This problem is getting Global and it is not only the UK or US that will loose this great herb because of greed (and probably other reasons) but soon the rest of the world too.
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