Is Stevia Safe?

To answer this question, it is important to differentiate between processed forms of stevia and the naturally occurring herbal form.

Stevia as the green plant that you can grow in your backyard or find as dried leaf or tincture form is considered safe and has even been studied and found to have health benefits.

Powdered and bleached stevia, though FDA approved, has not been studied and undergoes an extensive chemical process to reach its final white powdered form.

Likely. Let’s take a look at stevia’s recent history. First, understand that any products marketed as “stevia” are either whole-leaf stevia or extracts other than Reb A — none of which has been evaluated by the FDA to be used as a sweetener.

The FDA banned stevia in 1991 due to preliminary studies suggesting that it may lead to cancer. This was revoked in 1995 when the FDA ruled it safe to be sold as a food supplement. They then granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to Reb A in 2008 after the makers of Pure Via and Truvia submitted research supporting its safety. Whole-leaf stevia and stevia extracts, however, are still considered dietary supplements.

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