GILBERT, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wisdom Natural Brands—the Stevia market leader—announced today that an independent panel of scientists has awarded the company’s SweetLeaf® Brand Stevia self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status pursuant to federal regulations. The review, conducted by GRAS Associates, a leading consulting firm for the food industry headed by two former senior scientists at FDA’s GRAS review branch, involved an extensive review of published research and toxicology studies as well as international standards for the safe use of Stevia in food. FDA regulations allow companies to independently determine through a self-affirmation process that an ingredient is generally recognized as safe by qualified experts. Wisdom is confident that it has satisfied this standard through the work conducted by GRAS Associates.
Unlike other companies that have announced achievement of “self-GRAS,” Wisdom has taken the extra step of obtaining a second opinion from another independent expert organization. In recognition of the serious nature of the introduction of SweetLeaf® Sweetener™ for use as a food ingredient, Wisdom has obtained a concurring opinion from the Life Science Research Office (LSRO) agreeing with GRAS Associates on safety. Wisdom believes that by obtaining a concurring opinion from LSRO, which itself engages in a variety of contract work for the FDA, provides it with self-GRAS status that is superior to a simple announcement of self-GRAS affirmation. Such a “self-GRAS plus” process differentiates Wisdom from other companies seeking to market natural sweeteners for food use, and should provide its customers with a level of confidence not found elsewhere in the industry.
For years, Wisdom has led the natural food market in sales of Stevia as a dietary supplement. Wisdom CEO and founder Jim May first introduced stevia to the United States in 1982. He is recognized transnationally as a leading expert on the benefits of stevia and stevioside (its refined by-product that is 300 times sweeter than sugar). Now, Wisdom has become the first to introduce Sweetleaf® Sweetener™ — a scientifically proven, generally recognized as safe (GRAS) product. While old “mega-companies” have been jockeying for future position in this lucrative, natural sweetener market, Wisdom has utilized a new, proprietary refining process that produces the purest, highest quality stevioside to date. The new, all-natural, zero-calorie, zero-glycemic, table-top sweetener is ready for sale now.