Self-Affirmed GRAS Strategies Smooth the Path to the U.S. Food and Beverage Market for Stevia

When Jim May first began importing stevia from Paraguay in 1982 to form Wisdom Natural Brands (maker of SweetLeaf stevia) out of his garage, he said the Phoenix regional office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assured him that the agency considered stevia safe. Months later, however, the Maryland-based central office of the FDA alerted the Phoenix office that stevia was not considered safe as a food additive and that all imports should be detained. May

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