Stevia is approved as a sweetener and food additive in over 130 countries. These approvals were based on extensive studies on stevia and its impact on the human body. Stevia’s approval as a sweetener was governed by five major food authorities across the world, including US FDA, EFSA, JECFA, FEMA, and FSSAI.

US Food & Drug Administration

In the United States, high-purity steviol glycoside extracts have been granted the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) since 2009 by Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The organization has still not allowed the use of stevia leaves and crude extracts for consumption.

Europe Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved the usage of steviol glycosides as a food additive in 2011. It is marked safe for everyone’s consumption, including children and pregnant women.

 

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA)

Governed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), JECFA, approved steviol glycosides as safe food additives and set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for steviol glycosides of 4 mg/kg bw on a steviol equivalents basis.

Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association (FEMA)

The US’ FEMA (Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association)issued GRAS (generally recognized as safe) level for natural Stevia flavors.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

In 2015, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) published a notification relating to the approval of steviol glycosides in India. High purity steviol glycosides extracted from Stevia leaf are approved for use in major food and beverage categories including, dairy, beverages, and tabletop sweeteners.

In 2015, the FSSAI (India) expanded the list of approved food and beverage categories that can now use steviol glycosides as part of their operationalization of standards of food additives for use in various food categories.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

In 2008, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) permitted the use of steviol glycosides in specified foods at specified levels and in Dec 2010, allowed the increase of the maximum permitted use level of steviol glycosides in ice cream and specified beverages.

French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA)

In 2009, the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs, and Fraud Control requested the French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) authorized the use of rebaudioside A at 97% purity in foods and beverages for up to 2 years. This approval was a further confirmation of the safe use of high purity Stevia extracts by leading safety authorities.

European Commission and the European Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health

In 2011 the European Commission and the European Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health approved steviol glycosides for use as a food additive in the European Union, opening the way for Stevia-based products to appear in the European Union market by December 2011.

Health Canada (HC)

In 2012, Health Canada (HC) approved the addition of steviol glycosides to the List of Permitted Sweeteners in certain food categories including, as a tabletop sweetener.

In 2016 Health Canada’s Food Directorate completed a detailed safety assessment and approved the use of steviol glycosides containing the steviol glycoside “rebaudioside M” (Reb M) as a high-intensity sweetener in the same food categories and under the same conditions of use as the previously-permitted steviol glycosides in Canada.

Indonesia National Agency of Drugs and Food Controls (BPOM)

In 2014, the Indonesia National Agency of Drugs and Food Controls (BPOM) approved the use of Stevia extracts in the Indonesian market for food and beverage products.

Other Countries

Steviol glycosides are permitted for use in foods and beverages in over 100 countries including, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, European Union (28 countries), India, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay.