In December 2008, in response to Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) notifications submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the FDA stated it has no questions regarding the conclusion of expert panels that rebaudioside A is GRAS for use as a general purpose sweetener in foods and beverages, excluding meat and poultry. Rebaudioside A is a stevia sweetener isolated and purified from the leaves of the stevia plant.
In June 2009, FDA stated it has no questions regarding the conclusion of an expert panel on the GRAS status of another steviol glycoside extract with high rebaudioside A content for use as a tabletop sweetener. Click here for more information regarding the FDA's support of select steviol glycosides. Similar GRAS notifications are before FDA for other steviol glycoside extracts isolated and purified from Stevia rebaudiana. For more information regarding the FDA's GRAS process visit FDA's food ingredient approval process: Safety assurance based on scientific assessment (pdf).
In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the safety of steviol glycosides from stevia and established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for their safe use. In November, 2011, the European Commission authorized the use of steviol glycosides as a sweetener in foods and beverages. It is also approved as a dietary supplement in the EU. In Canada, stevia is sold as a natural health product. Stevia and steviol glycosides have a long history of use in several countries, including Japan and Paraguay. Stevia sweeteners are approved for use in many other countries, including Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, China, Russia, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil and Malaysia.
Carakostas M, et al. Overview: the history, technical function and safety of rebaudioside A, a naturally occurring steviol glycoside, for use in food and beverages, Food and Chemical Toxicology (2008) vol 46:S1-S10., doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.05.003
Joint WHO/FAO Expert Committee on Food Additives Monograph