Little Stevia Wonder
Stevia rebaudiana is a South American shrub that grows in semi-arid areas of Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves of the plant have been used for generations as a sweetener, originally by the Guarani people and more recently throughout South America and Asia.
Already sold as a sweetener in a variety of countries including Brazil, Canada, China and Japan, stevia has not yet been approved for use in the United States or the European Union. Although stevia had been used for decades without any reports of health problems, the FDA labeled it an "unsafe food additive" in 1991 and restricted its use to dietary supplements. Why am I not surprised?