There has been a repetitive ad in every single health magazine I have read in the New Year. (It has been a lot of magazines, by the way. It was a long flight to Brazil!)
What is that ad, you ask? Truvia™
If you remember back in October I did a post about the Great Sweetener Debate where I talked about the sweetener stevia and some of the concerns that exist at the moment regarding its safety.
We knew it was coming and here it is. Truvia™ is the commercial name they have given to stevia rebiana. It is likely you are going to see it popping up in products a lot now if you haven’t already.
It looks like our FDA gave the company the thumbs up on safety in foods. However, the product is still quite controversial around the world. It is widely used in Japan, some countries have put a limit on what can be considered safe intake amounts and it is still banned in Europe. The bans result from early studies suggesting it could negatively influence reproduction and be carcinogenic.
Is that really any surprise? I mean, look at all the controversy surround aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.
I guess we’ll all just have to decide for ourselves. I’m planning to stick with my regular sweeteners of plain ol’ white sugar, brown sugar and honey. No, chemicals for me thanks. Even if it comes from a plant and is termed “natural” there always has to be something going on to mass produce it commercially.
If you want to read more about it there is a great article on treehugger, including some info about how the tribes of Brazil and Paraguay used to chew on the leaves believing it was a method of birth control. Yikes!
Tell me what you think.
Photo by Pat Her, www.morguefile.com