It’s beginning to look like the FDA is getting in as many “midnight” approvals as it can before the new adminstration kicks in. First it loosened its advisory on eating fish, and now it has told Cargill, the maker of the Truvia brand of the artificial sweetener Stevia, that it’s OK for the company to market it. I guess the FDA must have resolved its doubts about the science supporting the safety of Stevia, even though much of it was corporate-sponsored. But CSPI still has doubts. Or maybe the FDA just didn’t have the strength to stop soft drink companies from marketing Stevia-sweetened drinks with or without FDA approval. CSPI can’t understand the rush. Why not? It’s politics as usual, alas.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the reason for the rush is to get products with this “natural” sweetener on the market now. Coke is coming out with Sprite Green and Odwalla juice drinks, and Pepsi will market SoBe Lifewater and an orange drink called Trop50. They must thing they are on to something. Stevia does have its supporters. Me? I’ll take sugar anytime.