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FDA warns about stevia in iced tea mix

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Hain Celestial Group's use of stevia in its Celestial Seasonings Zingers to Go Tangerine Orange Wave Herb Tea constitutes an adulterated food product violating regulations under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA says in Aug. 17 warning letter. The product is a food "subject to regulation as a conventional food and not a dietary supplement," although the Zinger product label states, "Herbal Supplement," and also includes a supplement facts panel for nutrition labeling, according to FDA. Stevia has not been generally recognized as safe as a food additive, therefore cannot be added to conventional food products, such as powder drink mixes, the agency states. Safety concerns surrounding the natural sweetener include it effects on blood sugar as well as impacts on reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems, FDA states in the letter. The agency began allowing the import of stevia in 1995 as a supplement ingredient, but considers it an unsafe food additive ("The Tan Sheet" Sept. 25, 1995, In Brief)...

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