Yesterday (12/17/08) the U.S. FDA sent a "No Objection Letter" to Merisant's Whole Earth Sweetener company and to Cargill, Inc., responding to their long awaited request to market a highly purified form of Stevia known as Reb A (rebaudioside A). Translated this letter means that FDA has no objection to the conclusion that both companies reached independently using the GRAS self-affirmation process: that Reb A is generally recognized as safe among qualified experts for use in beverages, foods and tabletop sweeteners.
So get ready the Stevia war is on! Products sweetened with this purified forms of Stevia, both tabletop sweeteners, beverages and more; are either already on or on their way to supermarkets near you. Cargill's tabletop product is Truvia and they will work with Coke (remember - the C partners) to bring new beverages, such as Sprite Green, to market. Merisant's (the maker's of Equal) Whole Earth Sweetener Company will bring the tabletop sweetener PureVia to market and work with Pepsi to launch beverages, such as SoBe Lifewater and Trop50 (a new light O.J.) (remember - the P partners) .
Time and our tastebuds will determine if purified Stevia becomes a winner.