Stevia (Was RE: a to-do list for the next century)

From: Don Klemencic (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 20:17:44 MDT

(I changed the subject heading so this would be visible in this massive
group of posts.)


Speaking of the unhealthy American binge for high-glycemic carbohydrates,
one of the worst is sugar. There is a potential alternative in a plant
substance called stevia, but do a subject search on the net for stevia to
see how it was blocked by bureaucracy and money politics.

Stevia has been used by South American Indians for hundreds of years as a
sweetener. It currently has about 40% of the sweetener market in Japan and
is also used widely in Europe. It's hundreds of times sweeter than sugar,
but has essentially no calories. It doesn't degrade when heated, so it can
be used for cooking. It has the potential to be a powerful tool in building
a diet that avoids blood insulin spikes.

U.S. food processors were starting to look at it in the 1980's for use in
their products, but the makers of NutriSweet reportedly saw a potential
threat to their market and "influenced" the FDA to have it banned until it
was "proven safe". (NutriSweet which is considered "safe" has had more
reported cases of adverse effects than any other non-prescription substance.
When heated it degrades to something chemically resembling formaldehyde.)
Since stevia is unpatentable, no one is going to spend 3 or 4 hundred
million jumping through FDA hoops. The Reform Act of 1994 that cut some of
the FDA's power so they couldn't keep it out any longer as a food
supplement, but it can't be used in other products because the FDA then
classifies it as a food additive, where they still have unrestrained power.
If any marketer advertises the fact that stevia is a sweetener, the FDA
stormtroopers pounce.

A while ago someone had a website that facilitated political action. It had
a half dozen sample letters protesting Federal seizure of property without
due process. It let the user choose a letter, modify it if he wanted, and
click a few buttons to send an e-mail to his Congressman and Senators-really
a neat tool. It would be great to have something like that to put some heat
of the FDA. The revolving door that the military and their contractors used
to have was closed. I think a military officer has to wait five years after
leaving the military before taking a position with a contractor. The
revolving door between the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies is swinging
freely. That should be stopped. And if a Congressional investigation showed
personal conflicts of interest by FDA administrators regarding stevia,
perhaps they would be stripped of some more of their power. I think that
would be very helpful for a number of Extropian goals.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Michael S. Lorrey
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2000 9:48 PM
Subject: Re: a to-do list for the next century

Cynthia wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Michael S. Lorrey <>
> > Its not as if the entire US population suddenly mutated in the last two
> decades
> > separate from the rest of humanity. There are significant reasons why
> average
> > weight and rate of obesity is so high here, and its not medical. Part of
> the
> > corn-fed diet, part is that Americans watch more TV than anyone else,
and we
> get the
> > least exercise.
> I am convinced that corn is very bad, and I have thrown out my pop corn

Now get rid of your cereals, breads, crackers, and any other majority
source of starch type carbohydrates.

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