Brussels, Belgium; 5 October 2010: stevia producers worldwide announced the establishment of the International Stevia Council, a global trade association representing the interests of companies that process, manufacture and/or market stevia sweetener products.
The International Stevia Council will focus its efforts in the areas of safety, quality, and stakeholder education as part of its agenda to support and promote the worldwide use of stevia as a safe and trusted sweetener.
"All of the founding members share a common vision to promote naturally-sourced stevia extracts as a way to improve the diets and health of people globally by addressing sugars and calories in food" said Maria Teresa Scardigli, Executive Director of the International Stevia Council.
The eleven founding members of the International Stevia Council include: Cargill, Corn Products International, GLG Life Tech Corporation, Granular, Morita Kagaku Kogyo, PureCircle Limited, Sunwin, Sweet Green Fields, SweetLeaf Sweeteners, Verdure Sciences Europe and the Whole Earth Sweetener Company.
Membership in the International Stevia Council is open to any company engaged in the processing and/or manufacturing and marketing of stevia products with a purity level in accordance with JECFA (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) specifications. The founding members of the organization have also committed to establish and participate in an industry proficiency testing program to ensure accurate analytical methods for measuring the purity of stevia extracts.
Carl Horn of Granular, who has been elected as President of the organization’s Board of Directors, stated: "The founding members of the International Stevia Council are extremely pleased to have agreed on the formation of this global platform representing the voice of the stevia industry worldwide. The industry will now be able to speak with a unified voice on many important issues related to stevia to government authorities, healthcare professionals, consumers and the media."
For more information on the International Stevia Council or on stevia, please visit: www.internationalsteviacouncil.org
------------------------------About the International Stevia Council ---------------------------
The International Stevia Council is a global trade association representing the interests of companies that process, manufacture and/or market stevia sweetener products. The International Stevia Council is a 501 (c) (6) not-for-profit organization incorporated under the law of the State of Delaware in the United States (US). The Council has been created in July 2010 by eleven founding members.
The International Stevia Council is managed by its staff in its Global Office in Brussels (Belgium) and its US office in Washington DC (USA).
Stevia is a plant of the Asteraceae (sunflower) family whose leaves have been used as a sweetener in South America for hundreds of years. Extracts of the stevia leaf have been available as food additives (sweeteners) and/or dietary supplements in many countries around the world.