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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," says Maria Teresa Scardigli, executive director of the International Stevia Council.
The 11 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, states: "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."