Stevia, Paraguay's Natural Sweetener, Makes it Big in USA

At last! Stevia, a plant whose leaves are sweet and which is native to Paraguay, has gotten approval from the FDA for use as a non-calorie sweetener and is being marketed in the USA under the names Truvia and PureVia.

The sad part of the story, of course, is that no Paraguayan company could get its act together enough to patent, develop, and market this for an external market. A couple of big multinationals had to do it. And so, no one will know that this is a plant indigenous to Paraguay, grown here, processed here, used here for years as a non-calorie sweetener that doesn't have those nasty aftertastes that Saccharin/Aspartame/Sucralose. And, of course, the financial benefits do not mostly go to this country.

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2 Responses to Stevia, Paraguay's Natural Sweetener, Makes it Big in USA

Natalia Goldberg said...

Actually Nicolás Leo has invested a huge amount of money in a stevia (or ka´a he´e) processing plant in Ypacaraí. I believe he set it up in collaboration with Cargill and Coca Cola. Multinationals have to be involved in order for Paraguay to ensure a market for its products. Plus the job creation aspect is huge. Here is an article about the factory:

I also met the owner of Stevia Paraguay ( at Laguna Blanca over New Years. They have a processing plant out in San Pedro and have been exporting stevia products to the States for a while. They even have chocolate powder made with stevia. Its pretty good.

Anonymous said...

yeah, stevia has been available in the US for many years now - at least seven if not more.


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