Lawsuit Leads to Settlement: Stevia May Be Natural, But Truvia is Not

Stevia Graffiti

Last week Cargill, food ingredient behemoth, and owner of the Truvia brand stevia sweetener, agreed to settle a potentially harmful lawsuit. One of terms of the settlement is that Cargill will set up a $5 million fund to pay consumers who may have been deceived by its marketing of Truvia as a natural sweetener. Two consumers from Minnesota filed the lawsuit and had planned to turn it into a class action suit. Cargill was smart enough to avert a prolonged PR fiasco.

And, you should be smart enough to think about the difference between the all-natural stevia plant vs. the highly processed powder that you buy in a package. The stevia leaf goes through multiple chemical processes and is combined with erythritol, which is made from yeast that feeds off of GMO corn, to become that powder.

As another part of the settlement, Cargill will change some of the wording on its packaging and website to explain the ingredients of the product in detail.

If you are a stevia fan, here are some important suggestions for you:

  1. Read the label – just because a product boasts “stevia” doesn’t mean that’s the only thing in it. We’ve found inulin, silica, maltodextrin and many versions of “natural flavors” in stevia sweeteners.
  2. For a less processed liquid stevia, check the supplement section of your grocery store. Some are available only in a solution of alcohol.
  3. Get stevia in powder form rather than liquid, it is generally less processed and have fewer, if any, preservatives.

What stevia do you use?

  • Erik

    Pyure Brands Organic! Amazing!

  • Jess

    Why do you suggest powder versus liquid? I’ve heard the exact opposite suggestion before for the exact same reason you give — that the liquid version is less processed.

    • penny

      Yeah, I also thought the liquid was less processed than most powders. Please advise…

  • Amanda Cuttell Dagney

    What’s bad about inulin? It’s naturally occurring in plants. I finally found a drink mix that seems to surpass the rest and then I read this. You also don’t have it in your database (Krisda Splash) and yes, I’ve e-mailed Fooducate.

  • Fadin

    WAIT! What? So I am a consumer that has been received! How do I get MY chunk of that 5 mil??? Lol

    • saungey

      I am also, OMG I cannot believe how they deceived!!!

  • Laos

    Inulin is not bad for you, necessarily. Also Silica is not in the mixture for flavor. It is a naturally occurring mineral, safe to consume in the amounts that it is used, and is used to prevent clumping in the product, thus keeping it free flowing.

  • jenpm

    There is nothing wrong with inulin and stevia extract in liquid form is fine. I think you have this backward. Difficult to recommend your site for accurate information.

  • Mary

    For those asking about Inulin it is probably not going to hurt you, but there are those who prefer to avoid it and Fooducate has discussed it before. See the entry of July 10, 2010 called”the farting fiber….” or search the site for Inulin.
    If anyone has knowledge of a really good peer reviewed study about the value of isolated fiber added to foods could you cite it here? I am interested in learning more about it. thanks.

  • Amanda Enayati

    Anyone have an opinion about Trader Joe’s 100% organic stevia powder?

    • Jane Ibbetson

      It is good. In fact, I think it is the best, no additives. The liquid is also good to use.

  • Brandy

    Some erythritol is made from GM corn. But much of it is made from non GMO corn from Europe.

  • Kevin

    KAL brand pure stevia powder

  • SuperMom101

    Thought nature’s only calorie-free “product” is water. But, don’t be fooled – even Dasani (a Coca Cola company) “enhances” their water with sodium, etc….

    After cancer at age 37 (thankfully over 12 years ago) I now steer clear of food products and beverages that claim to be natural, healthy, or require a chemical degree to manufacture.

    Best health to all…

  • bev

    I wish you guys would post your sources. I like these entries but the lack of credibility makes me uneasy.