Is Stevia Genetically Modified?


Stevia has gained a loyal following since it was approved for use by the FDA in 2008. The zero-calorie sweetener is found in soft drinks, yogurts, and in stand-alone packets that people can use to sweeten whatever they like.

Stevia is a plant with leaves that are very sweet. When synthesized through a relatively complex process, the resulting extract is 300 times sweeter than table sugar.

What many people don’t realize, is that the stevia powder they are adding to their food is not 100% pure stevia. In fact, there is hardly any stevia extract in it. Because stevia is so sweet, only a tiny amount is required. Most of the powder in the packet is simply filler.

Take Truvia, a very popular stevia sweetener, for example. Here is its ingredient list:

Erythritol, Rebiana, Natural Flavors.

Rebiana is the stevia extract.

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol occurring naturally in fruits. However, it is much cheaper to produce industrially. It is the product of fermenting glucose with yeast called Moniliella pollinis. In the US, the glucose feedstock for the yeast is usually sourced from GMO corn.

So while this stevia powder is not genetically modified per se, purists may object to its use. That’s what a company called Steviva is betting on. Their Erysweet product is made from non-GMO ingredients sourced in Europe.

Are you a stevia fan?

  • mfp142

    I planted a Stevia plant about 5 years ago. Just one. It grows to over 4 feet high and the kids eat the leaves like candy. They are high in fiber. The white powder at the store tastes nothing like it. It would probably do great in a container in a sunny to slightly shady spot. It doesnt like to be soggy or too dry. Easy plant to grow! Use like mint leaves, just pick acouple and shred into your food or beverage!

    • Fooducate


    • nini

      Where do u get a stevia plant, that’s really great 411thanks.

      • mfp142

        Hi, I bought seeds from Seeds of Change or Seed Savers Exchange….sorry cant remember which!

  • overseaschinese

    That’s misleading consumers. They should be marketing erythritol instead.