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The Coca-Cola Co. is going to use a new sweetener that has zero calories in their products, NY Times reports. FDA has taken longer than expected to approve the new sweetener. The sweetener is made from an herb called stevia which is generally regarded as safe.

Coke has created two versions of the stevia based product, one being Coke’s Truvia (marketed by Cargill) and is made from rebiana, a stevia-based extract.

PepsiCo has also created two versions of stevia based products; however, PepsiCo has decided not to begin selling the drinks until FDA has made its final official decision.

A possibility that FDA is taking longer to make the official decision may be because FDA questioned the safety of stevia, NY Times reports. FDA wrote in a letter to Hain Celestial saying, “In fact, literature reports have raised safety concerns about the use of stevia, including concerns about control of blood sugar, and effects on the reproductive, cardiovascular and renal systems.”

I certainly hope that FDA makes a well thought out decision about the use of this sweetener because it can have the possibility of effecting millions of consumers who drink Coke & Pepsi products.

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