Work will continue on this project…If it becomes important to know the level of sweetener in the entire contents of the tea bags, further work will be done…” In a letter from Bonvie on July 20, 1996 requesting the entire document, she wrote: “The document in question does not really appear to be a legitimate ‘trade complaint’ calling attention to an illicit practice by a segment of industry, but rather an attempt to restrain trade and competition.” This apparently was not the first time a trade complaint triggered FDA action on stevia.
The search-and-seizure campaign that was initiated in the mid-’80s had a similar origin, according to Rob Mc Caleb of the Herb Research Foundation, who says he has seen the complaint and that it originated from a “sophisticated” company “with a strong interest in not having sweet natural products on the market.” Asked for a copy of the document, the FDA said it could not locate one.
The memorandum below, from the FDA to its Denver District office, is part of a number of shadowy events involving stevia.
This document, however, which has been purged of several key words (including the identity of the sender), by the agency, is especially mysterious.
Yes, under a provision in federal law that allows for self-determination of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status.
(National Research Council, 1996), students who use inquiry to learn science engage in many of the same activities and thinking processes as scientists who are seeking to expand human knowledge of the natural world.
Release of their identities would discourage the voluntary submission of reports of possibly adulterated products on the market and, in turn, would severely hinder FDA’s law enforcement activities.
Further, disclosure would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Prior to this “final decision,” Bonvie had been told by an official at the office of public affairs that the individual who sent in this “complaint” was an attorney, and that his name and law office were mentioned on the above document.
Date From: Division of Regulatory Guidance, HFF-314 Subject: Celestial Seasonings Caffein-Free Tea To: Denver District, HFR-SW240 FIRM: Celestial Seasonings, Inc.
1780 55th Street Boulder CO 80301-2799 The attached label, advertisement, coupon/mail-in certificate and information on stevioside was received as a trade complaint from  of  represention (sic) an anonymous firm, and is for your information and action as appropriate.