Stevia First Corporation Announces USDA Prioritization for Stevia Herbicide Trials
Aug 13, 2013
SACRAMENTO, CA--Stevia First Corp. (
In May 2013, the herbicides Envoy (Clethodim), Dual Magnum (S-Metolachlor) and Prowl H20 (Pendimethalin), which are widely used in the United States, have received commercial and manufacturer support to be elevated to high priority status in the Western Region's IR-4 Program. This important prioritization change was enabled by Stevia First Corp. acting in concert with researchers from the USDA, UC Davis, and North Carolina State University.
Currently, farmers in the U.S. interested in stevia must pursue use-exemptions for products intended for other crops, which are often difficult to acquire due to a rigorous justification process. Stevia First together with its partners, are leading the growing U.S-based stevia industry by generating the necessary crop safety data to support the development of pesticide regulation and best management practices for both organic and conventional production. The advancement of Envoy (Clethodim), Dual Magnum (S-Metolachlor), and Prowl H20 (Pendimethalin) in the IR-4 program is an important step in providing stevia growers with safe, reliable, and effective tools that enable long-term domestic stevia leaf production.
Stevia First Corp. is currently pursuing California grown stevia leaf to be used in its efforts to modernize the stevia supply chain and as feedstock for its breakthrough fermentation methods. Fermentation-based stevia production methods may bypass or greatly diminish the need for stevia leaf production, which by some estimates accounts for 70% or more of the total costs of traditional stevia extract production.
"The USDA's prioritization of these tools is another meaningful step towards ensuring a robust supply of locally-grown stevia leaf," said Robert Brooke, CEO of Stevia First. "We are excited to catalyze these efforts, which align with our long-term interests and could improve the economics of stevia extract production."
About Stevia First Corp. (
Stevia First Corp. is seeking to establish a vertically-integrated enterprise in the U.S. that uses technological expertise in fermentation-based stevia production and improves upon traditional stevia farming and processing methods. Stevia First's U.S. operations are located in the heart of California's Central Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions. For more information visit: www.steviafirst.com.
About the Stevia Industry
The market for all-natural, zero-calorie stevia sweeteners is expanding rapidly. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates stevia intake could eventually replace 20-30% of all dietary sweeteners. The total global sweetener market was estimated at $58.3 billion in 2010. For more information visit: www.steviafirst.com.
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