SOURCE: Stevia First Corporation

Stevia First Corporation

July 02, 2013 09:00 ET

Stevia First Corp. Signs With GRAS Associates for Product Regulatory Approval Process

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 2, 2013) - Stevia First Corp. (OTCQB: STVF) ("Stevia First" or the "Company"), an early-stage agribusiness based in California's Central Valley growing region and focused on the industrial scale production of stevia, the all-natural zero-calorie sweetener that is rapidly transforming the food and beverage industry, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a non-disclosure agreement with GRAS Associates, LLC, including discussions intended to expedite the regulatory approval of the Company's stevia extracts, particularly those manufactured through fermentation-based processes.

GRAS is an acronym for the phrase "Generally Recognized As Safe". The phrase was used in the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act ("FD&C Act") to exempt certain food ingredients from the definition of food additive. GRAS Associates, LLC ( has already successfully prepared and submitted 17 separate stevia GRAS applications, which represents more than half of all public GRAS notifications for stevia extracts, each of which has received a "No Questions" letter from the U.S. FDA.

Under the current regulations, general recognition of safety through scientific procedures requires the same quantity and quality of scientific evidence as is required to obtain approval of a substance as a food additive and ordinarily is based upon published studies, which may be corroborated by unpublished studies and other data and information. GRAS Associates provides a team of highly skilled toxicologists and regulatory scientists delivering the expertise that the law requires in order to make GRAS determinations.

GRAS Associates, LLC CEO & CO-Founder Robert McQuate, Ph.D. states that, "We are pleased to have this interaction with Stevia First as they advance plans to obtain GRAS status. We are very familiar with the stevia industry and related technologies, and so the path to compliance is clearly delineated. We look forward to the process and a positive outcome."

Company CEO Robert Brooke also comments, "By introducing GRAS Associates into the process, we can gain significant access to knowledgeable scientific expertise that is directly familiar with the regulatory approval process. For us, the goal is all about moving rapidly ahead towards commercialization, and such GRAS approvals are a key component for widespread market adoption."

About Stevia First Corp. (OTCQB: STVF)
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:

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:

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27(a) of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, projections of worldwide sales of stevia products, growth of stevia production and global markets. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with new projects and development stage companies. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in our annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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