The packaging change is as a result of an ongoing issue between the company and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which will not allow the use of the sweetener Stevia as a food additive. The FDA specifically targeted Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Orange Wave Herbal Tea, but other flavors in the line contain Stevia.
The US government only allows Stevia to be used as an herbal supplement.
According to published reports, Celestial Seasonings will change its packaging to "more prominently" reflect the point the product is an herbal supplement.
The company has always maintained its Zingers to Go were an herbal supplement but the FDA wanted the packaging changed to reflect this point more clearly.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that is much sweeter than sugar. Its status in the US has been a point of controversy for over a decade.
Earlier this year Sustainable is Good reported on the announcement that Coca-Cola and agricultural giant Cargill were secretly working on a new natural sweetener made from Stevia. The two companies had worked behind closed doors for over five years on the project and hope to introduce the new sweetener in beverages and foods in the near future