Vancouver, B.C. December 10, 2014 – GLG Life Tech Corporation (TSX: GLG) (“GLG” or the “Company”), a global leader in the agricultural and commercial development of high-quality natural sweeteners, is pleased to announce that the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has issued a Generally Recognized as Safe letter of no objection for GLG’s Luo Han Guo (Monk Fruit) extract products. (Filing No. GRN 522). This letter confirms that the FDA has no questions regarding GLG’s GRAS notice submitted earlier this year, which covers three distinct Luo Han Guo extracts — MV30, MV50, and MV60 — each containing a minimum level of mogroside V (30%, 50%, and 60%, respectively).
Seeking and obtaining GRAS status has been one of several of GLG’s goals relating to its entrance this year into the Luo Han Guo market. GLG also filed for patent protection for its Luo Han Guo processing technology earlier this year, it has successfully implemented a large-scale agriculture program to expand the Luo Han Guo agriculture in Guilin China and it has successfully converted its stevia processing facility to be capable of high-volume and high-purity Luo Han Guo extract production. GLG accomplished each of these within approximately 12 months from the Company’s decision to enter the Luo Han Guo market as a vertically integrated player. GLG also announced its first major supply contract for Monk Fruit in July of this year with a global food industry leader.
GLG’s first-year efforts were ambitious and, indeed, fruitful. Its growing operations in Guilin are substantial and the first year of GLG’s monk fruit agriculture program was a big success. GLG’s conversion of its Runhai stevia facility renders it capable of processing 130 metric tons of MV 50 extract annually. GLG is on track to produce its first 10 metric tons of MV 50 extract within December 2014, with the first 5 metric tons recently complete and production of the second 5 tons underway. Based on these achievements, GLG believes it now has greater production capacity for Luo Han Guo than any other company worldwide.
GLG differentiates itself from other Luo Han Guo producers in three ways: (1) its competitive advantage in establishing agriculture systems in China, superior Luo Han Guo seedlings and its proven methods to expand the amount of farming in other crops such as stevia; (2) its advanced processing and extraction technology, and (3) its industry-leading processing capacity, which well positions GLG for anticipated growth in the Luo Han Market. GLG is currently working with a number of international customers interested in its Luo Han Guo products and expects initial sales to be finalized prior to the start of production.
The Company sees continued growth in the Luo Han Guo market, and is encouraged by the increased market activity relating to Luo Han Guo as a natural sweetener product. It sees continued product launches within the food and beverage space – Mintel commented in May 2013 that food and beverage launches using Luo Han Guo had tripled over the prior five years – and dietary supplement space. GLG notes that customers also recognize the value of Luo Han Guo in conjunction with stevia; the two can be used complementarily to achieve desired sweetness and flavor profiles
GLG has the largest number of naturally sourced sweetener products certified under the GRAS process, encompassing both stevia and now Luo Han Guo. Stevia products for which the FDA has issued letters of no objection include rebaudioside A products ranging from purities of 50 to 97%, high-purity stevioside (STV), and high-purity rebaudioside M. It has also submitted GRAS filings with the FDA for high-purity rebaudioside C and high-purity Rebaudioside D. GLG remains committed to ensuring that each of its naturally sourced sweetener products is fully documented as compliant with the FDA GRAS process.
About GLG Life Tech Corporations
GLG Life Tech Corporation is a global leader in the supply of high-purity stevia extracts, an all-natural zero-calorie sweetener used in food and beverages. GLG’s vertically integrated operations cover each step in the stevia supply chain including Non-GMO stevia seed breeding, natural propagation, stevia leaf growth and harvest, proprietary extraction and refining, marketing and distribution of the finished product. GLG has similarly positioned itself, through parallel vertically integrated Luo Han Guo operations, to be a leader in the supply of high-purity Luo Han Guo extracts. Additionally, to further meet the varied needs of the food and beverage industry, GLG has launched its Naturals+ product line, enabling it to supply a host of complementary ingredients reliably sourced through its R8 supplier network in China. For further information, please visit www.glglifetech.com
Forward-looking statements: This press release may contain certain information that may constitute “forward-looking statements” and “forward looking information” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes” or variations of such words and phrases or words and phrases that state or indicate that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved.
While the Company has based these forward-looking statements on its current expectations about future events, the statements are not guarantees of the Company’s future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include amongst others the effects of general economic conditions, consumer demand for our products and new orders from our customers and distributors, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government authorities, uncertainties associated with legal proceedings and negotiations, industry supply levels, competitive pricing pressures and misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements. Specific reference is made to the risks set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form for the financial year ended December 31, 2015. In light of these factors, the forwardlooking events discussed in this press release might not occur.
Further, although the Company has attempted to identify factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.