Currently, the US FDA has little to no established rules for what can or cannot be labelled as “natural”.
This has led to a lot of confusion in the food industry and for consumers. Companies are essentially free to label their products as “natural”, which is often a marketing advantage. We see this in cosmetics as well, where many “natural” formulations are largely identical to their conventional ones.
Organic is a regulated term and requires certification. But there’s more confusion and less oversight with natural. Is pasteurization natural? Heat treatment? Irradiation? Mineral and vitamin additives? What will differentiate “natural” from organic?
The FDA currently considers “natural” as ‘nothing artificial or synthetic’, which means no added colours and things that you would expect to not be in food.
You can see why this leaves a lot of grey area.
Until February 10th, 2016, the US FDA wants to hear your opinions on what requirements food and its production must meet to be labelled “natural”.
Please share this link, so the decision isn’t just made by food companies and lobbyists!
Thank you 🙂