Due to rising retaliation amongst the general public on the labeling of human food products, the FDA is observing comments from the populous on their views surrounding the term “natural” in the listing of food ingredients.
After receiving three Citizen Petitions demanding clarification of what is “natural,” one requesting to prohibit the term from food labels in general, the FDA decided to examine consumer’s opinions.
In fact, the ambiguous term lead to Federal court litigation between private parties in the past. Administrative determinations took concern over the term “natural” being used when labeling GMOs and foods made with high fructose corn syrup.
Although the FDA considers food with “natural” ingredients to exclude anything synthetic or artificial, such as color additives, this term is vague when associated with production methods such as use of pesticides, processing and manufacturing methods.
While the FDA has avoided important questions about “natural” labeling and GMOs in the past, they are attempting to hear the public during a time when scrutiny and pushback is higher than ever.
The FDA is specifically asking for input on the following questions:
- Whether it is appropriate to define the term “natural,”
- If so, how the agency should define “natural,”
- How the agency should determine appropriate use of the term on food labels.
Over 2,000 comments were sent online since the reflection period that started on November 12. Due to the power of our opinions as a populous, it is important to consider the significance of this issue. The lack of clarity within the food industry could change after voices are heard in the comments.
To submit a comment over the web, visit regulations.gov and type FDA-2014-N-1207 in the search box.
Written by: Madison Carrier