FDA Seeks Info and Comments About Use of the Term “Natural”
Citing citizen petition and federal court requests for the agency to
define “natural” for use in food labeling and determine if food products
containing genetically engineered ingredients and high-fructose corn
syrup may be labeled as “natural,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) is soliciting information and comments about use of the
term in the labeling of human food products.
More specifically, FDA seeks responses to questions that include the
following: (i) Should the agency define natural through rulemaking?
(ii) Should the agency prohibit use of the term in food labeling? (iii) If
the agency defines natural, what foods should be permitted to bear the
term? (iv) Should certain production practices, e.g., salting, irradiating,
be considered in defining the term? (v) Should natural be applied only to
“unprocessed” foods? (vi) Should the way an ingredient is produced or
sourced affect whether a product containing that ingredient be labeled
natural? and (vii) Should natural be associated with a nutritional benefit?
See Federal Register, November 12, 2015.