As Within So Without

Could the USA Finally be getting a Definition of “All Natural”

 What exactly does “All Natural” Mean 


You see it in EVERY grocery store, down every aisle, the “All natural” food label craze. It’s on grape juice, potato chips, cereals, and the vitamins you take. But, wait just a minute……


Mercury, after all, is all-natural, but you won't see anyone adding that to their soup anytime soon! Believe it or not, ANYONE can slap an "all-natural" sticker on their product with few, if even worse, no, penalties at all. 


According to the Washington Post, "natural" is used in $40.7 BILLION worth of food items in the US alone. 

In 1983, The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) defined natural as “with no artificial ingredients and only minimal processing” but got abandoned because it was too hard to keep track of, and if something is processed, can you call it natural? 

                    32 years later the FDA still has no set definition:

“Although the FDA has not engaged in rule making to establish a formal definition for the term “natural,” we do have a longstanding policy concerning the use of “natural” in human food labeling. The FDA has considered the term “natural” to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic  (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food.  However, this policy was not intended to address food production methods, such as the use of pesticides, nor did it explicitly address food processing or manufacturing methods, such as thermal technologies, pasteurization, or irradiation. The FDA also did not consider whether the term “natural” should describe any nutritional or other health benefit.”  

With an outpour of questions, concerns, and lawsuits, the FDA has decided to accept public comments from November 12, 2015, through February 10, 2016. 


Specifically, the FDA asks for information and public comment on questions such as:

 • Whether it is appropriate to define the term "natural,"

 • If so, how the agency should define "natural" and

 • How the agency should determine appropriate use of the term on food labels. 

Though there won't be a hard definition anytime soon, This is a step in the right direction, and I recommend you go and leave an 'all natural' comment ASAP.

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