The FDA is extending the comment period for the meaning of “natural” on food labels until May 10, 2016. This, it says, is
In direct response to requests from the public…Due to the complexity of this issue, the FDA is committed to providing the public with more time to submit comments. The FDA will thoroughly review all public comments and information submitted before determining its next steps.
The “complexity of this issue?” Isn’t it obvious what “natural” means when applied to food—minimally processed with no junk added?
Not a chance. “Natural” is too valuable a marketing term to forbid its use on highly processed foods. To wit:
Here, as the agency explains, is what complicates the meaning of “natural”:
The FDA is taking this action in part because it received three Citizen Petitions asking that the agency define the term “natural” for use in food labeling and one Citizen Petition asking that the agency prohibit the term “natural” on food labels. We also note that some Federal courts, as a result of litigation between private parties, have requested administrative determinations from the FDA regarding whether food products containing ingredients produced…