After years of advocacy groups calling for the term “natural” to be defined or banned, the Food and Drug Administration has listened — and is asking for public comment.
The FDA is asking for public comment on whether it is appropriate to define “natural,” and if so, how to do so and label products appropriately.
This isn’t the first time we’ve attempted to define the word “natural” on food labels. In the mid-1970s, the Federal Trade Commission defined a natural food item as one “with no artificial ingredients and only minimal processing.”
The FTC’s definition fell by the wayside in 1983. The FDA started its own search for a definition in 1991, but the project stalled.
Now the FDA is reviving the effort in part due to citizen petitions requesting the term be defined, as well as concerns over whether foods containing GMOs or high fructose corn syrup can be considered “natural.”
Public comments will be accepted starting November 12.