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Natural, Smatural…What Does it Mean and Do We Want it Defined?
Posted: January 30, 2008
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The Sugar Association stated in a press announcement that it is disappointed with the FDA’s statement to FoodNavigator that the agency has no immediate plans to define the term natural.
“There are several things in this article that are of concern to us regarding their decision not to define natural at this time,” stated Andy Briscoe, Sugar Association president and CEO, in a press announcement. “First is the claim that it is not a consumer issue; second is the fact the agency says consumer research is needed before it can make a ruling; and finally is the agency’s contradictory stance on the issue of natural over the years.”
According to the Sugar Association, the current market trend strongly indicates that natural and organic products are the fastest growing categories in food manufacturing. The Sugar Association also contends that it is unrealistic to rely on consumer knowledge of food technology to evaluate whether or not they are being misled.
“We hope that FDA will reconsider defining the term natural as a priority,” added Briscoe, in a press statement. “This is the appropriate time to clearly define natural and protect consumers from misleading claims. After all, the FDA has established regulatory guidelines for the term healthy, why can’t the same be done for natural?”
Sara Lee commented on its Web site that “for years, various companies, groups and associations have called for the FDA to offer an official definition and guidelines for the use of the term natural on product packaging but to date, these efforts have gone unanswered.