Consumer Reports, the people you turn to when deciding which brand of washing machine to buy, just came out with a report blistering the food industry for its use of “natural” to describe foods that are anything but all-natural.
The publication’s National Research Center asked 1,000 shoppers about their perception of the term “natural” on food labels. About two-thirds of those shoppers said they actively look for foods labeled as natural because they believe that the processed food doesn’t contain artificial ingredients, pesticides, and other synthetic materials.
In fact, the term “natural” on processed foods has very little meaning because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration—the agency that oversees most labeling regulations—does not even have a definition of the term natural.
Consumer Reports wants to correct that issue by banning the term natural in food labeling.
I’m not so sure that’s the right approach. Why not instead push the FDA to develop a definition that would actually help shoppers buy the food that they think they are buying?
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