When it comes to the labels on your meat, snacks, and other packaged foods, the word “natural” probably doesn’t mean what you think it means. The term is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, despite years of debate, and surveys that show most consumers have mistaken beliefs about what the “natural” label signifies.
But that may be changing in the near future. Recently, the FDA announced that it is seeking comments from the public regarding the use of the “natural” label on food products.
Specifically, the FDA is looking for feedback on three major questions: whether it is appropriate for the agency to define the term “natural,” how to define the word if so, and how the FDA should determine whether or not “natural” is used appropriately.
The move comes in response to consumer petitions that have asked the FDA to clarify the meaning of the term on food labels.
The FDA is accepting comments from the public online or by mail from now through Feb. 10, 2016 at www.regulations.gov, or by mail to Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.