Are you tired of food labeling misbehavior? I sure as heck am. So a few weeks ago when I received The Natural Effect, a video that educates consumers about the artful use and abuse of this term by the food industry, I just couldn’t contain myself. Thank you Organic Trade Association for your efforts to begin building a necessary barricade for the baloney. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has this to say about “natural”, a term that is only loosely defined:
“From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is 'natural' because the food has probably been processed and is no longer a product of the earth. That said, the FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”
The bad news is that the FDA is nowhere near revamping their “definition” of natural as they have other priorities, but they’re open to comments and questions from you, the consumer. And hopefully, your voice will help make a difference in how they re-define it in the coming years.
In my opinion, this term, in its current form, gives the food industry the advantage of labeling anything they want as "natural" and duping you into believing that you are doing the right thing for your health. Folks, an overly ranchified bag of chips, having 10-15 ingredients including “natural” flavors (their source being “natural” rather than synthetic) and genetically modified favorites such as corn, soy and oil from cottonseed is NOT NATURAL!
I know it may seem confusing but please don’t let the terms and possibly a picture of a farm on the package sway you. “Natural” means nothing anymore as its overuse and misuse has utterly adulterated what it once represented years ago—food that was truly pure (made with few ingredients meaning not too processed; void of anything utterly inventive like flavors made in a lab; and GMO-free).
Proponents of grassroots organic and USDA organic (among many other food watchdogs) are fighting to salvage food integrity pleading with the FDA to re-think this now nonsense term and give it the definition it deserves, particularly ensuring that it should never co-exist with genetically modified organisms in any way, shape or form.
But this is the deal—the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the multi-billion dollar lobbying group that supports junk food manufacturers, pesticide companies and Big Pharma, begs to differ. As individual states continue to fight for their Right to Know GMOs pleading for mandatory labeling, the GMA is trying to coerce the FDA with their Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food to create a voluntary GMO labeling law. Hmmm…
What does that mean? According to Organic Consumers Association, “Companies that pollute your environment and poison your food want the FDA to come up with a worthless, voluntary labeling standard. And oh by the way, they also want the FDA to rule that it’s perfectly fine to label GMO-contaminated food as ‘natural’.”
How about telling he FDA what you think by clicking here. And please take action against the smoke and mirrors push for voluntary Federal GMO labeling laws that in the end, will service Big Food more than you!