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FDA pondering whether ‘natural’ claims are meaningless

, | | September 13, 2016

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

So what does “natural” mean? Nobody knows. Dozens of class-action lawsuits have been filed claiming that the term is used deceptively… In trial after trial, judges have… asked the Food and Drug Administration to help them by defining the term.

. . . .

Despite the pressures to act, the FDA was wise to dodge this debate. “Natural” has no single meaning…  Ultimately, everything we eat comes from “Nature”… At the practical level, all food is made or processed by humans… If all food is both natural and non-natural, how can a government agency resolve the paradox?

. . . .

[T]here is [a] solution that… is the opposite of a ban: why not allow anyone to use the term, no matter what the food contains?… The term would lose its commercial advantage… consumers would be quick to realize the puffery and would ignore it. Ultimately, firms would stop using it. The goals of an outright ban would be accomplished without prohibiting anything!

. . . .

…The FDA long recognized that any line it drew would be arbitrary and political… The problem is how to subdue the commotion of class action suits… An outright FDA declaration that “natural” has no specific meaning and can thus be used freely would end a costly… debate.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Better Way To Regulate “Natural” Food

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