What does the term “natural” mean on a food label?
In a short answer nothing. The term natural has no FDA guideline behind it. The information taken directly from their site states the following: “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.” So while the foods can’t include synthetic ingredients, they can be heavily processed, such as animals raised with antibiotics and growth hormones. High fructose syrup (sometimes referred to as corn sugar) is a natural substance, but producing it from raw corn requires a number of processing steps.
What does the term “fresh” mean on food labels?
According to the fda.gov site, it means different things for different foods. So before you think fresh means something good, think again. According to Subpart F, Section 101.95 C , food manufacturers are not precluded from using the term fresh on their products even if they are using “approved” waxes or coatings, post harvest approved pesticides, applying mild chlorine or mild acid wash, or ionizing radiation.
What does the term “organic” mean on a food label?
According to the USDA there are three categories for the term organic:
- 100 percent organic - Foods that don’t contain any non-organic ingredients can be labeled as “100 percent organic”.
- Organic - Foods can be labeled simply “organic” if they contain 95 percent organic ingredients, and the other 5 percent do not contain growth hormones.
- Made with organic ingredients - Foods that have at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients can use the term “made with organic ingredients”. That’s right - up to 30 percent of the contents could be non-organic.
What does the term “Made With” mean on a food label?
If you see this term on packages, it’s safe to assume that there is some misdirection going on with the labeling. If a label says 100 percent real fruit juice, then its 100 percent percent juice, but if it says made with 100 percent fruit juice, check the label to see else may be included.
What does the term “Good Source Of”/”Contains”/”Provides” mean on a food label?
When foods claim to be a good source of a particular vitamin or nutrient, they must prove that they have at least 10 percent of the USDA’s recommended daily allowance.
What does the term “High Source Of”/”Rich In”/”Excellent Source Of” mean on a food label?
When foods claim to be a high source of a particular vitamin or nutrient, they must prove that they have at least 20 percent of the USDA’s recommended daily allowance.
Become a label reader
In order to safeguard your health and know what you’re truly consuming, you need to become a label reader. All commercially grown and processed foods have challenges. Your knowledge is your greatest strength.
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Grocery Manufacturers Association pushing FDA to allow GMOs to be labeled ‘natural’
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Grocery Manufacturers Association, GMOs, natural label
(NaturalNews) Not content with just hiding unlabeled genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the general food supply, the biotechnology industry now wants to freely add GMOs to food products bearing the “natural” label as well, according to new reports. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) back in December reportedly sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking for permission to basically trick health-conscious individuals into buying transgenic foods by deceitfully hiding them behind “natural” labels.
Though quite a few so-called “natural” food products already contain GMOs due to the fact that the FDA has never issued definitive guidelines as to the legal definition of the term “natural,” the GMA wants this regulatory failure to become official policy. According to The New York Times, the GMA is pushing the FDA to allow biotech “frankenfood” to bear the “natural” label in grocery stores -- “natural” foods, as you may already know, typically fetch a higher price than conventional foods.
“Last month, ‘Big Food,’ in the form of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a trade organization that represents more than 300 businesses, sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advising that it intends to petition the agency to allow foods containing GMOs to be labeled as ‘natural,’” writes Cookson Beecher for Food Safety News about the issue.
The letter comes as public awareness about GMOs is soaring, with consumers increasingly keeping an eye out for all those transgenic lurkers hiding throughout the food supply. Many food manufacturers are now being exposed for taking advantage of the loosely regulated “natural” label, which has become something of a crafty inroad for mass biotech deception, hence GMA’s sudden interest in altogether redefining the word “natural.”
“Audacious” is the word chosen by Scott Faber, vice president of the Environmental Working Group, to describe the situation. “It’s like they’re trying to get the government to say night is day and black is white.”
Biotech industry claims GMOs are ‘natural’ while hypocritically insisting they are unnatural enough to be patented
This is hardly an exaggerated assessment, of course, as there is literally nothing natural about GMOs. Their entire genetic blueprint, as you probably already know, has been reorganized in a laboratory to express certain unnatural traits while subduing other natural ones. GMOs are the antithesis of natural, in other words, which is why biotech companies claim to hold patents on them.
But somehow, in the eyes of the industry, GMOs magically become “natural” when it comes to the rest of us eating them unlabeled in our food supply.
“Earlier this year, more than 200 members of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility signed a statement declaring that there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs,” stated Katherine Paul, director of communications for the Organic Consumers Association to Food Navigator USA about the issue.
“Yet the FDA continues to put consumers at risk by siding with industry. Fortunately, consumers are having a direct impact on the sales and brand images of manufacturers who continue to put GMO ingredients, unlabeled, into their products.”
As far as public pushback against this latest affront to truth in labeling, the GMA admits that at least 65 class-action lawsuits have been filed against food companies for deceptively using the term “natural” on GMO-containing food products. If GMA has its way, however, these lawsuits will ultimately be struck down, and consumers looking for truly natural food will be forced to ditch all those “natural” imposters in favor of their certified organic and non-GMO counterparts.
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