Photo Courtesy Of:† iStockphoto/Thinkstock
In the words of Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser:
“If they have to put the word ‘natural’ on a box to convince you, it probably isn’t.”
But this doesn’t stop countless processed food manufacturers from boldly labeling their products as 100% natural in the hopes of appealing to health-minded shoppers like you.
After all, products labeled as “natural” or “sustainable” account for $50 billion in sales annually, or 8 percent of total retail grocery sales, and the numbers are likely growing.
When you see a supposedly “natural” product, like ConAgra’s Wesson brand vegetable oils claim to be, you would probably assume they contain no genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which by definition are not found in nature.
But Wesson oils, specifically the Canola Oil, Vegetable Oil, Corn Oil, and Best Blend, do in fact contain GMOs, prompting a class-action lawsuit over their misleading “100% natural” label claim.
Any GM Product is, by Definition, NOT Natural
The lawsuit alleges that ConAgra’s use of GM corn and soy in their cooking oils disqualifies the product as being labeled “all-natural.” The plaintiffs cite two very fitting definitions of genetic modification to prove their point, including one from biotech giant, and leading GM seed creator, Monsanto.
As Food Safety News reported:
“According to Monsanto, GMOs are: “Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs.” †The complaint also quotes a GMO definition from the World Health Organization: “Organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.”
It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit turns out, as a conviction against ConAgra could have important consequences for the manufacturers of countless other processed foods. Virtually all processed foods contain GM ingredients, unless they are certified organic, and many of them also claim to be all natural.