Why the ‘All Natural’ Food Label Can Be False Advertising

Notice anything different about Naked Juice, Lays or Goldfish? If youhaven’t, you may want to start looking at the products a littlecloser. PepsiCo and Campbell Soup Company are quietly removing the “All Natural” label from their products.

Food companies have faced at least 100 lawsuits in the last two yearsover claims of false advertising, and it’s likely even more are in theworks. Customers feel that if food has been processed or containsingredients like high fructose corn syrup shouldn’t be labeled asnatural.

Customers were also the ones who demanded “natural” products in thefirst place. A majority of consumers say they look for natural foodswhen they grocery shop, but only 47 percent view that claim astrustworthy.

Most of the problem comes from the fact no legal definition of theterm natural exists. Companies are left up to their own devices todecide which of their products are natural and which ones are not. ForPepsiCo, labeling foods as “All Natural” was a signal to customersabout their efforts to provide healthier food options. In the specificcase of Naked Juice, the label was supposed to represent the “bare-naked fruits” used to make the product.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no definition fornatural, they do have a long-standing guideline. Under this policy,”nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additivesregardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, afood that would not normally be expected to be in the food.”

In September, a “food labeling modernization” bill was introduced inCongress. This bill would force the FDA to establish a standardnutritional labeling system. In the system new guidelines for the useof “natural” would be established. Promising as the new bill is, it islikely to take a long time before it is completely decided on inCongress.

The FDA has also said that “it is difficult to define a food productthat is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and isno longer a product of the earth.” This is probably true, as foods arelabeled natural more as a way to convince customers to buy them thanas an actual description. After all, food labeled “natural” brought in more than $40 billion inthe United States alone last year. That’s second only to foods thatclaim to be low in fat.

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Photo Credit: Creative Commons

106 comments

Karen K.
Karen K3 years ago

Always have to read labels carefully.

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Sonali G.
Sonali G3 years ago

In truth, there is very little left on this planet that is completely 'natural' any more and little food left un processed in some way shape or form. This is not a virgin planet with a pristine atmosphere and landscape; humanoid intervention has seen to put an end to that. Even the definition of 'organic' is somewhat dubious now. You can but try;)

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Annemarie Sens
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanky you for sharing this article, we must be careful with what we buy.

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA S3 years ago

thank you for sharing

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Andy Walker
Past Member 3 years ago

Quelle surprise

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Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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Marie W.
Marie W3 years ago

All Natural is meaningless.

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KAREN G.
Karen Gee3 years ago

Thank you for sharing

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Jinny L.

They "naturally" try to deceive us....it's time to use good judgment and just maybe it will lead "big food corps" to kiss "our" arses! Enough is enough! Thanks for sharing.

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Doris G.
Past Member 3 years ago

thank you

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