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What Should "Natural" Mean? Tell the Feds What You Think.
If you've been paying attention, you know that the word "natural" on a food label means nothing—because the FDA has no legally binding definition of the term. This allows manufacturers to pump foods full of synthetic ingredients, slap a "natural" label on the front, and attempt to wrest more dollars from your wallet.
And, unsurprisingly, this has gotten a lot of people pissed off. Consumers have been filing class action lawsuits left and right, accusing the makers of artificially sweetened powdered drink mix packets and high fructose corn syrup–laden granola bars of improperly using the term to sell highly processed products. People have also submitted petitions to the FDA itself, asking for a straight-up prohibition of the word "natural" on foods. So far, it's all amounted to a whole lot of screaming into the void. (Here are 6 FDA-approved food additives you shouldn't be eating.)
Until now: The FDA announced last week that it wants the public's input on the use of the term "natural." That's right. The feds want your opinion on the following three questions, according to a press release:
• Is it appropriate to define the term "natural"?
• If so, how should the agency define "natural"?
• How should the agency determine appropriate use of the term on food labels?
MORE:11 Natural Foods That Contain Surprising "Other" Ingredients
The docket's only been open for 6 days and the comments are rolling in fast—but some of them are totally unhelpful. We're pretty sure the FDAdoesn'twant vague BS like "Natural is defined in the dictionary as 'occurring in nature,'" which is an actual comment that someone submitted. Like…duh?
We know you've got better ideas, so head over to the and submit a comment before the February 10, 2019 deadline.
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