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“Natural” claims petition

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA should "undertake a rulemaking to establish specific rules and regulations governing the definition of 'natural' before a 'natural' claim can be made on foods and beverages," the Sugar Association requests in a Feb. 28 citizen petition submitted to the agency. "The terms 'artificial' and 'synthetic' are generally well understood by consumers, but as acknowledged by FDA, misused in the marketplace," the association states. The group also requests that FDA adhere to the definition of "natural" as established in USDA's Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book, which allows "natural" claims to be used on meat and poultry products that do not contain artificial flavorings or ingredients and have been only "minimally" processed. FDA has never undertaken a rulemaking on the matter due to resource constraints, and the current policy "has engendered a great deal of ambiguity," the group says. A Harris Interactive survey finds that 83% of consumers agree the government should issue regulations on making a "natural" claim, the association states...

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