Legal News of the Day: FDA Declines to Define Natural

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration declined to define “natural” in the realm of food labeling in a published response letter.  The letter, a response to three cases considering whether food products containing bioengineered ingredients can be labeled as “natural”, explains that it would take a public process to come up with a definition and the creation of such a definition would involve the interests of other agencies.

Currently, existing policy states that the term “natural” on food labels means that “nothing artificial synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.”  58 Fed. Reg. 2302, 2407 (Jan. 6, 1993).