According to an article posted on FoodNavigator today, consumers have (not surprisingly!) lost faith in the term "natural" on food products, largely because of the lack of adequate FDA regulation for the natural label.
Food manufacturers are avoiding using the term natural because consumers have lost trust in the claim due to a lack of clear regulation in the US, according to a Packaged Facts report.
The definition of natural has become increasingly “fuzzy”, creating confusion, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shown a general reluctance to enter the fray over ‘what is natural’, said the study called Natural and Organic Food and Beverage Trends in the US.
Despite calls from the industry to regulate, no current federal rules legislate what constitutes a natural product and this has led to products with questionable natural credentials.
In fact earlier this year, immanent legal action forced manufacturers of drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (aka HFCS, an ingredient that is controversial in the "natural" category) to take the natural label off of their drinks.
Do natural labels have any meaning for you? If not, which labels do you look for? Which terms on labels do you trust?