The FDA is having a difficult time defining what food is natural. With the help of the American public, natural is finally getting defined.
The word “natural” is often used to describe hundreds of food products from various companies, but what exactly does it mean? The US Food and Drug Administration is trying to determine just that, and it’s asking people to contribute their thoughts.
The FDA does not currently have a formal definition for the word. On its website, the agency says that “it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth.”
However, after receiving three separate petitions asking it to define what “natural” means – plus another asking it to simply ban the word from food labels altogether – the FDA initiated a public comment period asking Americans to weigh in. They were asked to comment on how they define the word, as well as whether and how it should be used on food labels.
Due to the enormous response, the FDA extended the comment period by three months, from February 10, 2016, to May 10. So far, almost 5,000 comments have been submitted to the agency.