I am speaking at the Con Edison Science, Technology, Energy, Environment, and Math (STEEM) Distinguished Lecturer series on “Food Politics 2020: Food Industry Influence on Nutrition Research and Practice.” It’s from 12:15-1:30 pm at the Science Building, C-201. Details are here.
What does “natural” mean? One more time.
I’ve written repeatedly about the problem of “natural” on food labels, but the issue just doesn’t go away. It won’t, until the FDA decides to rule on what it means.
Now Consumer Reports has done a survey of public understanding of the term.
The survey reveals that 62% of respondents want foods to be “natural.” When they see the claim on a food package, they believe it has been verified independently. Oops.
They also believe that “natural” means no artificial ingredients (correct, according to the FDA’s non-definition) or GMOs (incorrect). The survey confirms the idea that many people think “natural” is the same as “organic,” which it is not.
The FDA is currently collecting its own comments on this issue. You can weigh in until May 15. Please do.