- Thousands of suggestions have poured in since the FDA asked last month for public comments regarding the use of the word "natural" on food and beverage labels.
- Comments have come from the perspective of the consumer who feels the FDA should step in to better regulate how food companies are allowed to label their products, while others have taken a more technical perspective, including complex carbohydrates and synthetic molecules.
- Others fear that depending on legislation, genetically modified foods could end up with a "natural" label.
After lawsuits, petitions from groups like Consumers Union and the Grocery Manufacturers of America, and pressure from lawmakers, the FDA is formally addressing the term "natural" for the first time since 1993.
"'At that time,' FDA officials noted last month, the agency determined that 'we would maintain our policy not to restrict the use of the term "natural" except for added color, synthetic substances, and flavors,'" The Fresno Bee reported.
Health foods are becoming increasingly popular among consumers, which has inspired many major manufacturers to join in by removing artificial colors and flavors from some of their products.
A similar definition the FDA could be tasked with is that of "healthy," which has impacted companies like Kind and its snack bars' labels this year.