The U.S. FDA announced last week that it is seeking comments from the public on: (i) whether it is appropriate to define the term “natural,” (ii) if so, how the agency should define the term and (iii) how the agency should determine appropriate use of the term on food labels (visit the FDA page on the issue here).
In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has already considered these questions to some degree. The CFIA’s Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising notes that the terms “Nature,” “natural,” “Mother Nature” and “Nature’s Way” are often misused on labels and in advertisements, and that foods or ingredients submitted to processes that have significantly altered their original physical, chemical or biological state should not be described as natural. More specifically, in Canada, a natural food or ingredient is not expected to contain or to ever have contained an added vitamin, mineral nutrient, artificial flavoring agent or food additive. Further, in Canada, a natural food or ingredient should not have constituent or fraction thereof removed or significantly changed, except the removal of water.
For more information, visit the CFIA’s page here.