About the Petition
Even though the Food and Drug Administration does not object to the use of the term “natural” if “nothing artificial or synthetic” is added, there’s no definition for the term, which essentially means no regulation and no oversight. As a result, “natural” processed foods can include ingredients from nature that are processed into artificial ingredients and may also come from plants grown with toxic pesticides, bioengineered seeds, and chemicals processed with synthetic solvents. Meat labeled as “natural” can come from animals that were raised with daily doses of antibiotics and other drugs, given artificial growth hormones, fed genetically engineered soy and corn feed and other artificial ingredients and continually confined indoors.
Consumers believe that “natural” should mean something very different: According to results of a recent consumer survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, U.S. consumers believe that the “natural” label on meat and poultry products should mean that the animal was not given growth hormones (89 percent) or antibiotics and other drugs (81 percent), and that their feed did not contain genetically engineered organisms (85 percent) and artificial ingredients (85 percent). They also think the label should mean no chemicals were used during processing (87 percent), no toxic pesticides were used (86 percent), no artificial ingredients or colors were used (86 percent), and no GMOs were used (85 percent).
Unlike the “organic” label, which is regulated and verified by the United States Department of Agriculture, there are no restrictions on how the animals were raised or what can go into foods labeled “natural.”
Too many people believe they’re avoiding toxic pesticides, artificial growth hormones, and GMOs when they buy food labeled “natural.” We need truthful and meaningful labels that inform consumers, not confuse them.
Urge the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration to drop the misleading “natural” label from food once and for all!
Feeling inspired? Learn more about the campaign on the truth behind food labeling here.