We’ve covered why the word “natural” and all its variations is problematic here on One Green Planet before. As I noted then, natural is a popular word with consumers: “According to a recent study by the Shelton Group, an advertising company focusing on sustainability, found that it’s also the most popular. When asked, ‘Which is the best description to read on a food label?,’ 25 percent of consumers answered, ‘100 percent natural.’” In other words, this claim is being used a whole lot, people – and some people are buying it (literally).
But there are problems with the use of this word on food labels: “Like picking up a bum dressed up in a fancy suit, bring a product with this label home with you and you might be in for a whole lot of surprises. The FDA does little to regulate this term, meaning companies have fairly open reign when using it on a package.” And when I say open reign, I mean it: the FDA has no formal definition of natural, and yet it is used to bait in consumers each and every day.
Consumer Reports notes: “Nearly 60 percent of people look for the term when they shop for food, probably because they think the products labeled natural are better for them than products without that claim. About two-thirds believe it means a processed food has no artificial ingredients, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms, and more than 80 percent believe that it should mean those things.”
In order to help consumers, Consumer Reports is now setting off a new campaign to ban the use of the word “natural”: “The campaign, which is being done in partnership with TakePart, a social media platform, will involve a petition drive aimed at pressing the government to prevent manufacturers from using the ‘natural’ label.”
You can learn more about the new campaign, sign a petition, and share information via TakePart. Let’s help stop the confusion and ban the use of the word “natural” until a formal definition is made!
Image source: What Does the ‘Natural’ Label Really Mean?