Posted December 17, 2013
 
The Grocery Manufacturers Association has called on the FDA to draft a rule defining the term “natural” and allowing foods with GMO ingredients to carry the label, according to a Politico article available here.
 
The six-page letter, available here, asks FDA for a “determination of whether foods containing ingredients derived from biotechnology” may be labeled as “natural.”  GMA also informed the FDA that it would be filing a Citizen Petition early in 2014 that asks FDA to “issue a regulation authorizing foods containing ingredients derived from biotechnology to be labeled ‘natural.’”
 
There have been many lawsuits over the definition of “natural” in food labeling.  A recent post from this blog on the subject is available here.  While the FDA has not defined the term, its policy considers “natural” to mean “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.”
 
The Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2013, H.R. 3147, would require the FDA to establish a standard nutrition labeling system and set guidelines for the use of the term “natural.”  The bill was introduced in September by Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). 

 

For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.