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FUDGING THE MEANING OF “NATURAL”

FOOD GIANTS BATTLE OVER ‘NATURAL’ FOOD DESIGNATION

2007-09-19-national_debt1.jpgLooking to hitch their wagon to the estimated $13 billion-a-year “natural” foods and beverage market, food providers including Sara Lee, Farmer John, Cadbury Schweppes and Tyson Foods, are looking to Uncle Sam to broaden the rules and regulations that define the word “natural”.

This is bad news in todays food environment where products are quite commonly either genetically enhanced to fight disease and increase output, or zapped with radiation as a way to enhance their shelf life.

Essentially, the Agriculture Departments strict interpetation of what can and what cannot be labeled as “natural”, is all that stands between us and the previously mentioned practices. By definition, products can only be labeled “natural” “if such a claim is truthful and not misleading and the product does not contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances”.

If the food providers have their way, chickens fattened with salt water and broth, soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, and sliced roast beef flavored with sodium lactate will be able to be labeled as “natural.”

The Huffington Post has a detailed look at the matter at this link.

-LIB

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