From the FDA webiste:
“From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”
According to the USDA beef can be labeled as “All Natural” as long as it doesn’t contain artificial flavors, added colors or synthetic substances….after slaughter. This means that the beef can be from cloned cows, or factory farm cows fed a diet of GMO’s, animal by-products, living in their own waste, and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones can still be considered, “All Natural” as long as it doesn’t take place after slaughter. They don’t have any requirements for the, “All Natural” claim prior to beef being slaughtered. That just doesn’t seem right, now does it?
PepsiCo just settled a class action lawsuit for its product, Naked Juice. Apparently, the product wasn’t so natural after all. In some cases it contained synthetic vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are made in chemical plants right along with plastics and other non-foods. You can read about my post on synthetic vitamins here. Not only did the juice contain synthetic vitamins, it also contained synthetic fiber. There is also the claim that GMO’s were made to use the product. GMO’s are anything but natural.
The label says “All Natural Fruit + Boost.” This label is deceptive. It would be easy to believe it is an all natural product. The side panel shows what is in the boost artificial ingredients including synthetic vitamins.
Kashi (Parent company Kellogg’s) is also under fire for its claim of “all natural” on its products. The lawsuit against Kashi is still in process.
I found these two questionable products on a quick trip the grocery store this evening.
After seeing what you might expect to see in cheese there is also:
Added color from Annatto, potato starch, cellulose powder, calcium sulfate, natamycin.
Why is starch in any form in cheese? Cellulose powder is made from wood pulp, natamycin is an antifungal agent possibly coming from GMO’s. Calcium sulfate is a coagulant it can be from natural or synthetic sources.
Contains: Milk, Sugar, Cocoa Processed with alkali. They used the word processed right on the ingredient label.
Corn starch another form of possible GMO’s.
Carrageenan: has been linked to cancer.
Salt : Yuck…just what you want in chocolate milk, salt.
Dextrose: Another form of sugar derived from corn. Another possible form of GMO’s. 88% of all corn in the U.S. is genetically modified, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications report.
All natural doesn’t always mean what we think it should. The FDA is apparently soft when it comes to enforcing the weak guidelines it has put into place. It is up to us to read the labels and Know what’s in our food.
Sources : Natural Grocers, FDA, USDA, Live Strong, Organic Consumers Association