Definition of All Natural
“All natural” is a common food label, but there are no comprehensive, binding federal regulations governing its use or defining it. As a consequence, “natural” label claims mean different things to different companies. Unlike the federally regulated “organic,” “natural” does not have any set meaning in law. Neither the U.S. Department of Agriculture nor the Food and Drug Administration has been willing to evaluate the enormous variety of natural label claims in the market today, or to develop clear policies that would allow consumers to make informed choices about the so called “natural” foods they buy. Market surveys show that health conscious consumers buy and trust food that prominently displays the word “natural,” even though the “natural” claim does not have any defined meaning. This has created significant consumer deception and confusion. Most reasonable consumers commonsensically believe that “natural” means food not produced with synthetic substances or hormones, or unnatural development processes like genetic engineering. However, some companies have labeled meat from animals raised with regular use of antibiotics and synthetic or genetically engineered hormones as “natural.” Other companies have been found to use the term “natural” on food products produced with genetic engineering, despite the fact that most consumers quite reasonably believe the opposite.