Rethinking 'Natural': USDA Working on Voluntary Claim

The current emphasis on production methods in food labeling organic, fair trade and hormone-free, for example has brought new scrutiny of the term Until these new claims came along, natural, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, meant minimally processed. The open-ended definition left plenty of loopholes for manufacturers and processors to exploit, and the word is seen as a toothless

The current emphasis on production methods in food labeling — organic, fair trade and hormone-free, for example — has brought new scrutiny of the term “natural.”

Until these new claims came along, natural, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, meant “minimally processed.” The open-ended definition left plenty of loopholes for manufacturers and processors to exploit, and the word is seen as a toothless classification that's no match for the more specific labels gracing toda

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