A trade group of organic food manufacturers has launched a new advertising campaign aimed at helping consumers understand the difference between foods with "organic" and “natural” labels.
The campaign debuted with a humorous “mockumentary” video showing how easy it is for companies to label their food products as “natural” — noting there in no official definition and little enforcement of misleading claims. Products labeled as "organic," by contrast are subject to stringent environmental and animal welfare standards enforced by U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to Organic Voices, Washington-based trade group of organic food manufacturers advocating for mandatory GMO labeling.
“Foods made with the use of toxic persistent pesticides and even genetically engineered ingredients are being labeled as natural,” Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm and a member of the trade group, said in a statement. “Only organic guarantees that food is produced without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or genetically engineered ingredients. Only organic gives you complete piece of mind.”
The videos were developed by the recently launched agency Humanaut with help from advertising icon Alex Bogusky.
While the Food and Drug Administration and USDA discourage companies from including “natural” claims on processed foods containing synthetic or artificial ingredients, there is no official definition of “natural” and little enforcement of misleading claims.
“The public needs new tools to understand the benefits of organic and to be able to distinguish between organic foods and all other unverified claims,” Laura Batcha, executive director of the associated Organic Trade Association, said in a release.
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