Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ben & Jerry's Has Opted to Remove "All Natural" Label

A short news article announced that Ben & Jerry's has opted to remove the "All Natural" label from their products.

Though the company, which has more than a 30 year history, does use hormone-free milk and cage free eggs, and has reportedly committed to using only fair trade products by 2013, a spokesman for the company "told Shots, the company pulled the labels to avoid engaging in a debate over what's natural and what's not."

The FDA does not expressly define what 'natural' does and does not mean. Rather, they say on their website Q & A that "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."

The Center for the Science in the Public Interest, however, who contacted Ben & Jerry's and requested the label "All Natural" be removed, noted in their press release that there are "plenty of ingredients that really are 'natural' are still bad for your health, such as the artery-clogging cream that is the main ingredient in Ben & Jerry's ice cream."

So the question seems to be, how are we defining 'natural'? When it comes to our food, does the label 'natural' reflect origin or a relative lack of potential "bad for your health" properties?

> Read the full-length NPR article "Ben & Jerry's Takes 'All Natural' Claims Off Ice Cream Labels" here.

> Here is a link to the FDA Q & A website "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?".

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