FDA Wrestles with Definition of 'Natural' Food

Fruits and vegetables
Monday, May 9, 2016

Tomorrow, May 10, marks the end of a comment period established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to gather public input regarding the best way to define what "natural" means in regard to food. This is the third time the federal government has tried to establish such a standard – the first, in 1974, was undertaken by the Federal Trade Commission; the second, in 1991, by the FDA. Those efforts failed, leading to a long period of stasis until 2009, when several lawsuits were brought against food manufacturers who claimed "all natural" ingredients. A post on the National Public Radio website discusses the debate and places it in the context of culinary history.